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Friday, May 31, 2019


VISITATION OF MARY/NOVENA to the HOLY SPIRIT


Zephaniah, Chapter 3, Verse 15-16
15 The LORD has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. 16 On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, Zion, do not be discouraged!

Zephaniah like many prophets offered the Israelites a plan for repentance and invites the people to walk in it. He navigates the path back to God, outlining it this way.[1]

1.      Wait for God to remove the cancerous population. (vv. 8-11)
2.      Trust God to restore a remnant of humble, obedient men and women. (vv. 12-13)
3.      Look to God and rejoice that he has taken away your guilt. (vv. 14-15)
4.      Hope in God to renew your peace and strength (vv. 16-17)
5.      Allow God to recover the appointed feasts and the lost people (vv. 18-20)

Through Christ the lord has accomplished this for the world! The lord demonstrates his love for us by loving us into existence and by giving us freewill to love him in return. But when we reject that love he not wanting our destruction came through the virgin to woo us back to him. He came as a poor child born in a stable and upon becoming a man attracted his apostles by his power and love. We all play a role in the plan of God and are forevermore like the apostlesfishers of men.Notice how our lord took simple fishermen and using their raw natural talent he, even in their sinfulness, was able to mold them into legends. To do this for them they had to have faith. Faith is the opposite of fear. We must have the faith of a shepherd who trusts even during the longest night that there will be a dawn and remain unsullied to our purpose and protect those entrusted to us as a shepherd does his sheep. There is no better example for us of purity of purpose then Christ’s own mother Mary.

Feast of the Visitation of Mary[2]


THIS day is called the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, because on it Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, whom, as the angel had told her, God had blessed with a son in her old age. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “Hail, holy parent, who didst bring forth the King Who rules heaven and earth forever. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak of my works for the King.”
Prayer. Vouchsafe, O Lord, we beseech Thee, unto us Thy servants the gift of Thy heavenly grace, that, as in the childbirth of the Blessed Yirgin our salvation began, so from the votive solemnity of her visitation we may obtain an increase of peace. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, etc. Amen.

EPISTLE. Cant. ii. 8-14.

Behold lie cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart; behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land: the fig-tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come: my dove in the clifts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, show me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.

GOSPEL. Luke i. 39-47.

At that time: Mary rising up went into the hill-country with haste, into a city of Juda: and she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she cried out with a loud voice and said : Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?
For behold, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord; and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.

1. As soon as Mary heard that Elizabeth was with child, she hastened to her. The alacrity of the Blessed Virgin teaches us that we should take part with gladness in the happiness of our fellowmen, and quickly make ourselves ready to discharge our duties, sacrificing for that object, if necessary, even our own much-loved retirement, our devotions and other exercises of piety.

2. Mary visited her cousin out of real love, not out of unmeaning ceremony. Would that her example were followed in our visits!

3. By the visit of the Blessed Virgin John was sanctified in his mother s womb, and Elizabeth, enlightened by the Holy Ghost, knew, by the miraculous movements of her child, that Mary was the Mother of the Lord. Such effects did this visit produce. What would Jesus effect in us if we received Him with due preparation!

EXPLANATION OF THE CANTICLE “MAGNIFICAT”

In this hymn Mary with joy praises God, the Lord, that He has regarded her humility, and made her to be the Mother of His only begotten Son, wherefore she should be called blessed by all generations; and she declares the truths and mysteries which the incarnation brought to light. The mercy of God, namely, reaches from generation to generation to them that fear Him. He scatters the thoughts of the proud, and puts down from their seats the mighty; but He exalts the humble. He fills those who hunger for justice with good things, but those who think themselves rich He sends away empty. He receives all true Israelites, and performs in them the promises which He gave to the fathers. This hymn is repeated by the Church every day at Vespers, in praise of the work of redemption, begun by the incarnation of the Son of God in Mary. Would that every Christian, since he becomes one only by Christ being, as it were, born in him, might share those feelings which the Blessed Virgin and Mother has expressed in this hymn of praise, and, with the Church, daily praise God for the mystery of the incarnation!

Aspiration. O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who didst descend from the highest heavens to the womb of the Virgin Mary, didst therein rest for nine months, and with her didst condescend to visit and sanctify St. John, grant that we, by the practice of good works, particularly of humility, may become partakers of the fruits of Thy incarnation.

Things to Do[3]
  • Read Luke 1:39-47, the story of the Visitation. Read and meditate on the words of the Magnificat and the Hail Mary, two prayers from this feast. For those with children, depending on the ages, assign memorization for these prayers. Also discuss the meaning of the text as a family.
  • This feast reminds us to be charitable to our neighbors. Try to assist some mother (expectant or otherwise), visit the elderly or sick, make a dinner for someone, etc.
Novena to the Holy Spirit[4]


The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

On the day of Ascension our Lord went to the Father. The disciples were heartbroken but He promised them that He would send the Holy Spirit (Novena to the Holy Spirit) saying it is better for us that He leave us so we may receive power from on high. The first gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift of Holy fear; to respond to God’s love as a son or daughter rather than a servant.

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

To be recited daily during the Novena

Prayer for The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

(To be recited daily during the Novena)

HOLY SPIRIT NOVENA-FIRST DAY[5]
 (Friday, 6th Week of Easter)

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!

The Holy Spirit

Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared--sin? Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."

Prayer

Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.
Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES. 

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

World No Tobacco Day[6]


World No Tobacco Day serves to generate awareness about the health risks of tobacco use and to advocate for more effective policies that can help reduce worldwide tobacco use. Tobacco, a brown product prepared by curing the leaves of a tobacco plant, is believed to have originated thousands of years ago somewhere in the Americas. It was later discovered by Christopher Columbus and subsequently introduced to the rest of the world. Tobacco contains the alkaline nicotine, a stimulant which makes tobacco very addictive. Tobacco use is known to cause a myriad of cancers and according to the World Health Organization, is the largest preventable cause of death and disease today. In 1987, the World Health Organization established World No Tobacco Day in an effort to draw attention to the risks of tobacco use and move towards safer and better public health for all.  Since then, World No Tobacco Day has evolved into an important annual event that generates awareness for other tobacco related issues such as illegal trade, secondhand smoke and tobacco control.

World No Tobacco Day Facts & Quotes

·         In World No Tobacco Day 2018, the World Health Organization is emphasizing the damage tobacco can cause to the heart.
·         According to the World Health Organization, nearly 80% of the world's 1 billion smokers live in low and middle-income countries.
·         Arsenic, lead and tar are just three of the 7,000 chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke.
·         In 2015, 15.3% of American women smoked, compared to 20.5% of American men.
·         Smoking is a classy way to commit suicide - Kurt Vonnegut - American author

World No Tobacco Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Think about your health. Quit smoking or encourage others to do so. Many help books are available online to coach you through the withdrawal and help you find alternative solutions to the cravings.
·         Educate youth and teenagers in your neighborhood about the negative effects of smoking and encourage them to quit if they have already picked up the habit. The best way to eradicate smoking is by educating the new generation of the negative effects of tobacco use.
·         Volunteer for the Freedom from Smoking program or another like program that helps smokers quit.
·         Watch a movie or documentary about smoking and tobacco. Our favorites: The Tobacco Conspiracy, We Love Cigarettes and Passion for Cigarettes.
·         Lobby for stricter tobacco advertisement laws and smoking laws in your community. Tobacco companies continue to be pressured legally to disclose the negative effects of their product and your help in supporting this legal action can lead to even stricter laws.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 19
·         I will have no sweets or junk food (Exception Sundays, Holidays and Feast Days that you fast the day before).
·         Day 2 Novena to the Holy Face



[1] John Maxwell, The John Maxwell Leadership Bible.
[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-05-31
[5]https://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/pentecost/seven.htm

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