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Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Tuesday in the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
FEAST OF THE VISITATION OF MARY


Matthew, Chapter 8, Verse 26
He (Christ) said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.

In many respects I can identify with the apostles in this verse. I have been in the sea of tribulation for the last four years. I am terrified.

I feel much like Lot.  My livelihood has been taken from me and my wife’s love toward me has died; she has become a pillar of salt toward me just as Lots wife did when she looked back. My working years are behind me and I struggle for my daily bread.

Yet I know the Lord although sleeping, is in the boat with me. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and I hope for his word. (Psalm 130:5)

In God We Trust[1]

Life is filled with many difficulties and challenges that cause us to worry. Each day we are confronted with many events that may cause us to become apprehensive. What is worry?  The dictionary says that when we worry, we torment ourselves with disturbing thoughts.  According to the National Institutes of Health, one in three adults has occasional insomnia, and one in ten adults has chronic sleeplessness.  Experts are concerned about the ever-increasing consumption of sleeping pills by many Americans. The remedy for worry is for all of us to trust in God. St. Augustine once said that God is closer to us than we are to ourselves. We experience God through our life of prayer.  Prayer is conversation with God. Prayer is a continual being in love because God is real.  God is personal.   No matter what might be going on in our lives, we must always pray and pray daily.  Prayer is the air that we breathe. One of the greatest challenges that we encounter is our inability to see and to listen to God.  We can be caught up in the distractions of daily life that prevent us from really encountering God. Our busy lives require refreshing times of prayer throughout the day. God is moving us away from clinging to things, people and institutions.  He is calling us to detachment, to the desert, to the journey into the night of naked faith.  He is calling us to cling to him and only him.  This journey is difficult, frightening at times and even risky.  But, those who embark upon the journey will be transformed into living witnesses of the God of love. However, without a serious spiritual life, anxiety and fear will overwhelm us. If we are a people who live truly spiritual lives, we will be filled with peace and joy no matter what may be going on around us. And this is so, because we will always be able to trust God.

St. Teresa of Avila, the famous Spanish mystic, once wrote: "Let nothing trouble you.  Let nothing frighten you.  Everything passes.  God never changes.  Patience obtains all.  Whoever has God, wants for nothing.  God alone is enough."

St. Teresa provides us profound words of wisdom for our present times.  The staggering number of prescription drugs available for the many forms of uneasiness and tension illustrates that many of our contemporaries suffer deep inner turmoil. It is true that we are experiencing profound challenges: wars, continual threats of terrorism, problems within our Catholic Church, the rapidly accelerating unraveling of moral decency in our society, an uncertain economy and the terrible wounds caused by the dismantling of family life.  Nevertheless, challenges such as these should remind us that we must always trust in God who is always with us. Trust is rooted in faith which is a gift.  If your faith is weak, ask God to give you more faith.  To do this incorporate into your lives four practices that are so basic for anyone who wants to be a serious Catholic: contemplative prayer, daily Mass or a prolonged visit before the Blessed Sacrament, daily Rosary and the frequent use of the Sacrament of Confession.  These four things will allow you to trust God and they will provide you with the interior peace that all seek.

What are the practical steps that we can take in order to incorporate into our busy lives a serious spiritual life?

·         First of all, we need balance in our lives. When was the last time that we enjoyed dinner with family and friends, or turned off our cell phone and refrained from checking our email at every moment? Excessive work and travel, excessive involvement in sports and entertainment are tearing us apart. 
·         Secondly, a serious spiritual life requires the capacity to be alone.  It is difficult to be alone in our contemporary society.  Even when we are alone, the noise of our own worries and fears drown out the silence of God's voice.  Many people are incapable of being alone and they immediately feel an obsession to talk with someone on a cell phone or check their email. We all need moments of solitude.  Spending a quiet time before the Eucharist, reading the Scriptures during a peaceful moment at home, taking tranquil walks through the woods or along the beach all are necessary for our soul.  In order to be with God, we must develop the ability to be alone with ourselves. 
·         Thirdly, we need order in our lives. Working out daily schedules for the entire family by setting   realistic priorities and minimizing extra-curricular activities for the children are steps that we can take.  Early to bed and early to rise is a wise principle which is still valid today.

Feast ot tbe Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary[2][3]


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 Virgin our salvation began, so from the votive solemnity of her visitation we may obtain an increase of peace. Amen.

EPISTLE. Cant. ii. 8-14.

Behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart; be hold 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 Saviour.

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 “MAGNIFICATE” or “MY SOUL DOST MAGNIFY THE LORD.”

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 de scend 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.



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Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 48
·         Novena to the Holy Face Day 5
Pray for the Priests and Bishops Do Day 1 of the Novena for them.




[2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visitation_(Christianity) (note: In Christianity, the Visitation is the visit of St. Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus, to St. Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:3956. It is also the name of a Christian feast day commemorating this visit, celebrated on 31 May in Western Christianity (2 July in calendars of the 12631969 period, and in the modern regional calendar of some countries whose bishops' conferences wanted to retain the original date, notably Germany and Slovakia) and 30 March in Eastern Christianity.

[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

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