Thursday, May 31, 2018


VISITATION OF MARY/TRADITIONAL FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART


Mark, Chapter 11, Verse 18
The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it and were seeking a way to put him to death, yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.

This was after Jesus had overturned the money changers tables. The priests were not afraid of the man Jesus, for they did not know or care if He was the messiah. They only respected money, power, or the ability to sway or manipulate the crowd.

In this chapter of Mark’s gospel, he also included the story of the fig tree. The fig tree was cursed by Jesus before He entered the temple because it although was healthy and looked as if it held much fruit was barren. After the incident in the temple the same tree had withered and died because it did not produce. It did not live up to its created purpose.

Mark records it thus, “Early in the morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen; it shall be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”

A man then who believes, without fear, and has total faith can move mountains; go therefore with all faith and produce the fruit for which you were created.

Visitation of Mary[1]

I am confident and unafraid.

This day is called the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, because on it Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, whom, as the angel had told her, God had blessed with a son in her old age.

I have always thought that on this occasion the reason Elizabeth was so enlivened at the leaping of John in her womb was because as an older pregnant woman she may have feared that John was stillborn? Is it possible that John the Baptist was Jesuss first miracle? It is an interesting thought.

The Canticle of Mary

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, My Spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: The Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name. He has mercy on those who fear Him, in every generation. He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty. He has come to the help of His servant Israel for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, To Abraham and his children forever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

EXPLANATION OF THE CANTICLE

In this hymn Mary with joy praises God, the Lord, that He has regarded her humility, and made her to be the Mother of His only-begotten Son, wherefore she should be called blessed by all generations; and she declares the truths and mysteries which the incarnation brought to light. The mercy of God, namely, reaches from generation to generation to them that fear Him. He scatters the thoughts of the proud and puts down from their seats the mighty; but He exalts the humble. He fills those who hunger for justice with good things, but those who think themselves rich He sends away empty. He receives all true Israelites and performs in them the promises which He gave to the fathers. This hymn is repeated by the Church every day at Vespers, in praise of the work of redemption, begun by the incarnation of the Son of God in Mary. Would that every Christian, since he becomes one only by Christ being, as it were, born in him, might share those feelings which the Blessed Virgin and Mother has expressed in this hymn of praise, and, with the Church, daily praise God for the mystery of the incarnation.

The gift of Wisdom[2]

Wisdom empowers a person to judge and order all things in accordance with divine norms and with a connaturality that flows from a loving union with God. So while knowledge and understanding enable a person to know and to penetrate the divine truths, wisdom moves us to fall in love with them. The Holy Spirit aids the contemplation of divine things, enabling the person to grow in union with God. This gift unites us to the heart of Jesus. Father Adolphe Tanquerey taught, This, then, is the difference between the gift of wisdom and that of understanding, the latter is a view taken by the mind, while the former is an experience undergone by the heart; one is light, the other love, and so they united and complete one another. Wisdom, withal, remains the more perfect gift; for the heart outranges the intellect, it sounds greater depths, and grasps or divines what reason fails to reach. This is particularly the case with the saints, in whom love often surpasses knowledge (The Spiritual Life, p. 630). For example, St. Therese of Lisieux (declared a doctor of the church), had no formal education in theology, and yet was wise to the ways of the Lord, a wisdom gained through prayer and simple acts of love offered to God. While this gift contemplates the divine, it also is a practical wisdom. It applies Gods ideas to judge both created and divine matter, thereby directing human acts according to divine wisdom. Therefore, a person will see and evaluate all things both joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, success and failure from Gods point of view, and accept them with equanimity. With wisdom, all things, even the worst, are seen as having a supernatural value for example, giving value to martyrdom. Here a person arises above the wisdom of this world and lives in the love of God. St. Paul captured well this gift of wisdom: What we utter is Gods wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom. God planned it before all ages for our glory. Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit. The Spirit we have received is not the worlds spirit but Gods Spirit, helping us to recognize the gifts He has given us. We speak of these, not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, thus interpreting spiritual things in spiritual terms. The natural man does not accept what is taught by the spirit of God. For him, that is absurdity. He cannot come to know such teaching because it must be appraised in a spiritual way. The spiritual man, on the other hand, can appraise everything. We have the mind of Christ (I Cor 2:6ff). Or consider St. Johns first epistle: God is love. Everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God. He who abides in love, abides in God, and God in him. Our love is brought to perfection in this, that we should have confidence on the Day of Judgment; for our relation to this world is just like His. Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear (I Jn 4:7, 17-18).


If we have the gift of wisdom avoid death by tobacco and don’t be a vapehead

World No Tobacco Day[3]


World No Tobacco Day serves to generate awareness about the health risks of tobacco use and to advocate for more effective policies that can help reduce worldwide tobacco use. Tobacco, a brown product prepared by curing the leaves of a tobacco plant, is believed to have originated thousands of years ago somewhere in the Americas. It was later discovered by Christopher Columbus and subsequently introduced to the rest of the world. Tobacco contains the alkaline nicotine, a stimulant which makes tobacco very addictive. Tobacco use is known to cause a myriad of cancers and according to the World Health Organization, is the largest preventable cause of death and disease today. In 1987, the World Health Organization established World No Tobacco Day in an effort to draw attention to the risks of tobacco use and move towards safer and better public health for all.  Since then, World No Tobacco Day has evolved into an important annual event that generates awareness for other tobacco related issues such as illegal trade, secondhand smoke and tobacco control.

World No Tobacco Day Facts & Quotes

·         In World No Tobacco Day 2018, the World Health Organization is emphasizing the damage tobacco can cause to the heart.
·         According to the World Health Organization, nearly 80% of the world's 1 billion smokers live in low and middle-income countries.
·         Arsenic, lead and tar are just three of the 7,000 chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke.
·         In 2015, 15.3% of American women smoked, compared to 20.5% of American men.
·         Smoking is a classy way to commit suicide - Kurt Vonnegut - American author
World No Tobacco Day Top Events and Things to Do
·         Think about your health. Quit smoking or encourage others to do so. Many help books are available online to coach you through the withdrawal and help you find alternative solutions to the cravings.
·         Educate youth and teenagers in your neighborhood about the negative effects of smoking and encourage them to quit if they have already picked up the habit. The best way to eradicate smoking is by educating the new generation of the negative effects of tobacco use.
·         Volunteer for the Freedom from Smoking program or another like program that helps smokers quit.
·         Watch a movie or documentary about smoking and tobacco. Our favorites: The Tobacco Conspiracy, We Love Cigarettes and Passion for Cigarettes.
·         Lobby for stricter tobacco advertisement laws and smoking laws in your community. Tobacco companies continue to be pressured legally to disclose the negative effects of their product and your help in supporting this legal action can lead to even stricter laws.

Thursday Traditional Corpus Christi[4]

The Feast of Corpus Christi commemorates the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Roman Catholic Church.  This includes the receiving of the Eucharist which Catholics know is the body and blood of Christ.

This feast seeks to remind us of Jesus Christ's sacrifice Do this in remembrance of me -
Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.

In many countries, Corpus Christi is observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, however where it is not a holy day of obligation, the celebration occurs on the Sunday that follows.

Today as Catholics we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi or the body of Christ. As Catholics the one thing that has always been consistent in the church is the taking of the body of our Lord.

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. (Mark 14:22-24)

Feast of Corpus Christi Facts & Quotes

·         St. Juliana of Mount Cornillion (Belgian), a 12th-century nun, spearheaded the effort to include a feast day for the Blessed Sacrament.  She reportedly had a vision of the Church as a pure full moon with one dark spot, which she interpreted as the omission of a feast for the sacrament.  Pope Urban IV decreed the Feast of Corpus Christi in the mid-13th century.
·         In the Middle Ages, the priest was the only person who received the elements.  The congregation watched him eat the bread and drink the wine.
·         The Sacraments are Jesus Christ's presence in us.  So it is important for us to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion. - Pope Francis via twitter on Nov 23, 2013.
·         The Feast of Corpus Christi (body of Christ) is held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.  In the Western Christianity, it is primarily celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church.  Some churches have moved the service to the following Sunday.  The day celebrates the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, or Holy Communion.

Feast of Corpus Christi Top Events and Things to Do

·         If you're Christian, go to Mass and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
·         Travel to the Vatican City and watch the annual procession of the Blessed Sacrament, headed by the Pope, through the streets of Rome.
·         A wide range of theologies exist about Holy Communion.  Read about how the elements of bread and wine are related to the body and blood of Christ depending on your denomination.
·         Teach your children about Holy Communion at home with grape juice and regular bread.  Some denominations allow children to take communion, but instead of saying, "This is my body broken for you," or "This is my blood shed for you," communion servers will say to a small child, "This means Jesus loves you."

Novena to the Sacred Heart[5]

This novena prayer was recited every day by Padre Pio for all who asked for his prayer. You are invited to recite it daily, so as to be spiritually united with the prayer of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.


Prayers

I. O my Jesus, You have said "Truly I say to you, ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek, and I ask for the grace of . . . .
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
II. O my Jesus, You have said, "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in My Name, He will give it to you." Behold, in Your name, I ask the Father for the grace of . . . .
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
III. O my Jesus, You have said, "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away, but My words willl not pass away." Encouraged by Your infallible words, I now ask for the grace of . . . .
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have mercy on us sinners, and grant us the grace which we ask of You, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your tender mother and ours.
Say the Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina) prayer. Conclude with: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.


Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry
·         Visit the St. Joan of Arc Center for more information.
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.

Meditation of The Sacred Heart for the Eve of the First Friday[1]

AMONG those who make profession of piety, but few know Jesus Christ and the treasures of His mercy; for this cause they give themselves up imperfectly to His love. Nothing can be more pleasing to the loving heart of Jesus than the childlike and unlimited confidence which we testify towards Him. It is related in the life of St. Gertrude that one day, as she reflected on the extraordinary graces which she had received, she asked herself how the revelations with which she had been favored could be made known to mankind with the greatest profit to their souls. Our Lord vouchsafed her this reply: It would be good for men to know, and never to forget, that I, their God and Saviour, am always present in their behalf before My heavenly Father. This should never be forgotten, that when through human frailty their hearts incline to sin I offer for them my merciful heart; and when they offend God by their works I present to Him My pierced hands and feet in order to appease the anger of divine justice. Our Lord Jesus Christ, says the great Apostle, is the mediator between God and man. He is now ascended into heaven in order to aid our prayers by His powerful mediation. Fail not, says the devout Blosius, to offer your good works and pious exercises to the most sweet heart of Jesus, in order that He may purify and perfect them; for His heart, so full of tenderness, takes delight in so divine a work. He is always ready to perfect in you whatever He sees imperfect or defective. Confidence is a key to the heart of Jesus. What may we not obtain from our fellow-creatures by the confidence we place in them? How much more, then, will it not obtain from God? How marvelous will be its effects if united with an absolute dependence on Him!:

Thus, when animated by faith, Peter walked on the waters as on dry land; but from the moment that fear entered his mind the waters lost their sustaining power, and his compassionate Master, extending His hand, said to him, “O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?” On another occasion also the tempest threatened to engulf the apostles; but Jesus said to them, having commanded the winds and the sea: Where is your faith? why are you fearful? have you, then, no faith? In order to inspire us with a more lively confidence Our Lord Jesus Christ vouchsafed Himself to teach us the prayer which we address to God; so that our heavenly Father, touched by the words of His own Son, might refuse us nothing which we ask in His name; for this He would have us call Him by the sweet name of Father. But as this is not enough, in order to dispel all our diffidence, He carries His condescension even so far as to promise by a solemn oath to be always ready to listen to us. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever ye shall ask I will do. Timid souls, He would say, I swear to you by Myself, Who am the Way and the eternal Truth; by Myself, Who hate falsehood, and Who will punish perjury with eternal damnation; by Myself, Who can no more lie or deceive than I can cease to be that which I am, I swear promises, to you that I will grant what you ask of Me. These are Thy O my God, says St. Augustine; and who can fear being deceived when he relies on the promises made by uncreated Truth? When an upright man pledges you his word, you would believe that you erred if you showed after this any doubt or fear but if we receive the testimony of man, says St. John, the testimony of God, is it not greater? Our divine Saviour holds Himself so honored by this confidence that in a thousand passages in the Gospel He attributes more to the miraculous efficacy of prayer than to His own mercy. Not saying to those who have recourse to Him, it is My goodness and My power; but, It is thy faith, thy confidence, which has saved thee. Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to St. Gertrude that he who prayed to Him with confidence was sure to obtain his request that He could not do otherwise than listen to his prayers. Whatever may be the grace you request, says Our Lord, be sure of obtaining it, and it will be granted you. This it is which St. John Climachus expresses in a like manner when he says, every prayer offered up with confidence exercises over the heart of God a kind of violence, but a violence which is sweet and pleasing to Him. St. Bernard compares the divine mercy to an abundant spring, and our confidence to the vessel which we make use of in order to draw these saving waters. The larger the vessel the greater the abundance of the grace we shall bring away. Moreover, this is conformable to the prayer of the psalmist, who sues for mercy in proportion to His confidence: Let Thy mercy be upon us, O Lord, according to the hopes we have placed in Thee. God has declared that He will protect and save all those who put their trust in Him. Let them be glad, then, exclaims David; let all those rejoice who hope in Thee, O my God; for they shall be happy for all eternity, and Thou wilt never cease to dwell in them. He elsewhere says, He who places his trust in the Lord shall dwell under the protection of the God of heaven. Yes, Lord, says St. Bernard, it is hope alone which opens to us the treasure of Thy mercies. The efficacy of prayer, says St. Thomas, is drawn from faith which be lieves in the promises of God, and confidence in the holy promises which He has made to us. We see, in short, in the sacred writings that the Son of God seems to take the faith of those who address themselves to Him as the rule for the help and the graces which He grants them, not only doing what they wish, but in the manner in which they ask it. Grace is attached to confidence; it is a kind of axiom that he who puts his trust in God shall never be confounded. And the wise man defies a contrary example to be cited amongst all the nations of the world. Our souls should be filled with consolations, says St. Ambrose, when we remember that the graces which God grants us are always more abundant than those which we ask; also, that the fulfilment of His promises always exceeds our hopes, as says Ecclesiastes. Let us have, then, a firm confidence, as St. Paul recommends us, since the Lord has promised to protect whosoever hopes in Him; and when obstacles present themselves which seem very difficult to overcome let us say with the Apostle, I can do all things in Him Who strengtheneth me. Who, indeed, was ever lost after having placed his trust in God? But we need not always seek a sensible confidence it will suffice if we earnestly desire it, for true confidence is an utter dependence on God, because He is good, and wishes to help us; because He is powerful, and able to help us; because He is faithful and has promised to help us.

Example. The venerable Mary of the Incarnation relates that it was revealed to her on a certain occasion that the Eternal Father was insensible to her prayer. She sought to know the cause, and an interior voice said to her: Petition Me through the heart of My Son, through which I will hear thee. Address yourselves to the heart of Jesus, the ocean of love and mercy, and He will obtain for you, pious soul, and also for all poor sinners, the most signal graces. Some time before her death St. Mechtilde earnestly asked of Our Lord an important grace in behalf of a person who had asked her to pray for her. Seized with fear at the sight of the terrible judgments with which the justice of God would visit this soul, she was weeping bitterly, when Our Lord addressed to her these consoling words, My daughter, teach the person for whom you pray that she must seek all she desires through My heart. There is no heart so hard as not to be softened by the heart of Jesus, nor any soul so disfigured by the leprosy of sin that His love cannot purify, console, and heal.



[1]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

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