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OCTOBER


Trees declare their own sermon in brief autumn's painted landscape. We note their size and type and variety and beauty. Trees serve as symbols of the gift-giving aspects of our lives. Trees provide fruit, wood, climatic modification, wind and sun protection, prevention of soil erosion, and a host of other benefits. This is the time to plant trees and to prepare them for winter. Should we not give more attention to how our lives can bear fruit in Christ and in the protection of our forests?

Overview of October[1]

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated on October 7. October falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. During October, 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 each of us to be a follower of Christ.


Autumn Festivities

October usually is an enjoyable time of the year in the United States. The autumn season manifests itself with wonderful fall foliage in many parts of the country. The temperatures are cooler, inviting people outdoors for nature walks, apple or pumpkin picking. School routines are more established and football season is in full swing. The celebrations of the Church for the month of October are also wonderful and unique. The feasts of some of the most popular saints of the universal Church are celebrated during this month: St. Therese the Little Flower (France), St. Francis of Assisi (Italy) and St. Teresa of Avila (Spain). These saints come from different countries, and in honoring these saints we can include cultural dishes or activities from each country to make the feastday even more special. Read more about the lives of these saints. Perhaps the family can pick one virtue that each saint practiced well and try to implement it. The feasts in October also include two of the most popular, time-honored devotions of Catholics, the devotion to the Holy Rosary (October 7) and the Guardian Angels (October 2). In October 2002 our Holy Father John Paul II wrote the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae (the Rosary of the Virgin Mary)." This letter introduced five new mysteries, called the Luminous or Mysteries of Light, which are (1) Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan, (2) Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, (3) Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with the call to conversion, (4) the Transfiguration, and (5) the Institution of the Eucharist. Try to make a more concerted effort to pray the Rosary together as a family during the month of October, read the Apostolic Letter to understand the beauty of this devotion more deeply, and pray the new Luminous mysteries. October 16 is known as "Pope Day" on which we celebrate the gift of the papacy and our current pope. Every person has a guardian angel assigned to them, and October 2 the Church celebrates the role of these Guardian Angels. We should show devout gratitude to God for placing these angels at our service. Having a guardian should give us confidence during all of life's difficulties. Every Catholic should know the Angele Dei (Angel of God) prayer and pray it often. The Directory on Popular Piety suggests that families pray it at morning and evening prayers or after the Angelus.

All Hallows' Eve or Halloween heralds the month of November with emphasis on the Communion of Saints, especially the Church Suffering (the Poor Souls in Purgatory) and the second coming of Christ or parousia. This last day of October on the secular calendar is second only to Christmas in commercial preparations. The secular festivities center on ghouls, witches and devils, but the Christian counterpart focus on the communion of saints. As Christians living a "Catholic Culture", we should try to explore the Christian roots of the Halloween festivities.

October: Respect Life Month[2]


We mark the month of October as Respect Life Month. Looking back over the last year, there's been a lot of uncertainty, suffering, and heartache. Between tragedies that occur in the public eye and trials that take place in our personal lives, there's no shortage of reasons we cry out to God. At such times, we may feel alone and unequipped to handle the circumstances. But we have an anchor of hope to cling to. With words that echo through thousands of years into the corners of our hearts, God says to us, "Do not fear: I am with you" (Isaiah 41:10). God isn't a detached, distant observer to our pain; the Eternal Son became man and Himself experienced immense suffering—for you and for me. His wounds indicate the very essence of our identity and worth: we are loved by God. There are times we may doubt the value of our own lives or falter at the thought of welcoming and embracing the life of another. But reflecting on the healed wounds of the Risen Christ, we can see that even our most difficult trials can be the place where God manifests his victory. He makes all things beautiful. He makes all things new. He is the God of redemption. That's powerful. That's something to hold onto. And, He is always with us. Jesus promised this when he gave the disciples the same mission he gives to each of us: Go. As followers of Jesus Christ, we know that our identity and our mission are two sides of the same coin; like the apostles, we are called to be missionary disciples. We are not only invited to follow and take refuge in God, our stronghold, but we are also commissioned to reach out to one another, especially to the weak and vulnerable. Building a culture of life isn't something we just do one month of the year, or with one event or initiative—it's essential to who we are. It happens through our daily actions, how we treat one another, and how we live our lives. How do we respond when our aging parents are in failing health? Do they know how much we love them and cherish each day given? Do we ensure they know they are never a burden to us? In our own challenging times, do we ask for support? When others offer a helping hand, do we receive it? When our friend becomes pregnant in difficult circumstances, do we show compassion that tangibly supports her and helps her welcome the life of her new little one? Sometimes, we may not be sure exactly what to do, but let's not allow the fear of doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing keep us from living out our missionary call. We don't need to have everything figured out all at once. Let's remember the guidance of Our Blessed Mother, the first disciple: "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5). www.usccb.org/respectlife




OCTOBER 1 Monday
THÉRÈSE Of the Child Jesus-Intl Coffee Day- Shemini Atzeret

John, Chapter 11, Verse 36
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”

Jesus’ love is this that death is no more; the last enemy has been defeated. The Jews were the witness of this in their exclamation at the raising of Lazarus, “See how he loved him.” One, who has faith, even after death, shall live; one who has faith and is alive will never really die. Of this the restoration of Lazarus is the sign.[3] After the resurrection of Lazarus those in power plotted to kill Jesus because he destroyed the fear of death which was a major tool used by Satan their father to control mankind.

One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD, Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "Whence do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming the earth and patrolling it." And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job, and that there is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?"

Life a gift[4]

God does not require anyone to pass an exam to merit birth. Life is a gift from our creator via our parents. A child is not a trophy but a gift. Families are a communion of persons essential to understanding love. At the same time, the family home can often be the scene of pain as well. We experience death through the self-taking of the world through greed, manipulation, indulgence, and infatuation, which masquerade as love. Wounded, we begin to shy away from the gift, to be coerced into choosing to fear rather than love. Attacks on marriage and the family, such as same-sex unions, no fault-divorce, free love, cohabitation, pornography, and adultery are attacks on love itself and the very identity of the human person. Healing means returning to the original form of love we were meant to learn as children. The gift of self makes love visible. As long as conflicts/anger is buried, they do not heal. Yet our hearts long for love which is our first memory. Love is the authentic surrender of self for the good of the other. A fundamental truth of Christ and the Catholic Church is this “Culture of Life” which stems from love.

Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus[5]


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI called St. Therese of Lisieux's autobiography, "The Story of a Soul," a wonderful authentic "treasure" and invited everyone to read it. The 19th-century Carmelite saint's teaching of "the 'little way" of holiness has been so influential in our time." His catechesis was a continuation of a series of talks dedicated to the "doctors of the church," men and women who made important contributions to Catholic theological understanding. St. Therese, who was born in 1873 in France, died at the age of 24 of hemoptysis, or bleeding of the lungs. Her spirituality "centered on the contemplation of God's love revealed in the mysteries of the incarnation and redemption," the pope said. The saint "sought to be little in all things and to seek the salvation of the world," he said. Her autobiography was published a year after her death and was enormously successful in many parts of the world, he said. "I would like to invite all of you to rediscover this great little treasure, this glowing commentary on the Gospel fully lived," the pope said. The book is "a wonderful story of love, told with such authenticity, simplicity and freshness that the reader will be nothing but captivated," he said. "Therese shows all of us that Christian life is fully living the grace of baptism," by fully giving oneself over to God and by living like Christ, he said. The pope said "her example and prayers help us to follow 'the little way of trust and love' in spiritual childhood, abandoning ourselves completely to the love of God and the good of souls." A childlike faith in God entails giving oneself fully to him and putting one's life completely in his hands, the pope said. Such faith is "inseparable from true love," which is a total giving of self, he said. The pope said the faithful need to tell God every day that "we want to live out our love for him and others." St. Therese's life and teachings are "a guide for everyone" especially for theologians, he said, because she approached the sacred Scriptures with "humility and charity, faith and hope."

Things to Do[6]

·         Read St. Thérèse's autobiography Story of a Soul and other writings of or about St. Thérèse. Find biographies suitable for your children. Read more about her confidence in God, an excellent book is I Believe in Love.
·         St. Thérèse belonged to the Discalced order of Carmelites, which means unshod or barefoot. Find out more about the order of Carmelites.
·         Apostolic Exhortation of Paul VI from 1975 On Christian Joy (Gaudete in Domino). He speaks of St. Therese:
·         Learn about St. Therese's sacrifice beads, buy or learn to make them.

International Coffee Day[7]


International Coffee Day seeks to celebrate coffee from around the world while honoring the farmers, traders, roasters and baristas responsible for creating the coffees that are enjoyed by so many people worldwide.  According to an Ethiopian legend, coffee, a black bean enclosed in red berry, was discovered by a goat herder in the Ethiopian highlands when he noticed that his goats had become overly energetic after eating the berries.  Slowly, the herder's discovery spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula, into Europe and finally to the New World, increasing the demand for coffee and making it the second most sought after commodity in the world today (crude oil being the first). Organized by the International Coffee Organization and its 75 Member States, International Coffee Day was first celebrated on October 1, 2015 in Milan, Italy at Expo 2015.  The International Coffee Organization is an intergovernmental organization that unifies coffee exporting and importing governments through international cooperation with the aim of creating a sustainable coffee market and lowering poverty levels in developing countries that harvest coffee.


International Coffee Day Facts & Quotes

·         Based on the Food Regulation Standing Committee and Caffeine Working Group, Red bull has an average caffeine content of 32.0 mg/100ml, compared to a cappuccino which has caffeine content of 101.9 mg/100ml.  Espresso style coffee made from ground coffee beans has 194.0 mg/ml of caffeine content.  According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 400mg of caffeine is the safe limit for most adults
·         Kopi Luwak is one of the most expensive coffees brewed in the world.  Kopi Luwak it is made with digested coffee beans that had been eaten and defecated by an Asian toddy cat (Asian palm civet).  This rare coffee can cost between $35-80 US dollars for a single cup.
·         Long-term caffeine intake can lead to a caffeine addiction/dependence, which has been medically recognized as a disorder.  When individuals with a caffeine addiction abstain from caffeine, they may experience withdrawal symptoms including headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and mood changes.  
·         According to the Coffee Organization, 143 million 60kg bags of coffee were produced in 2015 and Brazil was the leading exporter of coffee, with more than 18,953 60kg bags of coffee exported between August 2015 and January 2016.
·         I am a coffee fanatic. Once you go to proper coffee, you can't go back. You cannot go back. - Hugh Laurie, Dr. House actor

Coffee with Christ[8]



The idea of this book is to seek friendship with God through Christ, the Holy Spirit and His mother-Mary. Prayer is, in its purest sense, a personal journey or intimacy with Our Lord. There is no greater help in our life’s journey in this world than through friendship with Jesus Christ and His mother. The imaginary premise of this book is to have a regular “Coffee Clutch” with Christ and gather for coffee and conversation through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Ideally this book will serve as encouragement for you to enter into your own “coffee clutch” with Christ. Having a regular or daily set time or appointment to meet and discuss with Him your hopes, dreams, plans and goals. To bear your heart to Him. To just sit down with Christ and talk, laugh, and enjoy each others company, over a cup of coffee. The goal is to make the common Holy and grow in the love and likeness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Shemini Atzeret[9]

Shemini Atzeret (Hebrew: שמיני עצרת), means 'The eighth day break' or 'the eighth day of assembly'.   It is celebrated preceding Simchat Torah and in some regions celebrated together with it.  Services for this holiday often include a Geshem, prayer for rain.


Shemini Atzeret Facts

On Shemini Atzeret there used to be a gathering of all men for a hearing of the Torah at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.  Reference to this is made in the Biblical book of Nehemiah (verse 8:18). Shemini Atzeret is observed in Orthodox communities with candle lighting in the evening, Kiddush (sanctification over wine) and two challah breads.  This is representative of all Jewish High Festivals and an evening and morning festive meal.  Two Challah breads are used to commemorate the Sabbath in the wilderness.  During this time Manna (edible substance that God provided for Israelites during time in the desert) fell from Heaven in a double portion on Friday, so that on the Sabbath day, the Israelites, did not need to perform the work of gathering Manna. Often an additional service after the morning service is held in Orthodox Synagogues.  Hallel (Psalms with praise) is recited.  Observant Jews do not work on this day. A popular prayer on Shmini Atzeret is called Yizkor, Remembrance.  It serves to honor dead relatives.  Even one of the happiest Jewish Holidays of the year, dead relatives (parents, siblings, spouses and children) are remembered.  This helps remind that we would not be who we are and where we are without these people.


Shemini Atzeret Top Events and Things to Do

·         Pray for Rain.  Shemini Azeret and Simchat Torah is often accompanied by prayers for the rain.  The holidays are in the autumn, which is a critical period in Israel for harvests.
·         On Shmini Atzeret, it is customary for Orthodox Jews to spend an 'extra day with God' and postpone their return to work and to mundane tasks.



35 Promises of God[10] cont.

10.  “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away”-John 6:37

The Way[1]

"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."

89.  'In te, Domine, speravi: in thee, Lord, have I hoped.' And, with my human resources, I threw my prayer and my cross into the balance. And my hope was not vain, nor ever will be: 'Non confundar in aeternum! I shall never be disappointed!'

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Pray the 54 Day Rosary
·         Total Consecration Day 20
the power of it.



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



[3] The Collegeville Bible Commentary
[4] J. Brian Bransfield, Living the Beatitudes-A Journey to Life in Christ.
[6]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2016-10-01
[7] http://www.wincalendar.com/International-Coffee-Day
[8] Richard Havermale, author
[9] http://www.wincalendar.com/Shmini-Atzeret

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