Start March 12 to December 12

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Introduction to Lamentations[1]

This book of the Bible is a series of poems all about the destruction of Jerusalem. Around 587 BCE, the Babylonian Empire rolls into Judah, burns the capital city to ground, destroys Solomon's Temple, and exiles about a quarter of the city's population. This was a traumatic event on a national scale, right up there with slavery in Egypt. The Jewish people are left to pick up the pieces and wonder "why?" Why did this happen to them? Why wasn't God on their on their side? Why would he allow a bunch of other-god-worshipping foreigners to invade his holy city? And, why, oh, why did he make Babylon so far away from Jerusalem? The author of Lamentations doesn't have an easy job. He needs to answer this question so the people can move forward and start their lives again. The author decides that it's not the Babylonians or God who's to blame for this terrible destruction—it's the Jewish people themselves. They sinned and disobeyed God. He'd warned them in Deuteronomy what to expect when you don't pay attention to God's commandments. Blaming the victim might not have been the most politically correct thing to do, but it worked. The Jewish people were able to regroup from this crisis and come out strong and thriving. And after about 50 years in exile, the Persian Empire came along and crushed the Babylonians to bits. The Jews returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the Temple and nothing bad ever happened to God's chosen people ever again. Lamentations is an age-old book that tries to answer age-old questions—why do bad things happen? How do you cope with tragedy? How can you express your suffering to God and to other people?

Why Should I Care?

There's suffering (no cell reception, breakups) and there's suffering (invasion, mass destruction, death by starvation, exile). Some suffering is avoidable and some isn't. No matter. Everyone suffers at some time or another. We're all inconsolable at times about tragedies great and small. The question is what can you do about it? Lamentations offers some helpful suggestions. The first is: Lament. And keep lamenting. Sometimes, it just feels good to get those feelings out. So start with the tears, sad movies, or sackcloth and ashes—whatever works. Second suggestion: once you've cried it out, use your suffering as an opportunity for reflection. Think about what got you to this place. Why did it happen? Was it something you did? If you've cried and reflected, and decided you brought all this bad stuff on yourself (like the poet believes Jerusalem did) Lamentations strongly recommends reconciliation. Ask for forgiveness. Beg for a second chance.  AND accept the fact that you may have permanently ruined the relationship. Lament some more about that. If you're suffering for no fault of your own, Lamentations still has something good to offer: the possibility of change. Things will get better even if it sure doesn't seem that way at the moment. Think about how things were better before your tragedy and have confidence that they can be that way again. Corny? Kind of. But it can help put things in perspective. Finally, you can talk about your suffering because we suffer together. The last chapter of Lamentations is a communal prayer to end suffering. Why do we publicly commemorate suffering like 9/11 or the Holocaust? Instead of forgetting about the bad times, we hold onto them to remind ourselves why they happened and how far we've come. The ancient Jews who watched Jerusalem burn had just experienced a national tragedy and they dealt with it the only way they could. They cried together, they told stories, they tried to understand, and they didn't forget. Sounds to us like a pretty good blueprint for coping. Some things never get old.

march 25 Palm Sunday

Lamentations, Chapter 3, Verse 57
You drew near on the day I called you; you said, “Do not fear!”

This chapter[2] is focused less on the destruction of Jerusalem and more on the suffering of an individual. The identity of the individual is never given. The figure of the sufferer makes concrete the pain of the people and gives way to a communal voice to suffering.

Trials and Tribulations[3]

·         The Poet has seen all this awful stuff with his own eyes. He's personally experienced it, too. We sense he's speaking on behalf of all Judah.
·         Trust us. The Poet knows what God's wrath is. God has abandoned him in times of trouble and left him to find his way out in the dark.  God has also filled the Poet's heart with bitterness and then trapped him there like a prisoner.
·         The Poet cried out for God to help him, but the Big Guy wouldn't listen. God ignored his prayer requests and returned all his fan mail, too. Stone cold.
·         God was like a lion pacing outside of the Poet's prison cell. He was just waiting to tear the Poet to pieces as soon as he stuck his head out. Or maybe he was like an archer just itching to use the Poet as target practice. The poor Poet! Poor Jerusalem!

Keeping the Faith

·         But even in all this misery and horribleness, the Poet doesn't lose heart. Really? Yup. He just remembers one really important thing—God can't stay mad at him forever. That's right. God is loving. God is merciful. So, at some point he's gonna have to come around and start helping the Poet again, right? Every morning the Poet wakes up is a chance for him to renew his relationship with God. If he has patience, God will be good to him in the end.
·         And if in the meantime God asks him to go through a couple of trials (like watching his city be destroyed, his friends and family murdered, and his children starve to death) then he'll deal with it. Sure, God causes all kinds of trouble for people, but he's also compassionate.
·         And in any case, it's not like God enjoys making all this bad stuff happen. His heart's just not in it. When there's evil stuff happening in the world—God sees it and takes copious notes for later. But no one can do anything—good or bad—unless God says it's okay. Everything comes from God. You can't complain when God is just giving you what you deserve, right?
·         That's why the people of Judah need to take a good look at themselves and return to God. They were sinful and disobedient, so he got angry and destroyed them. He ignored their prayers, left them for dead, and watched as their enemies crushed them. Note: this is not an overreaction. Judah's enemies have hunted him down and captured him for no good reason. But luckily, when he complained to God about it, God heard him.
·         God told the Poet not to be afraid. He said he would help him and make things better. Now, all the Poet wants is for God to right the wrongs that have been done to him. God saw all the horrible things these enemies have done. Now, all he has to do is smite the heck out of them. It's payback time, God. Get angry. Curse them. Destroy the Poet's enemies because they've done so many awful things. Come on. You know you want to. They never were your special people.


“Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, upon those who count on his mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive through famine.” (Ps. 33:18-19)

Everyone deserves to experience some unconditional love and many go to great lengths to find it and do not. We were created for love but not earthly love. Earthly love is but a foretaste of the love God has for you. Today love someone with no conditions; just love them. For love alone holds the secret to life. There is hope in the midst of calamity.

"To love someone is to desire that person's good, AND to take effective steps to secure it"- Benedict XVI'

Palm Sunday[5]

Christ's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem and the account of His Passion according to St. Matthew.

Why is this day called Palm Sunday?

1. In memory of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, when He was received by the devout people with palms.

2. Because the Church to-day blesses palms, with which a solemn procession is held.

Why are the palms blessed?

1. To protect in body and soul those who carry them with devotion.

 2. To bless the dwellings into which the palms are brought.

3. To bring before us how God, by the entrance into Jerusalem with palms, has represented the victory of Jesus over the prince of darkness. Our Savior says, “O Lord, remove not Thy help to a distance from me, look towards my defense, save me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horn of the unicorn. O God, my God, look upon me; why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sin.” (Ps. xxi.)

Why did Jesus enter with so much solemnity into Jerusalem? To present Himself as the promised Messiah and King of the Jews, Whose triumphant entry into Jerusalem the prophet Zachariah had predicted.

Why did the people go to meet Jesus with palms in their hands? It was done by a divine inspiration, to show that Jesus, as the victor over death, Satan, and hell, would gain for us the palm of peace with God, our neighbor, and ourselves, and that He would open to us the heavenly Jerusalem. And yet these same people, five days later, desired His death, crying out, “Crucify Him!” Learn, therefore, to confide in God alone, and not in man for he who is with you today may be against you tomorrow. Be cautious, therefore, and watchful, lest, imitating the changeableness of the people, you at Easter receive your Savior with joy, and then after a little by new sins crucify Him again (Heb. vi. 6).


O almighty and eternal God, Who wouldst have Our Savior take flesh and undergo the cross, for man to imitate the example of His humility, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may both deserve the instruction of His patience and the fellowship of His resurrection. Through the same Jesus Christ, etc.

Holy Week[6]

·         WHY is this week called holy week? It is because during this week we celebrate the most important mysteries of our religion with touching and holy ceremonies.

·         How should we spend this week? According to the intention of the Church, by meditating on the sufferings and death of Our Savior, by fasting more strictly, by praying often and devoutly, and leading a holy life.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Nineveh 90 Day 84
·         Manhood of the Master-Day 1 week 9
·         Lenten Calendar Day 40
·         Do 60 min. in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
·         Please pray for me and this ministry