Skip to main content

Saturday, June 8, 2019


Introduction to 2 Chronicles[1]


If 1 Chronicles is the uplifting story of Israel's Golden Age, when King David ruled with justice and mercy, then 2 Chronicles is the hard-right turn. Everything starts out just fine. David's son, Solomon, builds the Temple in Jerusalem and impresses everyone with his wealth and wisdom. But when Solomon dies, Israel's fortunes take a nosedive. For starters, the country breaks into two warring kingdoms. The new king of the unified kingdom, Rehoboam, isn't as politically savvy as his ancestor, David. Tired of Rehoboam's heavy-handed rule, the ten northern tribes break away and form their own kingdom. Both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel go through a series of kings that could best be described as a mixed bag—if by "mixed bag" we mean incompetent, murderous idolaters who'll kill their own grandchildren if that's what it takes to stay in power. It wasn't all bad news, though. "Jumpin'" King Jehoshaphat tries to get a peace treaty going with his friends in the north. King Hezekiah starts the tradition of celebrating Passover in Jerusalem. And King Josiah rediscovers the first five books of the Bible during his reign and realizes it would be a good idea to pay them some serious attention. But these few bright spots aren't enough to counteract the absolute corruption of the rest of the kings of Israel. Breaking divine law, killing off family members, worshipping goat-demons—there's all kinds of shocking stuff going down. Things get so bad that even though God has promised that David's descendants will always reign in Israel, he lets the Babylonian Empire invade and destroy Jerusalem, level the Temple, deport much of the population, and leave the rest to die in various horrible ways. Eventually, God lets the people return to Jerusalem to rebuild amid the rubble. But if you were feeling optimistic after 1 Chronicles, with the righteous King David having things well in hand, prepare to be discouraged.

Why Should I Care?

Why do bad things happen? The author of 2 Chronicles knows why, and there's no question about it. Bad things happen because people disobey God—it's as simple as that. Did your army just get demolished in battle? Better think twice about worshipping those goat gods. Got a case of leprosy? Just because you're the king doesn't mean you're allowed in the Temple doing jobs reserved for the priests. It couldn't be more clear: if you want health, wealth, victory, and military success, you need to do what Yahweh asks. He might be forgiving if you're truly sorry, but otherwise it's just basic math: disobedience = disaster. Don't you wish it were all that simple? We all know that plenty of bad things definitely happen to very good people. Maybe you have a friend who's kind and generous and dying from a horrible disease. Or a fun, supportive cousin who was killed by a drunk driver. Maybe one of your parents can't find a job despite being hardworking and smart. Maybe your sweet little sister gets chosen as the tribute from Region 12. Natural disasters sure don't make distinctions between good and bad people when they happen. It all seems so unfair, and it's understandable to want explanations. And there are plenty of explanations. You've heard them all—God's will, things happen for a reason, things happen for no reason, we don't have all the information, they must have deserved it, bad genes, bad luck, bad parents. We all want to figure it out so we can prevent this stuff from happening to us. But apart from not doing dumb, avoidable things that put us at risk for accidents or illness or failure, bad things can happen anyway. And as long as they do, people will wonder why. Chronicles is one answer to this huge question, but you'll have to find your own. And while you're looking, don't text and drive, m'kay?

JUNE 8 Saturday
MARY MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACES-SHAVUOT


2 Chronicles, Chapter 14, Verse 13
Then the Judahites conquered all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the LORD was upon them; they plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them.

Argh sounds like pirates to me. It does not sound very good to us, but we must remember that the only law was “might make’s right”. The truth is that most people were murdering; thieving pirates. What is new is that Israel had a law that was given them by the creator; however loosely they followed it. Israel begins to understand that if you seek the Lord; you will find the Lord; if you forsake the Lord; the Lord will forsake you.

Judah’s King Asa Wins Big[2]

·         When Abijah dies, his son Asa takes over the Kingdom of Judah.
·         Asa keeps Judah on the right path. He gets rid of all references to foreign gods and encourages the people to follow God's law.
·         He also builds up Judah's defenses and army in various cities. Even though there aren't any wars for 10 years, this is a smart move because eventually the Ethiopians attack Judah.
·         Zerah the Ethiopian comes at them with a million soldiers. You read that right. Judah has about 300,000.
·         Totally outnumbered, Asa leads the army into battle and does pretty much the only thing he can do right then—he prays. God helps the strong and the weak. And boy, is Judah weak right now.
·         The Almighty hears the king's panicked cries and responds with a sweeping victory. Not only do they drive back the million-man army, Judah manages to kill every last one. No exaggeration whatsoever there.
·         The warriors in Judah are able to get all kinds of booty from the Ethiopians, so it's a pretty big win for them.

Feast: Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces[3]

Traditionally, today is the feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces. All the graces which flow from the redemption of Jesus Christ are granted to the human family through the motherly intercession of Mary. Mary mediated Jesus Christ, the Author of all graces, to the world when she agreed to be the human mother of God made man (cf. Lk 1:38). And from the cross at Calvary (Jn 19:26) and as the final gift to humanity, Jesus gives Mary as a spiritual mother to us all: "Son, behold your mother" (cf. Jn 19:26). For this reason, Vatican II refers to Mary as a "mother to us in the order of grace " (Lumen Gentium, n. 62) and several twentieth century popes have officially taught the doctrine of Mary as Mediatrix of all graces, quoting the words of St Bernard: "It is the will of God that we obtain all favours through Mary." The Mediatrix performs this task in intimate union with the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, with whom she began the drama of our Lord's Redemption at the Annunciation (cf. Lk. 1:35).

Mary is our Advocate for people of God, in that she takes the petitions of her earthly children, especially in times of difficulties, and brings them through her maternal intercession before her Son and our Lord Jesus.

In the Old Testament, the Queen Mother brought the petitioned needs of the people of Israel to the throne of her son the king (cf. 1 Kings 2:19). Now Mary is the new Queen Mother and Advocate in the new Kingdom of her Son, who brings the petitioned needs of the people of God to the throne of her glorious Son, Christ the King, particularly in our present difficult times.

The universal mediation of the Mother of Jesus as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate for the people of God is already contained in the official and authoritative teachings of the Church's Magisterium. Now, at the summit of the Marian era, what remains is the final proclamation by the Church of this final Marian doctrine as Christian dogma revealed by God.

Things to Do:

·         Read this article by Fr. William G. Most.

Shavuot – The Holiday that Nurtures Our Souls[4]begins at sunset


Shavuot is one of the three major Jewish festivals and comes exactly fifty days after Passover. After being redeemed from Egyptian slavery, the Jews arrived on Mount Sinai and received the Torah from God. This wonderful event took place 3,319 years ago. The word Shavuot means “weeks.” It marks the completion of the seven weeks, 49 days, between Passover and Shavuot during which the Jewish people prepared themselves for the giving of the Torah. During this time period they prepared themselves spiritually and entered into an eternal covenant with God with the giving of the Torah. Shavuot also means “oaths.” With the giving of the Torah, the Jewish people and God exchanged oaths, forming an everlasting covenant, not to forsake one another. Every year on this day we celebrate and renew our acceptance of God’s gift and our eternal bond with Him. There are several interesting customs associated with this holiday. We stay up all night learning Torah, read the Ten Commandments and the book of Ruth, and eat milk products, especially cheesecake. The custom of learning is especially fitting for the holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah. The custom of dairy products seems surprising. Among the different explanations given for this custom, one points out that the Hebrew word for milk is chalav. When the numerical value of the letters in this word are added together – 8; 30; 2 – the total is forty. Forty hints to the number of days Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Torah. I would like to present another, perhaps more personal and spiritual reason for this custom. Unlike meat that nourishes the flesh, milk is full of calcium which nourishes the bones. The Hebrew for bones is “Atzmot תמוצע ” which is also the word that means “essence.” This custom hints to the fact that on this holiday we absorb the Torah which nourishes our essence. Additionally, milk is the most basic of foods that a nursing mother shares with her infant. The mother literally gives of her essence and nurtures the essence of the baby. This relationship parallels the personal bond and love that a mother shares with her child. On Shavuot we celebrate the personal relationship that we have with God, when He gives over His essence, the Torah, and we absorb it into the essence of our soul.

Shavuot Facts[5]

·         On Shavuot, it is customary to adorn the Synagogue and home with flowers and green plants.  This is in memory of the foliage around Mount Sinai
·         On Shavuot, it is customary to eat milk products.  Many Jewish houses, replace the normal meat/chicken dinners with a festivity of milk products, including cheesecake, blintzes, cheeses and ice cream.  This custom commemorates the acts of the children of Israel at Sinai.  Having received the Law, they understood that their dishes were no longer Kosher, having been used for milk and meat together.  They also were in need of teaching on the intricate details of ritual slaughter (Shechitah).  Lacking these, they opted to eat only milk products.
·         It is customary in Orthodox and some traditional communities to partake in Bible/Jewish Law lessons throughout the eve and night of Shavuot.  This is in order to accept the Torah for their generation.  In Jerusalem, many people learn the whole night through until dawn and then walk to the Western Wall at sunrise and pray the morning and festival prayer from around 5-8 am.  Thereafter, they go home for a hearty festive breakfast and then sleep the rest of the morning.
·         The Book of Ruth is read in the Synagogue in the Morning of Shavuot.  Ruth converted to Judaism and it is her descendant, David, who became King in Israel.  The book of Ruth demonstrates that achieving a high level in Judaism, is neither ethnic nor genetic.
·         It is customary to wear new clothes on Shavuot.  In the seven weeks (the Omer) preceding Shavuot, people refrain from purchasing major clothing items.

Shavuot Top Events and Things to Do

·         Visit Mount Sinai (Egypt) or Israel.
·         Read the Book of Exodus, Joshua or Ruth in the Bible.
·         Watch the epic film Moses with Burt Lancaster, available for viewing on Youtube
·         Eat Milk products


HOLY SPIRIT NOVENA-NINTH DAY
(Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost)

Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen


The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

Prayer

Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.
Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 27



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thursday, May 27, 2021

  Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of  Mary Help of Christians  (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests. The Church teaches us that it is divided into the  Church Triumphant  (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the  Church Suffering  (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the  Church Militant  (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." ( Ephesians 6:12 ) The me

Friday, August 26, 2022

 Switch of Manliness Legacy OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA   Acts, Chapter 10, verse 1-4 1 Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, 2 devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come into him and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He looked intently at him and seized with FEAR , said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.   Cornelius’ Cohort was an auxiliary unit of archers, men who are expert at hitting a mark or target.   Sin is the act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God, or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as "to miss the mark" to have a harden

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

  Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter PINOT GRIGIO DAY John, Chapter 14, verse 27 Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or AFRAID .   Shalom, which means peace, is a Hebrew salutation. Yet Christ tells us that HIS shalom is different. It is a gift of salvation a messianic blessing. Through the spirit we are born again, sons and daughters of the eternal. The world and its attractions to sin lose its sparkle to us. Yes, we may fall from time to time, but the spirit and peace of Christ is always with us, and we rise up again. 10 things happy professionals do before 10 a.m. [1]   Success often seems like a visionary goal — a feat in life that’s attempted only after many strides, plenty of pitfalls and a healthy serving of endurance. However, for those who consider themselves fulfilled by their career, it’s not only a sense of accomplishment and an impressive LinkedIn profile that defines

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

  Introduction to Philippians [1] Philippi, in northeastern Greece, was a city of some importance in the Roman province of Macedonia. Lying on the great road from the Adriatic coast to Byzantium, the Via Egnatia, and in the midst of rich agricultural plains near the gold deposits of Mt. Pangaeus, it was in Paul’s day a Roman town, with a Greek-Macedonian population and a small group of Jews. Originally founded in the sixth century B.C. as Krenides by the Thracians, the town was taken over after 360 B.C. by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, and was renamed for himself, “Philip’s City.” The area became Roman in the second century B.C. On the plains near Philippi in October 42 B.C., Antony and Octavian decisively defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius, the slayers of Julius Caesar. Octavian (Augustus) later made Philippi a Roman colony and settled many veterans of the Roman armies there. Paul established at Philippi the first Christian community in Europe. He c

Sunday, September 4, 2022

  Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost   Acts, Chapter 27, verse 29 FEARING that we would run aground on a rocky coast, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.   Paul was under arrest and was an inmate on a prison ship bound for Rome, when the ship he was on, was in danger of being sunk. Yet, God had not abandoned Paul. His faith saved him and also the crew. Paul in this case really did lead from behind.   The Law of Influence : An Inmate Takes Command (Acts 27:4-44) [1]   1.      Paul built trust which influences his jailer, Julius, to allow special privileges, noting his trustworthiness. 2.      He took the initiative by stepping in when action was needed. 3.      He possessed good judgment through his use of wisdom and experience. 4.      He spoke with authority and credibility based on earlier actions. 5.      He showed optimism and confidence by speaking boldly. 6.      He gave encouragement to the hopeless that feared their

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

LOVE LITIGATING LAWYERS DAY   Acts, Chapter 23, verse 10 The dispute was so serious that the commander, AFRAID that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, ordered his troops to go down and rescue him from their midst and take him into the compound.   During Paul’s time the Jewish people were divided into two camps. Paul in his fearlessness had spoken the truth and it struck a nerve with both sects wanting his death. How often is truth and reason ignored? Men find it easier to fall into camps and rationalize or justify their actions. Christ tells us to use reason much as He did with Thomas and believe. God has given us intelligent foresight as well as the Holy Spirit. The Virtue of Foresight: A Mark of Wisdom [1] The ancient philosophers identified man ’ s capacity for thought by the use of different words for perceiving reality: sensus (the five senses), imaginatio (the ability of the mind to recall pictures from the past or paint pictures of the future), ratio (the abil

Thursday, September 15, 2022

  OUR LADY OF SORROWS   2 Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verse 3-4 3 Nonetheless, I sent the brothers so that our boast about you might not prove empty in this case, so that you might be ready, as I said, 4 for FEAR that if any Macedonians come with me and find you not ready, we might be put to shame (to say nothing of you) in this conviction.   Christ died for all. This was Paul’s message, yet he was not blind to cultural distrusts, nor should we be, we should be aware of them and work to bring the peace of Christ to all.   At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Mt. 14:27)   Let’s Play Who Hates Who! [1] Indian nationalists hate Muslims, Christians, Whites, Asians and Blacks. Really everyone who is not a Hindu. Chinese nationalists hate Whites, Blacks, Jews, Southeast Asians and the non-Han people of China. Remember Huax? Korean nationalists hate Japanese, Chinese, Whites, Jews, and Blacks. Remember Hacienda? Vietnamese nationalists hate

Saturday, September 17, 2022

  Oktoberfest September 17-Oct . 3. Raise a stein to  Oktoberfest . This annual, 16-day celebration of all thing’s beer kicks off in late September in Munich. Can’t make it to Germany? Bring your taste for brewski to these  US Oktoberfest events . Oktoberfest [1]   Remember no carousing or drunkenness!!! Oktoberfest is a 16-day folk festival celebrated in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.  It is also the world’s largest Volksfest , which are German events that combine beer festivals with traveling funfairs.  Oktoberfest first emerged on October 12, 1910 when King Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Citizens of Munich celebrated the marriage in fields leading to the city gates.  These fields were named ‘Theresienwiese’ in honor of the Princess.  The wedding celebrations ended on October 17th with horse races and until 1960, horse races were held annually. Eventually, carnivals, amusement rides, food booths, beer tents and parades were all added to the celebrations

Friday, September 16, 2022

    2 Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 3 But I am AFRAID that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere [and pure] commitment to Christ.   Paul was concerned here about the faithfulness of the church knowing that where the mind goes so does the heart and soul. We are often plagued by worldly hearts.   Let us listen to the words of Saint John Vianney: The World is Everything and God is Nothing! [1] If people would do for god what they do for the world, my dear people, what a great number of Christians would go to Heaven! But if you, dear children, had to pass three or four hours praying in a church, as you pass them at a dance or in a cabaret, how heavily the time would press upon you! If you had to go to a great many different places in order to hear a sermon, as you go for your pastimes or to satisfy your avarice and greed, what pretexts there would be, and how many detours would be taken to avoid going at all. But nothing is

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

  FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS  2 Corinthians, Chapter 7, Verse 15 And his heart goes out to you all the more, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, when you received him with FEAR and trembling.   We know that if our fear gives way to a deep sense of peace and joy when we seek to be reconciled to God; then it is the holy fear of God and we are on the right path.   Let those turn to me who fear you and acknowledge your decrees. (Ps. 119:79)   The Masculine Spirit [1]   In America we are gradually seeing the wholesale destruction of the masculine spirit. We are so confused many of us don’t know which bathroom to use. Is this just another attempt by Satan to kill the body as God created it? Men and women need to value themselves and value the beneficial characteristics of masculinity and to reject the false images of being male. Men and women were created to be different. They were created to be in partnership, neither one dominating the other, each using their God-g