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Friday, June 7, 2019


First Friday


FISH & CHIPS and NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY

1 Chronicles, Chapter 28, Verse 20
David said to his son Solomon: “Be strong and steadfast, and go to work; do not fear or be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or abandon you before you have completed all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.

We all long to hear this from our fathers but the ultimate truth is He tells us this every day in the quiet of our hearts. We merely reflect His grace when we pray.

·         When we give Him all our suffering, He makes us strong and steadfast;
·         when we give Him our mind, He breaks our fears and gives us a purposeful mind;
·         when we give Him our heart, He does not abandon us
·         and when we give Him our soul, He gives us the vision to see the work He has laid before us.

To Make Us Strong and Steadfast-God gave us His very self:[1]

Hold your heads up high Roman Catholics, today you will receive the Holy Eucharist. Your venial sins will be melted away and you will be brought into the closest communion with God that you can experience while on Earth, and why?

Because God wants you to. I thank God that I am not Protestant, not because they are not holy, but because I am not holy enough. I do not have the attention, the desire, the spiritual openness, the fervor, the humility, and the patience to achieve the state of grace. No, I am Catholic: I am given the state of grace, and the Giver of Grace Himself.

“If Christ did not want to dismiss the Jews without food in the desert for fear that they would collapse on the way, it was to teach us that it is dangerous to try to get to heaven without the Bread of Heaven.” – St. Jerome

How brilliant of our God to be made bread and wine. He knew that we humans are distracted, fickle creatures. But when the His Body is on our tongues and in our blood, it doesn’t matter if we are feeling dry and empty, miserable and grumpy, doubtful or tired; we have received Him. That’s why I urge anyone suffering with spiritual dryness, doubt, or a lack of emotion to fly to the sacraments. They are here no matter what you’re feeling. Often Catholicism is faulted for being complicated, overly liturgical and difficult. No: this is as easy as it gets.

The eucharist is the most radical truth we can tell. It’s something that should be whispered in awe and reverence, and proclaimed in joy as well: I eat God. I do. For us American Catholics, that should have special significance. We live in a country where, for hundreds and hundreds of years, human beings were sacrificed to false gods. In Aztec culture, a man would be tied onto an altar, his heart cut out and held up to the sky by a priest, his blood poured, and his body cut into pieces and thrown down from the altar. This was done to appease the gods, to make it rain, to bring good crops — none of which happened. Essentially, god ate man. Now I am aware that it is not common practice to take theologically seriously the sacrifice of the Aztecs, but what were they doing wrong?

Besides that, their acts were evil, the problem was this: the gap between God and man is infinite, and so no number of human sacrifices would bring them into communion with Him. Imagine how their minds were rocked when the Conquistadors came with their Catholic priests. Now man eats God. Now the Aztecs are told that it is the God who was killed, and whose body is upon the altar. It is the very heart of the Most High that is lifted up by the priest. It is His blood that is let out, His body that is broken and taken from the altar to the people yearning for the rain of grace and the crop of salvation. And God the Father is appeased by the sacrifice of His Son, and we are forgiven and brought under his mighty wings once more, because the infinite gap is filled by the infinite God. This mighty turn, this divine reversal of the fortune of the human race is something we are called to participate in.

It is there in His Eucharist that He says to me: “I thirst, thirst for your love, your sacrifices, your sufferings. I thirst for your happiness, for it was to save you that I came into the world, that I suffered and died on the Cross, and in order to console and strengthen you I left you the Eucharist. So, you have there all My life, all My tenderness.” – Mother Mary of Jesus, foundress of the Sisters of Marie 
Reparatrice

Ghandi is famous for saying that if he believed what Catholics believe about the Eucharist, he would crawl on His hands and knees to receive it. His point is powerful, and we should learn from it. Knowing what we know should inspire a reverence in us great enough to shock and scandalize the world. At the same time, I wish I had been there to say to Ghandi, “If we Catholics ourselves fully grasped what we believe about the Eucharist, we would not dare approach it. If we Catholics truly understood the Eucharist, if it was revealed to us in all its glory, there would be a long line of unconscious people leading up to the altar.” God in His mercy comes to us in bread and wine that we might be able to receive Him without dying.

“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.”
– St. Maximilian Kolbe


First Friday[2]

The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus . . . which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins." To those who show him love and who make reparation for sins, however, our Lord made a great pledge: "I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor, or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life."

 To gain this grace, we must:

·         Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays.
·         Have the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching final perseverance.
·         Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offenses against the Blessed Sacrament.

Considerations

The fullness of God is revealed and given to us in Christ, in the love of Christ, in Christ's heart. For it is the heart of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Were one to lose sight of this great plan of God-the overflow of love in the world through the Incarnation, the Redemption and Pentecost-he could not understand the refinement with which our Lord deals with us. So, when we talk about the heart of Jesus, we stress the certainty of God's love and the truth of his commitment to us. When we recommend devotion to the Sacred Heart, we are recommending that we should give our whole selves to Jesus, to the whole Jesus-our souls, our feelings and thoughts, our words and actions, our joys. That is what true devotion to the heart of Jesus means. It is knowing God and ourselves. It is looking at Jesus and turning to him, letting him encourage and teach and guide us. The only difficulty that could beset this devotion would be our own failure to understand the reality of an incarnate God. But note that God does not say: "In exchange for your own heart, I will give you a will of pure spirit." No, he gives us a heart, a human heart, like Christ's. I don't have one heart for loving God and another for loving people. I love Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit and our Lady with the same heart with which I love my parents and my friends. I shall never tire of repeating this. We must be very human, for otherwise we cannot be divine. . .. If we don't learn from Jesus, we will never love. If, like some people, we were to think that to keep a clean heart, a heart worthy of God, means "not mixing it up, not contaminating it" with human affection, we would become insensitive to other people's pain and sorrow. We would be capable of only an "official charity," something dry and soulless. But ours would not be the true charity of Jesus Christ, which involves affection and human warmth. In saying this, I am not supporting the mistaken theories-pitiful excuses-that misdirect hearts away from God and lead them into occasions of sin and perdition. . .. But I have still a further consideration to put before you. We have to fight vigorously to do good, precisely because it is difficult for us to resolve seriously to be just, and there is a long way to go before human relations are inspired by love and not hatred or indifference. We should also be aware that, even if we achieve a reasonable distribution of wealth and a harmonious organization of society, there will still be the suffering of illness, of misunderstanding, of loneliness, of the death of loved ones, of the experience of our own limitations. Faced with the weight of all this, a Christian can find only one genuine answer, a definitive answer: Christ on the cross, a God who suffers and dies, a God who gives us his heart opened by a lance for the love of us all. Our Lord abominates injustice and condemns those who commit it. But he respects the freedom of each individual. He permits injustice to happen because, as a result of original sin, it is part and parcel of the human condition. Yet his heart is full of love for men. Our suffering, our sadness, our anguish, our hunger and thirst for justice . . . he took all these tortures on himself by means of the cross. . .. Suffering is part of God's plans. This is the truth; however difficult it may be for us to understand it. It was difficult for Jesus Christ the man to undergo his passion: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." In this tension of pleading and acceptance of the Father's will, Jesus goes calmly to his death, pardoning those who crucify him. This supernatural acceptance of suffering was, precisely, the greatest of all conquests. By dying on the cross, Jesus overcame death. God brings life from death. The attitude of a child of God is not one of resignation to a possibly tragic fate; it is the sense of achievement of someone who has a foretaste of victory. In the name of this victorious love of Christ, we Christians should go out into the world to be sowers of peace and joy through everything we say and do. We have to fight-a fight of peace-against evil, against injustice, against sin. Thus, do we serve notice that the present condition of mankind is not definitive. Only the love of God, shown in the heart of Christ, will attain our glorious spiritual triumph. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1675, within the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi, our Lord appeared to her and said: "Behold this heart which, not withstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service." The great promise of the Sacred Heart is most consoling: the grace of final perseverance and the joy of having Jesus' heart as our sure refuge and Infinite Ocean of mercy in our last hour. Almighty and everlasting God look upon the heart of your well-beloved Son and upon the praise and satisfaction which he offers to you in the name of all sinners; and grant them pardon when they seek your mercy. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever.

1. Love is revealed to us in the Incarnation, the redemptive journey which Jesus Christ made on our earth, culminating in the supreme sacrifice of the cross. And on the cross, it showed itself through a new sign: "One of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water." This water and blood of Jesus speak to us of a self-sacrifice brought to the last extreme: "It is finished"-everything is achieved, for the sake of love. . .

2. Let us realize all the richness hidden in the words "the Sacred Heart of Jesus." When we speak of a person's heart, we refer not just to his sentiments, but to the whole person in his loving dealings with others. In order to help us understand divine things, Scripture uses the expression "heart" in its full human meaning, as the summary and source, expression and ultimate basis, of one's thoughts, words and actions. One is worth what one's heart is worth.. . .

3. Jesus on the cross, with his heart overflowing with love for us, is such an eloquent commentary on the value of people and things that words only get in the way. Men, their happiness and their lives, are so important that the very Son of God gave himself to redeem and cleanse and raise them up. "Who will not love this heart so wounded?" a contemplative asks in this connection. "Who will not return love for love? Who will not embrace a heart so pure? We, who are made of flesh, will repay love with love. We will embrace our wounded One, whose hands and feet ungodly men have nailed; we will cling to his side and to his heart. Let us pray that we be worthy of linking our heart with his love and of wounding it with a lance, for it is still hard and impenitent. . .."

Fish and Chip Day[3]

Rich, delicious, and flavorful, and utterly utterly satisfying, thats the best way to describe this treat. Theres something about the tang of salt and the oil-stained newspaper that just speaks of a meal so steeped in tradition it only seems appropriate that it comes wrapped in the days news. Fish and Chip day commemorates this fundamental meal of the working class, and while its roots may lay on Britannias foggy shores, there are few places in the world that this comfort food hasnt found its way to.

To talk of the history of this holiday is, as in the case of so many others, to speak of the origins of that which it celebrates. Fish and Chip seem an odd thing to have become the foundation for an entire cultures working class, but much comes into focus when you understand the economy and industry of the time it took hold. In the late 1800s, trawl fishing became a major part of the industry in the North Sea, resulting in a growing availability of fresh fish in areas further inland, especially within the cities. Anyone who understands economics knows that easily available means cheaper to get your hands on. Cheap, filling, and high caloric food created an excellent foundation for a working class that held incredibly physically demanding jobs. Thus, it was that Chippers started cropping up all over major population centers, the vendors that served fish and chips to the people on the street. From there, the meal spread all over the world and is now popular all over Canada (being sold from Chip Wagons) and throughout the USA. In the Americas it can be found in everything from corner burger shops as part of their fry menu, to some of the most upscale restaurants which provide them with only the best cod and sides. It really is a meal that crosses all the boundaries of culture, class, and status.

How to Celebrate Fish and Chip Day

Well, it starts off simple enough, doesnt it? Pop on over to your favorite Chipper and get yourself a paper-full of this delicious and filling meal. Try it, however, you like it, with a little tartar sauce in the US, a bit of mayonnaise in Canada, or whatever strikes you as your favorite thing to flavor your dish with. Malt vinegar is a very popular addition, and with the delicious tang, it will make your Fish and Chip Day flavorful and authentic!

National Doughnut Day[4]


National Doughnut Day is a day of appreciation of Salvation Army volunteers who distributed doughnuts to servicemen during World War I.  Doughnuts are fried circular pieces of dough that are usually topped with sugar syrups, chocolate, nuts and other flavorings. National Doughnut Day began in 1938 as a fundraiser for Chicago's Salvation Army.  The fundraiser aimed to support the needy and honor the Salvation Army volunteers who donated their time during World War I to hand out doughnuts to the soldiers.  When the US entered the war in 1917, Salvation Army huts were formed where many female volunteers were deployed to mother the soldiers.  During this time, women began to make doughnuts for the servicemen who began to refer to the women as, Doughnut Dollies. This national holiday is celebrated each year on the first Friday in June.

National Doughnut Day Facts & Quotes

·         According to Statista's market research survey of approximately 29,000 Americans, 61% of American households eat doughnuts.
·         In the United States, there are more than 8,000 Dunkin Donuts restaurants, 1,000 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts restaurants, and more than 800 Tim Hortons locations.
·         In 2014, Krispy Kreme UK created the world's most expensive doughnut.  The doughnut was filled with Dom Pérignon jelly and iced in a passion fruit glaze.  The doughnut was placed on a handmade lotus flower carved from Belgian white chocolate and dusted with edible 23-karat gold.  A 24-karat gold leaf and edible diamonds brought the cost of the doughnut to £1,000
·         Philip Joseph Santoro of the USA holds the Guinness World Record for eating the fastest a jam doughnut with no hands and without licking the lips.  He set the record with a time of 11.41 seconds on April 14, 2014.
·         I have to stick to it because I found out last time that one doughnut doesn't do a thing. You've got to eat 20 a day for five weeks before you get results. - Renee Zellweger on her doughnut diet to gain weight for her film Bridget Jones's Diary.

National Doughnut Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Visit your local doughnut store for specials and promotions to celebrate National Doughnut Day.  Many doughnut stores offer free doughnuts or specials.
·         Try to make your own doughnuts with your favorite toppings, or try new blends of sweet and savory toppings.  Some interesting twists include maple bacon doughnut, smoked salmon doughnut and grilled cheese doughnuts!
·         Become a volunteer with The Salvation Army.  According to The Salvation Army, more than 30 million Americans received assistance from the Salvation Army's officers, employees and 3.4 million volunteers in 2014.
·         Pick up a large box of doughnuts on your way to work or school to share with friends, family, colleagues or fellow students
·         Watch episodes of the Donut Showdown (2013) to learn about out-of-the-box donut recipes.  The show is judged by chefs David Rocco, Maggie McKeown and Zane Caplansky.  Each episode consists of contestants competing against each other to create unique donuts.


HOLY SPIRIT NOVENA-EIGHTH DAY

(Friday, 7th Week of Easter)

Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom


Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written "all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Savior: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Prayer

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

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

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 26
·         Day 9 Novena to the Holy Face



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