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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018



JUNE


Wildlife fills our life with joy and refreshment. Songbirds and birds of prey, squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and lightning bugs all carry a message worth discovering in early summer. Do we see and hear them, or do we overlook them, even despise them? Are they simply an annoyance, or do we come to know, love, and even serve these fellow creatures by providing protection and habitat?

Overview of June[1]

The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.

As we begin to feel the warmth of summer, we can reflect that we celebrate the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 8) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 9). God is Love and the Sacred Heart of Jesus — present on earth in the Blessed Sacrament — is the human manifestation of God's Love for men. Appropriately June is considered the month for weddings where human hearts join and cooperate with the Creator in bringing forth new life. The family they create is a human reflection of the Blessed Trinity.

Following Pentecost, the Church begins her slow descent from the great peaks of the Easter Season to the verdant pastures of Ordinary Time, the longest of the liturgical seasons. Like the lush June growth all around us, the green of the liturgical season points to the new life won for us by the Redemption of Jesus Christ, the new life of Charity. For Our Lord came to cast the fire of His love on the earth, and to that end, sent His Holy Spirit at Pentecost in the form of tongues of fire. Ordinary Time is the hour to “go out to all the world and tell the good news.” The feasts of June highlight this expansion of the Church. At least ten times, the Church vests in the red of the martyrs whose blood is the very seed of her growth. She also celebrates the feasts of the apostles Peter and Paul, and the birth of St. John the Baptist, proto-disciple and prophet. We too are called to be witnesses like the apostles and martyrs. May the Heart of Jesus inflame our hearts so that we may be worthy of our Baptismal call to holiness. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.



Mark, Chapter 11, Verse 32
But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”—they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet.

The Jewish leaders here were not, let us say, persons with high integrity and honesty.

The other day, while going through my personal notes, I ran across some records I had taken on a lecture on “life’s most important learning’s” I would like to share.

·                   Be a Mensch or a person with high integrity and honesty.
·                   Never stop learning.
·                   Love and be loved.
·                   Don’t be afraid to take risks.
·                   Set the example.
·                   Take care of your health.
·                   Take care of your family.
·                   Watch your mouth.
·                   One person can make a difference.
·                   Life is a test/challenge; live it!


Meditations for the First Friday of the Month[1]

At the hour of our death, when life, like a false friend, is about to forsake us, we must, in a special manner, increase our confidence in the Heart of Jesus. It is said that Our Lord appeared one day to a holy soul who had conjured Him to grant to a pious person a happy passage from this life, and addressed to her these consoling words: (My daughter, where is the pilot who, having brought into port a vessel laden with precious stones, sinks it in the sea at the moment of his arrival? Can you suppose that, after having granted so many graces to this soul in the course of her life, I shall abandon her at the end thereof?? Let us lean on the heart of Jesus; and driven on the stormy sea of this world, under the protection which He grants to those who love Him, we shall one day triumphantly enter the desired port, and enjoy the eternal blessings of that holy guidance. Death was always precious in the sight of God, for Jesus was to pass through its portal; it is precious to Him still, for Jesus has died. No one who is devout to the heart of Jesus will fail to find at the moment of his death more excellent and abundant treasures than he had ever expected to receive. Death, precious to Him self, will not Our Lord render it also inexpressibly so to us? Faith cannot mistake the proofs of His tenderness. If we may venture to say so, the exile of the being He created is a sorrow to Him as much as to the soul itself; for, like a tender father, God desires that His children should be with Him in His kingdom. Of all the hours of life this is the one which is the most precious in the sight of God, exerts the greatest power over His love, and for this very reason has such a mighty influence over His mercy and justice. In order to receive the fulness of the new life to be merited by repentance through the divine reparation every man must undergo the terrible suffering of death; but is not this suffering, caused by sin, like all other trials, a token of love on the part of God? Without death life could not attain to its end; without death how could the soul ever reach eternal life? The rebel angel escaped the sentence of death, but for him there was no resurrection. It is decreed that man should die, or, rather, the soul, cleansed by the blood of Our Lord, and vivified by His love, passes into eternity before the body which it shall one day glorify; united together they are called by Jesus to reign in heaven in a state so exalted that it could not have been won by primeval innocence. Even in this world, without awaiting the eternal glorifying of humanity, the most beloved amongst the friends of God experience through their whole being a marvellous transformation which robs death of its terrors, and wholly disengages them from this transitory world. The interior light by which they are led is no longer human, but divine, through Jesus; and a supernatural love is substituted for that natural love which they made their law; and not only are their criminal affections destroyed, but the love of God above all things gives them, even in this life, a foretaste of heaven. They feel no longer an engrossing care for the preservation of the body, but sigh after death, crying incessantly to God, with St. Paul, I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ. They exult when they hear the clock strike, at the thought that one hour less remains for them to pass in this exile; death is no longer a passage of sorrow, but the desired way by which they shall go to the Lord; they sigh after it, they desire it, and would fain hasten the moment of its approach by the ardor of their desire for the enjoyment of a never-ending eternity. One single thing restrains them: it is when the perfection of love imposes on them a law of charity yet stronger, which would detain them in this world for the glory of God and the good of their brethren; for, says St. Teresa, thus do souls arrive at a strict union with Jesus. Thus, ardently they have desired to die in order to enjoy the presence of Our Lord; this is their martyrdom that their exile is prolonged; yet they are so inflamed with the desire of knowing Him, of making His name hallowed, of being useful to the souls of others, that far from sighing after death they would wish to live for many years, even amidst the greatest sufferings, too happy in being able to add to the glory of their divine Master. Perfect submission in death is an act of entire adoration, a magnificent profession of faith and praise; its beauty consists in the cheerful and ready sacrifice which the creature makes to the Creator of the life which He had given, shadowing forth God s power in all its grandeur. Death beholds the soul already in adoration annihilated at the thought of the near approach of eternity; this, we may well imagine, is the kind of death the angels love to contemplate. The soul takes to itself no merit, places no trust on the way in which it has served God, and desires to possess even the smallest consolation the Church can bestow. It is specially attracted by the sanctity of God, which makes it aspire to become pure, pure almost beyond conception, in order to appear before the inviolable majesty of God; relying only on His mercy; never losing its confidence in the greatness of the divine compassion but fearing lest its offences may be beyond the reach of pardon; dying the death of a child, with its eyes fixed on the countenance of its tender Father. Why, then, when in a state of grace, should we entertain a fear of death? Whosoever dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God abides in him. He who loves God is then sure of His grace and dying in this state is certain of enjoying forever the sovereign good in the habitations of the elect. And can such a one fear death? David has, however, said that no living man is entirely pure in the sight of God. Thus no one should have the presumption to hope for salvation through his own merits; for, except Jesus and Mary, no one was ever exempt from sin. But we need not fear death when we have a true sorrow for our faults, and place our confidence in the merits of Jesus, Who came on this earth in order to redeem and save sinners, for whom He shed His blood, for whom He died. The blood of Jesus Christ, says the Apostle, cries more loudly in favor of sinners than the blood of Abel for vengeance against Cain. Grace transforms into a brilliant light that which by its nature was plunged in darkness and obscurity, and the plaintive cry of our misery is changed into a song of triumph; for the fetters which yet separate the soul of the dying from the heavenly Jerusalem are so near being severed asunder that the triumphant alleluias of heaven mingle with the lamentations of earth, and the last gaze of repentant love is tenderly fixed on the crucifix till earth fades from view. The transit of the creature from time to eternity is dear to the Creator; for precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. Let us throw aside, then, those vain fears of death, and regard it as a tribute which all must pay to nature. Let us be ready cheerfully to leave this world when Our Lord shall call us to the land where the saints await us, and where we shall meet those who have instructed us in the faith, and whose victory will in some measure supply for the negligence with which we have performed our own duties toward our heavenly Father. Let us unite ourselves to those glorious troops of blessed spirits who are seated   the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; into which the good thief entered in triumph after a life of sin, and now enjoys, in the company of the elect, the ineffable delights of paradise; where there is no darkness nor storms, no intense heat, excessive cold, sickness, or sorrow ; and where there is no need of the light of the sun, because the Sun of justice alone enlightens the heavenly Jerusalem. We read the following touching account in the life of St. Gertrude: The saint once heard a preacher insist strongly on the strict obligation of a dying person to love God above all things, and to entertain for his sins a contrition founded on love. She believed this to be an exaggerated doctrine, and that if pure love was necessary very few persons would die in the proper dispositions. She became interiorly disturbed, and a cloud obscured her mind ; but Our Lord Himself vouchsafed to dispel her fears, telling her that in the last struggle, if the dying per son had during life sought to please Him, and to lead a Christian life, He would so mercifully reveal Himself that His love would penetrate into the inmost foldings of the heart, causing it by His presence to make acts of the most perfect contrition and, added Our Lord, I would have My elect to know with what a great desire I wish them to be united to Me at that important moment. Let this be made known, so that men may rely no less on this last merciful grace than on all the others which My love has lavished upon them. Let us propagate this consoling truth, so well calculated to inflame our hearts with the most lively love for so merciful a God.
Practice. Let us pray to the agonizing heart of Jesus for the eighty thousand persons who, it is computed, die daily in this world.

(As of 2014, the number of deaths per day is 155,520, based on the number of deaths per year, per 1,000 people. This means there are 108 deaths every minute, or 1.8 deaths per second.)[2]

PRAYER

O sweet Jesus! grant that I may die the death of those devoted to Thy divine heart. Eternal Father, I offer to Thee the sacrifice which Thy divine Son made of Himself on the cross, which sacrifice He now renews on our altars. I offer it in the name of all man kind, with the Masses which are now being celebrated, and which will be celebrated throughout the world, in order to adore Thee and render Thee all possible honor and glory; to thank Thee for Thy innumerable benefits; to appease Thy justice, provoked by our sins; to give Thee the satisfaction Thou dost expect, also to obtain grace for myself, for Thy Church, and for the whole world, as also for the souls in purgatory. O Lord, I offer Thee the Masses which are being said throughout the world, in the name of all mankind, for Thy glory and the salvation and benefit of Thy creatures. O Lord, I desire to offer up myself to Thee for all the intentions for which Thou now offerest Thyself to God Thy Father.

National Doughnut Day[3]

National Doughnut Day is a day of appreciation of Salvation Army volunteers who distributed doughnuts to servicemen during World War I.  Doughnuts are fried circular pieces of dough that are usually topped with sugar syrups, chocolate, nuts and other flavorings. National Doughnut Day began in 1938 as a fundraiser for Chicago's Salvation Army.  The fundraiser aimed to support the needy and honor the Salvation Army volunteers who donated their time during World War I to hand out doughnuts to the soldiers.  When the US entered the war in 1917, Salvation Army huts were formed where many female volunteers were deployed to mother the soldiers.  During this time, women began to make doughnuts for the servicemen who began to refer to the women as, Doughnut Dollies. This national holiday is celebrated each year on the first Friday in June.

National Doughnut Day Facts & Quotes

o        According to Statista's market research survey of approximately 29,000 Americans, 61% of American households eat doughnuts.
o        In the United States, there are more than 8,000 Dunkin Donuts restaurants, 1,000 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts restaurants, and more than 800 Tim Hortons locations.
o        In 2014, Krispy Kreme UK created the world's most expensive doughnut.  The doughnut was filled with Dom PĂ©rignon jelly and iced in a passion fruit glaze.  The doughnut was placed on a handmade lotus flower carved from Belgian white chocolate and dusted with edible 23-karat gold.  A 24-karat gold leaf and edible diamonds brought the cost of the doughnut to £1,000
o        Philip Joseph Santoro of the USA holds the Guinness World Record for eating the fastest a jam doughnut with no hands and without licking the lips.  He set the record with a time of 11.41 seconds on April 14, 2014.
o        I have to stick to it because I found out last time that one doughnut doesn't do a thing. You've got to eat 20 a day for five weeks before you get results. - Renee Zellweger on her doughnut diet to gain weight for her film Bridget Jones's Diary.

National Doughnut Day Top Events and Things to Do

o        Visit your local doughnut store for specials and promotions to celebrate National Doughnut Day.  Many doughnut stores offer free doughnuts or specials.
o        Try to make your own doughnuts with your favorite toppings, or try new blends of sweet and savory toppings.  Some interesting twists include maple bacon doughnut, smoked salmon doughnut and grilled cheese doughnuts!
o        Become a volunteer with The Salvation Army.  According to The Salvation Army, more than 30 million Americans received assistance from the Salvation Army's officers, employees and 3.4 million volunteers in 2014.
o        Pick up a large box of doughnuts on your way to work or school to share with friends, family, colleagues or fellow students
o        Watch episodes of the Donut Showdown (2013) to learn about out-of-the-box donut recipes.  The show is judged by chefs David Rocco, Maggie McKeown and Zane Caplansky.  Each episode consists of contestants competing against each other to create unique donuts.


Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.

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