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Friday, June 14, 2019


Ember Friday
FLAG DAY


2 Corinthians, Chapter 4, Verse 12-14
12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. 13 Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith*, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we too believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence.

Your experience does not terminate in self, but in others. Ultimately, everything is ordered even beyond the community, toward God. Paul clearly proclaims his faith, affirming life within himself despite death and the life-giving effect of his experience upon the church. And place us with you in his presence: Paul imagines God presenting him and them to Jesus at the parousia and the judgment.
[1]

Friday after Pentecost-Ember Day[2]


EPISTLE. Joel ii. 23-27.

THUS, saith the Lord God: O children of Sion, rejoice, and be joyful, in the Lord your God: because He hath given you a teacher of justice, and He will make the early and the latter rain to come down for you as in the beginning. And the floors shall be filled with wheat, and the presses shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years which the locust, and the bruchus (beetle), and the mildew, and the palmerworm have eaten: My great host which I sent upon you. And you shall eat in plenty, and shall be filled: and you shall praise the name of the Lord your God, Who hath done wonders with you, and My people shall not be confounded forever. And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: and I am the Lord your God, and there is none besides: and My people shall not be confounded forever, saith the Lord Almighty.

GOSPEL. Luke v. 17-26.

At that time: It came to pass on a certain day, as Jesus sat teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, that were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was to heal them. And behold men brought in a bed a man who had the palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before Him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in, because of the multitude, they went up upon the roof, and let him down through the tiles with his bed, into the midst before Jesus. Whose faith when He saw, He said: Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and Pharisees began to think, saying: Who is this Who speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?

And when Jesus knew their thoughts, answering He said to them: What is it you think in your hearts? Which is easier to say, thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk?

But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (He saith to the sick of the palsy): I say to thee, Arise, take up thy bed and go into thy house. And immediately rising up before them, he took up the bed on which he lay; and he went away to his own house, glorifying God. And all were astonished; and they glorified God. And they were filled with fear, saying: We have seen wonderful things to-day.


Ember Friday-Meditation on the Crucifixion[3]


Anotber Form of Prayers for Tbe Stations
(For Private Use.)

PREPARATORY PRAYER.

RECEIVE, O holy Trinity, this my dutiful service, which I offer unto Thee in union with the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Virgin, and all the saints, to the glory of Thy divine majesty, in satisfaction for my sins, in remembrance of our redemption, and to obtain for the departed rest, for the living grace, and for all everlasting glory. To Thee be praise, and honor, and glory, O blessed Trinity, forever and ever. Amen.

FIRST STATION.


CHRIST IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH. He willingly submitted to that unjust judgment, that He might deliver thee from the sentence of everlasting damnation.

·         The wicked have said, reasoning with themselves, but not right: Let us lie in wait for the just, for He is contrary to our doing: He boasteth that He hath the knowledge of God, and calleth God His Father. Let us see if His words be true. If He be indeed the Son of God, He will deliver Him out of our hands. Let us condemn Him to a most shameful death.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

God spared not His own Son. But delivered Him up for us all. He was offered up, because He Himself desired it. And He opened not His mouth.

O Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Prayer.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who out of the bosom of the Father didst descend from heaven to earth, and didst shed Thy most precious blood for the remission of our sins, we humbly beseech Thee that in the day of judgment we may be found worthy to stand at Thy right hand, and to hear Thee say unto us, “Come, ye blessed” Amen.

SECOND STATION.




THE CROSS IS LAID UPON CHRIST. “The wicked have wrought upon my back” (Ps. cxxviii.). Hail, our King! Thou only hadst pity on our sins, and wast led, in obedience to Thy Father, to be crucified, and as a gentle lamb to the slaughter. To Thee be glory, hosanna; to Thee be triumph and victory; to Thee the crown of highest praise and honor.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

The chastisement of our peace was upon Him. And by His bruises we are healed. The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. For the wickedness of His people hath He struck Him.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

THIRD STATION.


CHRIST FALLS THE FIRST TIME UNDER THE CROSS. How great must be the weight of our sins, under which He fell, Who bears all things by the word of His power!

·         Our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself unto death, even the death of the cross; for which cause God also hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a name which is above all names.
Our Father. Hail Mary.

Surely, He hath borne our infirmities. And carried our sorrows. He was branded for our iniquities. He was bruised for our sins.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

FOURTH STATION.


CHRIST IS MET ON HIS WAY BY HIS BLESSED MOTHER AND ST. JOHN. Oh, how sharp a sword of grief must have pierced the heart of His Mother and of His loving disciple when they met Jesus thus! Dost thou, too, share with them their sorrow and grief?

·         Oh, all ye that pass by, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow: therefore, do I weep, and my eyes run down with water, because the Comforter, the relief of my soul, is far from me. My eyes have failed for weeping, my bowels are troubled, my heart is turned within me, for the desolation of my Son, because the enemy hath prevailed.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

Great as the sea is thy grief. Who shall heal thee? A sword of grief hath pierced thine own soul. That out of many hearts’ thoughts may be revealed.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

FIFTH STATION.


THE CROSS IS LAID UPON SIMON OF CYRENE. This man was compelled to carry the cross after Jesus. How great an honor to have carried it willingly! Art thou ready to bear the cross of Christ?

·         It behooveth us to glory in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom is our salvation, who is our life and resurrection, and through Whom we are saved and delivered.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. By Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. O faithful cross, thou peerless tree! No forest yields the like of thee, leaf, flower, or bud.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

SIXTH STATION.


CHRIST IS MET BY VERONICA. How excellent a mirror did Veronica obtain in the image of the face of Christ! Do thou ever contemplate thyself in that mirror?

·         Behold, we have seen Him without beauty or comeliness, despised and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with infirmity, and His look was as it were hidden and despised; whereupon we esteemed Him not. His appearance is without honor among the living, and His beauty among the sons of men; yet He is beautiful above all the children of men, by Whose bruises we are healed.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

O Lord God of hosts correct us. Show us Thy face, and we shall be saved. Turn not away Thy face from us. Neither leave Thy servants in displeasure.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

SEVENTH STATION.


CHRIST FALLS DOWN AT THE GATE OF JUDGMENT. How wilt thou be able to stand before Him in the day of judgment?

·         They delivered Me into the hands of the ungodly, and thrust Me among the wicked, and did not spare My soul. The strong men gathered themselves against Me. and stood over Me like giants, gazing upon Me with fierce looks; and, beating Me with cruel stripes, they mocked Me.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

But I am a worm, and no man. The scorn of men and the outcast of the people. All they that see Me laugh at Me. They spoke against Me with their lips, and wagged their heads.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

EIGHTH STATION.


WOMEN LAMENT OVER CHRIST. Where are the tears with which thou dost bewail thy sins rather than the loss of any earthly good?

·         Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For, behold, the days shall come in which they say, blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, fall upon us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?

Our Father. Hail Mary.

The breath of our nostrils, Christ the Lord. Is taken in our sins. The crown of our head hath fallen. Woe unto us, for we have sinned.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

NINTH STATION.


CHRIST FALLS FOR THE LAST TIME AT MOUNT CALVARY. Oh, how often is Christ pressed down by the weight of our sins!

·         My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I molested thee? Answer thou Me. I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and thou hast prepared for Me a cross; I led thee through the wilderness forty years, and fed thee with manna, and thou hast beaten Me with buffets and scourges; I gave thee a royal sceptre, and thou hast given My head a crown of thorns. What could I have done more for thee that I have not done?

Our Father. Hail Mary.

He is led like a sheep to the slaughter. And, as a lamb before His shearers, He is dumb. He delivered His soul unto death. That He might give life unto His people.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

TENTH STATION.


CHRIST IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS, AND IS GIVEN VINEGAR AND GALL TO DRINK. Art thou unkind and inconsiderate to the poor? What thou dost to them thou dost to Christ.

·         My people, what have I done to thee, or wherein have I molested thee? Answer thou Me. I brought thee out from the house of bondage to the promised land; and when I came to thee from the bosom of My Father, thou didst lead Me to the death of the cross. I planted thee My choicest vine, and thou wast made unto Me exceeding bitter; I gave thee to drink out of the rock the water of salvation, and thou madest Me to drink vinegar and gall. What could I have done more for thee that I have not done?

Our Father. Hail Mary.

My strength hath dried up like a potsherd. And my tongue hath cleaved to My jaws. They gave Me gall to eat. And when I was thirsty, they gave Me vinegar to drink.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

ELEVENTH STATION.


CHRIST IS FASTENED TO THE CROSS WITH DREADFUL NAILS. How strong are the bands of love with which Jesus hath bound Himself unto thee! How dost thou bind thyself in return unto Him?

·         My people, what have I done unto thee? I exalted thee with great power, and thou didst hang Me on the gibbet of the cross; I made thee higher than all nations, and thou hast loaded Me with reproaches and curses; I opened before thee the Red Sea, and thou hast opened My side with a spear. What could I have done more for thee that I have not done?

Our Father. Hail Mary.

What are these wounds in the middle of Thy hands? With them was I wounded in the house of those that loved Me. They have pierced My hands and My feet. And have numbered all My bones.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

TWELFTH STATION.


CHRIST DIES UPON THE CROSS. Consider what Jesus said and did when He was dying. Oh, that thou too mayst die like Him!

·         Behold how the just man dieth, and no man layeth it to heart; and the righteous are taken away, and no one considereth. The just man is taken away from before the face of evil, and the memory of him shall be in peace.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

Christ became obedient unto death for us. Even the death of the cross. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

THIRTEENTH STATION.


THE BODY OF CHRIST IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS, AND LAID UPON THE KNEES OF HIS MOTHER. Consider the vehement anguish of Mary’s soul when she received in her arms the dead body of her Son taken down from the cross, and laid Him on her knees. Love caused her so great grief, and made her truly a martyr. What love and sympathy dost thou feel for thy Saviour?

·         To what shall I compare thee, or to whom shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? To what shall I equal thee, O virgin daughter of Sion? Great as the sea is thy desolation. O mother of mercy make me to share with thee the death of Christ; make me a partaker of His passion.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

Through thee, O Virgin Mary, may we obtain salvation. From the wounds of Christ. O holy Jesus, grant me to obtain, through Thy Mother, The crown of victory.

FOURTEENTH STATION.


THE BODY OF JESUS IS BURIED. Consider, O my soul, how the body of Jesus was wrapped in spices, and laid in a new tomb. With what honor dost thou receive Jesus thy Redeemer daily, either sacramentally or spiritually? Art thou always endeavoring to be, as it were, a new tomb for the reception of Jesus, bright with the beautiful ornaments of virtue?

·         I am counted among them that go down to the pit; I am become as a man without help, free among the dead. O good Jesus, I come here with the women to Thy tomb, sorrowing and lamenting that hitherto I have shown myself so unworthy: confirm and establish the kingdom of Thy grace in my heart.

Our Father. Hail Mary.

My flesh shall rest in hope. Thou wilt not give Thy holy one to see corruption. Arise, O Lord, and help me. And deliver me from my sins.

O Lord hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Prayer. O Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

COMMENDATION.

Look down, O Lord, we beseech Thee, upon this Thy family, for which Our Lord Jesus Christ did not refuse to be delivered into the hands of wicked men, and to endure the torment of the cross. Amen.
PRAYER ON THE HOLY WINDING-SHEET OF CHRIST’S BODY.

O Lord Jesus Christ, “Who didst leave the marks of Thy passion on the holy winding-sheet in which Thy most sacred body was wrapped by Joseph when taken down from the cross, mercifully grant that through Thy death and burial we may be brought to the glory of the resurrection. Amen.

Flag Day[4]

National Flag Day is when Americans celebrate the meaning of their nation's flag, honor the traditions associated with its care, and educate those around them to its significance. The Flag of the United States is to be honored and carries with it both history and tradition.  On June 14, 1777 the Flag Resolution was signed, making the current stars and stripes the National Flag of the United States of America. On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson called for the nation-wide observance of Flag Day. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed congress' decree, making June 14th of each year National Flag Day.


Flag Day Facts & Quotes

·         Worn out flags may be given to the American Legion or Boy/Girl Scouts of America where they will burn the flags in a formal ceremony on June 14th.
·         The Flag should never touch the ground when being taken down.  It should be folded neatly and stored ceremoniously.
·         You should fly the American Flag only between sunrise and sunset.  If left hanging around the clock, it must be illuminated during the dark hours.
·         The First Flag Act was signed by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777...   Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.

Flag Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Fly the American Flag.
·         Recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
·         Visit a National Monument or National celebration.
·         Attend a Flag retirement ceremony.

Who’s Flag are you under?

We are created in the image and likeness of God and we have a choice: To do good or to do evil.  Daily we must decide if we are for ourselves and pursue the things of the world or are we going to follow Christ by picking up our cross daily and freely live under the flag of Christ.

Father John Parks [5] states that the flag we choose to live under determines everything.  He asks, Whose flag are you under? Do we consciously choose to serve, or do we just let it happen? We have a choice here and indecision is a decision itself. Whose flag will you follow Christs or Satans. True freedom comes not from doing what you want but doing the things you were created to do. Father John recommends we follow the flag of Christ (poverty, chastity, obedience) and not that of Satan (greed, lust, pride) by having a battle plan.

1.      Be in the state of grace at all times-Go to Mass if you fall get up go to confession.
2.      Pray-we know who we are by knowing whos we are. Remember Saint Joseph is known as the terror of demons.
3.      Do your daily duty; there is great heroism in finishing the daily tasks.
4.      Be Humble and obey.  When you break a commandment, you do not break it as much as it breaks you.
5.      Seek a community there is strength in numbers Iron sharpens iron.  Remember the Holy Spirit is what sets us free.

Death before Dishonor[6]


Having and retaining a grateful heart is the key to making right judgments and being a person of character. John McCain highlights in his book, “Character is Destiny” the life of the Native American war Chief Tecumseh as an example of a man that never lost his gratitude in life.
Tecumseh was a great Indian leader who lost a war but taught even his enemies how to live. Everyone knew that the great Tecumseh, fearless warrior and visionary, steadfast leader, did not tolerate torture or murder, or suffer intentional harm to be done to innocents. He was a man of honor. Even his enemies knew that, especially the man who had fought him the longest, William Henry Harrison. However, as a youth Tecumseh was unnerved in his first encounter with organized bloodletting and fled the battle. It was the only time in his life his courage failed him. In a later raid near the end of the war, the Shawnees attacked the crew of a flatboat on the Ohio River. All but one of the crew was killed in the encounter. The lone survivor was dragged ashore and burned at the stake. The atrocity left a deep mark on Tecumseh, who, though he was too young to intervene in the victim’s behalf, denounced the murder after it occurred, and swore he would never again remain silent in the face of such an injustice. He would live and die determined to defend Indian land from the insatiable appetites of American settlers. In the course of his crusade, he became the greatest Indian leader of his time. Many would argue, including Americans who fought him, that he was the greatest war chief of all time. Raised by his older brother Chiksika, he took special care of his younger brother Tecumseh. He taught him to hunt and fish, and to learn the fighting skills of a Shawnee brave. He raised him to revere the memory of their courageous father, and the virtues he had exemplified as a warrior who preferred death to dishonor. There was something in his character that repelled despair, finding in life, with all its many tragedies, a reason to be thankful for the very fact that he could remain true to himself. He was the kind of person for whom life was a gift that could not be diminished by suffering, and it gave him a unique strength, a confidence that was superior to most people. Tall and sinewy, with an erect bearing, a superior skill at arms, exuding a sense of command, and possessing a gift for oratory that earned him admirers even among his enemies, he was renowned as a capable provider and protector of his clan, whose leadership had an ever-broadening appeal to neighboring tribes. Tecumseh delivered an address to his people as he prepared them for the coming struggle that has become famous not only as a measure of his own character, but as a code of honor that merits respect and emulation. So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

On the day of his final battle never having despaired over the vicissitudes of life, he would not do so now. He arose in the morning and gave thanks for the joy of living. At the Battle of the Thames in Ontario on October 5, 1813, British General Procter and his soldiers fled the field after the first volley was fired. Tecumseh dispensed with his sword and British officer’s jacket, and charged, as always, into the thick of the battle. When a musket ball shattered his right leg, he told his braves to leave him. He kept fighting until a crowd of American soldiers surrounded him. He sang his death song and died like a hero going home.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 33




* A person with fear of the Lord is filled with peace, faith, hope and love.
[1] http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/bible/2Corinthians/4:7
[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[5] John Parks, Lecture at Catholic Men’s Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, 3/21/2015.
[6] McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York.

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·″Consumerism puts "focus on ma…

Friday, November 8, 2019

Psalm 14, Verse 5 They have good reason, then, to fear; God is with the company of the just.
Those who have no fear of God are masters of the soft enslavement; thus, keeping the poor in place and filling their own coffers and the coffers of their fellow enlightened ones. Who are these enlighten ones? Those who support, the culture of death, which kill excess populations via abortions, wars, drugs and the enslavement of the mind via an education system that keeps the poor in place. We are talking about those in control of the worlds systems who would give the poor only enough to survive yet not enough to empower them to greatness. Their greatest fear is a change in the water level of the swamp. The greatest tragedy in all of this is a sense of complacency in the enslaved; were we to be freed of our bondages from unclean water, processed foods, overbearing taxes, unjust laws, and oppressing loans; to include the student loan system; we would most likely cry as the Israelites did for the f…

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ash Wednesday

Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, Verse 21-22 21 Should you say to yourselves, “How can we recognize that a word is one the LORD has not spoken?”, 22 if a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD but the word does not come true, it is a word the LORD did not speak. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not fear him.
Even saints at times may have spoken presumptuously. Let us meditate on the words of Padre Pio, 
“Love and fear must go united together, fear without love becomes cowardice. Love without fear becomes presumption. When there is love without fear, love runs without prudence and without restraint, without taking care where it is going.”
This is the great beauty of the Holy Spirit for it tells us when even a very holy person speaks not every word they speak comes from God. We error sometimes in this way, making men into gods; but a heart that is filled with the spirit of God is filled with quiet joy and even if the person were to be imprisoned, they can find true freedom…