Wednesday, August 22, 2018



Introduction to Sirach

The Wisdom of Ben Sira derives its title from the author, “Yeshua [Jesus], son of Eleazar, son of Sira” (50:27). This seems to be the earliest title of the book. The designation “Liber Ecclesiasticus,” meaning “Church Book,” appended to some Greek and Latin manuscripts, is perhaps due to the extensive use the church made of this book in presenting` moral teaching to catechumens and to the faithful. The title “Sirach” comes from the Greek form of the author’s name. The author, a sage who lived in Jerusalem, was thoroughly imbued with love for the wisdom tradition, and also for the law, priesthood, Temple, and divine worship. As a wise and experienced observer of life he addressed himself to his contemporaries with the motive of helping them to maintain religious faith and integrity through study of the books sacred to the Jewish tradition. The book contains numerous well-crafted maxims, grouped by affinity, and dealing with a variety of subjects such as the individual, the family, and the community in their relations with one another and with God. It treats of friendship, education, poverty and wealth, laws, religious worship, and many other matters that reflect the religious and social customs of the time. Written in Hebrew in the early years of the second century B.C., the book was finished by ca. 175. The text was translated into Greek by the author’s grandson after 117 B.C. He also wrote a foreword which contains valuable information about the book, its author, and himself as translator. Until the close of the nineteenth century the Wisdom of Ben Sira was known to Christians in translations, of which the Greek rendering was the most important. From it the Latin version was made. Between 1896 and 1900, again in 1931, and several times since 1956, incomplete manuscripts were discovered, so that more than two thirds of the book in Hebrew is available; these Hebrew texts agree substantially with the Greek. One such text, from Masada, is pre-Christian in date. The New American Bible provides a critical translation based on the evidence of all the ancient texts. Though not included in the Jewish Bible after the first century A.D., nor, therefore, accepted by Protestants, the Wisdom of Ben Sira has been recognized by the Catholic Church as inspired and canonical. The Foreword, though not properly part of the book, is always included with it because of its antiquity and importance. The contents of the Wisdom of Ben Sira are of a discursive nature, not easily divided into separate parts. Chapters 143 deal largely with moral instruction; 44:150:24 contain a eulogy of the heroes of Israel. There are two appendixes in which the author expresses his gratitude to God (51:112), and invites the unschooled to acquire true wisdom (51:1330).

AUGUST 22 Wednesday
QUEENSHIP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY


Sirach, Chapter 1, Verse 11-21
11 The fear of the Lord is glory and exultation, gladness and a festive crown. 12 The fear of the Lord rejoices the heart, giving gladness, joy, and long life. 13 Those who fear the Lord will be happy at the end, even on the day of death they will be blessed. 14 The beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord; she is created with the faithful in the womb. 15 With the godly she was created from of old, and with their descendants she will keep faith. 16 The fullness of wisdom is to fear the Lord; she inebriates them with her fruits. 17 Their entire house she fills with choice foods, their granaries with her produce. 18 The crown of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, flowering with peace and perfect health. 19 Knowledge and full understanding she rains down; she heightens the glory of those who possess her. 20 The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord; her branches are long life. 21 The fear of the Lord drives away sins; where it abides it turns back all anger.

For today’s reflection let us replace the word fear with trust; for does He not ask us in the revelation of the Divine Mercy to trust.

·         Trust of the Lord is glory.
·         Trust of the Lord gives joy.
·         Trust of the Lord gives blessedness upon death.
·         Trust of the Lord gives wisdom.
·         Trust of the Lord gives peace and perfect health.
·         Trust of the Lord turns back anger and drives away sin.

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

2797 Simple and faithful trust, humble and joyous assurance are the proper dispositions for one who prays the Our Father.

2828 "Give us": The trust of children who look to their Father for everything is beautiful. "He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." He gives to all the living "their food in due season." Jesus teaches us this petition, because it glorifies our Father by acknowledging how good he is, beyond all goodness.

I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.


Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary[1]

On the 11th of October 1954, Pope Pius XII established the Feast of the Queenship of Mary to be celebrated throughout the world, and commanded that on that day each year, the world should renew its consecration to her. In the future the Feast came to be celebrated on 22nd of August. On the day of her Assumption, Mary our Mother was solemnly crowned by Christ and received by the whole court of Heaven as Queen. What Christ has done in Heaven and the Church has done on our behalf we should now do individually, that is, we should recognize Mary's Queenship, enthrone her in our homes, consecrate ourselves to her and, by this means, establish in our lives the reign of Mary Immaculate Queen of the Universe.

How to Enthrone Mary Immaculate Queen in Your Home and Consecrate Your Family to Her a statue or picture may be blessed; If convenient, ask a priest to perform the ceremony, otherwise the head of the family can do it.  Prepare her altar with flowers and candles, giving her an honored place in your home where all will see her and often pray to her. Recite together kneeling: 

Act of Contrition; 3 Hail Marys; 3 Glorias; 3 times the invocation: Mary Immaculate Queen: Triumph and Reign. followed by the 

Act of Consecration

O Mary Immaculate Queen, glorious Queen of the Universe, most powerful Virgin, merciful Mother of a merciful God and refuge of sinners, we consecrate ourselves to thy Royal and Immaculate Heart.
 

It is through thee that Jesus Christ our King has come into the world to save it. It is also through thee that He is to reign over the world.
 

In order to obtain this great benefit for ourselves and all mankind, we come to thy feet to consecrate to thee our persons, our lives, all that we are, all that we have, all that we love. Keep us, enlighten us, dispose of us, reign over us.
 

May all hearts and all homes willingly proclaim thee as their Immaculate Queen.

Prayer

O Mary Immaculate Queen, look down upon this distressed and suffering world. Thou knowest our misery and our weakness. O Thou who art our Mother, saving us in the hour of peril, have compassion on us in these days of great and heavy trial.
 

Jesus has confided to thee the treasure of His Grace, and through Thee He wills to grant us pardon and mercy. In these hours of anguish, therefore, thy children come to Thee as their hope.
 

We recognize thy Queenship and ardently desire thy triumph. We need a Mother and a Mother's Heart. Thou art for us the luminous dawn which dissipates our darkness and points out the way to life. In thy clemency obtain for us the courage and the confidence of which we have such need.
 

Most Holy and Adorable Trinity, Thou Who didst crown with glory in Heaven the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Savior, grant that all her children on earth may acknowledge her as their Sovereign Queen, that all hearts, homes, and nations may recognize her rights as Mother and as Queen. Amen.
 

MARY IMMACULATE QUEEN
 
Triumph and Reign!

Imprimi potest:
 
+ Michael Epus Galviensis, 4 June 1966

The Way[2]

"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.  Here is a safe doctrine that I want you to know: one's own mind is a bad adviser, a poor pilot to steer the soul through the storms and tempests and among the reefs of the interior life.That is why it is the will of God that the command of the ship be entrusted to a Master who, with his light and his knowledge, can guide us to a safe harbor.

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


[2]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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