This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
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Friday, April 17, 2020
the Octave of Easter
Psalm 118, verse 4-6
those who fear the LORD say, his
mercy endures forever. 5In danger I called on the LORD; the
LORD answered me and set me free. 6The
LORD is with me; I am not afraid;
what can mortals do against me?
can we say, “His mercy endures forever!” It is when we have received it and
given it away. Everybody needs to forgive somebody.
will unleash a power in your life that is underrated and often ignored. It is
underrated mainly because it is underused. We fail to capture the power of
forgiveness because we are afraid of it, because we have grown comfortable in
our familiar wounds, or because we are sinfully stubborn. But the power is
there waiting for us.
R. Hunt outlines there are three parts to forgiveness:
Receiving Forgiveness which involves experiencing God and forgiving
Easter reminds us of these
fundamental requirements of the Christian life: the practice of piety and
patience. Through piety we live detached from human frailties, in purity of
mind and body, in union with Christ. Through patience we succeed in strengthening
our character and controlling our temper so as to become more pleasing to the
Lord and an example and encouragement to others, in the various contingencies
of social life. The Resurrection of the Lord truly represents—and for this
reason it is celebrated every year—the renewed resurrection of every one of us
to the true Christian life, the perfect Christian life which we must all try to
live. "The Resurrection of Christ is the sacrament of new life." My
beloved brothers and children! First of all let us look closely at our pattern,
Jesus Christ. You see that everything in His life was in preparation for His
resurrection. St Augustine says: "In Christ everything was working for His
resurrection." Born as a man, He appeared as a man for but a short time.
Born of mortal flesh, He experienced all the vicissitudes of mortality. We see
Him in His infancy, His boyhood, and His vigorous maturity, in which He died.
He could not have risen again if He had not died; He could not have died if He
had not been born; He was born, and He died so that He might rise again.
PilgrimageEaster Friday is a favorite day
Pilgrimage was an essential part of Jesus’ religious
life. As God was one, so he had only one holy city, Jerusalem, to which he
called his people to make pilgrimage: “Three times a year all your males shall
appear before the Lord your God.” These Tri-annual pilgrimages were required at
the feast of unleavened bread (Passover), at the feast of the weeks
(commemoration of the Torah & the 10 commandments) and the feast of the
booths (Sukkoth). Christ by his sacrifice has created a heavenly Jerusalem
which is not in a geographic location but is Eucharistic and is located in the
tabernacle of every Catholic Church. Jerusalem has still retained an attractive
power, because it contained the monuments of the Lord’s passion and is one of
the most popular pilgrimage sites. A modern Catholic map of the world will
offer many possible destinations for pilgrimage. Jerusalem and Rome remain
favorites as well as the Marian shrines of Lourdes and Fatima. Also, since the
middle ages travelers have also thronged to Santiago de Compostela, the shrine
of St. James in Spain. Yet, here is the greatness of our God: we need not go to
the far ends of the earth to go on pilgrimage as God lives with us in the
Blessed Sacrament Chapel and we can always find local shrines to make small
pilgrimages. We could also make a pilgrimage to visit with holy people we know,
or travel to honor the graves of our ancestors, friends and mentors. A
pilgrimage is a sacramental: an outward sign of an inward grace. It reminds us
that we are wayfarers on earth till we are taken up into heaven.
Catholic pilgrimages for your “bucket list”
Whether you follow in the footsteps of Jesus or the saints,
a holy pilgrimage is an opportunity to enrich one's faith.
The holy pilgrimage has been a
Christian tradition since the first recorded spiritual journey, in which a
bishop named Mileto from Sardis in Asia Minor traveled to the Holy Land in
around 160 to visit “the
place where [things described in the Bible] were preached and done.”In the 4th century, pilgrimages
following the footsteps of Jesus and the apostles became popular after
mother, St. Helena, visited Jerusalem, discovered what is thought to have been
the True Cross, and built churches over holy sites related to Jesus’ life. To walk the same path as
Jesus and his followers, and to see with one’s own eyes the places mentioned in
Scripture, was more than just travel, it was meant to hasten an interior
journey as well. Rome became a major destination for European pilgrims in the
7th century after the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land limited the number of
Christians allowed to visit the holy sites there. The Crusades themselves were
considered a form of pilgrimage, and pilgrimages to the Holy land increased in
the late Middle Ages, partly due to the guidance of the Franciscan friars who
were entrusted with the guardianship of the holy sites.
Today, Christians continue to make
pilgrimages to enrich their spiritual lives. Taken in the spirit of prayer, a
pilgrimage can be as life-changing today as it was in the time of St. Jerome,
who in the 4th century wrote, “We
will have a clearer grasp of Scripture after we have gazed with our own eyes on
the sites where the events of our salvation unfolded.”
a glimpse of a few sacred places to complete any Catholic’s “bucket list,” where modern pilgrims can travel
to walk the same path as Jesus and his followers, and visit the sites of the
miracles and apparitions:
Pilgrims to the Holy Land and
Jerusalem follow in the footsteps of Jesus, from the Church of the Nativity in
Bethlehem where Jesus was born to the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
where he was laid to rest. For the last 800 years, the Order of St. Francis has
had guardianship over these holy sites, and is today working to ensure that
Christians continue to exist in the birthplace of Christianity. By offering pilgrimages in the Holy Land,
they can help fulfill that mission.
to visit: The busiest times in Holy Land are during the major Christian and
Jewish feasts in spring and fall.
The shrine in Fatima, Portugal,
marks the spot where Our Lady of the Rosary appeared to three shepherd
children, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, between May
and October of 1917. Pilgrims from all over the world gather for the torch-lit
processions held every day, but especially on pilgrimage days in May and
to visit: Pilgrims travel to Fatima all year round, but the best-attended processions
are held on the 13th of May and October.
Camino de Santiago
The Way of St. James or El Camino
de Santiago became a major pilgrimage destination during the Middle Ages.
Tradition tells us that St. James’
remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was
buried. Medieval pilgrims traveled from their homes to what is now the city of
Santiago de Compostela, receiving penance for the expiation of sins by
undertaking the arduous journey.
Today, the pilgrimage has enjoyed a
resurgence in popularity, among believers as well as non-believers in search of
a retreat from modern life. Pilgrims’
hostels or albergues welcome
travelers along the way and can be found along the routes in Spain, France and
to visit: July and August are the busiest months on the Camino. Pilgrims
traveling during April, May, June and September enjoy warm weather without the
Ireland has a long tradition of holy pilgrimages,
dating back to St. Patrick’s
fast on what is now known as Croagh Patrick in 441. In the pasts few years, the
Pilgrim Paths foundation has been restoring the ancient penitential paths, and
has so far created five guided walks. After pilgrims get their “passports” stamped after completing
each of the five routes, they receive an Irish Pilgrim Paths completion
certificate from Ballintubber Abbey in County Mayo.
Pilgrim Paths is holding its second annual Irish Pilgrim Journey, offering local guides for the 5
pilgrim paths. Other pilgrimages can be found by tour groups in conjunction
with this year’s
World Meeting of Families in Dublin, which takes place between August 21 and
European pilgrims headed to Rome along the Via
Francigena to follow the paths of the martyred saints and early Christians.
Emperor Constantine erected basilicas over the tombs of Peter and Paul, which
attracted the faithful from all over Europe.
Today a modern pilgrim
would similarly visit St. Peter’s
Basilica, attend a papal audience with the successor to St. Peter, take a tour
of the Catacombs, the Vatican museums, and the ancient churches of the Eternal
to visit: Winter
is the best time to visit Rome if you want to avoid the crowds. Spring and
fall, outside of Easter week, offer mild temperatures without the crowds of
Millions of pilgrim’s flock to southwestern France
each year to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is there that the
Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 18 times in 1858 to a young peasant girl, St.
Bernadette Soubirous. In one of her appearances she told St. Bernadette to drink
from the grotto’s
spring. Many of the sick and suffering claim to have been miraculously cured by
the spring’s healing
quiet season at Lourdes is between October and March. During peak season,
beginning at Easter, there are usually about 25,000 pilgrims a day visiting
Even before Pope John Paul II’s canonization, a
spiritual journey to his homeland in Poland had become a popular pilgrimage
among Catholics. An itinerary might include a visit to Karol Wojtyla’s childhood home in Wadowice,
the shrine of the Black Madonna at Jasna Gora Monastery in Częstochowa,
and the beautiful Tatra Mountains where John Paul II skied. Other must-visit
sites: The Shrine of Divine Mercy and the martyred St. Maximilian Kolbe’s cell at Auschwitz.
O Mother most merciful,
pray for the souls in Purgatory!
PRAYER OF ST.
GERTRUDE THE GREAT O Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of
Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world
today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory and for sinners everywhere— for
sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and for those within
my family. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE
DYING O Most Merciful Jesus, lover of souls, I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy
most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother, to wash in
Thy Most Precious Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their
agony and who will die today. Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the
ON EVERY DAY OF
THE NOVENA V. O Lord, hear my prayer, R. And let my cry come unto Thee. O God,
the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy
servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that through our devout
supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired, Who livest
and reignest world without end. Amen.
FRIDAY O Lord
God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Jesus Thy divine Son
did shed this day upon the tree of the Cross, especially from His sacred hands
and feet, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and particularly that soul for whom I
am most bound to pray, in order that I may not be the cause which hinders Thee
from admitting it quickly to the possession of Thy glory, where it may praise
Thee and bless Thee for evermore. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
Eighth Day - Today Bring Me the Souls Who Are In the Prison Of Purgatory.
Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so, I bring into the abode
of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very
dear to You, and yet who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams
of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of purifying
fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.
turn Your most merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are
enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful
Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred
Soul was flooded, manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just
scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way than through the Wounds of Jesus, Your
dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your
goodness and compassion. Amen.
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 impriso
Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast  After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t
Wednesday after laetare Sunday: end of mid-lent  Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that the LORD had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.” Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him. Dire Straits  · At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. · If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up
Full Worm Moon According to the almanac we are having a Full Worm Moon-plan to take your family or grandchildren fishing! Hummingbirds are migrating North now; look for them. Monday 2 nd Week in Lent PURIM-MEATBALLDAY-HOLI Proverbs, Chapter 31, Verse 30 Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Woman is the key to the salvation of the world. It is the miracle of God that the salvation of mankind was deposited in the care of the Virgin Mary and likewise in the physical sense the material world through the modern woman who is faithful to the precepts of the Lord. Such a woman knows the secret to raising children to be happy and successful is to do it in a home overflowing with love. A woman of faith truly knows: God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken, and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea. A woman of Influence
Romans, Chapter 8, verse 14-15 14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear , but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” By the sacrifice of Christ, we are the adopted children of God, who feared none, and by whose sufferings and glory we share; by reason of the Holy Spirits presence within us. We are thus giving us a new life and relationship with God. ( Novena to the Holy Spirit ) To some is giving the gift of tongues. To which many years ago (40 to be exact February 1975) at the birth of my first born daughter I had gone to the Gunpowder Inn, in Bermuda, to celebrate her birth, with a couple of Native American friends. At the time I was in the Navy Seabees and we worked together. When I had got there, all of the sudden, I got an overwhelming feeling that I needed to speak in tongues to P. Graves and I did. I felt stupid an
Plough Monday ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS-DISTAFF DAY Psalm 2, verse 11 Serve the LORD with fear ; exult with trembling , accept correction lest he become angry and you perish along the way when his anger suddenly blazes up. Blessed are all who take refuge in him! To fully understand this verse, we must know who the writer is referring to. In verse 10 the writer states “ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear. Our God is a just God and to “those who have been given much; much is required”; to quote the spider man movie. Kings (and the 1 percent’ers) to be wise must humble themselves. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle then for a rich man to get into heaven. The "Eye of the Needle" has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed.  I a
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter ST MATTHIAS-Novena St. Rita-Chicken Dance Day Jeremiah, Chapter 42, Verse 11-16 11 Do not FEAR the king of Babylon, as you do now. Do not FEAR him—oracle of the LORD—for I am with you to save you, to rescue you from his power. 12 I will take pity on you, so that he will have pity on you and let you return to your land. 13 But if you keep saying, “We will not stay in this land,” thus disobeying the voice of the LORD, your God, 14 and saying, “No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we will not see war, nor hear the trumpet alarm, nor hunger for bread. There we will live!” 15 then listen to the word of the LORD, remnant of Judah: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: If you are set on going to Egypt and settling down there once you arrive, 16 the sword you FEAR shall overtake you in the land of Egypt; the hunger you dread shall pursue you to Egypt and there you shall die. Faith is always a great multiplier in overcom
Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 17 Do not deal unfairly with one another, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the LORD, am your God. Our loving God wants us free and He demands that we out of love treat each other with love and fairness. In the Jewish calendar God specified that we are to rest one out of seven days but it goes further with a rest after seven weeks ending in a year of Jubilee after the 49 th year called a Shemitah. The Shemitah Year is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the Land of Israel and still observed in contemporary Judaism. When Moses received the Levitical law, God gave the commandment to rest on the seventh day… the Sabbath. Moses also applied the cycles of "seven" to weeks and years . A cycle of seven weeks points to the 50th day, called Pentecost. And a cycle of seven sets of seven years points to the 50th year, the year of Jubilee. The year of Jubilee is based on letting the land rest
LABOR DAY John 20, Verse 26 Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “ Peace be with you.” Are the doors of you heart locked? Are you without faith? Perhaps Christ will stand someday in your midst as he did Thomas. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. Doubt  Preachers have called Thomas the "Doubter." Few have touched upon his cynicism. Over and over, Thomas heard the witness of the followers. But, Thomas wanted more than proof positive. ("Inspect and touch," literally meant "to see and thrust.") He stepped beyond skepticism into cynicism. A week later, Jesus again appear with the greeting of
DAY 7 - MOTHER MOST CHASTE, PRAY THAT WE RECEIVE THE GIFT OF COURAGE! GOD'S WORD "Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD." (Psalm 27:14) HEROES' WORDS "Fortitude is the disposition of soul which enables us to despise all inconveniences and the loss of things not in our power." -St. Augustine "I know well that the greater and more beautiful the work is, the more terrible will be the storms that rage against it." -St. Faustina "Moreover, Christians are born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God willing, the triumph: 'Have confidence; I have overcome the world' (Jn 16:33)." -Pope Leo XIII "Though the path is plain and smooth for men of good will, he who walks it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty, if he does not have good feet: that is, courage and a persevering spirit." -St. John of the Cross MEDITATION Fortitude is the mor