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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

Jeremiah, Chapter 10, Verse 2
Thus, says the LORD: Do not learn the ways of the nations, and have no fear of the signs in the heavens, even though the nations fear them.

What are the ways of the nations? The making of idols is the way of nations. Have you been worshiping idols? Think about it. Our idols are expressed in what we love, in what we think, in the things we see, and what we work for.

Lord, thank you for helping me see more clearly than ever that “what I am” is your gift to me and “what I become” is my gift back to you.” (Poem by Melvin Banggollay)

He did not create us out of necessity; He did not need us. He did not create us out of justice; He owed us nothing. No, it is to His sheer love that we owe our existence. Therefore, we must strive to be humble in accepting our mistakes, to know how to say, “I was wrong.” You have good qualities—great qualities. Are you not a marvel of creation, made in the image of God? You are a masterpiece of His love, wounded, disfigured by sin, but remade by the Redeemer, more beautiful than before—and at what a price! Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good. One drowns very quickly in gall. Keep watch, therefore, over your soul; swallow the bitterness, as Jesus swallowed the vinegar on Calvary, and know how to smile at those who cause you pain. Poverty, austerity, fasting, prayer, and the gift of miracles, without love of our brothers, all are pure illusion. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, give me Your Heart to love my neighbor. The doctrine of abandonment, which sees God in everything, will make you marvelously available for this work. This is one of its richest secrets, for it obliges us to renounce, when necessary, our own views and our little personal plans, even our plans for sanctification. This total abandonment is the pinnacle of holiness and love, because it identifies us more perfectly with Jesus, who lived only to do the will of His Father.[1]

Let the power of love transform[2]

Do thou, O soul, offer humble and fervent thanks to the Lord, because with so little deserving of thine He has been so liberal with thee and has so greatly enlightened thee with divine light, breaking for thee the seal of his secret archives and yet filling thee with holy fear of his displeasure. Nevertheless, make use of this fear with measure and strive instead to excel in love. Thus, with these two wings raising thyself above the earth and above thyself, try to rid thyself of the inordinate disturbance of excessive fear, and leave thy cause with the Lord and make his cause thy own. Let fear be with thee until thou art purified and cleansed of thy sins and of thy ignorance, but also love the Lord in order that thou mayest be transformed in Him, and set Him as the Master and the Arbiter of thy actions without desiring to be above any person. Do not trust thy own judgment, and be not wise in thy own conceit (Prov. 3,7), for the judgments of men are only too easily blinded by their passions, throwing them out of their course and drawing after them the will as their captive. Thus, it comes, that men fear what is not to be feared, and rejoice in that which is not profitable. Take heed lest thou be dissipated by every slight interior consolation, but hesitate and restrain thyself until thou findest with tranquil solicitude the proper measure in all things. This happy medium thou wilt always find, if thou remain subject to thy superiors and willingly accept that, which the Most High works in thee and teaches thee. Although thy undertakings may be good as regardless the intentions, they must nevertheless also conform to the requirements of obedience and of prudence, for without this guidance they are usually deformed and without any profitable result. Be thou therefore in all things solicitous about that, which is most holy and perfect.

St. Catherine of Siena[3]

Catherine, the youngest of twenty-five children, was born in Siena on March 25, 1347. During her youth she had to contend with great difficulties on the part of her parents. They were planning marriage for their favorite daughter; but Catherine, who at the age of seven had already taken a vow of virginity, refused. To break her resistance, her beautiful golden-brown tresses were shorn to the very skin and she was forced to do the most menial tasks. Undone by her patience, mother and father finally relented and their child entered the Third Order of St. Dominic.

Unbelievable were her austerities, her miracles, her ecstasies. The reputation of her sanctity soon spread abroad; thousands came to see her, to be converted by her. The priests associated with her, having received extraordinary faculties of absolution, were unable to accommodate the crowds of penitents. She was a helper and a consoler in every need. As time went on, her influence reached out to secular and ecclesiastical matters. She made peace between worldly princes. The heads of Church and State bowed to her words. She weaned Italy away from an anti-pope, and made cardinals and princes promise allegiance to the rightful pontiff. She journeyed to Avignon and persuaded Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome. Even though she barely reached the age of thirty-three her accomplishments place her among the great women of the Middle Ages. The virgin Catherine was espoused to Christ by a precious nuptial ring which, although visible only to her, always remained on her finger.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Patron: Against fire; bodily ills; Europe; fire prevention; firefighters; illness; Italy; miscarriages; nurses; nursing services; people ridiculed for their piety; sexual temptation; sick people; sickness; Siena, Italy; temptations.

Symbols: Cross; heart; lily; ring; stigmata.

Things to Do:

Remembrance for All Victims of Chemical Warfare[4]

Day of Remembrance for all the Victims of Chemical Warfare commemorates the victims of chemical warfare and serves to reaffirm the world's commitment to eliminate chemical weapons. Thus, the day also serves to promote peace, security and multilateralism. Although, chemical weapons have been banned for some time by the Geneva Convention, they are still infrequently used. The United Nations proclaimed the Day of Remembrance for all the Victims of Chemical Warfare in November of 2005. It has since been celebrated on April 29th, the same date on which the Chemical Weapons Convention entered into force in 1997. The day aims to destroy chemical weapons and further gain adherence to the Convention's articles in order to achieve a safer and more peaceful world.

Remembrance for Victims of Chemical Warfare Facts & Quotes

·         Chemical weapons were used for the first time on a large scale in battle during World War I at the battle of Ypres in 1915. The chemical that was used as a weapon was chlorine gas.

·         90% of the world’s declared chemical weapons stockpile of 72,525 metric tons has been verifiably destroyed.

·         There are three different schedules of chemicals:
1) Schedule One: these are typically used in weapons such as sarin and mustard gas
2) Schedule Two: these are used in weapons such as amiton and BZ
3) Schedule Three: these are typically the least toxic chemicals and are used for research and the production of medicines.

·         For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us, or our allies is the greatest security threat we face. – Madeleine Albright, American politician and diplomat, first woman to be secretary of state.

Remembrance Victims Top Events and Things to Do

·         Watch a documentary or movie on the perils of chemical warfare. Some popular options are: Science at War: Laboratory of War, Chemical Warfare Watch, Avoiding Armageddon: Chemical Weapons, and Total Recall.

·         Read a book on the widespread dangers of chemical warfare. Some good suggestions are: War of Nerves, Chemical and Biological Warfare: America’s Hidden Arsenal, and a Higher Form of Killing.

·         Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtags #peacenotwar and #remembranceforallchemicalwarfarevictims

·         Visit the site of some of the chemical weapon use. Some ideas, the Battlefields of Ypres, the Battlefields of Passchendaele and the Tokyo Subway.

Daily Devotions

·         Manhood of the Master-week 12 day 3
·         Divine Mercy Novena Day8
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Rosary

[1] d'Elbée, Jean C.J. (2013-12-10). I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux
[2] Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God.