Saturday, September 8, 2018


NATIVITY OF MARY-FORGIVENESS DAY

Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 36
The jailer reported these words to Paul, “The magistrates have sent orders that you be released. Now, then, come out and go in peace.”

Those that are not in Christ when they are in error seek to keep their actions a secret. Whereas a person in Christ knows all have failed and our only salvation is in God. The Philippian officials had beaten Paul, and placed him into prison without a trial, not knowing that he was a Roman and had rights. The officials wanted to keep this “mistake” a secret. They wanted peace. Like all cowards they want peace when it goes against them because no truth is in them. Seek the light of Christ which reveals all truth and you will have no fear and the peace of Christ.

The Spirits of Darkness[1]

The ethereal we live in is filled with the angels of God but not all of them are seeking our good. There are some spirits that are not filled with the light of God; just as there are some men which are not. Angels are no more impeccable than men. They are free as men to choose and like men underwent a trial. Every trial must be essentially costly or painful. God submitted to the angels the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God; made man for their adoration. At this revelation Lucifer known as the angel of light from the highest choir of angels a Seraph rebelled, “I protest is my throne to be lowered?” At the same instance one of the lesser Archangels, cried out, “Who is like God?” Who can refuse to believe and to adore that which He proposes, “I believe and I adore.” Pride brought the fall of the angels. The door of penance, through the merits of the Precious Blood, is open to men during the whole time of their life, while the corrupt angels found themselves immediately after their fall in the state in which sinful men will find themselves immediately after their death, facing the truth of their own trials. This thought should increase our devotion to the Precious Blood which is ever ready to cleanse us from our sins, especially in the Sacrament of Penance, and restore us to the friendship of God which is denied to the angels of darkness.

Therefore, let our personal battle cry be that of St. Michael, the archangel, “I believe and I adore!”

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.

Nativity of Mary[2]

Today, we commemorate, the happy and joyful day, on which the ever-blessed virgin Mother of God, first saw the light of day. The Church accordingly sings on this day “Thy nativity, virgin Mother of God, has brought joy to the whole world; for from thee has come forth the Sun of justice, Christ the Lord, who putting away cursing bestowed blessing, and by overcoming death obtained for us life eternal.”

Hail, holy parent, who as a happy mother brought forth the King Who rules heaven and earth from eternity to eternity.

Let us honor Mary, especially by imitation of those virtues of hers which are to us, as St. John Damascene says, an open book of instruction; let us rejoice in her prerogatives and glory; let us encourage others in the veneration of her; let us, in our need, have recourse to her, who, according to the name Star of the Sea with which the Church salutes her, shines for all who sail upon the dangerous sea of the world. For this reason, St. Bernard calls out to each one of us, “Take not your eyes from the light of this star if you would not be overwhelmed by the waves; if the storms of temptation arise, if you are thrown upon the rocks of affliction, look to the star, and invoke Mary. Are you confounded at the enormity of your sins, are you ashamed at the defilement of your conscience, and are you terrified on account of the dreadful judgment, so that you begin to be overpowered by sadness, or even to sink into the abyss of despair, then turn your thoughts to Mary. In dangers, in distress, in doubt, call on Mary. She will not be far from your mouth, or your heart; and that you may obtain her intercession omit not to imitate her conduct. When you follow her, you will not go astray; when you invoke her, you will no longer be in doubt; when she supports you, you will not fall; when she leads you, you will surely come to eternal life, and will find by your own experience that she is justly called Maria that is, “Star of the Sea”.

Things to Do[3]

·         Learn prayers to Mary, such as the Angelus, Litany of Loreto, Memorare, Hail Mary, and Hail Holy Queen. Learn and sing various hymns to Mary, such as the Salve Regina, Immaculate Mary, Hail Holy Queen.
·         Start researching and planning a Mary Garden, or a special plant or flower for each feast day of Mary. This can be for next spring, but if some bulbs are to be included, this is the time to plant them! Decorate the house, family table or family altar with flowers or special Marian decor.
·         Contemplate on how all the feasts of Mary point to the mysteries of Christ and our salvation history. Biblical readings: Proverbs 8:22-35 and Matthew 1:1-16 (this points to the appreciation of the heritage and family of Jesus).
·         Have a birthday party for Mary, with a specially decorated birthday cake and birthday decorations. Blue is the traditional color of Mary's mantle, so incorporating blue into the decor and food is quite appropriate. Try making an all white cake symbolizing Mary's purity, or cookies with white icing. White meringue cookies (or kisses) would also remind one of Mary's sinlessness. Birthday parties don't need special explanations for children. Have each child present a "gift" to their Mother Mary, such as spiritual bouquets, faults or virtues to work on, corporal works of mercy, etc. Learn to make string knot rosaries to give as "favors."
·         Eat some form of blueberries on this day, particularly in the morning -- blueberry muffins or blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie or just fresh blueberries on your cereal. The blue is symbolic of Mary's blue mantle.
·         Find out about the devotion to "Maria Bambina" or "Baby Mary."
·         Women for Faith and Family have some wonderful ideas for this feastday.

Forgiveness Day[4]

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”Mahatma Gandhi

Forgiveness, the process by which an offended party chooses to change the way they feel about someone who has committed the offense against them. It bears a distinct difference from the idea of condoning (where one does not see the offense as wrong, and therefor not needing forgiveness), excusing the action (where you place the blame for the action on someone else entirely), giving pardon (cleared by a legal representative), forgetting (where the action no longer exists in memory in any real or present way), or the act of reconciliation (where the relationship is restored without the action strictly being forgiven). On the 8th of September back in 1974, President Gerald Ford presented a rather controversial Presidential Proclamation. This proclamation pardoned Richard M. Nixon of all wrongdoing that was related to that most famous of American scandals, the Watergate affair. Richard made very clear that he felt he had committed grievous wrong-doings against the people of the United States and the seat they had granted him. While you are unlikely to be in a position to grant a presidential pardon, what you can do is be more forgiving on International Pardon Day. If you are holding a grudge against those who have committed some offense against you, Pardon Day grants you a valid reason to examine your feelings and the time that has passed, and to let that resentment and anger go.

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” Steve Maraboli

What is known about forgiveness is that it is an act that brings happiness to those who give it, one can release the hold on the negative emotions they’re harboring in themselves, but they cannot release the associated guilt for the person who committed the act. As a result, forgiveness is for the one giving it, rather than the one who committed the transgression. Research has shown that those who have chosen to give up resentments live longer lives as a result to an improvement in their cardiovascular and nervous systems.

Ways to Celebrate

There are a number of good ways to celebrate International Pardon Day, the simplest being to make sure you use ‘Excuse Me’ and ‘Pardon Me’ whenever you feel it appropriate. You need to get by someone, a simple ‘pardon me’ will serve to politely ask them to clear the way. Did you pass gas, or bump into someone when trying to get past them? ‘Excuse me’ is a good step towards showing you’re truly contrite.

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” John F. Kennedy

Another, perhaps more difficult way to celebrate is to take the time to examine the grudges you carry with you on a day to day basis. To think them over and determine if it’s truly worth carrying that anger and resentment forward. Take International Pardon Day to set them, and yourself, free from the toxic weight you’re carrying. You can do it via email, in person, over coffee, or you can write them a letter. If they’ve passed on, don’t let that stand in your way, write a letter with everything you’d like to say in it, and then burn it to set it free.

35 Promises of God[5] cont.

      “Those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”-Proverbs 1:33

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."

55.  Without a plan of life you will never have order.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Pray the 54 Day Rosary


[1] St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.
[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[6]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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