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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Sunday, August 19, 2018


THIRTEENTH SUNDAY after Pentecost (20th S. Ord. Time)
HAJJ Begins today— WORLD HUMANITARIAN DAY


Wisdom, Chapter 17, Verse 12-15
12 For fear is nought but the surrender of the helps that come from reason; 13 and the more one’s expectation is of itself uncertain, the more one makes of not knowing the cause that brings on torment. 14 So they, during that night, powerless though it was, since it had come upon them from the recesses of a powerless Hades, while all sleeping the same sleep, 15 Were partly smitten by fearsome apparitions and partly stricken by their souls’ surrender; for fear overwhelmed them, sudden and unexpected.

The Egyptians were filled with fear; terrifying fear without reason.
Fear is an unsettlement of soul consequent upon the apprehension of some present or future danger. It is here viewed from the moral standpoint, that is, in so far as it is a factor to be reckoned with in pronouncing upon the freedom of human acts, as well as offering an adequate excuse for failing to comply with positive law, particularly if the law be of human origin. Lastly, it is here considered in so far as it impugns or leaves intact, in the court of conscience, and without regard to explicit enactment, the validity of certain deliberate engagements or contracts. The division of fear most commonly in vogue among theologians is that by which they distinguish serious fear (metus gravis) and trifling fear (metus levis). The first is such as grows out of the discernment of some formidable impending peril: if this be really, and without qualification, of large proportions, then the fear is said to be absolutely great; otherwise it is only relatively so, as for instance, when account is taken of the greater susceptibility of certain classes of persons, such as old men, women, and children. Trifling fear is that which arises from being confronted with harm of inconsiderable dimensions, or, at any rate of whose happening there is only a slender likelihood. It is customary also to note a fear in which the element of reverence is uppermost (metus reverensalis), which has its source in the desire not to offend one's parents and superiors. In itself this is reputed to be but trifling, although from circumstances it may easily rise to the dignity of a serious dread. A criterion rather uniformly employed by moralists, to determine what really and apart from subjective conditions is, a serious fear, is that contained in this assertion. It is the feeling which is calculated to influence a solidly balanced man (cadere in virum constantem). Another important classification is that of fear which comes from some source within the person, for example, that which is created by the knowledge that one has contracted a fatal disease fear which comes from without, or is produced namely, by some cause extrinsic to the terror-stricken subject. In the last named instance the cause may be either natural, such as probable volcanic eruptions, or recognizable in the attitude of some free agent. Finally it may be observed that one may have been submitted to the spell of fear either justly or unjustly, according as the one who provokes this passion remains within his rights, or exceeds them, in so doing. Actions done under stress of fear, unless of course it be so intense as to have dethroned reason, are accounted the legitimate progeny of the human will, or are, as the theologians say, simply voluntary, and therefore imputable. The reason is obvious, such acts lack neither adequate advertence nor sufficient consent, even though the latter be elicited only to avoid a greater evil or one conceived to be greater. Inasmuch, however, as they are accompanied by a more or less vehement repugnance, they are said to be in a limited and partial sense involuntary.[1]

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost[2]

GOSPEL. Luke xvii. 11-19

An increase in faith, hope, and love.

At that time, as Jesus was going to Jerusalem, He passed through the midst of Samaria in Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there met Him ten men that were lepers who stood afar oft: and lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. Whom when He saw, He said: Go, show yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God, and he fell on his face, before His feet, giving thanks; and this was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering, said: Were not ten made clean? and where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger. And He said to him: Arise, go thy way: for thy faith hath made thee whole.
What, in a spiritual sense, does leprosy mean? In a spiritual sense leprosy means sin, especially the sin of impurity. The Jewish law divided leprosy into three kinds, namely, that of the flesh, that of garments, and that of houses. The leprosy of the flesh may be likened to the impure, who easily corrupt others; the leprosy of garments, to luxury of dress and scandalous fashions, by which not only souls are seduced into sin, but many families and communities are brought to poverty and plunged into eternal ruin; the leprosy of houses, to places where wicked and immoral servants are kept; where immodest dances and plays occur, where licentious acts are committed, where meetings are allowed and encouraged to the injury of virtue and of our neighbor’s honor, where assistance or advice is given in wicked undertakings of any sort.

Why did the lepers stand afar off? Because it was thus commanded by the Jewish law, so that no one might catch contagion from them. From this we learn that we must as carefully shun scandalous persons, companies, and houses, as we would the plague.  He that toucheth pitch shall be defiled with it, and he that hath fellowship with the proud shall put on pride.” (Ecclus. xiii. 1).

Why did Jesus ask for the nine others who also were made clean? To show how greatly ingratitude displeases Him. Injuries to Himself He generally submitted to in silence; but this ingratitude He would not suffer to pass uncondemned. So great a sin is ingratitude. On this account St. Bernard says, “Ingratitude is an enemy of the soul that destroys merit, corrupts virtue, and prevents grace. It is a scorching wind that dries up the fountain of the goodness and the mercy of God.”

Why does God require us to be grateful? This question St. Chrysostom answers very beautifully by saying: “God requires gratitude of us only that He may confer on us new graces.” Then let us not forget to thank Him morning and evening; before and after meals; as often as you recognize His blessing in your house, in your children, in your property, your cattle, your fields, your fruits. St. Augustine says: “We cannot think, speak, or write anything better or more acceptable than, Thanks be to God!”
Instruction on The Sacrament of Holy Orders.
“Go, show yourselves to the priests” Luke xvii. 14.

What are Holy Orders? A sacrament in which the priestly power is conferred on the candidate, together with a special grace to discharge its sacred functions.

What is the outward sign of this sacrament? The laying on of hands and the prayer of the bishop, and the presentation of the chalice with bread and wine, together with the verbal communication of authority to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, and to remit and retain sins.

When did Christ institute this sacrament? At the Last Supper, when, after changing the bread into His true body, and the wine into His true blood, He said to His apostles, “Do this for a commemoration of Me” (Luke xxii. 19).

Are Holy Orders reckoned a sacrament by the apostles? Yes; for St. Paul admonishes His disciple Timothy to stir up the grace of God received by the imposition of his hands. Hereby St. Paul teaches expressly that by the imposition of the hands of the apostles, or of the bishops, who are their successors, the grace of God is imparted to priests, in which consists th substance of the sacrament. Pray, then, for the priests; askng fervently of God, particularly on ember-days, to give His Church faithful pastors. Jesus Himself commands it, saying, the harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He send laborers into His Harvest” (Luke x. 2).

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Hajj[3]


The Hajj starts today. Hajj is a holy pilgrimage to Mecca that is obligatory for all Muslims who can afford to go. The 3rd chapter of the Quran, Surah Ale-Imran makes Hajj mandatory.  During this pilgrimage, Muslims try to get closer to God. The Hajj is performed in the last month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul-Hijjah.  All Muslims who can afford to go on the Hajj are required to do so at least once in their life. Muslims believe that the Prophet Abraham built the Ka'aba with his son Ismael. Kaaba is a sacred cube-shaped shrine at the centre Al-Masjid al-Haram mosque, in Mecca (Saudi Arabia).  Muslims walk around the Ka'bah seven times as part of the Hajj.  Muslims face to pray in the direction of the Ka'bah no matter where they are in the world.  It was the first house built solely for the purpose of worshipping God.  To be completed, the Hajj requires a minimum of five days, during which pilgrim’s travel across Arabia to complete various rituals, some of which are optional, but considered highly beneficial.

Hajj Facts

·         According to Sahih Bukhari (one of the six main hadith writings of Sunni Islam), the Prophet Muhammad once said that those who finish the Hajj without committing any obscenity or transgression will have their sins completely wiped away.
·         It is believed that to teach Muslims to remain humble and unified, God mandated the Hajj.  During it, everyone wears the same clothes, prays together, and goes around the Ka'bah together.
·         According to the Saudi Arabian Embassy, the Hajj is the largest gathering of human beings on the Earth.
 Hajj Events and Things to Do

·         Visit the mountains of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah in Mecca.  Pilgrims walk between two hills, Safa and Marwa, seven times during the Hajj because they believe that Hagar, the wife of Abraham, did the same when looking for water for her thirsty baby Ismael.  As soon as she finished her seventh run, the Zamzam well sprung out from under baby Ismael's foot.  To this day, pilgrims on the Hajj drink the Zamzam's water, and often take it home with them in large canisters.
·         Visit the tower at Jamrat-al-Aqabah (Saudi Arabia).  After sunset on the day of Arafah, as part of the Hajj, pilgrims throw small pebbles at Jamrat-al-Aqabah.  This is the place where it is believed the Devil stood as he tried to tempt Abraham from carrying out orders from God.  This is act commemorates and symbolizes Abraham's rejecting of the devil.
Understanding Islam: A Guide[4]

Today we are bombarded with conflicting versions of Muslims and Islamin the media. This guide is intended to help all people in the Roman Catholic Church to present Islam accurately and in ways that preserve and promote “together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom” (Nostra Aetate3). In spite of the many conflicts and hostilities that have arisen between Muslims and Christians over the centuries, as Christians we are called to reject violence and to live in fraternal love with all human beings. This document intends to identify some of those beliefs and values that Muslims and Christians have in common, as well as some differences, so as to assist those whom we are teaching to live harmoniously together with understanding and respect and to work for peace more effectively. Understanding Islam and Muslims the name Islam means “submission” and those who submit to God are Muslims. The terms have the same Arabic root as the word for peace, Salam. Muslims believe that peace comes through the submission to the one and only God. Although it is often associated with Muslims alone, the name of God in Arabic, Allah (al-Lah– “the God”), is the same name used by Christians and Jews. When saying the name of Allah, Muslims enerally say: “Subhanahu wa ta’aalaa”, which means “May He be glorified and exalted”. Muslims and Christians share many common beliefs in their worship of a single Creator God who loves creation and who commands that His most cherished creations, human beings, love Him, one another, and His creation. In some ways, however, Muslims and Christians have profoundly different beliefs. Muslims do not believe in the Trinitarian nature of God, nor do they accept that Jesus Christ is God incarnate. They believe, however, that Jesus is one of the five most distinguished Prophets of God sent to mankind. Christians, on the other hand, do not recognize Muhammad as a prophet, and do not accept many aspects of the message he preached, including dietary restrictions, polygamy, and other teachings. For Muslims, Muhammad is the recipient of God’s final revelation, the Qur’an, and the model for all human beings, in much the same way as the Virgin Mary is for many Christians. But Muhammad’s role as prophet, law giver and military leader is more similar to that of Moses in the Old Testament. Muhammad is not worshipped by Muslims –he is recognized by them as the final Prophet, the Seal of the prophets, sent by God and is the object of great reverence and devotion. Christians do not accord Muhammad the same status as the biblical prophets but may regard him as aprophetic figure on such issues as charity and the protection of the poor, widows and orphans.

World Humanitarian Day[5]


World Humanitarian Day seeks to recognize the compassion and bravery of humanitarian workers. The day also serves to gain international cooperation to meet the needs of humanitarian work around the world.  Humanitarian workers provide life-saving assistance consisting of first aid, nutrition, shelter and help rebuild after disaster has struck. These workers often battle violence, local diseases and hunger while attempting to save lives and provide relief to those most in need. World Humanitarian Day was designated by the United Nations in December of 2008 in an effort to honor the sacrifices of humanitarian workers. It is celebrated annually on August 19, a day that commemorates the 2003 bombing of the UN Headquarters in Iraq.

World Humanitarian Day Facts & Quotes

·         It is estimated that approximately 22 billion dollars of aid was given worldwide in 2013, though there is no official way to track exactly how much money is spent.
·         The US is the top national donor in terms of raw dollars allocated to humanitarian aid. In 2013 it gave approximately 4.7 billion dollars. However, among developed nations, it donates the lowest percentage of its GDP.
·         Despite all the money and aid that is being given for humanitarian relief, it is still estimated that one-third of all global humanitarian needs are not being met.

The Way[6]

"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.  'They have the stuff of saints in them.' At times you hear this said of some people. Apart from the fact that the saints were not made of 'stuff, to have stuff is not sufficient. A great spirit of obedience to your Director and great readiness to respond to grace are essential. For, if you don't allow God's grace and your Director to do their work, there will never appear the finished sculpture, Christ's image, into which the saintly man is fashioned. And the 'stuff' of which we were speaking will be no more than a heap of shapeless matter, fit only for the fire..., for a good fire if it was good stuff!

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

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