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SEPTEMBER


September--Our buildings need to be winterized. Now is the time to think of energy conservation measures, adding caulking and painting, completing needed repairs, composting yard wastes, and protecting garden plants for late fall and winter. Do we regard our abodes as God's dwelling space, a sacred trust and healthy place? Do we cherish the abundance of space and use it properly as good stewards?

Overview of September[1]

The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, whose memorial the Church celebrates on September 15. September falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. During September, as in all of Ordinary Time (formerly known as Time After Pentecost), the Liturgy does not focus on one particular mystery of Christ but views the mystery of Christ in all its aspects. We follow the life of Christ through the Gospels and focus on the teachings and parables of Jesus and what it means for us to be a follower of Christ. During Ordinary Time we can concentrate more on the saints and imitate their holiness as Christ's followers.

September Devotion: Our Lady of Sorrows[2]

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to her feast day on September 15, the month of September has traditionally been set aside to honor Our Lady of Sorrows. All the sorrows of Mary (the prophecy of Simeon, the three days' loss, etc.) are merged in the supreme suffering at the Passion. In the Passion, Mary suffered a martyrdom of the heart because of Our Lord's torments and the greatness of her love for Him. "She it was," says Pope Pius XII, "who immune from all sin, personal or inherited, and ever more closely united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love. As a new Eve, she made this offering for all the children of Adam contaminated through his unhappy fall. Thus she, who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh, became by a new title of sorrow and glory the spiritual mother of all His members."

Daily Prayers for September

At Morning

O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen. --Saint Bonaventure

At Noon

Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace, and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.

At 3PM

Most holy Virgin. and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never-ending joy at His triumph; obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


At Twilight

O most holy and afflicted Virgin! Queen of Martyrs! thou who didst stand motionless beneath the Cross, witnessing the agony of thy expiring Son--through the unceasing sufferings of thy life of sorrow, and the bliss which now more than amply repays thee for thy past trials, look down with a mother's tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before thee to venerate thy dolors, and place my requests, with filial confidence, in the sanctuary of thy wounded heart; present them, I beseech thee, on my behalf, to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred death and passion, together with thy sufferings at the foot of the cross, and through the united efficacy of both obtain the grant of my present petition. To whom shall I resort in my wants and miseries if not to thee, O Mother of Mercy, who, having so deeply drunk of the chalice of thy Son, canst compassionate the woes of those who still sigh in the land of exile? Offer for me to my Savior one drop of the Blood which flowed from His sacred veins, one of the tears which trickled from His divine eyes, one of the sighs which rent His adorable Heart. O refuge of the universe and hope of the whole world, do not reject my humble prayer, but graciously obtain the grant of my petition.

At Slumber

Mary most sorrowful, Mother of Christians, pray for us. Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us.

September is Harvest Time

Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest. The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks were known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons." Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Since the reorganization of the Roman calendar in 1969 after the Second Vatican Council, Ember Days are still retained in principle, but how and when they are to be observed is at the discretion of each country's Episcopal Conference. There is no longer set Mass readings for the Ember Days in the Ordinary Rite. Another harvest feast is September 29, the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Before the revision of the calendar, this used to be only the feast of St. Michael. In many countries this day was referred to as "Michaelmas" and is celebrated with traditional foods and customs.

The month of Angels


The church traditionally honors angels during the month of September. Paul in Colossians states of Christ, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.” “St. Michael and the Angels” is a beautiful and inspiring book telling all about the angels. Filled with stories from the lives and writings of the saints, it tells of the role which the good angels play in the divine economy of saving souls. Led by St. Michael, the Prince of the heavenly host, the angels act as our guardians, serve as messengers from God to us and from us to God, surround the altar during Mass, and bear the graces of the Mass like incense to the altar of God on high. Here is explained the relationship of the angels to the Blessed Virgin Mary and how, if she is to send them to our aid, we must request her to do so. Included too is the prayer to our guardian angel asking him to go in our place to attend Mass when we cannot, plus the way the good angels protect us against the evil spirits. The book also discusses in detail the pre-eminent role of St. Michael as "Champion of the Church," "Defender of Christians," "Guardian of Purgatory," and "Helper of the Sick and Dying."

It is also a good practice to ask for angelic help throughout our day. There are nine choirs of angels and three hierarchies three within three.  Remember to ask their assistance about every two hours throughout your day

Upon rising (7 am) address the first choir of angels, the Seraphim. Their chief characteristic is great and ardent love. They were made for one thing alone-----to love the God of Love. Without ceasing they honor, praise, and love the most Blessed Trinity-----they can do nothing else-----this is their happiness. Practice upon rising to try to become a Seraph of love: let this be your habitual disposition. Love and do what God wills. Ask this great gift feverently. Aspiration: "Oh! Blessed Seraphim! Make us love." Say the Shema Yisrael.

At the second hour (9 am) of the day address the second choir the Cherubim who continually are employed in contemplating the beauty and perfections of God and will share with us their admirable wisdom, if we ask them, and show ourselves in earnest, by the practice of supplication and prayer. Cherubim are full of zeal for the glory of God and stand ready at all times to defend His honor. Cherubim should be invoked when one is troubled with doubts against faith those who experience temptations against holy purity.  Practice: Spend time before praying in great silence and recollection; endeavor to "know God, and Him Whom He has sent, Jesus Christ." Aspiration: "Blessed Cherubim! Teach us to pray."

At the fourth hour (11 am) of the day address the third choir is the choir of Thrones. They are called Angels of Peace; calm, tranquility, and stability. Ask them for that peace of soul which is the fruit of a good conscience. Invoke their aid for such as are prone to hatred, passion and impatience; and after their example, practice being meek, calm, and peaceful with all. Practice: Dispose yourself to great sweetness and patience. Aspiration: "O Holy Thrones! Obtain that Divine peace, which surpasses all understanding, may keep our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ, Our Lord."

At the sixth hour (1 pm) of the day address the fourth choir of angels which is the choir of Dominations.  They are consumed by their yearning for the interests of God: their principal office is to manifest His will. We should also beg of God to manifest His will to us by these Blessed "Intelligences" and then take care to fulfill it scrupulously, as being the shortest way to perfection and sanctity. We should ask these Angels to help us to spread God's kingdom upon earth, for the conversion of heretics and infidels, and for the return of lukewarm and fallen away Catholics to the practice of the faith. Practice: Give practical proof of your zeal for the glory of God; do something for His reign in souls, as instructing the ignorant. Aspiration: "Holy Dominations! Animate us with thy zeal."

At the eighth hour (3 pm) of the day address the fifth choir of angels which is the choir of Principalities. The Principalities watch over Empires, Provinces, and Dioceses. Purity of intention is the virtue ascribed to them, for in their high functions they never seek but the honor and interest of God alone. Let us imitate them. It is the intention which stamps the action with merit or demerit. Practice: In all you do and say, seek the greater glory of God.  Aspiration: "O Holy Spirits! May we, like thee, seek God, for God alone." Now would be a good time to also pray a divine mercy prayer

At the 10th hour (5 pm) of the day address the sixth choir of angels the Powers. These Angels have unlimited mastery over the wicked Spirits; they are endowed with great intelligence and are able to discover their schemes and plans for our destruction. Their power is so incredible that one alone of them would be able to destroy the entire infernal host. It is well to invoke them in temptation: but to merit their assistance we must take care to avoid the occasions of sin. Practice: Resist the attacks of vice and passion; frequently make acts of diffidence in self and confidence in God; combat your evil inclinations. Aspiration: "Lord! Send Thy Angels to assist us."

At the 12th hour (7 pm) of the day address the seventh choir of angels the Virtues. Energy and strength are attributed to the Virtues. They have dominion over the elements; all nature is subjected to their control. Hence, they can raise or appease the tempest. We may profitably invoke them in unforeseen accidents, sickness, etc. We may also have recourse to them for that strength necessary to lead a penitential life and root out the inclinations of depraved nature. All persons inclined to the contemplative life should call on this choir of Angels for help, for good thoughts alone do not make holy, one needs also strength to persevere and to accomplish this great task. Practice: Visit the Blessed Sacrament to obtain grace to overcome your evil dispositions.  Aspiration: "Holy Virtues! Strengthen and fortify us."

 At the 14th hour (9 pm) of the day address the eighth choir of angels the Archangels. The Archangels are distinguished from the Angels by the greater importance of their functions: the Guardians of those invested with authority in the Church and State and are remarkable for their love and care of men. Let us imitate them, doing our neighbor all the good we can and invoking in his behalf these Blessed Spirits. Members of this choir are the holy spirits who stand before the throne of God, ever ready to announce His commands. St. Michael is the warrior leader of God’s angels. St. Gabriel is the special messenger of The Holy Spirit. St. Raphael is the angel of Joy. Practice-----Two Acts of Charity, with great affection. Aspiration: "Holy Archangels! Pray for us, and for our priests." 

At the 16th hour (11 pm) of the day address the Ninth choir of the angels. They are charged with the execution of the Divine ordinances and are appointed the Guardians of men. Humility is the virtue particularly ascribed to them-----for though the least among the Choirs, yet they see their celestial companions without desiring their greater, more excellent endowments. The Guardian Angels exercise continual watchfulness over the souls committed to their care. Their number is exceedingly great, and it is not necessary when an Angel has accompanied his charge into Heaven, that he be again assigned to a soul in any future generation. Our Guardian, who is our companion in life, will also be forever at our side in Heaven. The joy of these Angels is immeasurably increased when souls entrusted to their care enter Heaven. The Guardian Angels of the lost souls are not deprived of their share of joy. God in His justice increases also theirs with the others, and then assigns them to the special guard of the Queen of Angels, where they with great joy praise the Infinite Justice of God. Let us, like the humble Guardian Angels, love the lowest place, especially when placed therein by Divine Providence, and to behold with joy the preference given to others. Practice: Three Acts of Humility, interior and exterior. Aspiration: "Who is like God!"

Information was obtained from: http://www.catholictradition.org/Angels/angels.htm

Devotion to the Angels is a mark of Predestination[3]

The Church has always practiced and encouraged devotion to the holy angels. All ancient liturgies make mentions of them and the protection they provide to men. It is their greatest desire to aid us in all our acts of religion by uniting their supplications to ours. We should honor and love angels as well as our fellow mankind for it is though the Precious Blood of Christ we are all united. Christ is the head of angels as well as men, and it is as Man that He is Head of the angels. To honor them and love them we must first know them and earnestly strive to cultivate their friendship.


SEPTEMBER 1 First Saturday

John 20, Verse 19
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

The doors were lock they were afraid, very afraid; they had no peace.

From cowards to bold witnesses[4]


How could one explain the transformation in Jesus’ followers?  One day they are cowering in fear, hiding themselves from the public, the next they are all boldly proclaiming that Jesus is alive!  What happened?

At his arrest, all of his disciples fled away and were scared for their lives: Mark 14:50 “Then everyone deserted him and fled.” Matt 26:56 “Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.” The day of Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples were still hiding for fear of the Jews. Jesus’ disciples were clearly cowards and were trying to preserve their lives. However, look what happens a few weeks later: Acts 4:31, 33 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly…With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” They all of a sudden were not scared for their lives any longer and risked imprisonment, persecution and certain death for testifying about the risen Saviour. 
Eleven of the twelve apostles died a martyr’s death! Look at the way the following followers of Jesus died:

Andrew was crucified.
Bartholomew was crucified.
James, brother of Jesus was stoned.
James, son of Alphaeus was crucified.
James, son of Zebedee was killed by the sword.
John died naturally.
Matthew was crucified.
Peter was crucified upside down.
Philip was crucified.
Simon was crucified.
Thaddeus was killed by arrows.
Thomas died of a spear thrust.

Who in their right mind would die for a lie?  Maybe if that person was a lunatic.  But how can one explain a group of people being willing to die for a lie?  This is just impossible.  What compelled these disciples to preach the message of a risen Saviour is the fact that they had witnessed with their own eyes that Jesus had been risen indeed! Their changed lives provide a solid testimony that Jesus is alive! BE AT PEACE

Today if you have time today would be a good day to read Saint John Paul II’s encyclical letter-“Rich in Mercy”.[5]

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.

First Saturday[6]

The elements of this devotion, therefore, consist in the following four points, all of which must be offered in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

1.      Confession: This confession can be made before the First Saturday or afterward, provided that Holy Communion be received in the state of grace. In 1926, Christ in a vision explained to Lucia (Fatima) that this confession could be made a week before or even more, and that it should be offered in reparation.
2.      Holy Communion: Before receiving Holy Communion, it is likewise necessary to offer it in reparation to Our Lady. Our Lord told Lucia in 1930, This Communion will be accepted on the following Sunday for just reasons, if my priests allow it so.” So if work or school, sickness, or another just reason prevents the Communion on a First Saturday, with this permission it may be received the following Sunday. If Communion is transferred, any or all of the other acts of the devotion may also be performed on Sunday if the person so desires.
3.      Rosary: The Rosary is a vocal prayer said while meditating upon the mysteries of Our Lord’s life and Passion and Our Lady’s life. To comply with the request of our Blessed Mother, it must be offered in reparation and said properly while meditating.
4.      15-minute meditation: Also offered in reparation, the meditation may embrace one or more mysteries; it may include all, taken together or separately. This meditation should be the richest of any meditation, because Our Lady promised to be present when she said “...those who keep me company....”

Selichot[7]


Selichot (Hebrew: סליחות) means 'sorry/forgiveness prayers'.  Selichot are recited from the Sunday before the Jewish New Year until the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  Selichot are aimed for both the individual and communities to atone their sins between man and God.  They are intended for Jews to reflect on their actions of the past year and to refrain from committing the same sins in the next New Year.

Selichot Facts

·      For many Orthodox Jews, Selichot prayers are added to the daily cycle of religious services.  Selichot are recited before normal daily shacharit (morning prayers) service.  They add about 45 minutes to the regular daily service in a typical service.
·      A fundamental part of selichot service is the repeated recitation of the Thirteen Attributes, a list of God's thirteen attributes of mercy that were revealed to Moses after the sin of the golden calf (Ex 34:6-7): Ha-shem [1], Ha-shem [2], God [3], merciful [4], and gracious [5], long-suffering [6], abundant in goodness [7] and truth [8], keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation [9], forgiving iniquity [10] and transgression [11] and sin [12], who cleanses [13].
·      This is the season to begin the process of asking forgiveness for wrongs done to other people.  According to Jewish tradition, God cannot forgive us for sins committed against another person until we have first obtained forgiveness from the person we have wronged.
·      Many of the Selichot prayers are in the form of a main Selichah (forgiveness) prayer and a Pizmon (chorus), which is repeated after each changing Selichah prayer. Some of these Selichot have cantorial music for the Selichah and a repeating tune for the chorus.

Selichot Top Events and Things to Do

·      Consider your position in life and ask God for forgiveness. Use this time to reset your daily habits and think how to change them to the better.
·      Use this period of time to forgive others and as well as ask others for forgiveness. This is often most difficult to do between life partners, parents and children.
·      Many people visit cemeteries at this time, because the awe-inspiring nature of this time makes us reflect on our own life, death, and mortality. Consider visiting the graves of your ancestors, soldiers, or anyone who may have made a positive impact on society.
·      Attend to a Selichot prayer ceremony or watch one on YouTube.  A popular Selichot rendition is by Yitzchak Meir Helfgot.

Be unafraid, confident in God, and focus on receiving these promises for a month and see what happens!


35 Promises of God[8]

1.      “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
-Ps 50:15

The Way[9]

"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."

55.  It shows very little refinement — and great lack of respect — to make fun of a Priest, whoever he is, and whatever the pretext!

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please Pray for soul of Senator McCain and his family and for the unity of our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.
·         Pray the 54 Day Rosary



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