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Sunday, June 13, 2021

  Third Sunday after Pentecost (11 th S. Ord. Time) ST. ANTHONY   2 Kings, Chapter 6, Verse 16 Elisha answered, “Do not be AFRAID ....

Friday, August 3, 2018

Saturday, August 4, 2018


Introduction to Ephesians[1]

Ephesians is the great Pauline letter about the church. It deals, however, not so much with a congregation in the city of Ephesus in Asia Minor as with the worldwide church, the head of which is Christ, the purpose of which is to be the instrument for making God’s plan of salvation known throughout the universe. Ephesians emphasize the unity in the church of Christ that has come about for both Jews and Gentiles within God’s household and indeed the “seven unities” of church, Spirit, hope; one Lord, faith, and baptism; and the one God. Yet the concern is not with the church for its own sake but rather as the means for mission in the world. The gifts Christ gives its members are to lead to growth and renewal.

AUGUST 4 First Saturday
SAINT JOHN VIANNEY

Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 5-8
5 Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ, 6 not only when being watched, as currying favor, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 willingly serving the Lord and not human beings, 8 knowing that each will be requited from the Lord for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

“Slaves be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ” I often reflected on this verse while working constructing the South Pole Station especially on those days that were close to 80 below zero! Therefore, increase in faith, hope, and love.

“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Lk 12:32)

First Saturday-Time to Get Serious About Fatima[2]

The world's gone mad. Take the attacks and outrages perpetrated by men upon their neighbors or the persecutions of the Church in China and North Korea, and the list could go on. But it's pointless to compare tragedies, to try to determine who's most wounded, who is most in pain. Rather, it's time and long past time to apply the solutions we've had all along. I'm talking, of course, about the message of Fatima, specifically Our Lady's calls for the daily Rosary for peace in the world and the Five First Saturday’s devotion.

My fellow Marian Fr. Seraphim Michalenko sometimes tells a story that a priest ministering in Japan shared with him in Rome. This priest was attending an international gathering of Christians from across the world, attended by foreign dignitaries. The ambassador from Japan approached the priest, verified that the priest served in Japan and was a Catholic priest, and then said, "War is your fault." The priest was surprised and asked what the ambassador meant. The ambassador said, "You Catholics, all of you — we do not have peace in the world. It is your fault." The priest said, "Ambassador, why do you blame us?" The ambassador said, "I've read about this. The Lady came to you at Fatima, right? That's what you believe? She told you what to do to secure peace in the world. Well, there's no peace in the world, so obviously you Catholics haven't done it." The priest had to acknowledge that the ambassador was correct, but still tried to protest, saying, "Isn't peace everyone's responsibility?" The ambassador was vehement. "No, she came to you Catholics. Not to Buddhists. Not to Hindus. She came to you, and it is your responsibility."

We've been given the answer. Pray the Rosary daily for peace in the world and invite others to pray with you. At college, there would occasionally be "sit ins for peace." A number of my fellow students, passionately convicted and righteously indignant though they were, would go and sit outside the student center with signs. That was their sit in for peace. It always massively frustrated me because here we were, a Catholic school, armed with a whole host of powerful prayers and devotions, and there they were just sitting. If they'd just bothered to pray the Rosary, their protest would have meant a great deal in this world and the next. Why not arrange for a Rosary for peace at your colleges and universities, if not every day, then at least every Saturday, traditionally set aside as Our Lady's day? Why not revive the tradition of family and neighborhood Rosaries, offered specifically for the intention of peace in the world? What about having a regular Rosary for peace at your parish, maybe even before Mass with the permission of your pastor? And as we come up on the 101st anniversary (May 13-Oct. 13, 2018) of Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima in 1917, let's embrace the whole message of Fatima.

• Make the Five First Saturdays devotion
Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart, and encourage others to do the same.
• Become invested in the Brown Scapular.
• Do penance for your sins and on behalf of poor sinners everywhere.

Don't just sit there — the world is in trouble, and we have the answer.

Feast of Saint John Vianney[3]

During the French Revolution a small band of Ursuline nuns was imprisoned in the Bastille. To cheer her disconsolate companions, one of the group passed wheaten discs of bread, cut from the loaf of the daily rations, to memorialize the happy days when they were free and could receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. At that time all religious schools and churches were closed, and those who harbored priests were imprisoned. At the Vianney farmhouse near Dardilly, France, fugitive priests were offered a refuge. Here their son was prepared in his tenth year for the reception of Holy Communion by a hunted priest. While tending his father's sheep, John Vianney fashioned a small statue of Our Lady out of clay. He hid it in the hollow of an old tree with this petition: "Dear Lady Mary, I love you very much; you must bring Jesus back to His tabernacles very soon!" On a visit to his aunt at Ecully, John listened to her praises of Father Balley, the parish priest, and he sought the Father's advice regarding his vocation to the priesthood. The pastor appraised the overgrown, awkward youth of faltering speech and devoid of general education. Though John was unable to answer the questions pertaining to earthly science which Father asked him, yet, when the priest put to him the questions of the catechism, his face became luminous with lively interest. He answered every question correctly, and in a manner beyond his years. The amazed pastor took this evidence as a sign from heaven, prophesying, "You will become a priest!" The ensuing years brought many trials to John. He was conscripted; his mother died; he failed often in his studies. Ordained as a Mass priest, August 12, 1815, he remarked to Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy: "Here is your priest, O Blessed Mother! Stay close to me. Help me to be a good priest!" As a curate and as a pastor, St. John Vianney's daily instruction on the catechism found an inspired audience, among whom were noted orators such as Père Lacordaire, O.P., the famed preacher of Notre Dame. The saintly pastor performed many miracles, but the greatest was his own manner of Eucharistic living. It was his Lord, living in Father Vianney, who made him "spend and be spent" in ceaseless service for both sinner and saint in the sacred tribunal of penance.

Things to Do[4]

·         The Collect praises St. John Vianney's zeal for souls and his spirit of prayer and penance. Say a special prayer today that by his example and intercession we too may win the souls of our brothers for Christ.
·         Say a prayer for priests that they may persevere in their vocation. If you haven't been to confession for a while resolve to do so right away and be sure that you remember to say an extra prayer for your confessor.
·         From the Catholic Culture library: Pope John XXIII holds St. John Vianney as a model for the priesthood in this Encyclical.
·         Read this longer life of the Curé of Ars and also these excerpts from his sermons.

The Way[5]

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

40.  What a 'profound' way of living a life of empty follies, of getting somewhere in the world: rising, always rising, simply by 'weighing little', having nothing inside, either in your head or in your heart.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.
·         Peace Through Strength
·         First Saturday Devotion

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