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Sunday, February 11, 2018


QUINQUAGESIMA SUNDAY
Our LADY of Lourdes/novena to the holy face (Day 8)


 Isaiah, Chapter 19, verse 16
On that day the Egyptians shall be like women, trembling with fear, because of the LORD of hosts shaking his fist at them.

To shake your fist at someone is a way of showing a person you are angry with them. Sometimes God permits the stubbornly evil and impenitent to suffer the inevitable destructive effects upon their bodies and souls that their sinfulness has triggered. We may see these often as giants in our life. What are the giants in your life? Recklessness, extravagance, deceit, lust, greed, envy, arrogance, theft, adultery, malice, murder, and blasphemy, all comes from within. These giants are not out there; there in here; in the heart. The hearts fears make giants. Love is the cure. Love endures Love hopes. Love does small tasks. Love is like a water drop that outlasts the mountain; wearing it away. Love stands defiant before the giants in your life. In and through love we come to discover the giants in our life were shadows all along.

Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s light shining somewhere nearby. 
(Ruth Renkle)

Live each day as if it were your last. Death brings an end to all, and man’s life suddenly passes away like a fleeting shadow.

Lord, for those in mortal sin, death is the gateway to hell, but for those in sanctifying grace, it is the pathway to Heaven. Let my greatest desire in life be to live in such a way that I can die fearlessly at any moment. Let me fear sin more than death or any other earthly harm. Amen.[1]

Yet, If we insist on going our own way, following the "I did it my way" philosophy (made famous in Frank Sinatra's hit song!), then God's anger means that He will respect the freedom He gave to us, and say to us, in effect: "OK, do it your way, if you insist. I will not compel you to turn away from your sins and be sanctified. But if you do decide to 'do it your way,' you will have to experience the rotten fruits — the self-destructive effects — of the path you have chosen, both in this life and the life to come." For those cruel and cold-hearted souls who remain stubbornly impenitent and who resist God's grace to the end of their lives, God's anger takes the form of the "eternal punishment" of sinners, which simply means that He allows them to turn their backs on Him and live forever in their self-chosen exile from the light of His countenance. That is why the catechism defines "hell" as essentially "a state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed". As Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, explained in the book Pillars of Fire in My Soul: The Spirituality of St. Faustina (Marian Press, 2003): God is totally opposed to all evil, and sends His lightning bolts to oppose it (so to speak), yet we cling by our sins to the lightning rod of evil, and then complain that He is a God of wrath! Clearly, God does not want us to suffer His wrath and indignation. As Jesus said, to St. Faustina, (Diary entry 1588) "I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice." Another time He said to her (entry 1728) that when sinful souls "bring all My graces to naught, I begin to be angry with them, leaving them alone and giving them what they want." Thanks be to God, that His mercy is so much greater than our sins! We do not need to be afraid at all, for as He said to St. Faustina (entry 1485): "Do not be afraid of your Savior, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to come to Me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish His graces on you. ... My Mercy is greater than your sins, and those of the entire world."[2]

Quinquagesima[3]

"We are going up to Jerusalem" -- a setting of the stage for the pilgrimage of Lent, and the one thing we must bring with us: charity. [Also, traditional time for going to confession]

In the Roman Catholic Church, the terms for this Sunday (and the two immediately before it — Sexagesima and Septuagesima Sundays) were eliminated in the reforms following the Second Vatican Council, and these Sundays are part of Ordinary Time. According to the reformed Roman Rite Roman Catholic calendar, this Sunday is now known by its number within Ordinary Time — fourth through ninth, depending upon the date of Easter. The earlier form of the Roman Rite, with its references to Quinquagesima Sunday, and to the Sexagesima and Septuagesima Sundays, continues to be observed in some communities. In traditional lectionaries, the Sunday concentrates on Luke 18:31–43, "Jesus took the twelve aside and said, 'Lo, we go to Jerusalem, and everything written by the prophets about the Son of Man shall be fulfilled' ... The disciples, however, understood none of this," which from verse 35 is followed by Luke's version of Healing the blind near Jericho. The passage presages the themes of Lent and Holy Week.


Eastern Orthodox Church


In the Eastern Orthodox Church, its equivalent, the Sunday before Great Lent, is called "Forgiveness Sunday", "Maslenitsa Sunday", or "Cheesefare Sunday". The latter name comes because this Sunday concludes Maslenitsa, the week in which butter and cheese may be eaten, which are prohibited during Great Lent. The former name derives from the fact that this Sunday is followed by a special Vespers called "Forgiveness Vespers" which opens Great Lent. On this day the Eastern Orthodox Church Christians at the liturgy listen to the Gospel speaking of forgiveness of sins, fasting, and the gathering of treasures in heaven. On this day, all Orthodox Christians ask each other for forgiveness to begin the Great Lent with a good heart, to focus on the spiritual life, to purify the heart from sin in confession, and to meet Easter - the day of the Resurrection of Jesus with a pure heart. This is the last day before Lent when non-lenten food is eaten.

Our Lady of Lourdes[4]

Today marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. On March 25 she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer, and charity.
Things to Do

·         Watch The Song of Bernadette, a masterpiece filmed in 1943.
·         Bring flowers (roses would be appropriate) to your statue of Our Lady at your home altar, especially if you have a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes.
·         Obtain some Lourdes holy water and give the parental blessing to your children.
·         Give extra care to the sick in your community — cook dinner for a sick mother's family, bring your children to the local nursing home (the elderly love to see children), send flowers to a member of your parish community who is ill.

NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE

DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER

 O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

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.

Eighth Day

Psalm 51, 16-17.
O rescue me, God my helper, and my tongue shall ring out your goodness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.


Most merciful Face of Jesus, who in this vale of tears was so moved by our misfortunes to call yourself the healer of the sick, and the good Shepherd of the souls gone astray, allow not Satan to draw us away from you, but keep us always under your loving protection, together with all souls who endeavor to console you. 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 Peter
O glorious Saint Peter, who in return for thy lively and generous faith, thy profound and sincere humility and thy burning love, was honored by Jesus Christ with singular privileges, and in particular, with the leadership of the other apostles and the primacy of the whole church, of which thou was made the foundation stone, do thou obtain for us the grace of a lively faith, that shall not fear to profess itself openly in its entirety and in all of its manifestations, even to the shedding of blood, if occasion should demand it, and to the sacrifice of life itself in preference to surrender. Obtain for us likewise a sincere loyalty to our Holy Mother the Church. Grant that we may ever remain most closely and sincerely united to the Holy Father, who is the heir of thy faith and of thy authority, the one true visible head of the Catholic Church. Grant, moreover, that we may follow, in all humility and meekness, the Church’s teaching and counsels and may be obedient to all her precepts, in order to be able here on earth to enjoy a peace that is sure and undisturbed, and to attain one day in heaven to everlasting happiness. 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)

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Nineveh 90 Day 42
·         Manhood of the Master-Day 1 week 3
·         Please pray for me and this ministry



[1] Paone, Anthony J., S.J. My Daily Bread, Confraternity of the Precious Blood.
[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinquagesima

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