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Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

FRIDAY OF SORROWS


Judges, Chapter 7, Verse 10-11
10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your aide Purah 11 and listen to what they are saying. After that you will have the courage to descend on the camp. So, he went down with his aide Purah to the outposts of the armed men in the camp.

Christ calls us to a greater purpose than he did Gideon:


No man or woman of good will can renounce the struggle to overcome evil with good. This fight can be fought effectively only with the weapons of love. When good overcomes evil, love prevails and where love prevails, there peace prevails. This is the teaching of the Gospel, restated by the Second Vatican Council: "the fundamental law of human perfection, and consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love"…Christians must be convinced witnesses of this truth. They should show by their lives that love is the only force capable of bringing fulfillment to persons and societies, the only force capable of directing the course of history in the way of goodness and peace…By Christ's death and resurrection, made sacramentally present in each Eucharistic celebration, we are saved from evil and enabled to do good. Through the new life which Christ has bestowed on us, we can recognize one another as brothers and sisters, despite every difference of language, nationality and culture. In a word, by sharing in the one bread and the one cup, we come to realize that we are "God's family" and that together we can make our own effective contribution to building a world based on the values of justice, freedom and peace.[1]

Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent[2]Friday in Passion Week


Prayer. MERCIFULLY infuse Thy grace into our hearts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, by doing voluntary penance for our sins, we may be punished here, rather than be condemned to punishment for eternity.

EPISTLE. Jerem. xvii. 13-18.

In those days Jeremias said: O Lord, the hope of Israel: all that forsake Thee shall be confounded: they that depart from Thee, shall be written in the earth: because they have forsaken the Lord the vein of living waters: heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise. Behold they say to me: Where is the word of the Lord? let it come. And I am not troubled, following Thee for my pastor: and I have not desired the day of man, Thou knowest it. That which went out of my lips, hath been right in Thy sight. Be not Thou a terror unto me, thou art my hope in the day of affliction. Let them be confounded that persecute me, and let not me be confounded: let them be afraid, and let not me be afraid: bring upon them the day of affliction, and with a double destruction, destroy them, O Lord our God.

GOSPEL. John xi. 47-54.

At that time: The chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said: What do we, for this man doth many miracles?

If we let Him alone so, all will believe in Him, and the Romans will come, and take away our place and nation. But one of them named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to gather together in one the children of God, that were dispersed. From that day, therefore, they devised to put Him to death. Wherefore Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews, but He went into a country near the desert, unto a city that is called Ephrem, and there He abode with His disciples.

Lenten Calendar[3]

 Read: Wherefore, we ask, urgently and prayerfully, that we, as people of God, make of the entire Lenten Season a period of special penitential observance. Following the instructions of the Holy See, we declare that the obligation both to fast and to abstain from meat, an obligation observed under a stricter formality by our fathers in the faith, still binds on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. No Catholic Christian will lightly excuse himself from so hallowed an obligation on the Wednesday which solemnly opens the Lenten season and, on that Friday, called Good because on that day Christ suffered in the flesh and died for our sins. . .. Gratefully remembering this, Catholic peoples from time immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they may one day be glorified with Him. This is the heart of the tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church.

(1966 USCCB Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence, no. 12 and no. 18)

Reflect: "If you have fasted two or three days, do not think yourself better than others who do not fast. You fast and are angry; another eats and wears a smiling face."
St. Jerome, Letters, 22.37

Pray: Pray that abstinence from some of your favorite things this Lenten season will help bring you closer to God long after the season is over. 

Act: Take note of the meatless meals you have enjoyed this Lent. Add your favorites to your familys regular meal rotation once Lent is over.  

Friday of Sorrows[4]

The Friday of Sorrows is a solemn pious remembrance of the sorrowful Blessed Virgin Mary on the Friday before Palm Sunday held in the fifth week of Lent (formerly called "Passion Week"). In Divine Worship: The Missal it is called Saint Mary in Passiontide and sometimes it is traditionally known as Our Lady in Passiontide.

In certain Catholic countries, especially in Mexico, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Malta, Nicaragua and the Philippines, it is seen as the beginning of the Holy Week celebrations and termed as Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows). It takes place exactly one week before Good Friday, and concentrates on the emotional pain that the Passion of Jesus Christ caused to his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is venerated under the title Our Lady of Sorrows. In certain Spanish-speaking countries, the day is also referred to as Council Friday, because of the choice of John 11:47-54 as the Gospel passage read in the Tridentine Mass on that day (which is now read in slightly expanded form on Saturday of the fifth week of Lent), which recounts the concilliar meeting of the Sanhedrin priests to discuss what to do with Jesus. Like all Fridays in Lent, this Friday is a day of abstinence from meat, unless the national episcopal conference has indicated alternative forms of penance. A similar commemoration in sympathy with the Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Solitude is held on Black Saturday.


Prayers for the Dead[5]

 Relationships never end and neither should our prayers for the dead. In addition to prayers we should also offer up Masses for them and offer indulgences for their benefit. The dead cannot pray for themselves but they can pray for us and we in turn should pray for them.



In this exhortation, Pope Francis is very clear – he is doing his duty as the Vicar of Christ, by strongly urging each and every Christian to freely, and without any qualifications, acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be – that is 'to be holy, as He is holy' (1 Pet 1:15). The mission entrusted to each of us in the waters of baptism was simple – by God's grace and power, we are called to become saints. 'Do not be afraid of holiness (no. 32).'  In a way, each one of us has a fear of striving for holiness – a fear that we would be mocked, ignored, or even hated by others because we would stand out. Yet that is what the Lord has called each and every person to! Pope Francis calls us out: A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for 'this is the will of God, your sanctification (I Thess 4:3) (no. 19).'  Holiness comes through the daily struggles each of us face. In the ordinary course of each day, the Pope reminds us, 'We need to recognize and combat our aggressive and selfish inclinations, and not let them take root' (no. 114). Yet, he says, this 'battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives' (no. 158).    We need to have civility in all our interactions, especially in the media. 'Christians too,' the Holy Father writes, 'can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication.' This can be true even in Catholic media (no. 115). Even in our heated disagreements with one another, we always need to remember that it is God who judges, not man (James 4:12).'  In the light of Easter joy, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, I encourage every Christian to rekindle their baptismal call to be holy by reading this wonderful exhortation by Pope Francis, especially the beautiful section on the Beatitudes. Through an exploration of the Beatitudes, and by offering examples of how to live out our call to holiness in everyday life, the Holy Father has given us a wonderful tool for renewing our love for God and for each other." 

Aids in Battle[7] Empty consolations of the Devil

Some people, when they reflect on the goodness of God and the passion of Christ, are powerfully moved to sighs, tears, prayers, and other devout actions, so that you might suppose their hearts were seized with a very fervent devotion. But when they are tested, we find that they are like the passing rains of a hot summer, which may fall heavily on the earth, but do not penetrate it, and bring forth only mushrooms. In the same way, these tears and emotions in a corrupt heart do not penetrate it and are altogether fruitless. For these unhappy people would not give up a penny of their unjustly acquired wealth or renounce one of their perverse affections, nor would they endure the slightest suffering in the service of that Savior over whom they have wept. Their good impulses are like spiritual mushrooms. Not only are they a false devotion, but too often they are actually the deep wiles of Satan. While he amuses souls with such empty consolations, he induces them to remain satisfied with them instead of seeking true and solid devotion, which consists in a constant, resolute, prompt, and active will to carry out what we know to be pleasing to God. ST. FRANCIS DE SALES

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day[8]


Grilled cheese sandwiches are a delicious, toasted delight popular all across the world. They even have their own holiday, Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, when it’s practically your duty to indulge in them.

Melting cheese on top of bread is a culinary concept that has been around since the time of the Romans, but grilled cheese sandwiches as we know them didn’t become popular until the 1920s. Due to the ready availability of cheese and sliced bread, they became an American staple, but also spread around the world. Naturally, the best way to celebrate Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day is to make and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. All you need is bread, cheese and butter, although you can experiment by adding more ingredients of your choice. You butter the outside of each piece of bread and grill the sandwich while the cheese melts on top. Delicious!

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Manhood of Christ Day 3, Sixth Week.





[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
[5] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 40. Prayers for the Dead.
[7] Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
[8]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/grilled-cheese-sandwich-day/

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