Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November



The Thanksgiving meal is a ritual. Whether we are from rural or urban backgrounds, we know the harvest time passes and the year draws to an end. Giving thanks to God is Eucharist, a heavenly banquet and the foretaste of things to come. We are not worthy receivers of this sacrament without the haunting knowledge of the poor nutrition for many in our country and famine in other countries. How can we respond to homelessness and hunger here in our own land and share our bounty with those who are poor in other countries (lands)?

First World Day of the Poor[1]


The annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will be held in most parishes the weekend of November 18-19, on the celebration of the First World Day of the Poor instituted by Pope Francis. World Day of the Poor will mark the "moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance" with people living in poverty. "Poverty challenges us daily in the United States, but it also presents an opportunity for true encounter with the suffering flesh of Christ. CCHD is bringing hope and the joy of the Gospel to our sisters and brothers in need," Nearly 41 million people live in poverty in the United States – that's $24,600 for a family of four and $12,600 for a single person. This collection supports the work of groups that empower low-income people to participate in decisions that affect their lives and work break the cycle of poverty in their own communities. Many of the projects supported by CCHD embody the corporal works of mercy, including the protection of worker rights, expanding access to healthcare, and reforming the criminal justice system. CCHD is the official domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops. This national collection is the primary source of funding for CCHD's community and economic development grants and education programs aimed at fostering a culture of life and hope in communities across the nation. Twenty-five percent of funds collected remain in each diocese to support local anti-poverty projects.

Remember our goal is loving empowerment-If we give strive for level 8 but giving at level 1 is a start-the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  1. Giving begrudgingly
  2. Giving less that you should, but giving it cheerfully.
  3. Giving after being asked
  4. Giving before being asked
  5. Giving when you do not know the recipient's identity, but the recipient knows your identity
  6. Giving when you know the recipient's identity, but the recipient doesn't know your identity
  7. Giving when neither party knows the other's identity
  8. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant

WEDNESDAY November 1
ALL SAINTS DAY (Holy Day of Obligation-Go to Mass)



Proverbs, Chapter 15, Verse 33
The fear of the LORD is training for wisdom, and humility goes before honors.

To become wise, one must hear and integrate perspectives contrary to one’s own, which means accepting “reproof.” Wisdom does not isolate one but places one in the company of the wise.[2] When we have failed to live up to the vision of God for us let us remember that to be truly wise and loving and have a true fear of the Lord our return to honor requires us to 1) say I am sorry; 2) acknowledge that it is our fault-no excuses and most importantly 3) to take actions to correct the fault or make things right-Lord help me to make the things I have done poorly right!
Feast of All Saints[3]

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."

"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."

WHY has the Church appointed this feast? 1. To honor God in His saints, in whom He has shown Himself so wonderful, and to thank Him, as the author of all sanctity, for the benefits He has bestowed upon them. 2. To put us in lively remembrance of the communion of saints; that is, of all true children of the Church, whether they belong to the Church militant on earth, to the Church suffering in purgatory, or to the Church triumphant in heaven; but more particularly to cause us to consider, with earnestness, the communion of the saints in heaven with us, who are yet combating on earth. 3. To encourage us to strive for the like sanctity with them, and to teach us that it is by no means impossible ; for if thousands of men could become saints, why should not we, who can do all things through Him Who strengthens us, and has sent the Holy Ghost for our sanctification? 4. To pay honor to those saints to whom no particular day in the year is dedicated. 5. That, in consideration of so many intercessors, God may grant us perfect reconciliation, may give us a share in their merits, and may grant us the grace of one day sharing in their joy in heaven.



Explanation of the Eight Beatitudes



I. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The poor in spirit are: 1. those who, like the apostles, readily forsake all earthly things, and for Christ’s sake become poor. 2. Those who, happening to lose their property by misfortune or injustice, suffer the loss patiently, in resignation to the will of God. 3. Those who, like Jesus, are content with their poor and humble position, seek no higher or happier one, and would rather suffer want than enrich themselves by unlawful acts, by fraud or theft. 4. The rich and noble who set not their hearts upon the riches and greatness of the world; but who use their riches and influence to relieve the misery of the needy and oppressed. 5. Finally, the truly humble, who, convinced of their weakness, their helplessness and misery, think lowly of themselves, and regard themselves but as beggars, who are always in need of the grace of God. To all these, therefore, in whose hearts the world has no place, there is assured, as their inheritance, the kingdom of heaven; here the kingdom of grace there the kingdom of glory.

II. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.” That man is meek who does not murmur against God for sending afflictions upon him, who is not angry at men who do him injury, but who rather suppresses impatience, anger, envy, and revenge, nay, who seeks to recompense the evil done him by his neighbor with good. Such a one is greater than he who takes by storm fortified cities; he possesses an unfailing fountain of peace, quiet, and cheerfulness; by his meekness prevails over the most hostile minds, is by such means truly a ruler upon earth, and will one day, for his portion, obtain heaven, the land of the living, there to enjoy eternal peace.

III. “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted,” By them that mourn we are not to understand such as grieve and lament over a death, a misfortune, a loss of worldly goods, or the like; but those who are grieved that God should be in so many ways offended by themselves and by others that His Church should be so heavily oppressed, and thereby so many souls lost that have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. The only evil really to be grieved for is sin, and the tears shed on account of sin are the only tears that are profitable, for they shall be recompensed with everlasting joy.

IV. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill.” Hunger and thirst denote the most ardent longing after those virtues which constitute Christian perfection; such as humility, meekness, the love of God and of our neighbor, penance. Whoever longs for these virtues as the hungry man does for food and drink, and prays to God for them with perseverance and earnestness, shall have his fill; that is, he shall be enriched with them, and one day shall be satisfied with eternal happiness.

V. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” The merciful here spoken of are: 1. Those who willingly for give the injuries done to them. 2. Those who have compassion on their poor neighbors, and, according to their ability, sustain them by alms. These shall obtain mercy; that is, God will forgive them their sins and endow them abundantly with the goods of this world and of the world to come. Thus God deals with us as we deal with others.

VI. “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.” The clean of heart are those who preserve with care the innocence with which they are invested at holy Baptism, or seek to regain it, when lost, by penance; those who keep their hearts and consciences unspotted from all sinful thoughts, particularly from all unchaste thoughts, desires, words, and acts, and who endeavor in all things to have a pure intention directed to God alone. They shall see God, that is, they shall know Him even here upon earth, for as the eye that is to see must be clean, so only souls that are pure and unstained can behold God. But further, our knowledge is like our hearts; the purer the heart the clearer and greater is the knowledge of God. But in the world above they shall see, know, and possess Him as He is. What blessedness! Strive, therefore, to keep your heart clean.

VII. “Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.” By peace-makers we are to understand those who have peace with themselves, that is, a quiet conscience, and who endeavor to maintain peace among others, or to restore it when broken. Such are called the children of God, because they follow God, Who is a God of peace, and who even gave His only Son to reconcile the world with Him, and to bring down upon earth that peace which the world itself could not give.

VIII. “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Hereby all those are declared blessed who, on account of the true faith, of virtue, of the fear of God, of purity, are persecuted, calumniated, and even put to death, and who bear all this with Christian patience and constancy, nay, with joy. Thus have the saints done, and thereby they have gained the heavenly crown. Do we desire to be crowned with them; we must also suffer with them. And in truth, if we would apply ourselves zealously to virtue, occasions will not be wanting to us, for all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Praying for the Dead[4]All Souls Eve



In the Roman liturgical books, the celebration of All Saints' Day ends in the afternoon. When it is time for evening Vespers, the office for the Dead is recited in preparation for All Souls' Day. Those who do not use the breviary have followed the same pattern as well. Beginning at sunset on All Saints' Day, families gather in one room, extinguish all lights except the blessed candle that had been saved since Candlemas Day, and pray for the souls of their departed loved ones. In Brittany a group of men would actually go from farm to farm at night, shouting: "Christians awake; pray to God for the souls of the dead, and say the Pater and Ave for them." The household would reply "Amen" and rise in prayer.


Things to Do[5]

·         Visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead during the Octave of All Saints' Day (November 1 through November 8) will gain a plenary indulgence that can be applied only to the souls in purgatory. On other days, this work gains a partial indulgence.
·         Spend a little time after Mass thanking God for all the unnamed saints, some of whom could be our own relatives.
·         Have a special meal and if you have young children have them dress up like saints and play games.
·         Pray the Litany of the Saints -- you could make it really special by chanting it ("he who sings prays twice") and you could read an explanation of this litany, which is considered the model of all other litanies.
·         From the Catholic Culture library:

o    The Church's Thanksgiving Day by Fr. Joseph Minihan,
o    Ideas for Sanctifying All Saints' Day by Jennifer Gregory Miller,
o    Halloween and All Saints Day by Fr. William Saunders.

Indulgences for All Souls Week

·         An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the first to the eighth of November; on other days of the year it is partial.

·         A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who on the day dedicated to the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed [November 2 {as well as on the Sunday preceding or following, and on All Saints' Day}] piously visit a church. In visiting the church it is required that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

·         To acquire a plenary indulgence it is necessary also to fulfill the following three conditions: sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the intention of the Holy Father. The three conditions may be fulfilled several days before or after the performance of the visit; it is, however, fitting that communion be received and the prayer for the intention of the Holy Father be said on the same day as the visit.

·         The condition of praying for the intention of the Holy Father is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary. A plenary indulgence can be acquired only once in the course of the day.

More things to do[6]

·         It is popular for Mexican Christians to celebrate All Saints Day by creating shrines in their homes featuring the favorite things of their loved ones.  Families often go to the cemetery and hold picnics near the graves of loved ones to celebrate their lives.

·         Go to church and light a candle for your departed loved ones.  This is common for All Saints Day as a way to commemorate relatives and loved ones who have died during the previous year.

·         Some families meet on All Saints Day after church to repair and spruce up the graves of their loved ones.  Tend to your family's last resting place.

·         All Saints Day also commemorates saints that are unknown to us.  Honor a deceased person that may have contributed positively to society or your life.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

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