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2 Maccabees, Chapter 9, Verse 29 His foster brother Philip brought the body home; but fearing Antiochus’ son, he later withdrew i...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

CYBER MONDAY
OUR LADY OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL



Daniel, Chapter 1, Verse 10
Though God had given Daniel the favor and sympathy of the chief chamberlain, he nevertheless said to Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king; it is he who allotted your food and drink.

As a Catholic in the modern world have you ever felt like you were living in exile; because those who are not of the body of Christ are sort of foreign?

Exile on (Babylon's) Main Street[1]

The story begins when Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieges Jerusalem. He breaks in, conquers the city, and captures the king and some of the sacred vessels dedicated to God in the temple. After this mad-cap spree, the king orders his palace master Ashpenaz to take some of the royal and well-educated Israelites and bring them back to Babylon to serve at the king's palace. Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are among the people who get exiled to Babylon. The palace master makes them cash in their Hebrew names for slick, new Babylonian ones. Daniel receives the totally metal name of "Belteshazzar"; Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah become respectively "Shadrach," "Meshach," and "Abednego."  Um, is this Kosher? Immediately, Daniel n' pals run into a problem. The king offers them daily rations of fine Babylonian cuisine and wine—but the food isn't kosher. Fortunately, God has mercy on Daniel by making the palace master merciful. After some back and forth, he gives Daniel, Shadrach, and co. permission to do a trial run: they'll "go veg" for ten days, eating nothing but water and vegetables. If they don't look worse than everyone else after that time, they can consider the next step to take. Of course, they end up looking better than the people who are chowing down on the Babylonian cheeseburgers and lobster rolls (or whatever they were serving), and they're allowed to keep eating appropriate kosher and vegetarian meals. Rather than collapsing from weakness, Daniel and his friends load up on wisdom, knowledge, and skills—all provided by God. Daniel also receives the ability to interpret dreams and visions, which will prove handy pretty soon. When Nebuchadnezzar finally calls in the elite Israelites, after their training in Babylonian ways has been completed, he discovers that no one is wiser or more knowledgeable than Daniel and his friends. They're superior to all the Babylonian wise men, as well. The book notes that Daniel remained in Nebuchadnezzar's court until the first year the Persian king Cyrus came to reign.

Maybe there is something to this vegan gig?

Cyber Monday[2] (another secular event)

This Christmas season when you make out your gift list try to give a gift to those you love that truly helps them to prosper!

Cyber Monday seeks to sell massive quantities of goods through online stores at a sale price. Marketing companies created the term Cyber Monday as a catchphrase to persuade people to shop online. In 2014, Cyber Monday sales were a record 2.68 billion dollars, making it one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Cyber Monday is not an official holiday but it is an international day recognized by consumers. The term Cyber Monday developed naturally overtime as online sales following Thanksgiving spiked. This was seen as an opportunity to brand the new shopping occasion, much the same way black Friday was years earlier. Cyber Monday was first originally held November of 2005. The day it is held varies from year to year but it is always held the Monday following Thanksgiving in the US.

Cyber Monday Facts & Quotes

Since 2010, Cyber Monday has been the highest online spending day in the year in the US. Sales numbers on Cyber Monday have gradually increased by at least $100 million each year since the term was first coined. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 90% of online shoppers surveyed said low prices were the most important part of their shopping experience on Cyber Monday. The top 3 products purchased online on Cyber Monday are: Apparel, books/DVDs/Videos/Games and Consumer electronics. You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There's another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity. – Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft.

Cyber Monday Top Events and Things to Do

Buy something! You can buy just about anything online these days, so treat yourself or a loved one to something you have been saving up for. Chances are it is at a reduced price on Cyber Monday! Fill your online shopping cart with all the things you were thinking of buying at all retail shops. Total up the cost of all the things you were going to buy, and instead of buying them, donate that exact amount of money to a charity of your choice. Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtag#CyberMonday, #CyberDeals and #DealsDealsDeals. Promote your favorite retailers over social media using their hashtags and by reposting their posts. Save your money today and wait until Giving Tuesday tomorrow to donate it all or use it to purchase items for donation.

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal[3]

In the year 1830, Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, a Daughter of Charity in Paris, and told her that God had a mission for her. Standing upon a globe, the Virgin Mary held a golden ball which she seemed to offer to God, and on her fingers were rings with gems that emitted rays of light. She told St. Catherine, "These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls forget to ask. The Blessed Virgin instructed St. Catherine to have a medal made of these images, and she promised many graces to all who wear it.

Meaning of the Medal[4]

The Front

Here, we see a woman, the Mother of God, encircled by a short and famous prayer: "O Mary conceived without sin. . . . " Being conceived without sin—the mystery of her Immaculate Conception—means that from the beginning this woman was full of grace. Mary stands on a globe, the world. Around her feet a twisted serpent, the devil, struggles for mastery. It is a conflict between good and evil. Satan's is a world of darkness and disgrace; Mary's is a world of light and grace. But hers is the victory won by Christ—the light of the world. So we see the light and grace of Christ flowing from her hands; and those who choose grace rather than darkness turn to her for help: "pray for us who have recourse to thee."

The Back

On the back of the medal we see a large letter M with a cross above it. M is for Mary and Mother because she is indeed the Mother of God's people—a people founded on the twelve Apostles, signified by the twelve stars arranged around the rim. The two hearts are those of Jesus and Mary. God's message for Mary was one of suffering "a sword will pierce your heart too"—just as the heart of her Son would be pierced by a soldier's lance. The showing of the two hearts in one grand alliance is a reminder of God's love for us. Mother and Son are united in the work of redemption as Christ offers himself on the cross and Mary stands compassionately at his feet, assenting in faith so that the world might be saved. The medal, then, is a summary in itself of the Church's teaching on Our Lady—a mini-catechism of the faith for everyone.

The MI Movement

One of the most celebrated cases of a conversion, through the use of the Miraculous Medal, was that of the agnostic, Alphonse Ratisbonne. In January 1917, while still a seminarian at the Conventual Franciscan Friars' Seraphicum in Rome, St. Maximilian Kolbe heard the Miraculous Medal conversion story of Ratisbonne. This wonderful account inspired St. Maximilian to recognize the powerful role that God had given Mary in the work of leading people to conversion and growth in holiness. He understood that the Miraculous Medal symbolized her active presence in the Church as Mediatrix of All Graces. For the next nine months St. Maximilian meditated upon the Miraculous Medal, the apparition of Our Lady to St. Catherine Laboure, and the marvel of Ratisbonne's conversion.

On the evening of October 16, 1917, St. Maximilian was ready to put these Marian insights into a concrete plan of action. He gathered six Franciscan companions in a
room at their seminary on Rome's Via San Teodoro to establish what he called in Latin the Militia Immaculatae (MI), that is, the "Knights of the Immaculata." This movement, which now numbers millions of members worldwide would bind people together around one compelling and fruitful ideal: spiritual union with Mary the Immaculata. This ideal would attract various kinds and classes of people (clergy, religious, and laity), stirring each to form a person-to-person relationship with Mary by means of the "Act of Total Consecration," and entrustment of self to her.

St. Maximilian made the Miraculous Medal the insignia of the MI movement. He recommended that people wear it as an external sign of their Total Consecration to the Immaculata. Mindful of Mary's promise to St. Catherine that "all who wear it will receive great graces," St. Maximilian saw the medal as a means of safeguarding the consecration. It reminds MIs that by their consecration they are to belong to Mary, work for her, and become one with her, so that she might act through them as her instruments.

The Miraculous Medal helps MIs to love Jesus through Mary, so as to hasten the transformation of individuals, families, and society into a "civilization of love."

Purpose of the MI:

Pursue the conversion and growth in holiness of all people, under the sponsorship of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary.

May I join the MI?

All Catholics are welcome to join. One's "work" in the MI is simply to live the spirit of Total Consecration to Mary as taught by the saints and popes. MIs try to bring the presence of Mary into daily life, by offering up daily duties, prayers, sufferings, and good works for the conversion and sanctification of souls. MIs need not attend meetings, nor pay dues, nor follow complicated rules.

Miraculous Medal Invocation Prayer

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us
who have recourse to you, and for all who do
not have recourse to you, especially the enemies
of the Church and those recommended to you.

Meditation Prayer with the Miraculous Medal

Mary, this medal is a sign and a guarantee of your presence. You are present because your power is present, your voice is present and your love is present. Therefore, O wonderful Sinless Woman and our Mystical Mother, we call on you now to fulfill your guarantee. Bring us the great graces you promised to those who carry this medal, especially to those who wear it around their neck. Make us perceive our presence now and always. Make us consciously experience your power, your love and your guidance, that in their strength we may begin to share in your perfect response to God and to each of his creatures, and join in your war with the ancient Serpent. Help us utterly abandon our self-centered feelings and preoccupations. Help us hear and understand you. Teach us to listen and learn. Help us respond to you today and always;, that made one with you we might more fully respond with the rest of the Church to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, participating in their life and unity.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry



[2]http://www.wincalendar.com/Cyber-Monday
[3]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2017-11-27

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