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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Overview of April[1]


The month of April is dedicated to The Holy Spirit. The first eleven days of the month fall during the season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. The remainder of April falls during the Easter season which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).



After our solemn commemoration of the last days and death of Our Lord we will spend the month of April celebrating. As Spring breaks forth even nature will join us as buds and blooms begin to surface and we spend this month basking in the joy of the Resurrection. We continue throughout the entire month our cry, "Christ is risen, Christ is truly risen." The Feast of Divine Mercy offers us the opportunity to begin again as though we were newly baptized. The unfathomable mercy of God is made manifest today if we but accept His most gracious offer. Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians. This truly is "the day that the Lord has made." From Sunday to Sunday, from year to year, the Easters of this earth will lead us to that blessed day on which Christ has promised that He will come again with glory to take us with Him into the kingdom of His Father.

·         The saints that we will focus on this month — those who have already shared in the rewards of the Resurrection — are St. Francis of Paola (April 2), St. Isidore (April 4), St. Vincent Ferrer (April 5), St. Stanislaus (April 11), St. Martin I (April 13), St. Bernadette (April 16), St. Catherine of Siena (April 29) and St. Pius V (April 30).

·         The feast of St. John Baptist de la Salle (April 7) falls on Sunday so is superseded the Sunday liturgy. The feasts of St. Anselm (April 21), St. George and St. Adalbert (April 23), St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen (April 24), St. Mark (April 25), Our Lady of Good Counsel (April 26) and St. Louis Mary de Montfort and St. Peter Chanel (April 28) are superseded by the Easter Week liturgy.

April is also:[2]
·         Autism Awareness Month
·         Jazz Appreciation Month
·         Garden Month
·         Month of the Military Child

[2]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/2019/04/01/



Wednesday Of the Fifth Week of Lent
ALL FOOLS DAY

Isaiah, Chapter 40, verse 9:
Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of good news! Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Cry out, do not fear! Say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God!

Christ delights in us if we delight in Him we should also delight in others.

One of my favorite representations of the Lords delight with us is a statue of Joseph and the baby Jesus. Jesus and Joseph are playing.  Joseph is slightly bent with the baby Jesus giggling crawling over the back of Joseph and peeking over his shoulder looking at his face in peek a boo fashion and delight is all over both of their faces. How can we fear when we have a God who loves us so! 

In times of tribulation when we feel courage being drained from our souls let us remember the courage of blessed Saint Joseph reflecting on his mettle, strength and of course gentleness with our Lord Jesus. In times of trouble let us call on the aid of St. Joseph reflecting on this portion of the litany of Saint Joseph[1]. 

“St. Joseph, Renowned offspring of David, Light of Patriarchs, Spouse of the Mother of God, Chaste guardian of the Virgin, Foster father of the Son of God, Diligent protector of Christ, Head of the Holy Family, Joseph most just, Joseph most chaste, Joseph most prudent, Joseph most strong, Joseph most obedient, Joseph most faithful, Mirror of patience, Lover of poverty, Model of artisans, Glory of home life, Guardian of virgins, Pillar of families, Solace of the wretched, Hope of the sick, Patron of the dying, Terror of demons, Protector of Holy Church.  Pray for Us!”

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Prayer. SANCTIFY this fast, O God, and mercifully enlighten the hearts of Thy faithful; and to those whom Thou grantest the grace of devotion mercifully grant, when they pray to Thee, a favorable hearing.

EPISTLE. Leviticus xix. 1, 2, 11-19.

In those days: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: I am the Lord your God. You shall not steal. You shall not lie, neither shall any man deceive his neighbor. Thou shalt not swear falsely by My name, nor profane the name of thy God. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not calumniate thy neighbor, nor oppress him by violence. The wages of him that has been hired by thee shall not abide with thee until the morning. Thou shalt not speak evil of the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind: but thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, because I am the Lord. Thou shalt not do that which is unjust, nor judge unjustly. Respect not the person of the poor, nor honor the countenance of the mighty. But judge thy neighbor according to justice. Thou shalt not be a detractor nor a whisperer among the people. Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbor. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but reprove him openly, lest thou incur sin through him. Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens. Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself. I am the Lord. Keep ye My laws, for I am the Lord your God.

GOSPEL. John x. 22-38.

At that time: It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem: and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. The Jews therefore came round about Him, and said to Him: How long dost Thou hold our souls in suspense? if Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

Jesus answered them: I speak to you, and you believe not: the works that I do in the name of My Father, they give testimony of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice: and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them life everlasting, and they shall not perish forever, and no man shall pluck them out of My hand. That which My Father hath given Me, is greater than all: and no man can snatch them out of the hand of My Father. I and the Father are one. The Jews then took up stones to stone Him. Jesus answered them: Many good works I have showed you from My Father; for which of those works do you stone Me?

The Jews answered Him: For a good work we stone Thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that Thou being a man, makest Thyself God. Jesus answered them: Is it not written in your law: I said, you are gods?

If He called them gods, to whom the word of God was spoken, and the Scripture cannot be broken: do you say of Him, Whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world: Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?

If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But if I do, though you will not believe Me, believe the works: that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.




Lenten Calendar[2]

Read:

The Servant Songs, Day Three: (Within the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we encounter four poetic sections known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant. The specific identity of this Servant of the Lord remains the topic of scholarly debate. Perhaps it refers to the prophet Isaiah himself, perhaps the entire nation of Israel, or possibly the promised Messiah. Christian faith sees these prophetic utterances fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Lord.
Because of the Christian identification of the Suffering Servant with Jesus, the four Servant Songs become a way of encountering the Lord during this Lenten Season. Not only do they give us a sense of the commitment and endurance that characterized his messianic ministry, but they become a way of touching the bruised face of the Messiah, of hearing the resolute determination that sustained him in the midst of trial, and of rejoicing with him in Gods ultimate vindication of his calling and service.)

In the third song, we learn of the abuse and derision the Servant endured at the hands of his enemies.

Reflect: Today we reflect on the third of the four Servant Songs.

Pray: Take time with the third servant song today. Read Isaiah 50:4-11. 

Act: Here, the servant knows and declares that his help is with the Lord. He does not allow suffering to cause him to stop trusting in the Lord. Instead, with strength of spirit, the servant declares his faith in God. The Lord GOD is my help . . . I shall not be put to shame. Amidst darkness and adversity, because he fears the LORD, the servant walks not by his own light but by the light of God. 


All fool’s Day

April Fools' Day is a light-hearted comedic day of cheer, practical jokes and hoaxes.  April Fools' Day has been observed for centuries although its origins remain unclear.  It has been suggested that in ancient Roman and Hindu cultures, the day originally marked ‘New Year’s Day’.  Although in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued the Gregorian calendar which moved New Year’s Day from April 1st to January 1st.  It is believed that those who continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st were referred to as fools, leading to the concept of April 1st representing All Fools’ Day.  It has also been suggested that April Fools' Day is related to the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring, when Mother Nature plays sudden weather tricks on people. The custom of April Fools' was brought from Britain to the US centuries ago. Both kids and adults in North America and many European countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Finland, Iceland, and North American countries have developed traditional customs to celebrate the day.  These typically include fooling another person and yelling April fools.


April Fool's Day Facts & Quotes

·         Traditionally, pranksters shout April Fool as they reveal the joke.  In the United Kingdom, jokes can only be played until midday.  If someone plays a joke after midday, then they are the April Fool.  In Ireland, tradition was to deliver an important letter to a person, who would then deliver the letter to another person, and so on.  Once finally opened, the letter would say send the fool further.
·         Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Chinese Proverb.

April Fool's Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Stay on guard!  You will surely be the victim of a prank during April Fools' Day, so be extra-careful of pranksters looming around you.
·         With social media, you can use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to dupe your friends and family.  Celebrities too have been fooled on April Fool’s Day as fake news about marriage, death or other significant events is propelled on social media by fans.
·         One of the best ways to fool someone on April Fools' Day is to call them first thing in the morning.  This way, they are less likely to realize that it is April Fools' Day.  Our top 3 phone call pranks:
1) Breaking news - create a fictional breaking news item about politics, celebrities, events in your city, etc.
2) You're late for work - tell your friend that the time is 11AM and they aren't at work or school yet.
3) Escaped monkey - a monkey from the local zoo is wandering in the backyard.  You just saw a news clip of the monkey on the local news
·         Watch a hidden-camera or practical joke TV show.  Our top 3 picks:
1) Punk’d
2) Just for Laughs: Gags
3) Impractical Jokers



Aids in Battle [2] The Enemy’s Strategies

·         The adversary of our human nature examines from every side all our virtues: theological, cardinal, and moral. Wherever he discovers the defenses of eternal salvation to be the weakest and most lacking, there he attacks and tries to take us by storm. ST. IGNATIUS LOYOLA
·         [St. Catherine of Siena reports that Our Lord said to her:] I have told you that the Devil invites men to the water of death— that is, to the things he has. Then, blinding them with the pleasures and circumstances of the world, he catches them with the hook of pleasure through the lure of something good. He could catch them in no other way; they would not allow themselves to be caught if they saw that no good or pleasure for themselves could be obtained in this manner. For the soul, by her very nature, always relishes good. Yet it is true that the soul, blinded by self-love, does not know and discern what is truly good and profitable to the soul and to the body. So, the Devil, seeing them blinded by self-love, wickedly places before these souls diverse and various delights, colored so as to have the appearance of some benefit or good. He tempts each one, according to his condition, to those principal vices to which that soul seems to be most disposed.
·         When the sly demon, after using many devices, fails to hinder the prayer of the diligent, he desists for a little while. But when the man has finished his prayers, the demon takes his revenge. He either fires the man’s anger and thus destroys the good condition produced by prayer, or he excites an impulse toward some animal pleasure and thus mocks the man’s mind. ST. NILUS OF SINAI



Daily Devotions
·         Nineveh 90-Total Consecration to Mary-Day 25
·         Manhood of the Master-week 8 day 3
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan




[1] https://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/litanies/joseph.htm

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