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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

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