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2 Maccabees, Chapter 8, Verse 12-13 When Judas learned of Nicanor’s advance and informed his companions about the approach of the army,...

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Monday, February 25, 2019


Novena to holy face Day 2-PLAY MORE CARDS DAY


11You shall stone that person to death, for seeking to lead you astray from the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 12And all Israel shall hear of it and fear, and never again do such evil as this in your midst.

What is worst to kill a person’s body or to kill a person’s soul?

When a person leads you astray from the Lord, they indeed are killing your soul. The soul is meant to be free to do the will of God and when the soul is busy doing the will of God, we are indeed happy; even in abject poverty. When a soul is hampered from doing the will of God by another or your own free will this is a form of slavery and God is reminding us that He brought us out of the house of slavery. We are to stone anyone or thing that leads us away from God for it kills the soul.

To stone something is to bury it not in earth but in stone so that it will never rise again. What are the things that are leading you astray from God? Stone them!

Five Enslaving Habits We Must Avoid[1]

While the horror of slavery is thankfully dead as an institution, it sadly lives on in many other forms in many lives today, all around us, in ways maybe not considered slavery by some. I hope to get you to reconsider. But let’s first define our terms:

Slave: “One that is totally subservient to a dominating influence.” ~ Merriam-Webster-There are 5 basic areas of life in which we can become totally subservient to dominating influences, and thereby live less-than-ideal and something less than happy lives.

5 Ways Slavery is still with us

1.      Slavery to addictions. Whether we are talking about being enslaved to tobacco or alcohol, or whether we’re talking about enslavement to illicit material online or simply to the TV or to junk food or gossip, any addictions rob us of a measure of freedom and independence. But freedom is required for happiness. So, anything that enslaves us limits the degree of joy we can have in life.

2.      Slavery to the office: When spouse and family and our spiritual lives are playing second fiddle to the office, things are likely out of whack. Of course, there will be times, like the first few years of starting a business, when things will be lopsided. But if the office always is master and you are always its servant, then change may be needed for the fullness of a happy life to be experienced. Remember, your family is not a footnote to your journey. They are there in the thick of things, experiencing it with you, alongside you, maybe, in some ways, because of you. So, give them the time of day, from time to time!

3.      Slavery to success: When success becomes more important than integrity or honor or self-respect, then our subservience to the call of the dollar sign becomes self-destructive, as all addictions are. Happiness is robbed of its internal rewards when our insides are all twisted inside out as we compromise our values in the pursuit of wealth.

4.      Slavery to pleasure: Is the pursuit of pleasure hurting your relationship with your spouse? Are you pursuing pleasure at the expense of your spouse’s pleasure? Is that pursuit violating sacred vows and trusts? Are you spending your family into debt as you chase pleasure from one mountain top to another – or one casino to another – or one vacation to another – or one, well, you get the idea.

5.      Slavery to fear: Does fear and worry prevent you from taking steps to break free of a dissatisfying life? Do you wish for something more, but keep the door closed and locked and continue to do what you’ve always done? Are you trapped in a cycle of sameness, worried that if you tried to start a business, or tried to learn a skill, or tried an adventure on for size, or tried to learn to write or sing or climb, that you would fail and fall and sink and drown?

Afterthoughts

Slavery may be dead as a formal institution of human bondage, but it is alive and well in the hearts and minds and lives of too many people who have the ability to loose the shackles but haven’t exercised the courage to do it yet.

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.

Second Day

Psalm 51, 5-6a. 

My offenses truly I know them; My sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done.

Most Holy Face of Jesus, we are truly sorry that we have hurt you so much by constantly doing what is wrong; and for all the good works we have failed to do. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Saint Joseph, intercede for us, help us to console the Most Holy Face of Jesus. Pray that we may share in the tremendous love Thou hast for one another and for the most Holy and Blessed Trinity. Amen.

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

Come, Holy Spirit, Sanctifier, all powerful God of love, Thou who didst fill the Virgin Mary with grace, Thou who didst wonderfully transform the hearts of the apostles, Thou who didst endow all Thy martyrs with a miraculous heroism, come and sanctify us, illumine our minds, strengthen our wills, purify our consciences, rectify our judgments, set our hearts on fire and preserve us from the misfortune of resisting Thine inspirations. We consecrate to Thee our understanding, our heart and our will, our whole being for time and for eternity. May our understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations and to the teachings of Thy Holy Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible guide; may our heart be ever inflamed with love of God and neighbor; may our will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may our whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and Thee be honor and glory forever. Amen

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

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

Play More Cards Day[2]

Cards get a bad rap sometimes—and true, there are cards games that can be very addictive if not kept under control. But cards can also be the source of great entertainment for friends who just want to hang out and spend some time together, laughing and relaxing. In general, however, playing cards is fun, and as with most fun things that relax us, it’s typically a good idea to do more of them and let your brain take a break from the stress it’s used to for a change. This is where Play More Cards Day comes in. Play More Cards Day was created in 2013 by Bicycle Cards, the biggest producer of playing cards in the United States. The company began producing their cards in 1885, and they have since had sizable roles in various important historical events. For example, during World War II, the deck was designed as a puzzle, which when put together, became a map. This map was supposed to help potential prisoners make their way to safety once they escaped. Wars also prompted Bicycle Cards to create waterproof cards that would not peel, rip or fall apart after coming into contact with water or moisture. During the Vietnam War, the ace of spades printed on Bicycle Cards’ playing cards was thought to have severe psychological effects on the Viet Cong, which viewed it as a symbol of death and infinite bad luck for their activities. Initially, this rumor was false, but as time went by and American soldiers continued to use Bicycle Cards’ ace of spades as their symbol, it eventually did become a relevant part of Vietnam War psychological warfare symbolism.
How to Celebrate Play More Cards Day

The simplest, as well as the most fun way to celebrate this day, is to, in fact, play more cards. Do you have a favorite card game? If not, find out what you like best by trying out a few different card games. Some people find playing a card game in which you have no partner or team especially fun and challenging, while others prefer the company of another teammate to help them out if they get in a fix, like the Polish cards game Hola. If you’re a person who values peace and quiet above all other things, playing solitaire with real cards as opposed to just clicking on them could prove entertaining. Choose whichever card game you want to play on this day, the only requirement is that you have good time. Another great way to make sure a party (even a small one) is a success is to have various foods to snack on. If you’re all to be touching cards, it would probably be best of the snacks you choose were not too greasy so as not to dirty the cards. With baked chips becoming all the more popular compared to regular deep-fried chips, that could turn out to be a much easier criterion to meet than it seems. And if all else fails, you and your friends can simpy take a break from the game to fill up on something tasty, and them go right back to what you were doing.

Deck of Cards[3]
Song by Tex Ritter


Friends, this is Tex Ritter with a strange story about a soldier boy and a deck of cards. During a North African campaign, a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike, and they arrived in a little town called Casino."

The next morning being Sunday several of the boys went to church. A Sargent commanded the boys in church, and after the Chaplain had read the prayer the text was taken up next. Those of the boys who had a prayer book took them out, but this one boy only had a deck of cards, and so he spread them out. The Sergeant saw the cards and said, "Soldier, put away those cards." After the services were over the soldier was taken prisoner and brought before the Provost Marshall.

The Marshall said, "Sargent, why have you brought this man here?"

"For playing cards in church, sir."

"And what have you to say for yourself, son?"

"Much, sir." replied the soldier.

'The Marshall said, "I hope so, for if not, I shall punish you more than any man was ever punished."

The soldier said, "Sir, I have been on a march for about six days, and I had neither Bible nor Prayer Book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir, with the purity of my intentions."

With that the boy started his story.

"You see, Sir, when I look at the Ace it reminds me that there is but one God. The deuce reminds me that the Bible is divided into two parts; the Old and New Testaments. And when I see the trey I think of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. When I see the four, I think of the four evangelist who preached the Gospel. There was Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And when I see the five it reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps. Ten of 'em; five who were wise and were saved; five were foolish and were shut out. And when I see the six it reminds me that in six days God made this great heaven and earth. And when I see the seven it reminds me that on the seventh day God rested from His great work. When I see the eight, I think of the eight righteous persons God saved when he destroyed this earth. There was Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives. And when I see the nine, I think of the lepers our Savior cleansed, and nine of the ten didn't even thank Him. When I see the ten, I think of the Ten Commandments God handed down to Moses on a tablet of stone. When I see the King, it reminds me that there is but one King of Heaven, God Almighty. And when I see the queen, I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is Queen of Heaven. And the jacks, or knaves, it's the devil. And when I count the number of spots on a deck of cards, I find three hundred sixty-five the number of days in a year. Fifty-two cards, the number of weeks in a year. Four suits, the number of weeks in a month. Twelve picture cards, the number of months in a year. Thirteen tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter. So, you see, Sir, my pack of cards serve me as a Bible, almanac, and prayer book."

"Friends, I know this story is true, because I knew that soldier."

The Devil and Temptations[4]

There are many and varied ways in which sin and evil are presented to us in an attractive way.
In the Home--Seeking God's Presence
·         Although you are not a priest, as a baptized Catholic you have a power that you do not realize. St. Paul, in his letter, told the Ephesians this truth (Eph. 1:19): "How very great is his power that works in us is the same as the mighty strength which He used when He raised Christ from death and seated Him at his right side in the heavenly world. " Think about that for awhile! The power of prayer is greater than we know.
·         Although we do not have the power of an ordained priest, we can ask God to protect and bless our homes. It is good for us to keep blessed water in our homes and use it frequently. If we wish to ask God's blessing on our own homes, we can say a simple prayer of blessing and then sprinkle holy water in each room. Such a prayer of blessing could be something like the following:
·         "Heavenly Father, we ask your blessing upon our home. In the name of your Son Jesus we ask to be delivered from sin and all evil influence. Protect us from sickness, accidents, theft and all domestic tragedies. We place our home under the Lordship of Jesus and consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May all who live here receive your blessing of peace and love."
·         An "Our Father" and "Hail Mary" could also be recited.
·         The consecration of the family and the home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is another beautiful Catholic custom. We need to have a crucifix and pictures of the Sacred Heart and Our Blessed Lady in our homes. We want home to be a sacred place.
·         There needs to be a place in the home where the members of the family come together to pray. In some Mexican families the custom of having a little altar with pictures or statues, not only of Jesus, Mary and the saints, but also pictures of members of the family is observed. It reminds us to pray for them.

The Way[5] Penance

"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."

How we ennoble suffering, giving it its right place (atonement) in the spiritual order!

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Nivevah 90 day 34



[1] http://meanttobehappy.com/quote-13-from-the-great-emancipator-slave-part-1/
[2]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/play-more-cards-day/
[3]Deck of Cards lyrics © BMG Rights Management
[5]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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