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NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
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Wednesday, August 8, 2018


Introduction to Thessalonians


When Paul parted from Barnabas at the beginning of what is called his second missionary journey, he chose Silvanus (Silas) as his traveling companion. Soon afterwards he took Timothy along with him. Paul was now clearly at the head of his own missionary band. About A.D. 50, he arrived in Greece for the first time. In making converts in Philippi and, soon afterwards, in Thessalonica, he was beset by persecution from Jews and Gentiles alike. Moving on to Beroea, he was again harassed by enemies from Thessalonica and hurriedly left for Athens. Silvanus and Timothy remained behind for a while. Paul soon sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to strengthen that community in its trials. Timothy and Silvanus finally returned to Paul when he reached Corinth, probably in the early summer of A.D. 51. Timothy’s return with a report on conditions at Thessalonica served as the occasion for Paul’s first letter.

The body of the letter consists of two major parts. The first is a set of three sections of thanksgiving connected by two apologiae (defenses) dealing, respectively, with the missionaries’ previous conduct and their current concerns. Paul’s thankful optimism regarding the Thessalonians’ spiritual welfare is tempered by his insistence on their recognition of the selfless love shown by the missionaries. In an age of itinerant peddlers of new religions, Paul found it necessary to emphasize not only the content of his gospel but also his manner of presenting it, for both attested to God’s grace as freely bestowed and powerfully effected. The second part of the letter is specifically hortatory or parenetic. The superabundant love for which Paul has just prayed is to be shown practically by living out the norms of conduct that he has communicated to them. Specific “imperatives” of Christian life, principles for acting morally, stem from the “indicative” of one’s relationship to God through Christ by the sending of the holy Spirit. Thus, moral conduct is the practical, personal expression of one’s Christian faith, love, and hope.


AUGUST 8 Wednesday

Thessalonians, Chapter 3, Verse 5
5 For this reason, when I too could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had put you to the test and our toil might come to nothing.

Have you ever worked really hard on something and then had it just amount to nothing; at times I feel that way with this blog. At those times I am reminded that IT is the tempter is putting me to the test. We must push forward, if we know it is a good work; for it is the Lord’s work not ours and we must be patient we may not see the harvest, but we will receive his grace.

Saint Dominic[1]


St. Dominic had for many years preached against the errors of the Albigenses and other heretics, with such zeal and profound ability that they were often convinced. But nevertheless the results were unimportant; but few returned to the bosom of the Catholic Church. In this discouraging state of things St. Dominic redoubled his prayers and works of penance, and in particular besought Mary for support and assistance. One day Mary appeared to him and taught him the Rosary. He zealously labored to introduce everywhere this manner of prayer, and from that time preached with such success that in a short period more than one hundred thousand heretics and sinners were converted. The divine origin of the Rosary is testified to by the bull of Gregory XIII. of the year 1577.

In his life Christ prayed the shema Israel everyday that he worships the Father with his whole heart mind soul and strength. Now through prayer we can mediate on the mysteries of the rosary and see how Christ and Mary lived the shema and follow their lead.

Mind=Joyful mysteries
Heart=the Luminous mysteries
Soul=the Glorious mysteries
Strength=the Sorrowful mysteries

Ten Reasons to Pray the Rosary[2]

Motivation is the key to carrying out any worthy enterprise. Great men and great women have clear goals and strong motivations. They know what they want, and they have a clear plan before their eyes.

CEO’s in successful companies know what they want, have goals, deadlines, and concrete steps to attain those goals. Professional athletes have a determined determination to win.  They study their opponents’ weak points, capitalize on their own strengths and play for victory.  Therefore, to attain to any goal there must be a clear plan and strong motivations.

Spiritual Goals and Objectives

Even more important for the human person created in the image and likeness of God should be the goal and the motivation to attain that goal.  Our goal is very clear—to get to heaven.  One of the most efficacious means to attain eternal salvation with God in heaven is through prayer. Prayer is the key to salvation. What oxygen is to our lungs so is prayer to the life of our soul. For that reason Saint Augustine asserted: “He who prays well lives well; he who lives well dies well; and he who dies well, all is well.”

Still there is a powerful means and intercessor before the throne of God who can help us to get to heaven and to help us in our prayer life and motivate us to focus our energies on God and God alone—the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Mary’s Favorite Prayer

Our Lady has a prayer that fills her heart with joy—the Hail Mary and the most Holy Rosary.  Every time the Hail Mary is prayed with attention and sincere heart, Our Lady’s heart is filled with joy. Therefore, let us offer ten points to motivate us to pray the most Holy Rosary.

1. Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady of Fatima appeared in Fatima, Portugal six times to three little shepherd children: Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia. In every one of these six apparitions Our Lady said:  “Pray the Rosary.”

2. Her Title.  Finally at the end of her apparitions Our Lady gave herself the title:  “Our Lady of the Rosary.” Therefore, if Our Lady insisted six times to pray the Rosary and actually called herself “Our Lady of the Rosary,” common sense tells us that she really wants us to pray the Rosary!

3. Pope St. John Paul II. This great modern saint, as well as spiritual giant, strongly encouraged the world to pray the most Holy Rosary. In his writing The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary, the Vicar of Christ insisted that we pray the Rosary. He himself said at the start of his pontificate that the Rosary was his favorite prayer.

4. For the Sake of the Family. In this same document Saint Pope John Paul II insisted that we pray the Rosary for the sake of the family which is under attack and in crisis.  With the growing numbers of separations and divorces, with the legalization of same-sex unions, with so many children without the warmth of the family, now more than ever we must pray the most Holy Rosary.  The Holy Father quotes the Rosary-priest, Father Patrick Peyton:  “The family that prays together stays together.”

5. For World Peace. The document of Saint Pope John Paul II came in the wake of the terrorist attack in New York City with the Twin Towers. Therefore, another reason to pray the Rosary now, more than ever, is for the sake of world peace. With the threat of ISIS, nuclear arsenals, and general tensions growing among nations, the Rosary can be our shield and safeguard. At the end of the First World War Our Lady of Fatima stated clearly that wars come as a result of sin; and if people did not stop sinning then a worse World War would erupt. Within twenty years, the Second World War broke out.  Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen states that world wars are the net result of many individual wars waging in the hearts of sinners, that spreads out to towns, cities, countries and continents, and then boom—the huge war explodes. Sin produces war; prayer produces peace of heart, mind and soul and harmony among peoples!

6. To Save our our Children. Never have we lived in a society with so many dangers, especially with respect to our children and teens. Of great importance is the virtue of purity. The mass media, the modern electronics media, the modern school and teaching agenda, billboards and posters, modern movies and TV programs militate fiercely against the virtue of purity. And to be honest, we live in a pornographic society!  Devotion to Our Lady and the family Rosary can serve as a shield against this onslaught and deluge of filth that is descending upon the world, especially our children and young people.  In a word, we must shield our children in the most pure and Immaculate Heart of Mary; she is an oasis, a refuge, and ark of safety and protection! If you like Noah and his family as well as the animals sought refuge and protection from the deluge in the Ark. We must find refuge in the ark of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart—most certainly a safe refuge!

7. To Order our Disorders. As a result of the Original Sin that we all inherit in the moment of our conception, our life is marked with disorder. Our thought process, our will, our emotional state of being, our soul, our intentions, our family and social life—all have a certain disorder. Saint Ignatius of Loyola suggests that we do the Spiritual Exercises so as to order the disordered in our lives. Sin causes disorder; prayer brings order. Prayer to Our Lady communicates to our soul and lives the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is a God of order.  Our Lady of Guadalupe with her own hands ordered the roses in the tilma of Saint Juan Diego. By praying the most holy Rosary Our Lady can help to order the disordered in our lives.

8. For Interior Peace Of Mind And Soul. Another wonderful effect of praying the most Holy Rosary is peace of mind, heart and soul. We all desire peace and Our Lady of the Rosary also known with the title “Queen of peace” can definitely attain for us this peace that our hearts so ardently yearn. Saint Augustine defines peace as the tranquility of order. As the hymn reminds us: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

9. It’s a Biblical Prayer. Pope St. John XXIII stated that the Rosary is a summary of the whole of the Gospel. They are truly based on the Bible, even the prayers of the Our Father and the Hail Mary have their foundation in the Gospels. Therefore, by praying the Rosary fervently, we get to know Jesus and Mary better and better as presented from the Word of God, we fall in love with them and then we become their fiery and ardent Apostles in a world marked with so much coldness and indifference. As Pope Francis reminded us in his Lenten message: There is a widespread globalization of indifference because there is a lack of love of God in the world. This love can be planted and ignited through love of Our Lady and the Holy Rosary—a summary of the Gospels and a true Biblically centered prayer.

10. To Conquer our Adversities. David had to fight against the ferocious and malicious giant Goliath. Strategically, there was no way that the smaller, inexperienced, unprepared shepherd boy could conquer the giant Goliath. It was like an ant against an elephant. However, the Bible teaches us a very certain truth: Nothing is impossible with God.  David went with a total trust in His God, the Lord of heaven and earth. We all know the ending! David shot a stone from his slingshot; the stone riveted itself in the brow of Goliath, who cascaded to the ground unconscious. David quickly drew the sword of Goliath and cut off his head! Victory, due to the intervention of God! Today we are surrounded by so many “Goliaths”, almost too many to count!  However, our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. Let us turn to the Queen of Heaven and earth and pull out our spiritual slingshot which is the most Holy Rosary and win the battle. Jesus is the King of Heaven and earth and Our Lady is the Queen. Let us find sure refuge under her heavenly mantle!

National Bowling Day[3]

Roll up to join the celebrations for Bowling Day! This fun occasion aims to get more people involved in the sport. Since the event was founded in the USA in 2011, it has proved to be a striking success. Bowling is one of the world’s most popular participation sports, with around 100 million enthusiasts. It appeals to all ages and both sexes, and many people with disabilities are keen bowlers. The sport may date back to ancient Egyptian times, as primitive bowls have been found in graves from around 5,000 BC. Much later, Henry VIII was a keen bowler, but banned working men from taking part in case they neglected their duties. Thousands of centres are offering free taster sessions for Bowling Day, so the ideal way to celebrate is to take to the lanes. You could well be bowled over by how much fun it is.

The Way[4]

"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.  Why are you hurt by what people say about you? How much worse you would be if God were to leave you. Persevere in doing good and shrug your shoulders.

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


[1] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[2]https://www.catholicgentleman.net/2015/09/ten-reasons-to-pray-the-rosary/ 
[4]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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