The last ceremonial act of the Time after Epiphany is the bittersweet farewell, or depositio, to the word "Alleluia," which is suppressed for seventy days in the traditional Roman rite from Septuagesima Sunday until Holy Saturday night. This ceremony usually takes after the office of none (i.e., around 3 p.m.) on the Saturday before Septuagesima Sunday
Saint Bakhita-Marriage week-events
Psalm 34, verse 5-12
5 I sought the LORD, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears. 6 Look to him and be radiant, and your faces may not blush for shame. 7 This poor one cried out and the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. 8 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them. 9 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him. 10 Fear the LORD, you his holy ones; nothing is lacking to those who fear him. Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you fear of the LORD. 11 The rich grow poor and go hungry but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 12 Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you fear of the LORD.
While taking a prayer filled hike in the Round Lake, New York area; I asked our Lord on the hike to communicate to me as we walked along the way. The Lord spoke to my heart and said that in this world there are two kinds of people those that give and those that get. He said amazingly those that get never get enough and those who give always get enough.
As we walked Christ pointed out to me the things that I should be giving to others.
As I started the hike, I noticed the sign with the map of the hike was reversed and if I did not study it closely, I would be lost. Christ urged me to:
· Give good directions.
Walking along I met others walking or riding bikes coming from the opposite direction that looked rather glum and miserable. Christ urged me to greet them. As I did, I noticed their expression changed from glum to happy.
· Give greetings.
Walking along I heard music from a tavern near the trail. Christ urged me to:
· Give music and song to gladden other hearts.
Walking along I met a small turtle that on seeing me tucked into his shell. Christ urged me to:
· Give others respect and privacy.
Walking along I passed a stream and notice the path was shady. Christ urged me to:
· Give refreshment to others.
Finally, as I was walking along as the Lord answered me, I noticed He had delivered me from all my fears.
Saint Bakhita-Slave to Saint-Quotes
· "If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today... The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone... we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
· "Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage." ~ Josephine Bakhita
· "The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone...we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
· "O Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of your goodness at the top of my voice, oh how many souls would be won!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
More Alive, More Human
Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your deepest self. To depend on God, sets us free from every form of enslavement and leads us to recognize our great dignity. We see this in Saint Josephine Bakhita: “Abducted and sold into slavery at the tender age of seven, she suffered much at the hands of cruel masters. But she came to understand the profound truth that God, and not man, is the true Master of every human being, of every human life. This experience became a source of great wisdom for this humble daughter of Africa”. To the extent that each Christian grows in holiness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world. The bishops of West Africa have observed that “we are being called in the spirit of the New Evangelization to be evangelized and to evangelize through the empowering of all you, the baptized, to take up your roles as salt of the earth and light of the world wherever you find yourselves”. Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not make you less human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of God’s grace. For in the words of León Bloy, when all is said and done, “the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint”.
Simon Peter and the other fishermen are astonished at the catch that reveals Jesus as Lord. Jesus’ response to Simon Peter is reassuring: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. Once again, the fisherman of Galilee places his trust in the words of Jesus and leaves everything to follow Him. James and John also do the same; from now on, they will be ‘fishers of men’. Jesus invites them to share in His mission, the mission of the Church. As baptized, we all partake in the mission of Jesus Christ, priest, prophet, and king. As married men and women, the calling is lived out in a concrete home and family. How does your life as a couple, as parents, as godparents, or in another way, touch the lives of your family? How are you witnesses and bearers of the Gospel?
What Is Marriage?
Marriage is a lifelong partnership of the whole of life, of mutual and exclusive fidelity, established by mutual consent between a man and a woman, and ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation of offspring. As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, marriage is not a purely human institution: the intimate partnership of life and the love which constitutes the married state has been established by the creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . .. For God himself is the author of marriage. Moreover, God has endowed marriage with certain essential attributes, without which marriage cannot exist as he intends. The Church has taught through the ages that marriage is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman. This union, once validly entered and consummated, gives rise to a bond that cannot be dissolved by the will of the spouses. Marriage thus created is a faithful, privileged sphere of intimacy between the spouses that lasts until death. Marriage is not merely a private institution, however. It is the foundation for the family, where children learn the values and virtues that will make good Christians as well as good citizens. The importance of marriage for children and for the upbringing of the next generation highlights the importance of marriage for all society. Conjugal love, the love proper to marriage, is present in the commitment to the complete and total gift of self between husband and wife. Conjugal love establishes a unique communion of persons through the relationship of mutual self-giving and receiving between husband and wife, a relationship by which ―a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body [flesh]‖(Gn 2:24).The Second Vatican Council speaks about conjugal love in words of great beauty: The Lord, wishing to bestow special gifts of grace and divine love on married love, has restored, perfected, and elevated it. A love like that, bringing together the human and the divine, leads the partners to a free and mutual self-giving, experienced in tenderness and action, and permeating their entire lives; this love is actually developed and increased by its generous exercise in conjugal love one can see something of how Christ loves his Church (Eph 5:25).
➢On marriages in crisis –For Your Marriage list of ministries that help married couples in difficulty or crisis
➢On healthy sexuality within marriage –Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae,1968.
➢On divorce –USCCB, Divorce and the Church’s Healing Ministry, 2010.
➢On lust and pornography –USCCB: Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography, 2015 and Clean Heart series of pamphlets, 2016.
➢Pope Francis’s Catechesis on the Family, January 7, 2015 –November 18, 2015.
➢USCCB, Pastoral Letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, 2009.
➢USCCB, For Your Marriage website: foryourmarriage.org.
➢USCCB, Por Tu Matrimonio website: portumatrimonio.org.
· Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Celebrate man’s best friend at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The two-day event at New York City's Madison Square Garden features more than 2,700 pooches going tail to tail to win the coveted Best in Breed title.
Be Still and Know that I am God
On an evening in October 1995, John Paul II was scheduled to greet the seminarians at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. It had been a very full day that began with a Mass at Oriole Park in Camden Yards, a parade through downtown streets, a visit to the Basilica of the Assumption, the first cathedral in the country, lunch at a local soup kitchen run by Catholic Charities; a prayer service at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in North Baltimore; and finally, a quick stop at Saint Mary’s Seminary. The schedule was tight, so the plan was simply to greet the seminarians while they stood outside on the steps. But the Pope made his way through their ranks and into the building. His plan was to first make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. When his wishes were made known, security flew into action. They swept the building paying close attention to the chapel where the Pope would be praying. For this purpose, highly, trained dogs were used to detect any person who might be present. The dogs are trained to locate survivors in collapsed buildings after earthquakes and other disasters. These highly intelligent and eager dogs quickly went through the halls, offices and classrooms and were then sent to the chapel. They went up and down the aisle, past the pews and finally into the side chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Upon reaching the tabernacle, the dogs sniffed, whined, pointed, and refused to leave, their attention riveted on the tabernacle, until called by their handlers. They were convinced that they discovered someone there. We Catholics know they were right — they found a real, living Person in the tabernacle!
· Smell the Flowers at Tulipmania
Head to San Francisco’s iconic Pier 39 for Tulipmania. You’ll see over 39,000 blooming tulips and other garden favorites. Guided tours and gardening tips are provided by Pier 39’s landscaping experts. The tours start at 10 a.m. daily at the Crab Statue in the Entrance Plaza and end with a special treat from Trish’s Mini Donuts. The tulips typically begin blooming in early February and last through mid-March.
· Party at Carnival in Venice, Italy
Probably one of the longest running festivals, the Carnival of Venice (Carnevale di Venezia) is said to date back to 1162. The festival is world famous for its amazing and unique masks that people wear during this event. Venetians adorn their boats with colorful decor and parade up and down the Grand Canal. There are also competitions for the best masks and costumes, plus all sorts of entertainment and music.
“Venice’s hedonistic Carnevale, a season of unbridled and licentious festivities, expired along with the rest of the Republic with the arrival of Napoleon in 1797. It was enthusiastically resuscitated in 1980, complete with rich damasks, cascades of lace, and powdered wigs, elaborate costumes, and everywhere the characters and masks from Italy’s Commedia dell’Arte. Carnevale takes place 2 weeks before Ash Wednesday”.
US Disunion of State and Faithful Citizenship
Why Does the Church Teach About Issues Affecting Public Policy?
The Church's teachings concerning contingent situations are subject to new and further developments and can be open to discussion, yet we cannot help but be concrete-without presuming to enter into details-lest the great social principles remain mere generalities which challenge no one. . . . The Church's pastors, taking into account the contributions of the different sciences, have the right to offer opinions in all that affects people's lives, since the task of evangelization implies and demands the integral promotion of each human being. (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, no. 182)
The Church's obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society is a requirement of our faith. It is a basic part of the mission we have received from Jesus Christ, who offers a vision of life revealed to us in Sacred Scripture and Tradition. To echo the teaching of the Second Vatican Council: Christ, the Word made flesh, in showing us the Father's love, also shows us what it truly means to be human (see Gaudium et Spes, no. 22). Christ's love for us lets us see our human dignity in full clarity and compels us to love our neighbors as he has loved us. Christ, the Teacher, shows us what is true and good, that is, what is in accord with our human nature as free, intelligent beings created in God's image and likeness and endowed by the Creator with dignity and rights as well as duties.
Christ also reveals to us the weaknesses that are part of all human endeavors. In the language of revelation, we are confronted with sin, both personal and structural. "The Church's wisdom," according to Pope Benedict XVI, "has always pointed to the presence of original sin in social conditions and in the structure of society" (Caritas in Veritate, no. 34). All "structures of sin," as St. John Paul II calls them, "are rooted in personal sin, and thus always linked to the concrete acts of individuals who introduce these structures, consolidate them and make them difficult to remove" (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, no. 36). Thus, our faith helps us understand that the pursuit of a civilization of love must address our own failures and the ways in which these failures distort the broader ordering of the society in which we live. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals" (no. 407). As Pope Francis, quoting Pope Benedict XVI, reaffirmed in Evangelii Gaudium, "We need to be convinced that charity 'is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones)'" (no. 205).
Schultz, Patricia. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die