Skip to main content

Sunday, August 18, 2019


Tenth Sunday after Pentecost (20th S. Ord. Time)
WOODSTOCK 1969


Judith, Chapter 16, Verse 15-16
15 For the mountains to their bases are tossed with the waters; the rocks, like wax, melt before your glance. “But to those who fear you, you will show mercy. 16 Though the sweet fragrance of every sacrifice is a trifle, and the fat of all burnt offerings but little in your sight, one who fears the Lord is forever great.

With victory come the spoils of war and Judith as Heroin of the people get the spoils from Holofernes tent. She is rich indeed but because she is truly a servant of God; all of the booty she receives she keeps none sending it all to the temple in Jerusalem.

“Only those that see the invisible can do the impossible.” Tyrese

Victory[1]

·         Material gains from victory are turned back to God.
·         People’s joy and exultation are also returned to God in celebration.
·         The Lord is God; he crushes warfare.
·         The Lord shatters the enemy by a women’s hand.
·         Yahweh sends heroes to deliver the people when they cry out for help. The victory of Judith confirms that premise.
·         Judith’s victory is symbolic of God’s victory over evil, preservation of the sanctuary, and the deliverance of the people.
·         The beheading of Holofernes is the symbolic defeat of the devil. Judith is a precursor of Mary the Lord’s mother who will defeat the devil as he defeated Eve our first mother.
·         God’s message in Judith is when you face evil beyond your strength; persevere in hope.

Judith gave all her wealth to the temple of Jerusalem; Mary, Queen of heaven gave us her Son to complete the work of God making our bodies and soul the true temple of the Lord.

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost[2] Humility and its source in knowing that all goodness comes from the Spirit.



AT the Introit of the Mass, join with the Church in extolling the help of God, whereby we are defended against our enemies. “When I cried to the Lord, He heard my voice from them that draw near against me, and He humbled them, Who is before all ages, and remains forever. Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication; be attentive to me, and hear me.”

Prayer. O God, Who dost particularly manifest Thy omnipotence by sparing and showing mercy, multiply Thy mercy towards us, that running to the possession of what Thou hast promised, Thou mayest make us partakers of heavenly goods.

EPISTLE, i. Cor. xii. 2-11.

Brethren: You know that when you were heathens, you went to dumb idols, according as you were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, saith Anathema to Jesus. And no man can say, the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit: and there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord: and there are diversities of operations, but the same God, Who worketh all in all. And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man unto profit. To one, indeed, by the Spirit, is given the word of wisdom: and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: to another faith in the same Spirit: to an other the grace of healing, in one Spirit: to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discerning of spirits, to another divers kinds of tongues, to another interpretation of speeches. But all these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to everyone according as He will.

Explanation. As the Holy Ghost gave on Pentecost the gift of tongues, so also, He imparted to the faithful many other gifts. This Holy Spirit works in different ways. He confers not only ordinary but extraordinary graces on whom He will, and how He will, as He finds it for the edification of the body of Christ, and whatever gift anyone receives he must use for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, without being elated by it, since he has received it only as a pure grace.

GOSPEL. Luke xviii. 9-14

At that time, to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, Jesus spoke this parable: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee, standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give Thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men: extortioners, unjust, adulterers: as also is this publican; I fast twice in a week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven: but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner! I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other, because everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Why did Jesus recite the parable of the Pharisee and the publican? To warn us against pride, ambition, and vanity in our good works, which thereby lose all their merits; to teach us not to despise or judge any man, although he should appear most impious; finally, to show us that if we would be heard in our prayers, we must appear before God with an humble and penitent heart.

Why was not the Pharisee’s prayer acceptable to God? Because it was not a prayer, but rather a boast; for he praised himself, attributing his good works to himself, instead of giving God glory for them. Thus, despising and presumptuously judging others, he sinned the more against God, instead of making himself worthy of his praise.

Why was the prayer of the publican acceptable to God? Because, though short, it was most humble and penitent. He did not, like the Pharisee, advance into the temple, but remained afar off, as though unworthy the presence of God and the fellowship of men. There he stood, with eyes cast down, in token that, for his sins, he was not worthy to look up to heaven; nay, he openly confessed himself a sinner, and in sorrow smote his breast, thereby punishing, as it were, says St. Augustine, the sins which had come from his heart. Let us, then, be afraid of vainglory, like St. Ignatius, who said, “They who praise me scourge me” and St. Hilary, who wept when he saw himself honored, because he was afraid of receiving his reward on earth. Learn to despise vainglory and think of what St. Augustine says: God is most high; exalt yourself, and He withdraws from you; humble yourself, and He comes down to you.” Seek in all things not your own but God’s glory; accustom yourself before every undertaking to raise your heart to God by making a good intention, and you will, like the publican, find grace before God.


Woodstock 1969-Anti Fatima Event[3]

On August 1517, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held on a 600-acre dairy farm near Bethel, New York. Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of this monumental cultural event that marked an epoch. Woodstock changed America. It helped usher in a period of moral devastation. The event enshrined free love as acceptable in the national psyche. It created the idea that life should be dominated by the maxim, if it feels good, do it.

However, the worst part of Woodstock was its role in creating the spiritual desolation of imagining a utopian society without religion or the Catholic Faith. Woodstock presented itself as a mystical experience with its own dark spiritual message. It was almost a liturgical act of an anti-religion of the unbridled passions that denied a moral law.


Reflection About Another Field

Reflecting upon Woodstock, it is hard not to recall another event held on a large field that gathered together a huge crowd. This gathering also changed history. The two events could not be more contrary to each other, and yet the parallels and contrasts are striking. They both happened amid a terrible crisis inside society. However, each proposed a radically different solution. The second event took place in a tiny village in the backwater of Portugal called Fatima. The date was October 13, 1917. What attracted people there was no less than the Queen of Heaven. Our Lady had appeared to three young shepherd children and promised to perform a great miracle so that people might have faith and change their lives.


Contrast on the Two Fields

At both events, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. At Woodstock, nearly 400,000 people appeared at the farm where they crashed the gates and entered the field. The organizers were overwhelmed by the crowds. The highways were clogged with cars trying to get to the event. At Fatima, some 80,000 faithful came from all over Portugal. They had heard about the apparitions by word of mouth. There were no organizers since it was a spontaneous movement of grace that called people to the site. Nevertheless, they clogged the highways and byways of the small nation to get to the event. Both events prompted government action. When order broke down in Woodstock, the government stepped in by sending nearby Air Force personnel to the concert to prevent chaos and fly in stranded performers. At Fatima, the secular anti-Catholic government played an opposite role. It sent soldiers with fixed bayonets to prevent pilgrims from entering the huge field. When the masses of pilgrims overwhelmed the small number of soldiers, people then managed to join the orderly crowd that patiently waited with great expectation, prayer and faith. Heavy rains came down in torrents at both events creating seas of mud. At Woodstock, the mud mixed with the nudity, promiscuity and drugs to the point that the crowd became one with the quagmire of immorality and muck. Singer John Fogerty described an early morning scene as sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.At Fatima, the rains also lashed out against the crowds and turned the field into a great muddy mess. However, the crowds accepted the rain and mire as part of the suffering and penance that would mark the Fatima Message. Many knelt in the mud in prayer.


Historical Contexts

While the circumstances of the open fields at Fatima and Woodstock are important, the context of these gathering must also be considered. The historical context of Fatima was a world in the process of abandoning the Church and Christian civilization. Europe was engaged in the bloody World War I, which would soon end. The people still had faith but were in danger of losing it. Our Lady came to deliver a message of tragedy and hope, inviting humanity to conversion and amendment of life. Woodstock took place 52 years later in the context of a Sexual Revolution that would devastate what remained of Christian morals in society. America was divided, engaged in a brutal war against communism in Vietnam. The Church was also in a state of turmoil. Woodstock was an event that would celebrate a world without restraint that would soon become mainstream.


What Happened in Fatima

The events that took place in these two fields are what made them so important. At Fatima, the crowd gathered in an ordered fashion as they awaited the appearance of the Mother of God. They were to behold a marvelous yet terrifying scene, which was the most witnessed miracle in modern history. Some 80,000 pilgrims of every age, educational level and social class were there. Believers and non-believers vied for places to see the promised miracle. Our Lady provided it. The clouds opened up and the sun appeared as an immense silver disk. It shone with great intensity yet was not blinding. The enormous ball then started to dance across the sky, spinning rapidly scattering red flames. The bright light reflected on the ground, trees, bushes, clothing and faces. After going three times across sky, the globe of fire then appeared to tremble, shake and plunge toward the terrified crowd who thought the world was coming to an end. However, the sun soon zigzagged back to its place and shone benevolently upon the crowd. Many converted and believed. The people noticed that their sodden clothes were both dry and clean.


What Happened at Woodstock

The events at Woodstock stand in stark contraposition. There were no miracles there, but there was an aura that produced an eerie feeling around the event. The bad weather, food shortages and poor sanitation created a climate of generalized chaos. Witnesses reported an atmosphere of free love and nudity that shocked many unaccustomed to seeing such things in public. Drug use was also rampant, especially the use of marijuana and LSD. Thus, many were out of their minds as the music blared from the stage throughout the night. Carlos Santana later recalled how he hallucinated throughout his performance because he was high on the mescaline he obtained from Jerry Garcia. Meanwhile, backstage, The Who singer Roger Daltrey reported that Woodstock wasnt peace and love. There was an awful lot of shouting and screaming going on. By the time it all ended, the worst sides of our nature had come out.The scenes of partying, chaos and sin created a surreal and bizarre spectacle. It was a whimsical space without rules or law where you could do your own thing without consequence or risk. Some thought a new age was dawning, both inebriating and terrifying, where the unbridled passions driven by psychedelic drugs would liberate everyone from the staid constraints of the establishment. On the trash-littered fields of Woodstock, a self-centered generation embraced an anything-goes culture of sex, drugs and rock n roll. America would leave the Woodstock mud fest with sullied innocence.


Two Messages in Conflict

Both fields also produced messages that are still in conflict today. The Fatima message was very clear and precise. Our Lady said: Let them offend Our Lord no more, for He is already much offended. Thus, Fatima called upon the world to repent by having recourse to prayer, sacrifice and amendment of life. If humanity did not repent, Our Lady spoke of a great chastisement, symbolized by the Miracle of the Sun. The Fatima message denounced the decadence of the modern world, the sins of the flesh and the abandonment of God and the Church. Woodstock proclaimed an anti-Fatima message. It was an invitation to sin, indulge and offend God. In the name of peace and love, it called upon youth to imagine a perfect world where they might live together in harmony without property, Christian morals or God. Woodstock projected an empty world without meaning and purpose that seeks only extreme gratification and pleasures. The clash between Fatima and Woodstock continues. Many Catholics have remained faithful to the Fatima message despite the great pressure to conform to the culture. Others have been mugged by the terrible reality that the Woodstock dream of sexual freedom was an appalling nightmare that left behind a trail of dead, unborn babies, broken relationships and shattered communities. It is therefore not fitting to celebrate the concerts fiftieth anniversary but rather to reject all that it symbolizes and represents. Instead, let us embrace Fatimas saving message of prayer, repentance and amendment of life as the essential solution to a world gone awry.




Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Battle for the Soul of America-Day 4
·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God.




[1]The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.
[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
[3]https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/woodstock-at-50-the-anti-fatima-event-that-should-not-be-celebrated

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

HOLY FACE DAY 4



Psalm 15, Verse 1-5 1 LORD, who may abide in your tent?Who may dwell on your holy mountain? 2Whoever walks without blame,doing what is right, speaking truth from the heart; 3 Who does not slander with his tongue, does no harm to a friend, never defames a neighbor; 4 Who disdains the wicked, but honors those who fear the LORD; Who keeps an oath despite the cost, 5lends no money at interest,[1] accepts no bribe against the innocent.
In life we are always moving toward the future. Our destination is life eternal with our creator. In our little sailboat of life, we tend to be either moving toward God by taking advantage of His graces which provide the wind for our sails or we do nothing but drift.
Napoleon Hill noted in his manuscript on a book he never published entitled “Outwitting the devil” stated drifting was one of the tools the devil uses to keep us off tack and not sailing towards God’s mountain. A Protection against drifting lies within easy reach of every human being …

Friday, February 21, 2020

CARNIVAL FRIDAY
Sirach, Chapter 22, Verse 18 Small stones lying on an open height will not remain when the wind blows; So, a timid mind based on foolish plans cannot stand up to fear of any kind.
The wind is often used as a representation of the Holy Spirit in the bible. I wonder if this verse expresses the trinity of love which compels us to protect life and preserve the liberty to pursue the will of the Father in our lives.
Human Life and Dignity[1]
For the Church, there is no distinction between defending human life and promoting the dignity of the human person. Pope Benedict XVI writes in Caritas in Veritate. . . that "The Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fully aware that 'a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued …

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Thursday after Sexagesima-Carnival holy face (Day 5) FRANCISCO AND JACINTA MARTO

Sirach, Chapter 22, Verse 16 A wooden beam firmly bonded into a building is not loosened by an earthquake; So the mind firmly resolved after careful deliberation will not be afraid at any time.
A prudent mind firmly resolved is undisturbed by violent and conflicting thoughts. Sometimes we all have senseless thoughts and feelings which shake us, but faith is a firm anchor for our thoughts. We indeed do have the power within ourselves to choose not to react to impulsive thoughts.
Sacredness[1]
·Holiness consists in friendship with God. If we would be in any sense the friends of God, we must have at least that desire for holiness without which such friendship would be impossible; growth in the knowledge of God is the deepening of this friendship. ·To know God is to know self and if we know ourselves well, we know we have one or two prominent sins that have dogged our life’s path for years, and against these we str…

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Washington's birthday-Be Humble-Billy Graham



Sirach, Chapter 23, Verse 27 Thus, all who dwell on the earth shall know, all who remain in the world shall understand, that nothing is better than the fear of the Lord, nothing sweeter than obeying the commandments of the Lord.
What happens when those who dwell on the earth no longer know God and what should we do when it becomes abundantly clear to us that our duty to God is threatened by the governments of men?
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church[1]addresses the issue of when and how St. Peter's teaching that obedience to God comes before obedience to men as it applies in the modern Christian's life.
Presciently, or perhaps better, prophetically, Pope Benedict XVI foresaw and foresees increasing conflict between American Catholics and a public authority increasingly secularized and increasingly hostile to the moral values of its Catholic citizens. The conflict is caused by the increasing demands of the State to &qu…

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

HOLY FACE DAY 3
Sirach, Chapter 21, Verse 11
Those who keep the Law control their thoughts; perfect fear of the Lord is wisdom.
If you have not had much success with your habitual sins and find yourself always confessing the same sins over and over: perhaps this verse will provide a key to real change: those who control their thoughts keep the law; for where the mind goes unchecked the body will follow. The body is a good servant but a poor master.
One of the most remarkable characteristics[1] of all forms of organic life is the power to adapt itself to the circumstances in which it is placed. It will endeavor under the most altered conditions to live, and, in order to live, it will resort to all kinds of contrivances, sometimes effecting such changes in its outward appearance that none but a trained eye could detect its identity. Yet with all these adaptations, it will preserve its identity. Man possesses this power in perhaps a higher degree than any other form of life. He can find his …

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sirach, Chapter 25, Verse 6
The crown of the elderly, wide experience; their glory, the fear of the Lord.
We used to say in the military to the younger troops fresh out of high school that joined the military that beyond showing us normal military courtesy they really should listen and follow what we do because “We survived youth.” The fact is experience is the best teacher and experience teaches us that God is real, and the older ones have learned that fear of the Lord is more than a crown of glory it is the key to reaching old age.
One of the most curious phenomenon of our modern society is that by the year 2020 we will have five generations working together: Each with different values and views of life.
The Johnsons report[1] that each generation has been influenced by the major historical events, social trends, and cultural phenomena of its time. These forces shape ideas about everything from expectations and perceptions about what the workplace will provide and how employees should…

Monday, February 17, 2020

HOLY FACE DAY 2-PRESIDENTS DAY-SERVITES
Sirach, Chapter 21, Verse 6 Whoever hates correction walks the sinner’s path, but whoever fears the Lord repents in his heart.
At times God asks us to leave our personal Egypt’s and leads us into the desert to correct our sinful ways so he can make us more by raising us up. What is your “Egypt”? What is your temptation, your land of (empty) promise? What has placed you under bondage?
For some it could be that “dream” job across the country. For others it could be that big house, or luxury car. Chances are, if you find yourself saying something like, “Things would better if I could only…”, then you have an “Egypt” of your own. In most cases your “Egypt” is really just another heap of steaming trouble, bundled in empty hope and wrapped with false promise. God knows that humility, and a sense of self-worth centered in God’s grace and not in “things” and “stuff” is what leads to a heart that is not been made cynical by the disappointments of materialism…

Friday, May 10, 2019

ST. DAMIEN OF MOLOKAI

1 Samuel, Chapter 28, Verse 20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, in great fear because of Samuel’s message. He had no strength left, since he had eaten nothing all that day and night.
Christ is the strength of the weak and the humble and the confidence of those who trust in him. Christ says to us, “My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. (Jn. 10:27) Saul was in great fear because the spirit of God had long ago left him, and he no longer heard the voice of God. In desperation now that Samuel had died was to have the witch of Endor act as a medium to conjure up the spirit of Samuel to help save him from the Philistines. Saul broke his own laws by seeking the aid of a sorcerer. The Israelites were a Holy people and Saul could not understand the Ends never justify the means. No, we must be calm and listen to the voice of he that was the epitome of fairness and justice that took upon Himself our sins to the cross and thus be…

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sexagesima Sunday NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE

Sirach, Chapter 19, Verse 24 Better are the God-fearing who have little understanding than those of great intelligence who violate the Law.
Seek to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
Sexagesima-The perils of exile (persecution) and the fruits of asceticism (the Word being sown into our hearts).
Sexagesima literally means "sixtieth," though it only falls 56 days before Easter. During these weeks contemplate the ways you can build up your fear of the Lord remembering that fear of the Lord is really a deep abiding love for God.
The Introit of the Mass is taken from the forty-third psalm: Arise; why sleepest Thou, O Lord? Arise, and cast us not off to the end; why turnest Thou Thy face away, and forgettest our trouble? for our soul is humbled down to the dust; our belly cleaveth to the earth. Arise, O Lord, help us, and redeem us for Thy name’s sake. We have heard, O God, with our ears; our fathers have declared to us.
Prayer…

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…