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Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras
FEAST OF THE HOLY FACE-ST. CATHERINE DE RICCI


 Isaiah, Chapter 29, verse 13-14
13 The Lord said: Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, And fear of me has become mere precept of human teaching, 14 Therefore I will again deal with this people in surprising and wondrous fashion: The wisdom of the wise shall perish, the prudence of the prudent shall vanish.

This verse deals with spiritual blindness and perversity of the Israeli Leaders. The Israelis failed to apply the standards of God’s covenant in their military and political plans. They failed to pray and offer to God their concerns and because of their unbelief they merely made a show of their piety. They rejected the advice of their prophet’s. Nothing ever changes. The key to living a life fearlessly is to have our hearts close to God’s. When we do this we will soon discover that the mind is designed to implement your heart’s desire. Is your heart at peace? What are the desires of your heart? What should the desires of our hearts be? The old Baltimore catechism states that our purpose and our desires should be to know, love and serve the Lord.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1718 The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it: We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated. How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God, I seek a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you. God alone satisfies.

When our desires are not on God we become spiritually ill. Christ implemented the sacrament of reconciliation to heal our hearts. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis recently commented that without daily prayer, regular participation in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, daily contact with God’s Word, and a “spirituality translated into charity,” we may die spiritually. Pope Francis went on to list 15 spiritual “sicknesses” that are “more usual” in “our life”. The 15 include not being self-critical and thinking oneself indispensable, “Martha-ism” (excessive Martha-like busyness), hardheartedness, excessive planning, failing to work with others, “spiritual Alzheimer’s” (forgetting one’s spiritual journey), and rivalry and vainglory. Other spiritual sicknesses, the Pope added, include existential “schizophrenia” (living a double life that is “often dissolute”), gossip, careerism and flattering superiors, indifference to others, a severe “funeral face” (rather than self-deprecating good humor), the “disease of closed circles,” and “worldly profit, exhibitionism” (through “calumniating, defaming, and discrediting others,” even in the media “in the name of justice and transparency”). These temptations, he continued, are a danger to every Christian and every community.[1]

Shrove Tuesday[2]

Shrove Tuesday occurs the first Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It officially ends the season of Epiphany and is the vigil for the starting of Lent. Traditionally viewed as a day of repentance, Shrove Tuesday has become the last day for celebration and feasting before the period of fasting required during the Lenten season. The name "Shrove Tuesday" is derived from the word "shrive", which means to confess and receive absolution. The name denotes a period of cleansing, wherein a person brings their lusts and appetites under subjection through abstention and self-sacrifice. The concept behind this practice is found in 1 Corinthians 9:27, where the Apostle Paul states: "I buffet my body and make it my slave..." Ironically, Shrove Tuesday has evolved into a day of frivolity and indulgence, during which people participate in as much pleasure and self-gratification as they can before Lent begins. Shrove Tuesday originated during the Middle Ages. As in contemporary times, food items like meats, fats, eggs, milk, and fish were regarded as restricted during Lent. To keep such food from being wasted, many families would have big feasts on Shrove Tuesday in order to consume those items that would inevitably become spoiled during the next forty days. The English tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday came about as a way to use as much milk, fats, and eggs as possible before Ash Wednesday began. In France, the consumption of all fats and fatty foods on this day coined the name "Fat Tuesday" or Mardi Gras. Originally beginning on Sunday, Shrove Tuesday was a three-day celebration that culminated in large feasts on Tuesday night. By the beginning of the 20th century, however, the event was restricted to the Tuesday observance. Carnival became associated with Shrove Tuesday, in part from the Spring Equinox celebrations that were practiced by the Romans and the ancient tribes of Europe. The word "carnival" comes from the Latin carnem levare, meaning "to take away the flesh". However, in the New Orleans and Rio de Janiero celebrations, public revelry and carousing have become the tradition for Carnival around the world. It was mostly as a result of the Carnival celebrations that the Church restricted the observance to a single day.

Shrove Tuesday has a variety of customs that have derived from different regions around Europe and the Americas. As previously mentioned, England began the tradition of serving pancakes, and for this reason the day is known as "Pancake Day". In addition, there are the annual Pancake Day Races, where contestants dress in aprons and scarves and race down a course flipping a pancake in a frying pan or skillet. In Eastern Europe, the Carnival celebrations include boisterous processions where people in large masks parade around and play jokes on bystanders. The masks are often caricatures of individuals from traditional folklore. Men and women will dress as one another and engage in gendered mimicry. The day is filled with eating, drinking, fortune telling, and practical jokes. Perhaps the most prominent customs are the balls and pageants in New Orleans and Rio de Janiero. Like Eastern European celebrations, participants wear masks and costumes, many of which are quite flamboyant and elaborate. Rio has a parade of multi-colored feathers, which include hundreds of dancers dressed in costumes decked with feathers, all dancing the samba. In New Orleans, Mardi Gras includes a variety of parades featuring grand floats and giant effigies of eccentric characters. There is much eating, drinking, and dancing, as well as practical jokes and humorous street plays. For many Protestant believers, Shrove Tuesday holds no particular significance. For Catholics and Anglicans, however, the day is still observed with confession and absolution, in addition to modest feasting and rejoicing.

Forty Hours' Devotion[3]

Since the Shrovetide celebrations became prone to excess and scandal, Pope Benedict XIV instituted in 1748 the Forty Hours of Carnival, especially in those areas prone to such reveling. During this devotion the Blessed Sacrament is exposed during the day and Benediction held in the evening.
Here are a few suggestions to help you celebrate the final day before Lent.[4]

·         Today is Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras! When eggs were among the foods that were forbidden by the Church during Lent, people would use them up on Fat Tuesday by mixing up large quantities of pancakes or doughnuts (also known as fastnachts).
·         Read Maria von Trapp's explanation of the traditions associated with Carnival, or Fat Tuesday here.
·         Sing this American favorite, Turkey in the Straw, with your children as part of your Mardi Gras celebrations.
·         Discuss Jesus' Gospel teaching for today, He who would be first must be last, with your children and ask them how they can put others in the family before themselves. Keep it simple and practical — setting the table, washing the dishes, folding laundry, watching the littler ones, doing homework right away.
·         What does it mean to become a child spiritually, that we may enter Heaven and be received by Christ Himself? We can learn much from St. Therese of the Child Jesus about spiritual childhood. Begin reading her Story of a Soul.
·         Read Fr. William Saunder's article, Shrove Tuesday and Shrovetide, from the Catholic Culture Library.

Mardi Gras[5]

Mardi Gras marks the end of the Carnival season, a period observed by many Roman Catholics that starts at Epiphany on January 6 and ends on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (Mardi Gras). Since Mardi Gras is the last day before lent (a solemn period observed by prayer, repentance, fasting, and moderation), it is often associated with lavish Carnival-like celebrations.

Mardi Gras Facts

·         Some families eat a festive King Cake on Mardi Gras. Although it is traditionally served on Epiphany, many cultures, especially the people of Louisiana, savor the sweet cake the night before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras cakes are often decorated with a toy baby to represent the baby Jesus.
·         Although the holiday is rooted in the Christian calendar, not many churches observe it with a worship service. Most observances include festive parties, balls, and parades.
·         Green, gold, and purple are the official colors of Mardi Gras, and they all have roots in Christianity. Green represents faith, while purple symbolizes justice. Gold stands for power.
·         Mardi Gras is not celebrated as an official church holiday, but is celebrated because the following day starts Lent, a 40-day period of preparation and penitence before Easter. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, so Mardi Gras, French for "Fat Tuesday", is often the last day that people may indulge before beginning dietary restrictions. In Roman Catholic tradition, the faithful refrain from eating meat during Lent except on Sundays. Fish is acceptable in some Latin American countries.

Mardi Gras Top Events and Things to Do

·         Attend the largest Mardi Gras celebration, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
·         Make your own King cake and serve it to your family and friends.
·         Wear purple, green, and gold beads to celebrate the day.
·         Attend a local Mardi Gras event. Many local communities organize street fairs and celebrations for this day.

Feast of the Holy Face[6]


 Jesus Wants His Holy Face to be More Honored

Why do you think Jesus miraculously printed His Body on the holy shroud on Easter Morning? Jesus Himself gave the answer to Sister Pierina on the First Friday of Lent in 1936:
"I firmly wish that My Face reflecting the intimate pains of My Soul, the suffering and love of My Heart, be more honored! Whoever gazes upon Me, already consoles Me"...

Principal reasons why we must honor the Holy Face of Jesus


Jesus asked it of Sister Pierina on the First Friday of Lent, as we read above. This reason should be enough but for those Thomases who still doubt, there are more. Thirty-Three Popes have spoken in favor of The Holy Shroud. Here are the statements of a few of them: Leo XIII declared enthusiastically that this photograph of The Holy Shroud with its undeniable revelation of the true likeness of Christ was a providential event and "a means well-adapted in our time to stimulate everywhere a revival of the religious spirit." St. Pius X referred to the photograph as the "true image of The Holy Shroud" and declared it can be a very effective aid in meditating on the Passion and Death of our Divine Savior. St. Pius X expressed the desire that this image be published and seen around the world and venerated in every Christian family. He recommended it to all bishops and priests and gave a special blessing to all who propagate the image and devotion to Jesus Christ pictured on the Holy Shroud. Why do we so rarely see the picture of The Holy Face of Jesus in Catholic churches, religious orders and Catholic homes? Why are so many Catholics not more devoted to The Holy Face of Jesus? Why? Because, there is a plot of silence! Demons do not like The Holy Face of Jesus and are doing everything to stop the devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus. How can we not fall in love with Jesus seeing His Holy Face?

Catholic churches, religious families, Catholic families have nice human pictures of Jesus. Why not have the miraculous Holy Face of Jesus given to us on Easter Morning by the risen Jesus, just as St. Pius X recommended? When I have to choose between a picture made by a man or by Jesus, the choice is easy for me. I have The Holy Face of Jesus in my office, in my living room, in my room, in my Bible, in my Breviary, in my many books. The result: I am always walking in the presence of Jesus, thinking, loving, adoring and speaking of Jesus. Then it is also impossible not to live in the presence of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Jesus' Mother and ours.

·         St. Pius X expressed the desire that the image of The Holy Shroud of Jesus be seen around the world and venerated in every Christian family. When Catholics will see The Holy Face of Jesus in their churches and hear their priests preaching St. Pius X's call to devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus, then the devotion to The Holy Face will be spread all over the world like the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If you want to please a father, speak nicely of his son and publish his picture everywhere. If you want to please God the Father, speak nicely of Jesus, and publish and show The Holy Face of Jesus everywhere. Believe me, doing so is a special way to have the Heavenly Father shower on you and your family graces and blessings so abundantly that you will be obliged to say: Heavenly Father, please stop, because my heart will burst with joy and happiness. Pius XII asked the faithful to spread knowledge and veneration of so great and sacred a relic. On the occasion of the golden jubilee of Sister Celine Martin, sister of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus of The Holy Face (her full religious name!), he sent her his photograph and the one of The Holy Face of Jesus! He was truly a pope with faith and without fear of the truth.
·         John XXIII, on seeing the relic, said, "This can only be the Lord's doing... There we see the finger of God."
·         Paul VI added these words: "The Holy Face of Jesus printed on The Holy Shroud of Turin appeared to us so true, so profound, so human and divine, that we admired and loved it like no other image..."
·         John Paul I has been named "The Pope of The Holy Shroud."
·         John Paul II said "The Holy Shroud is the most splendid relic of the Passion and Resurrection [of Our Lord Jesus Christ]. People say: `Who will make us see happiness? Raise the light of Thy Face over us!' We become what we contemplate... Why don't we contemplate the Icon of Icons: The Holy Face of Jesus!" Instead of icons made by man, let us venerate the greatest icon of all: The Holy Face of Jesus!
·         Saint Peter Chrysologus, Father of the Church, tells us: "A love that desires to see God may not have reasonableness on its side, but it is the evidence of filial love. It gave Moses the temerity to say: 'If I have found favor in Thine eyes, show me Thy face'. It inspired the psalmist to make the same prayer: 'Show me Thy Face'. Even the pagans made their images for this purpose; they wanted to see what they mistakenly revered."

Mass of the Holy Face

The feast of The Holy Face is always on Shrove Tuesday, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Pius XII confirmed that feast on April 17, 1958 and gave the Mass of The Holy Face of Jesus for all dioceses and religious orders who ask for the Indult from Rome in order to celebrate it. Papal documents like this can be forgotten unless priests preach on them often. I hope the devotion and Mass to the Holy Face will become as popular as the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Priests who go to the Basilica of St. John, in Turin, Italy, can celebrate the Mass of The Holy Face on the very altar above which is a silver box that contains The Holy Shroud on which is imprinted the Holy Face of Jesus. There they can incense the Holy Shroud itself. I myself celebrated the Mass of The Holy Face and incensed The Holy Shroud three times, in three separate visits with my pilgrims. Great Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus and of The Holy Face, one of the greatest saints of our modern time, Patroness of Missions with St. Francis Xavier, was also one of the greatest apostles of the Holy Face. Let us all be apostles of the Holy Face of Jesus. Let us speak up and write on the Holy Face. Let us stop doubting like St. Thomas, but believe, venerate, and distribute copies and show the world the Holy Face of Jesus. I think and I really hope that one day the Holy Face of Jesus will be seen in all Catholic churches. The Holy Face of Jesus is already in many Catholic cathedrals and churches in Montréal, Quebec City and elsewhere. What should Catholics think and do about the devotion to the Holy Face? Why not have a nice, large, beautiful Holy Face picture in your living room, your bedroom, in your Bible, Breviary and in your spiritual books? Like St. Paul, you will be thinking and talking only of Jesus.

To encourage the faithful to honor the Holy Face of Jesus, Jesus made wonderful promises, just as He did with the twelve promises for those who practice the devotion to His Sacred Heart.

Eight promises of Our Lord to those devoted to His Holy Face

1. I will grant them contrition so perfect that their very sins shall be changed in My sight into jewels of precious gold.

2. None of these persons shall ever be separated from Me.

3. In offering My Face to My Father they will appease His anger and they will purchase as with celestial coin pardon for poor sinners.

4. I will open My Mouth to plead with My Father to grant all the petitions that they will present to Me.

5. I will illuminate them with My light, I will consume them with My love, I will render them fruitful in good works.

6. They will, as the pious Veronica, wipe My adorable Face outraged by sin, and I will imprint My Divine Features in their souls.

7. At their death, I will renew in them the image of God effaced by sin.

8. By resemblance to My Face, they will shine more than many others in eternal life and the brilliancy of My Face will fill them with joy.

These priceless promises are drawn from the works of St. Gertrude, of St. Mechtilde and from the writings of Sister Maria de Saint-Pierre, a Carmelite, who died at Tours, in the odor of sanctity.

Family Consecration to the Holy Face of Jesus

O Lord Jesus, we believe most firmly in Thee, we love Thee. Thou art the Eternal Son of God and the Son Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thou art the Lord and Absolute Ruler of all creation. We acknowledge Thee, therefore, as the Universal Sovereign of all creatures. Thou art the Lord and Supreme Ruler of all mankind, and we, in acknowledging this, Thy dominion, consecrate ourselves to Thee now and forever. Loving Jesus, we place our family under the protection of Thy Holy Face, and of Thy Virgin Mother, Mary most sorrowful. We promise to be faithful to Thee for the rest of our lives and to observe with fidelity Thy Holy Commandments. We will never deny before men, Thee and Thy Divine rights over us and all mankind. Grant us the grace to never sin again; nevertheless, should we fail, O Divine Savior, have mercy on us and restore us to Thy grace. Radiate Thy Divine Countenance upon us and bless us now and forever. Embrace us at the hour of death in Thy Kingdom for all eternity, through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, of all thy Saints who behold Thee in Heaven, and the just who glorify Thee on earth, O Jesus, be mindful of us forever and never forsake us; protect our family. O Mother of Sorrows, by the eternal glory which thou dost enjoy in Heaven, through the merits of thy bitter anguish in the Sacred Passion of thy Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for us the grace that the Precious Blood shed by Jesus for the redemption of our souls, be not shed for us in vain. We love thee, O Mary. Embrace us and bless us, O Mother. Protect us in life and in death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Iceman and the Face[7]

Here is an excerpt from my book on my South Pole adventure and my experience with the Holy Face of Christ.

“I thought about my experiences in Barbados, West Indies where I had a friendly relationship with a Jesuit Priest on the Island. I was stationed in Barbados after “A-School;” just prior to my assignment with MCB 71. It was luck or maybe providence that I got my first assignment to Barbados, West Indies. At the end of “A School”, I ended up having the highest grade average-probably due to I studied and drank less than the others drank. The Chief had six orders for Vietnam and one set of orders for Barbados. I was given the orders to Barbados.
It was while I was in Barbados that I was examining my Catholic Faith and was considering a faith change because I was also involved with a non-Catholic Pentecostal religious group and because my Father had not practiced the Catholic Faith. I was at a point where I had to decide to be a Catholic or not. I was praying about it and one night I had a horrid dream where a horribly disfigured face appeared in white on a dark background. I woke up in a sweat.
I was disturbed by the thought of this vision. I got on my motorcycle and rode around the island. At the end of the ride, I passed a church and turned around to go in and pray. I knew I needed God in my life. After a short prayer, I was walking out of the church and there right next the exit door in a pamphlet rack, at eye level was the face in my dream. I was shocked, I pulled the pamphlet out and trembling read that this was the image of the reported face of Christ. It was on the burial cloth of Christ and was stored in a Catholic Church in Italy. I decided God was calling me back to the Catholic Faith. Why me? Why did he appear to me sinner that I was; I knew not. Yet, because of the memory of this call from Christ, I knew I had to consent to bring his precious body to my brother Seabees. The priest also left me a book to read. The book explained the Catholic faith. As I read it, I knew and understood my faith better. I was especially taken by an Old Catholic symbol and I drew it on a small red flag and wore that symbol on my back declaring myself an ICEMAN for Christ. The symbol means “Jesus Christ Conqueror” Now instead of a blue ribbon of pain.  I had a flag for victory. I still was the same old sinner but the flag reminded me of God’s ever presence; even here at the bottom of the world.”

St. Catherine de Ricci[8]

St. Catherine experienced the stigmata and every Thursday-Friday accompanied Jesus in His Passion. Despite Catherine's extraordinary interior life, she continued to serve the monastery in many capacities including prioress for 36 years. The Canticle of the Passion was revealed to Catherine immediately after her first great ecstasy of the Passion. Our Lady desired Catherine to spread it as a form of prayer and contemplation pleasing to Our Lord.
The Canticle is chanted in some Dominican monasteries on the Fridays of Lent.

Prayer

~        My friends and My neighbors have drawn near and stood against Me.
~        I was delivered up and came not forth; My eyes languished through poverty.
~        And my sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down and upon the ground.
~        For many dogs have encompassed Me the council of the malignant hath besieged Me.
~        I have given My body to the strikers and My cheeks to them that plucked them.
~        I have not turned away My face from them that rebuked Me and spit upon Me.
~        For I am ready for scourges, and My sorrow is continually before Me.
~        The soldiers, plaiting a crown of thorns, placed it upon My head.
~        They have dug My hands and feet; they have numbered all My bones.
~        And they gave Me gall for My food; and in My thirst, they gave me vinegar to drink.
~        All they that saw Me laughed Me to scorn; they have spoken with lips and wagged their heads.
~        They have looked and stared upon Me; they parted My garments among them and upon My vesture they cast lots.
~        Into Thy hands I commend My spirit; Thou has redeemed me, O God of truth.
~        Be mindful, O Lord, of Thy servants, when Thou shalt come into Thy kingdom.
~        And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice gave up the ghost.

The mercies of the Lord I will sing for all eternity. Surely He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows. He was bruised for our sins. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; every one hath turned aside into his own way. For the Lord hath placed upon him the iniquities of us all. Arise, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? Arise and cast us not off to the end. Behold, God is my Savior, I will deal confidently, and will not fear. We beseech Thee, O Lord, help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.

V. Have mercy on us, O benign Jesus. R. Who in Thy clemency didst suffer for us.
Look down, we beseech Thee, O Lord, on this Thy family for which Our Lord Jesus Christ did not hesitate to be delivered into the hands of the wicked, and suffer the torments of the Cross.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Nineveh 90 Day 44
·         Manhood of the Master-Day 3 week 3
·         Please pray for me and this ministry

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