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Friday, March 1, 2019


MARCH


The winds of March point to the power of God's Spirit working in us. We need to listen and respond to the gentle breezes of the Spirit; but will we, or will we be too distracted? The rebirth of spring reminds us of the energy of nature so that we ask ourselves whether we waste or wisely use energy –electricity, oil, gas, etc. Can we and should we continue to use nonrenewable fossil fuels, often with accompanying air pollution, at the rate we do? Or will the environmental ills we cause today call us in the future as a society to use wind and solar energy?

Overview of the Month of March[1]

The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. This patronage must be invoked as ever necessary for the Church, not only as a defense against all dangers, but also, and indeed primarily, as an impetus for her renewed commitment to evangelization in the world and to re-evangelization,” wrote St. John Paul II in Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer).


John Paul II further said, “Because St. Joseph is the protector of the Church, he is the guardian of the Eucharist and the Christian family. Therefore, we must turn to St. Joseph today to ward off attacks upon the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and upon the family. We must plead with St. Joseph to guard the Eucharistic Lord and the Christian family during this time of peril.”

As we continue our journey "up to Jerusalem" during the month of March, three prominent ideas are proposed for our contemplation by the liturgy of Lent: the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, baptism, and penance. The Solemnity of St. Joseph is a special landmark this month in which we will celebrate the great honor bestowed upon the foster father of Jesus. And if you are Irish (who isn't), St. Patrick's feast is another cause for a joyful celebration. The feast of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25.

The entire month falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.

A Time of Penance and Promise

Here and there in the stark March landscape, a few plants and trees are beginning to give evidence of the new life that winter’s frost and chill had concealed from our eyes. The Church’s vibrant new life has been obscured, too, by the austerity of the penitential season of Lent. But that life is indisputable, and it will burgeon forth on Easter as Christ coming forth from his tomb! During this month we will continue our journey to the cross with our acts of penitence. We will reflect on our mortality ("Remember man thou art dust") and the shortness of life ("and to dust thou shall return"). We will heed the call, "Now is the acceptable time, now is “the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).” Just like Our Lord's earthly life every moment of our lives is leading up to the last moment—when for eternity we will either go to God or suffer the fires of hell. During this month we will go from the suffering of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. We will trade the purple of penance for the white of victory and resurrection. The feast of the Annunciation, normally celebrated on March 25, has been transferred to April 9 since it falls on Palm Sunday. Let us not tire of doing our good works and penance but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

March Credit Education Month[2]


·         What do you know about credit? Do you know how to wisely use credit cards to improve your credit rating? Do you know what a credit rating is? Do you even know what credit is?
·         This month is all about learning the ins and outs of credit – what it can do for you, how you can use it, and the best way to look after your finances with it. If you’re an adult, you are likely to have access to credit; so, if you aren’t aware of what it could do for you, now is the perfect time to find out.

·         In this month, credit professionals are on a mission to teach you about credit. This is a great time to manage your finances and get on top of your incomings and outgoings, and any credit you might have. Because credit can be a difficult thing to keep on top of, this month was created to ensure that anyone who either has or might be thinking about applying for credit knows exactly what to expect.
·         When you think of credit, you might first think of credit cards. A credit card is a payment card which you can use to buy items, but you won’t need to pay for them right away. Depending on your credit provider, you will need to pay the amount back later – most frequently, with a small percentage put on the original price to pay to the lender.

·         How well you manage something like a credit card will affect your credit rating, which is a score you are given so that lenders can decide whether to lend to you or not. This will come into play if you were to apply for another credit card, or for another instance of credit such as payments on a car or a mortgage.

How to Observe Credit Education Month. Not as on track with your finances as you would like? This month, sit down and make a note of all your incomings and outgoings. Make sure to list the most important things, such as rent, and allowances for food. If you have credit cards, it’s best to pay them off as soon as possible. If you are able to put aside money at each paycheck, use it to pay off your cards – this will improve your credit rating, and keep it in the green for when you apply for big things like a mortgage.
Here is free personal finance software you can download for free: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=20738


First Friday
CARNIVAL FRIDAY


16 Faithful friends are life-saving medicine; those who fear God will find them. 17 Those who fear the Lord enjoy stable friendship, for as they are, so will their neighbors be.

It has been said a man is never poor who has friends. If making friends has always been difficult for you try these tips that I gleamed from an old public domain book authored by Henney, Nella Braddy, published in 1922, The Book of Business Etiquette, that has some timeless advice.

·         People are now more dependent on one another than they have ever been before, and the need for confidence is greater. We cannot depend upon one another unless we can trust one another.
·         We ask you, then, to remember that our growth—and your opportunities—depend not only upon the friends we make, but the enemies we do not make.
·         Remember names and faces.
·         Listen to and help those around you.
·         “We are all nobly born; fortunate those who know it; blessed those who remember.”
·         No man has a right to impose his opinions and prejudices, his sufferings and agonies, on other people. It is the part of a coward to whine.
·         A lack of understanding, which is a form of ignorance, is the cause of nearly all discourtesy.

First Friday[1]

Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Order of the Visitation, at Parayle-Monial, France; one day, when, according to her custom during the octave of Corpus Christi, she was deeply engaged in devotions before the Blessed Sacrament, the divine Savior appeared to her, showed her His Heart burning with love, and said: “Behold this Heart, which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of love. And what is most painful to Me is that they are hearts consecrated to Me. It is for this reason I ask thee that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi be appropriated to a special feast to honor My Heart by communicating on that day and making reparation for the indignity that it has received. And I promise that My Heart shall dilate to pour out abundantly the influences of its love on all that will render it this honor or procure its being rendered.”

NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE

DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER

 O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Sixth Day

Psalm 51, 12-13. 

A pure heart create for us O God, put a steadfast spirit within us. Do not cast us away from your presence nor deprive us of your Holy Spirit.

May our hearts be cleansed, O Lord, by the inpouring of the Holy Spirit, and may He render them fruitful by watering them with His heavenly dew, Mary, the most chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit, intercede for us, Saint Joseph pray for us.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.

Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

O Victorious Prince, most humble guardian of the Church of God and of faithful souls, who with such charity and zeal took part in so many conflicts and gained such great victories over the enemy, for the conservation and protection of the honor and glory we all owe to God, as well as for the promotion of our salvation, come, we pray Thee, to our assistance, for we are continually besieged with such great perils by our enemies, the flesh, the world and the devil; and as Thou was a leader for the people of God through the desert, so also be our faithful leader, and companion through the desert of this world, until Thou conduct us safely into the happy land of the living, in that blessed fatherland from which we are all exiles. Amen. (St. Aloysius)


Pray one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be. 

O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)[2]

Carnival Friday-Rio de Janeiro[3]


At the height of Rio’s summer, beginning at least a week before the official event, which runs from the Friday before Ash Wednesday until Shrove (Fat) Tuesday. Rio’s more than 70 samba “schools” (neighborhood social groups, not educational institutions) spend the entire year preparing for this moment, and many open to visitors beginning in September for those who come outside of Carnival season. For those who come for the Carnaval itself, though, the centerpiece is the samba parades, made up of lavishly costumed troupes and over-the-top floats from Grupo Especial (the 12 top-tier schools)— each accompanied by a pounding, 150-member-strong drum corps— who perform and compete on the Sunday and Monday before Ash Wednesday. The parades are televised from 9 P.M. to dawn, at the filled-to-capacity, 75,000-seat Samb√≥dromo (a stadium built specifically for this purpose). Here, the flamboyantly— often scantily— dressed teams fill the air with music, passion, and unbridled frenzy as they compete for the year’s coveted championship. Indoor samba balls (often attended by guests in full costume) are held in nightclubs, bars, and some hotels around town. But the most authentic experience of all is to join the open-air concerts and tag-along bands that snake through the beachside neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon and the hilltop Bohemian district of Santa Teresa, forming a kind of citywide street party. A glitzy and outrageous bacchanal of flesh and fantasy, Rio’s Carnival is not for the prudish or crowd-fearing. For those who want to escape the chaos of Carnaval, there’s the grand Belmond Copacabana Palace, which hosts the most exclusive black-tie ball in Rio. Built in 1923, “The Palace” overlooks the famous beach from which it takes its name, and its elegant pool makes a beautiful setting for a dip or an afternoon caipirinha, while its top-rated restaurants serve excellent meals. This was the backdrop for Flying Down to Rio, the 1933 film that first paired Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers; the movie made the Palace a Hollywood favorite. The myth of yesteryear lives on in the ornate Golden Room; its famous glass dance floor, lit from below, is where the famous Magic Ball takes place during Carnival.

Preparing for Battle[4]
Know Your Enemy

Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith. (1 Peter 5: 8– 9)

Like it or not, you are at war. No matter who you are— whether or not you know it— you have a mortal enemy who wants to destroy you, not just in this life, but in the next. No matter where you live on this planet— whether or not you can see it— you live on a hotly contested battlefield, and you can’t escape the conflict. It’s a spiritual war with crucial consequences in your everyday life. And the outcome of that war will determine your eternal destiny. The first rule of any type of warfare is to know your enemy.

·         Your adversary is the Devil, with his army of demons. Your battle with him rages not only all around you, but also within you, a fierce conflict for control of your mind, your heart, and your ultimate destiny.
·         Those who deny the devils existence are easy prey.

Examination of Conscience (Daily)[5]

We should along with our morning offering to God and reception of the sacraments of confession and Holy Communion do some daily accounting if we are going to make improvements. We should try to see ourselves and ask God to help us see our day as He sees it by examining our conscience. Spiritual writers usually divide the daily examination into two parts general and particular. The general exam is an overall review of the day and should be done in the evening and the particular exam is done throughout the day on how we are doing in those areas where our rebellion is the greatest or in acquiring a certain virtue. The general examination is a weapon of defense. The particular exam is of attack. The first is the shield. The second is the sword (St. Josemaria Escriva). Most people make their general exam near bedtime (This should cure any sleeping problems). Some people make their particular exam at noon so they can redouble efforts for the rest of the day. In the evening when we do the general exam, we should consider the whole day both the big things and the little. I always ask our Lord, what Have I done NOT SO well today; and listen? Next comes the question, “Lord, what have I done well? Finally, I ask, Lord, what are your concerns? One aspiration we should have in our arsenal that we can use at the end is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” One thing not to do is give up. Ask Him for help. Gaining a virtue or losing a habit of sin might take time; but we will WIN.

The Way[6] Examination of conscience

"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."

The general examination implies defence. The particular, attack. The first is your armour. The second, your sword.

Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Nivevah 90 day 38
·         Hike and Meditate on the Divine Mercy Novena Day 6 and pray for the souls of the meek and humble and of children especially those who are to be born.



[1]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[3]Schultz, Patricia. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die
[4]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare (Kindle Locations 115-124). TAN Books. Kindle Edition.
[5] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 15. Examination of Conscience.
[6]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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