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Sunday, February 2, 2020

This novena prayer, although short is sufficient. It would be better of course to add, if time permits, three Hail Marys or say five times the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father, or to use some of the many well-loved novena prayers from other sources. Remember that prayers must be said with the lips in order to gain the indulgences. This novena starts on February 2 and ends on February 11.


Prayer:

O most beautiful lady, who appeared to the humble little Bernadette in the Grotto of Lourdes, look with pitying eye upon the sick and the afflicted. Let me remember to say to you each day as do the pilgrims at Lourdes, "Ave, Ave, Ave Maria."

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1217
   
CANDLEMASS-super bowl-GROUND HOG DAY



Hebrews, Chapter 2, Verse 14-15
14 Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life.

On today’s date science by the use of a heart and lung transplant was able to save the life of Jamie Gavin who was recorded as the youngest transplant patient.

Jamie Gavin[1]

Jamie Gavin made headlines worldwide in 1985 when he became the world's youngest heart and lung transplant patient in Harefield hospital, Middlesex. Jamie's surgery was regarded as a success and he returned to Dublin to his brother John and his three sisters Leslie, Katie and Melanie. He was able to live a normal life to a certain extent and attended school with his friends, despite having to regularly return to England for tests and checkups, as well Crumlin hospital in Dublin. The bravery of Jamie was recognized a year after his surgery when Princess Diana presented him with a child of courage award.  Tragedy struck the household when Jamie passed away from lymphoma at the age of 11.

Science is a great gift to mankind, yet it does not erase the fear of death; only Christ can do this. In fact, we are engaged in a great spiritual battle where our fears are the very chains that enslave us.
Napoleon Hill writes in his tale “Outwitting the Devil”[2] his thoughts on fear during an imaginary interview with the devil to obtain his secrets.




Q. Go ahead and describe your clever tricks, Your Majesty.

A. One of my cleverest devices for mind control is fear. I plant the seed of fear in the minds of people, and as these seeds germinate and grow, through use, I control the space they occupy. The six most effective fears are the fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age, and death.

Q. Which of these six fears serves you most often, your majesty?

A. The first and the last-poverty and death! At one time or another during life I tighten my grip on all people through one or both of these. I plant these fears in the minds of people so deftly that they believe them to be their own creation. I accomplish his end by making people believe I am standing just beyond the entrance gate of the next life, waiting to claim them after death for eternal punishment. Of course, I cannot punish anyone, except in that person's own mind, through some form of fear-but fear of the thing which does not exist is just as useful to me as fear of that which does exist. All forms of fear extend the space I occupy in the human mind.

Although Napoleon thoughts may not be theologically correct; he still makes a strong case as does our God that fear is the root of sin.




Until 1969[3], the ancient feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, which is of Oriental origin, was known in the West as the feast of the Purification of Our Lady, and closed the Christmas Cycle, forty days after the Lord's birth. This feast has for long been associated with many popular devotional exercises. The faithful:


  • gladly participate in the processions commemorating the Lord's entry into the Temple in Jerusalem and His encounter with God, whose house He had come to for the first time, and then with Simeon and Anna. Such processions, which in the West had taken the place of licentious pagan events, always had a penitential character, and were later identified with the blessing of candles which were carried in procession in honor of Christ, 'the light to enlighten the Gentiles' (Lk 2, 32);
  • are sensitive to the actions of the Blessed Virgin in presenting her Son in the Temple, and to her submission to the Law of Moses (Lk 12, 1-8) in the rite of purification; popular piety sees in the rite of purification the humility of Our Lady and hence, 2 February has long been regarded as a feast for those in humble service.
Popular piety is sensitive to the providential and mysterious event that is the conception and birth of new life. Christian mothers can easily identify with the maternity of Our Lady, the most pure Mother of the Head of the mystical Body — notwithstanding the notable differences in the Virgin's unique conception and birth.

These too are mothers in God's plan and are about to give birth to future members of the Church. From this intuition and a certain mimesis of the purification of Our Lady, the rite of purification after birth was developed, some of whose elements reflect negatively on birth.

The revised Rituale Romanum provides for the blessing of women both before and after birth, this latter only in cases where the mother could not participate at the baptism of her child.
It is a highly desirable thing for mothers and married couples to ask for these blessings which should be given in accord with the Church's prayer: in a communion of faith and charity in prayer so that pregnancy can be brought to term without difficulty (blessing before birth), and to give thanks to God for the gift of a child (blessing after birth).

In some local Churches, certain elements taken from the Gospel account of the Presentation of the Lord (Lk 2, 22-40), such as the obedience of Joseph and Mary to the Law of the Lord, the poverty of the holy spouses, the virginity of Our Lady, mark out 2 February as a special feast for those at the service of the brethren in the various forms of consecrated life.

The feast of 2 February still retains a popular character. It is necessary, however, that such should reflect the true Christian significance of the feast. It would not be proper for popular piety in its celebration of this feast to overlook its Christological significance and concentrate exclusively on its Marian aspects. The fact that this feast should be 'considered [...] a joint memorial of Son and Mother' would not support such an inversion. The candles kept by the faithful in their homes should be seen as a sign of Christ 'the light of the world' and an expression of faith.

Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, [4]

Commonly Called Candlemas-Day.

FEBRUARY 2.

ON this day the Church solemnly celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the temple, and the obedience and humility both of Mary and her divine Son, who, though not subject to the law in regard to purification and presentation, yet subjected themselves to it. Hence this feast is called the Purification of the Virgin Mary.

In common speech we call it also Candlemas, because on this day the candles required for the divine service are blessed and carried in procession. What is the design of this custom?

1. It is to remind us that Jesus, the light of the world, was offered up to His heavenly Father, by Mary, in the temple at Jerusalem, where He was called by Simeon “a light for the revelation of the gentiles, and the glory of the people of Israel.”

2. To remind us, also, of several important truths, to which the priest refers in the prayers at the blessings. Thus he prays that as the earthly light dispels the darkness of night, so Jesus, with the light of His divine doctrine, may clear away our spiritual blindness and ignorance, and lead us in the way of virtue; that as the Holy Ghost enlightened Simeon, so He may also enlighten us to acknowledge Jesus as the true light, to love Him and follow Him, to keep our hearts from the way of sin, and to guide them in the way of virtue, and to kindle them with the fire of holy love; finally, that God may preserve, in soul and body, those who use blessed candles with devotion, may hear their prayers, and grant them entrance into the kingdom of the eternal and ever-blessed light. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple; according to Thy name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth; Thy right hand is full of justice. Great is the Lord and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain.”

Prayer.

Almighty, everlasting God, we suppliantly beseech Thy majesty that, as Thy only begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so Thou wouldst grant us to be presented to Thee with purified souls.

EPISTLE. Mai iii. 1-4.

Thus, saith the Lord: Behold I send My angel, and he shall prepare the way before My face. And presently the Lord Whom you seek, and the angel of the testament whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts: and who shall be able to think of the day of his coming? and who shall stand to see him? for he is like a refining fire, and like the fullers herb: and he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice. And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years, saith the Lord Almighty.

GOSPEL. Luke ii. 22-32.

At that time: After the days of Mary s purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they carried Jesus to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord; and to offer a sacrifice according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons. And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law: he also took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, in peace: because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to the revelation of the gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.

Explanation.

The Blessed Virgin presented herself and her divine Son at the temple so as not to give scandal to such as were ignorant of their being exempt from the law, to show from the first that Jesus was come to redeem sinners, and to leave us an example of humility and obedience. Mary offered the gift of a pair of doves, like the poor, because she was poor, and was not ashamed to acknowledge it before the world.

INSTRUCTION FOR WOMEN AFTER CHILDBIRTH.

The law of purification in the Old Testament, it is true, no longer applies to Christian women, because the Church has done away with Jewish ceremonies. But the spirit and intention of that law the Church would yet have complied with. She permits women, therefore, to remain at home, with a good conscience, for six weeks after childbirth, or so long as circumstances may require, without attending divine service, in order to care for their health. This permission is, at the same time, an excellent admonition to women, that, in order to their recovery, they should refrain from anger, from exposure, from hard labor, from injurious food; to men, not to refuse their wives during this period, set apart by God Himself under the Old Law, the rei and attention which their nature requires. But when this time is past the Church desires that women should, after the example of Mary, repair to the church with their children, to procure the blessing of the priest, to give thanks to God for their safe delivery, to dedicate their children to Him, and to implore of Him, with the priest, grace to bring up their offspring in piety and holiness. In this consists the so-called “churching of women”; and, from what has been said, it is evident, not only that it contains nothing to be ashamed of, but that it should by no means be omitted by such as desire God’s blessing. The feeble health of both women and children after childbirth is almost always owing to their having injured themselves by want of care.

Prayer for Women after Childbirth.

Almighty and merciful God, Who didst lay upon our mother Eve the tit punishment for her disobedience that she should bear children in sorrow, I offer to Thee all the pains of my child-bearing in propitiation for my sins; and I thank Thee that, through Thy help, the fruit of my womb has been safely brought forth into the world, and new-born in Baptism. According to the example of the Mother of Thy only begotten Son, I also offer to Thee my child for Thy holy service, and will earnestly strive to bring it up to Thy honor. To this end give me, through the intercession of the most blessed Virgin, thy grace; bless me and my child, and grant that we may live according to Thy will here, and hereafter may obtain everlasting happiness.  Amen.

Things to Do[5]
  • Ask your parish priest to bless the candles that you will be using on your home altar this year.
  • Read Luke 2:22-35, the account of the presentation including the Canticle of Simeon.
  • Meditate on the constant fiat of Our Lady of Sorrows, who embraced the will of God even as Simeon predicted that a sword would pierce her heart.
Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life.

Candle Blessings[6]

One of the grandest feasts of the Middle Ages and one of only three feasts in the English language verbally denoted by a Mass (Christmas and Michaelmas being the other two), Candlemas, or the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorates Our Lady's visit to the Temple in humble obedience to that clause of the Old Law which requires a woman to be ritually purified forty days after bearing a son. On the assumption that Our Lord was born on December 25, the date of Mary's visit to the Temple would be February 2. It was on this day that Simeon the aged prophet, upon seeing the infant Jesus, proclaimed him to be "a Light to the gentiles" (Lk. 2.32). Hence the day has always involved a celebration of light. The most famous of these customs -- and the one from which the feast takes its common name -- is the blessing of, and procession with, candles. The day begins with five beautiful blessings of candles that invoke God's aid in living out allegorically what the light and fire of a candle symbolize: wisdom and illumination, purification and charity, and so on. A solemn and penitential procession (in which the celebrant wears purple) exits and then re-enters the church, at which point the purple is cast aside for the jubilance of white and a joyful Mass is offered. One of the more distinctive features of this Mass is that the candles are held lighted in the hand during the Gospel and from the Sanctus to the Communion. Candles used in the procession are not the only ones blessed on this day. Many families traditionally had most or all of their special candles -- for Advent, St. Lucy's Day, Christmas, or the family shrine -- blessed on this day.

The Feast's association with light also made it a great day for predicting the weather. According to an old legend, if the sun shines bright for the better part of the day, it means forty more days of winter. Subsequently this quaint superstition became Groundhog Day. Finally, Candlemas is the absolute last day for ending the Christmas season. Any Christmas items that had not been taken down on Epiphany or its Octave were now carefully put away.

Super Bowl[7]

The Super Bowl is the season final championship game of National Football League (NFL) in the United States of America.  The matchup for this game is the winning teams of the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC).  Super Bowl 1 was held in February of 1967. The 2016 game was Super Bowl 50. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events in the United States. Nielsen Media Research, in had over 114.4 million viewers in 2015.  It is held on the first Sunday in February.

Super Bowl Facts

·         Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest eating day of the year - after Thanksgiving.  According to the National Chicken Council, in 2015 a total of 1.25 million chicken wings were eaten during the game.
·         The winner receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy.   Vince Lombardi was the coach for the Green Bay Packers who won the first two Super Bowls back-to-back.
·         The record for the most points scored by a single team during a Super Bowl, is held by San Francisco.  San Francisco scored a total of 55 points against Denver in Super Bowl XXIV.

Super Bowl Top Events and Things to Do

·         Attend the Super Bowl.  You can purchase second-hand tickets through various online marketplaces. According to Seat Geek, the average price for a ticket in 2015 was $2,670.
·         Have a Super Bowl party with friends and family.
·         Organize or purchase boxes in a football pool.  A football pool is a table that contains all of the score combinations based on the last digit of each team’s score.  The score numbers are drawn at random after all boxes are assigned.  Because of this, the odds of winning are the same regardless of each participant’s knowledge of the game.
·         Watch the Super Bowl commercials.  Commercials for the big game are the most expensive on TV and for many, more entertaining than the game.



·         Make guacamole.  This is the quintessential (and healthy!) super bowl dip.

Political Football[8]

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, KS and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued the following statement in response to several states moving forward with legislation that would permit a baby to be aborted at nine months.
Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:

“Abortion has always been built on a lie. Today, the lie is switching from 'abortion is a choice' to 'abortion is healthcare.' A law recently passed in New York not only legalizes abortion essentially for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy but removes any protection for children born alive after abortion. A similar bill was proposed in Virginia along with several other states, all in the name of women’s health. 

This legislation is evil, pure and simple. And it shocks the conscience to see such evil legislation greeted with raucous cheers and standing ovations. Most grieving to our Lord of Life is that those who advocate for abortion put their eternal souls in jeopardy.  

It is sickeningly dishonest to claim that women’s lives or health depend on intentionally killing their children. This is especially true for late-term abortion, which always involves the purposeful destruction of a child which could have been born alive, with much less risk to the mother, had they both received real healthcare.  

Now is the time for all Catholics—bishops, priests, and laity—to fight for the unborn with renewed vigor. We must educate family, friends, legislators, and fellow citizens about how it is never necessary to intentionally kill unborn children in order to save their mothers. Local action is especially important. Though ending Roe v. Wade is a central goal of the pro-life movement, if the decision were overturned, only eleven states would immediately ban abortion; the other thirty-nine states would still allow it.  

I urge Catholics, and thoughtful Americans of all religions or none at all to advocate for local change. Sign up for your State Catholic Conference or diocesan pro-life advocacy network, which can help you communicate to elected officials. Or seek out state and local pro-life groups, including parish respect life groups, that are making a difference at the state level.  
Though we live in very dark days, we know that the Lord has already triumphed over death. But we must use this time on earth to be His hands and feet. This means each of us rededicating ourselves to prayer, and fighting for the most vulnerable among us, especially unborn children and their mothers.”  

Ground Hog Day[9]

I ask Christ if he has seen the movie, “Ground Hog day”.  He laughs and says playfully, “No, but I inspired it”. I continue, well today is Ground Hog day and tradition say that if the ground hog sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter.  Christ asks, “So what happens in the movie?” I state it is a story of a cranky young man who keeps magically repeating his ground hog day until he has a life changing attitude toward people and life in general. Christ says that is the reason for His coming to these coffee clutches with me and that He wants to give me a whole new view of life. This is what I referred to when I told Nicodemus that a person must be born again to enter the kingdom. That is, you must awaken or give birth to the Spirit of the Father that is in you-the spirit of love and you must also live in the truth. Your action and behavior must be true to the spirit the Father reveals to you.




John McCain in his book “Character is Destiny” portrays the life of “The Four Chaplains” as a model of great religious tolerance that allowed them to risk all to protect others of a different faith or race.

It was the evening of Feb. 2, 1943, and the U.S.A.T. Dorchester was crowded to capacity, carrying 902 service men, merchant seamen and civilian workers. Once a luxury coastal liner, the 5,649-ton vessel had been converted into an Army transport ship. The Dorchester was one of three ships steadily moving across the icy waters from Newfoundland toward an American base in Greenland. Hans J. Danielsen, the ship’s captain, was concerned and cautious because he knew he was in dangerous waters. German U-boats were constantly prowling these vital sea lanes, and several ships had already been blasted and sunk. The Dorchester was now only 150 miles from its destination, but the captain ordered the men to sleep in their clothing and keep life jackets on. Many soldiers sleeping deep in the ship’s hold disregarded the order because of the engine’s heat. Others ignored it because the life jackets were uncomfortable. On Feb. 3, at 12:55 a.m., a periscope broke the chilly Atlantic waters. Through the cross hairs, an officer aboard the German submarine U-223 spotted the Dorchester. The U-223 approached the convoy on the surface, and after identifying and targeting the ship, he gave orders to fire the torpedoes, a fan of three were fired. The one that hit was decisive–and deadly–striking the starboard side, amid ship, far below the water line. Captain Danielsen, alerted that the Dorchester was taking water rapidly and sinking, gave the order to abandon ship. In less than 20 minutes, the Dorchester would slip beneath the Atlantic’s icy waters. Aboard the Dorchester, panic and chaos had set in. The blast had killed scores of men, and many more were seriously wounded. Others stunned by the explosion were groping in the darkness. Those sleeping without clothing rushed topside where they were confronted first by a blast of icy Arctic air and then by the knowledge that death awaited. Men jumped from the ship into lifeboats, over-crowding them to the point of capsizing, according to eyewitnesses. Other rafts, tossed into the Atlantic, drifted away before soldiers could get in them. Through the pandemonium, according to those present, four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness. Those chaplains were Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed. Quickly and quietly, the four chaplains spread out among the soldiers. There they tried to calm the frightened, tend the wounded and guide the disoriented toward safety. “Witnesses of that terrible night remember hearing the four men offer prayers for the dying and encouragement for those who would live,” says Wyatt R. Fox, son of Reverend Fox. One witness, Private William B. Bednar, found himself floating in oil-smeared water surrounded by dead bodies and debris. “I could hear men crying, pleading, praying,” Bednar recalls. “I could also hear the chaplains preaching courage. Their voices were the only thing that kept me going.” Another sailor, Petty Officer John J. Mahoney, tried to reenter his cabin but Rabbi Goode stopped him. Mahoney, concerned about the cold Arctic air, explained he had forgotten his gloves. “Never mind,” Goode responded. “I have two pairs.” The rabbi then gave the petty officer his own gloves. In retrospect, Mahoney realized that Rabbi Goode was not conveniently carrying two pairs of gloves, and that the rabbi had decided not to leave the Dorchester. By this time, most of the men were topside, and the chaplains opened a storage locker and began distributing life jackets. It was then that Engineer Grady Clark witnessed an astonishing sight. When there were no more lifejackets in the storage room, the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to four frightened young men. “It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of heaven,” said John Ladd, another survivor who saw the chaplains’ selfless act. Ladd’s response is understandable. The altruistic action of the four chaplains constitutes one of the purest spiritual and ethical acts a person can make. When giving their life jackets, Rabbi Goode did not call out for a Jew; Father Washington did not call out for a Catholic; nor did the Reverends Fox and Poling call out for a Protestant. They simply gave their life jackets to the next man in line. As the ship went down, survivors in nearby rafts could see the four chaplains–arms linked and braced against the slanting deck. Their voices could also be heard offering prayers. Of the 902 men aboard the U.S.A.T. Dorchester, 672 died, leaving 230 survivors. When the news reached American shores, the nation was stunned by the magnitude of the tragedy and heroic conduct of the four chaplains.



Daily Devotions
·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after SUNSET ON SATURDAY till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
·         Nineveh 90-54 day rosary day 21
·         Novena to the Holy Face Day 5
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan

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Sirach, Chapter 26, Verse 3 A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who fears the Lord.
So, does this mean that if you don’t fear the Lord you are to be cursed with a bad wife? I don’t think that is the message here though; the point is that if our primary relationship with the Lord is right then as a natural result all our relationships will be improved. If you fear the Lord, that is Love the Lord, then you will love those around you and not see others as objects to be used but as persons of worth and dignity. As a husband seek to love your wife as Christ loved the church giving Himself up for her.
Today we are a community living in the fulfillment of faith in Christ and He asks us to do something unthinkable, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh …

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…

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…