Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew The gospel begins with a genealogy of Jesus starting with Abraham, the father of Israel. Jesus is ...
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Friday, April 17, 2020
Friday In the Octave of Easter
Psalm 118, verse 4-6
4 Let those who fear the LORD say, his mercy endures forever. 5 In danger I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. 6 The LORD is with me; I am not afraid; what can mortals do against me?
When can we say, “His mercy endures forever!” It is when we have received it and given it away. Everybody needs to forgive somebody.
Forgiveness 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.
Allen R. Hunt outlines there are three parts to forgiveness:
1) Receiving Forgiveness which involves experiencing God and forgiving yourself.
2) Deciding to Forgive.
3) Sharing Forgiveness.
Friday In the Octave of Easter
Easter Friday Meditation
Pilgrimage Easter Friday is a favorite day for pilgrimages.
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.
Holy 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 Constantine’s 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.”
Here’s 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:
The Holy Land
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.
· When 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 October.
· When to visit: Pilgrims travel to Fatima all year round, but the best-attended processions are held on the 13th of May and October.
El 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 Portugal.
· When 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 crowds.
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.
· 8-25 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 26.
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.
· When 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 summer.
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 waters.
· When to visit: The 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 Lourdes.
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.Pope Francis prays in prisoner #16670’s cell in Auschwitz
When to visit: As with most popular destinations in Europe, summer is the most crowded season. May to October is the best time to travel to Poland to avoid the cold weather
Novena for the Poor Souls
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 dying! Amen.
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.
Divine Mercy Novena
Eighth Day - Today Bring Me the Souls Who Are In the Prison Of Purgatory.
Most Merciful 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.
Eternal Father 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.
 Allen R. Hunt, Everybody needs to forgive somebody.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 31. Pilgrimage.
Schouppe S.J., Rev. Fr. F. X.. Purgatory Explained
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