Friday, May 22, 2020


Friday in the Octave of Ascension
ST. RITA OF CASSIA-PRIESTLY PENTECOST NOVENA

Acts, Chapter 18, verse 9-10
9 One night in a vision the Lord said to Paul, “Do not be AFRAID. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, 10 for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city.”

When we remain silent in the presence of evil, out of fear, this is wrong. Our Lord suffers with every injustice. We must speak out against evil our Lord tells us, “Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.”

One such evil is the murder of the unborn. The good news is we can do something.

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act" ~Deitrich Bonhoeffer.

The Virtue of Intolerance[1]

Intolerance has a bad reputation. And with good reason too. Still, Im not so sure it should be thrown out with the bathwater quite yet. As a matter of fact, Im actually an advocate of having a good healthy dose of it. Surprised? Keep reading. I think youll agree. You see, the problem with intolerance is not so much the intolerance per se as much as what our intolerance is directed at. Its the object of intolerance that makes it a moral issue. Change the object and the morality of your intolerance changes too. There are certainly things in life we should tolerate like human differences, the incessant questions from children, clumsy attempts by good-meaning people to offer help, bad fashion and the like. But there are times when intolerance is an outright virtue. Read on to see what I mean

10 Things Worthy of Our Intolerance

1. Be Intolerant of Naysayers


Pursuing our dreams and reaching our goals are hard enough on their own. Trying to swim upstream as others throw rocks at us makes it unnecessarily harder. So be wary of sharing your goals with those who habitually doubt and criticize and put down. Wet blankets are wet blankets no matter what the relationship. Choose who you confide in wisely. Those who tolerate pessimism (from themselves or others) are those who volunteer to climb the mountain of life with one arm tied behind their back and one leg cut off. Still, dont confuse pessimism with wisdom or prudence. Optimism is not intellectual laziness. Positive thinking does not grant absolution from responsibility or honest self-evaluation of your assets, abilities and commitment. It doesnt excuse you from the hard work of preparation. Optimists still buy life insurance. But where pessimism itself is creating deep caverns of difficulty between you and your dreams, a quiet and respectful yet sturdy and firm intolerance may be the most appropriate response.

2. Be Intolerant of Hate


Dont tolerate racist jokes and comments. Dont accept hateful barbs thrown at you or others. Never look the other way or excuse the bully regardless of the bullys background. To do otherwise is to enable and empower the hate, to turn your back on the bullied, give tacit approval to the intolerable behavior and abandon its object to a miserable fate. Dont tolerate your own hate either. Hatred is a cancer that must be removed before it metastasizes into the bone marrow of your soul. But be careful not to accuse every disagreement as being motivated by hate. Be tolerant of opposing ideas even if intolerant of the hate that may motivate some who articulate them.

3. Be Intolerant of Dishonesty


Dont accept lies. Period. Dont tell them. Dont accept them. Live your life in such a way as to not feel the need to hide behind them. Don’t allow others (or yourself) the opportunity to nestle into their own cowardice. That is, after all, what lying is. It’s an attempt to get around the consequences of our decisions. Or perhaps it’s a way to avoid the overreaction of someone close or who has authority over us. Even so, have the courage to let the person overreacting choose how to deal with an honest life, not a pretended one. Then have the courage to accept their response.

4. Be Intolerant of Hypocrisy


Do you expect from others what you don’t expect from yourself? Do you impose a set of rules on others you won’t accept as an imposition on you? That’s what hypocrisy is, you know. Hypocrisy is the act of living a lie, pretending to be something youre not or requiring others to live by a set of rules you reject for yourself. If you tolerate hypocrisy from others, stop it! Demand an equal playing field. Anything less is a form of servitude. Refuse to be a slave to someone elses unwillingness to treat you like an equal. But remember that hypocrisy is not the same as inconsistency or human frailty. We are all inconsistent at living up to all we value. Otherwise, we would be perfect – or would have no ideals, standards or values we would have to bother trying to live up to. So be decidedly tolerant of people inconsistently trying to live up to their values and intolerant of those who would hide behind their values or impose them on others while ducking the imposition themselves.

5. Be Intolerant of Excuses


Excuses are messy things. They squirm and whine and reshape themselves like playdough pushed into cracks and crevasses. They defuse and deny, weaken and stifle greatness. Stay away from the numbing poison of excuses. Providing reasons is not the same as giving excuses, though. Reasons give an accounting, while excuses justify. Reasons accept responsibility, while excuses seek to pin fault on someone elses lapel. Reasons explain, while excuses try to divert attention and hide motive. So never give in to the self-defeating urge to give excuses for balls dropped and wrong turns made. And while youre at it, dont accept them from others either. Hold yourself and others accountable for the decisions you and they make. Be compassionate, forgiving and patient as we all learn to accept responsibility for our choices, but intolerant of the excuses we may try to irresponsibly hide behind in the meantime.

6. Be Intolerant of Gossip


If you are not intolerant of gossip you will become a steppingstone for it to spread its social damage. Gossip not shared but tolerated is fueled. Refuse to tolerate it. Stop it dead in its tracks. Ask for evidence. Make those dishing it out explain themselves. Suggest going to the person being gossiped about for their side as a concerned friend or neighbor or associate. Be the person responsible for killing the words that whisper and sneak behind backs and cowardly hide behind anonymity. Gossip is a form of cowardice. Cowardice dies in the light. Shine the light.

7. Be Intolerant of Time wasters


The respect you have for yourself and others can be seen in the way you treat your time and theirs. Dont get me wrong, socializing and recreation are not wasting of time. They are essential to renew and befriend and experience many of lifes little joys. But to spend hours on end in no particular endeavor, as a pattern of repeated behavior, stealing the moments otherwise available for more meaningful activities is to fundamentally misunderstand what life was meant to be and, most tragically, what you could have become and accomplished had time been used more wisely.

8. Be Intolerant of Ingratitude


Ingratitude is a particularly ugly form of selfishness. Its taking others kindness for granted, indifferent to their thoughtfulness.

Ingratitude is intolerable because it fails to recognize the humanity of the person who has done something kind. Even Jesus asked the 10th leper where the other nine were he had healed when the 10th was the only one to thank him. Help people grow by gently and lovingly and compassionately reminding them to express gratitude more freely. You will be helping them lay a foundation for greater and deeper and more consistent levels of happiness. Still, the most effective way to encourage gratitude in others is to be grateful yourself. Lead by example, not in spite of it.

9. Be Intolerant of Self-condemnation


The words we use when we talk to ourselves or about ourselves matter tremendously. They matter because our words tend to gel into belief. And belief sets the parameter for action. We will never do what we are sure can never be done. So our self-talk, the tone and words and meaning we use in our internal dialogue, shapes us, affecting (sometimes infecting) our attitudes and reactions to life. When we criticize and condemn, we start to believe were less, unworthy, inevitable screw-ups and good for very little. Dont tolerate it. Correct it. Argue against it. Push the little whiny weasel into the corner and out the backdoor then lock it! And never allow the weasel back in. Tolerate mistakes and human imperfection. Dont tolerate the self-abusive contempt we sometimes internalize when we inevitably stumble.

10. Be Intolerant of Fear-Consider this in light of COVID 19


Fear of bee stings is a good thing if youre deathly allergic and standing at the edge of a field of flowers swarming with the little buggers as a friend (or enemy?) waves you out into the field. But its not a good thing if it keeps you from ever going outside. Context and degree are important factors to consider when evaluating the psychological health of your fear. But here are a few basic questions that should help:

Is your fear limiting your ability to live life to its fullest?
Is it tearing you apart from the inside?
Is it harming relationships, self-esteem, self-respect, work performance or otherwise getting in the way?
Is it chronic and debilitating?
Does it control you?
Is it overwhelming?

If your answer is yes to any of those questions, you are tolerating a response to a perceived threat that may not be as threatening as you think it is. If you can, confront it. If you cant, get help from someone who can walk you through it or around it or away from it. Remember, fear is only a perceived obstacle to the path you want to travel. It does not control you. Its nothing more than a feeling, an emotional response to a perceived outcome. Change the perception and the fear starts to dissipate.

St. Rita of Cassia[2]


Rita's childhood was one of happiness to her parents. To satisfy her desire of a life of union with God by prayer, her parents fitted up a little room in their home as an oratory, where she spent all her spare moments. At the age of twelve, however, she desired to consecrate herself to God in the religious state. Pious though her parents were, their tearful pleadings to postpone her noble purpose prevailed on Rita, and they gave her in marriage, at the age of eighteen, to an impulsive, irascible young man, who was well fitted to try the patience and virtue of the holy girl. Two sons were born to them, each inheriting their father's quarrelsome temperament. Rita continued her accustomed devotions, and her sanctity and prayers finally won her husband's heart so that he willingly consented that she continue her acts of devotion. Eighteen years had elapsed since her marriage, when her husband was murdered by an old enemy; both of her sons died shortly after. Rita's former desire to consecrate herself to God again took possession of her. Three times she sought admittance among the Augustinian Nuns in Cascia, but her request was refused each time, and she returned to her home in Rocca Porrena. God Himself, however, supported her cause. One night as Rita was praying earnestly in her humble home, she heard herself called by name, while someone knocked at the door. In a miraculous way she was conducted to the monastic enclosure, no entrance having been opened. Astonished at the miracle, the Nuns received Rita, and soon enrolled her among their number. St. Rita's hidden, simple life in religion was distinguished by obedience and charity; she performed many extreme penances. After hearing a sermon on the Passion of Christ she returned to her cell; kneeling before her crucifix, she implored: "Let me, my Jesus share in Thy suffering, at least of one of Thy thorns". Her prayer was answered. Suddenly one of the thorns detached and fastened itself in her forehead so deeply that she could not remove it. The wound became worse, and gangrene set in. Because of the foul odor emanating from the wound, she was denied the companionship of the other Sisters, and this for fifteen years. Miraculous power was soon recognized in Rita. When Pope Nicholas IV proclaimed a jubilee at Rome, Rita desired to attend. Permission was granted on condition that her wound would be healed. This came about only for the duration of the trip. Upon her return to the monastery the wound from the thorn reappeared, and remained until her death. As St. Rita was dying, she requested a relative to bring her a rose from her old home at Rocca Porrena. Although it was not the season for roses, the relative went and found a rose in full bloom. For this reason, roses are blessed in the Saint's honor.

After St. Rita's death, in 1457, her face became beautifully radiant, while the odor from her wound was as fragrant as that of the roses she loved so much. The sweet odor spread through the convent and into the church, where it has continued ever since. Her body has remained incorrupt to this day; the face is beautiful and well preserved. When St. Rita died the lowly cell was aglow with heavenly light, while the great bell of the monastery rang of itself. A relative with a paralyzed arm, upon touching the sacred remains, was cured. A carpenter, who had known the Saint, offered to make the coffin. Immediately he recovered the use of his long-stiffened hands.

As one of the solemn acts of his jubilee, Pope Leo XIII canonized St. Rita on the Feast of the Ascension, May 24, 1900.

Patron: Abuse victims; against loneliness; against sterility; bodily ills; desperate causes; difficult marriages; forgotten causes; impossible causes; infertility; lost causes; parenthood; sick people; sickness; sterility; victims of physical spouse abuse; widows; wounds.

Priestly Pentecost Novena

FIRST DAY (Friday after Ascension or Friday of 6th Week of Easter)

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!
Special Intention

“Johanninise the souls of our priests and bishops. Please, Lord, grant a Priestly Pentecost.”

The Holy Spirit
Only one thing is important — eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared–sin? Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.”
Prayer
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.
Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.” Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
International Day for Biological Diversity[3]


The International Day for Biological Diversity aims to raise awareness and understanding of biological diversity and issues surrounding it. The day also serves to highlight possible strategies to protect biodiversity, which refers to the variety of life on the planet. Today, habitats are degrading and leading to a reduction in biodiversity, a problem that directly affects human well-being, poverty reduction and global sustainable development. The International Day for Biological Diversity was proclaimed in December of 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is celebrated annually on May 22, a day that commemorates the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992.
International Day for Biological Diversity Facts & Quotes

·         According to the UN, more than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods and 1.6 billion people rely on forests and non-timber forest products for their livelihoods.

·         Habitat degradation and the loss of biodiversity are currently threatening the livelihood of over 1 billion people who live in dry and subhumid climates.

·         Over 50% of the world’s plant species and 42% of all terrestrial vertebrate species are native to a specific country and do not naturally exist elsewhere.

·         We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity. – E. O. Wilson, American biologist, researcher, theorist and author.

Day for Biological Diversity Top Events and Things to Do

·         Watch a movie or documentary on the importance and irreplaceability of the world’s biodiversity. Some suggestions are: The Cove, Oceans, Plastic Planet and the 11th hour.

·         Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtags #InternationalDayForBiologicalDiversity, #IDBD and #BiologicalDiversity.

·         Join the international Day for Biological Diversity Google Hangout where you can video stream yourself and with other people to discuss biological diversity with like-minded individuals.

·         Organize or participate in a local cleanup effort. Biodiversity is very negatively impacted by human trash and pollution.

·         Donate to the center for biological diversity. All funds are put towards securing a future for all species hovering on the brink of extinction with a focus on protecting lands, waters and climate that species need to survive. Consider funds like WWF, the Animal Project and Defenders of Wildlife.

Why should Catholics care?[4]

The Church’s social teaching calls on Catholics to uphold the life and dignity of every human person, to be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters worldwide, and to care for God’s creation. Since the extraction of oil, gas, minerals, and timber affects the poor most acutely, the Church has been addressing issues related to extractive industries around the world. Catholic agencies and affected people have been engaged in advocacy with their own governments, international financial institutions, and extractives companies, urging them to become more transparent, to reduce the negative impacts of resource extraction on people and the environment, and to increase benefits for the poor most especially. In the U.S. bishops’ first statement on environmental matters, renewing the Earth (1991), they draw attention to the ethical dimensions of the ecological crisis, exploring the link between ecology and poverty and the implications for human life and dignity. Bishops of every part of the world have expressed concern regarding extractive industries. Indeed, Pope Benedict XVI, expanding on the issue of the environment in Caritas in Veritate, stated: Let us hope that the international community and individual governments will succeed in countering harmful ways of treating the environment. It is likewise incumbent upon the competent authorities to make every effort to ensure that the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations: the protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate obliges all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet (No. 50).

Memorial Day Build Up

Every day from now to Memorial Day I ask your prayers for each service and all of our defenders to include police and fire on Memorial Day.



The U.S. Space Force (USSF) is a new branch of the Armed Forces. It was established on December 20, 2019 with enactment of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and will be stood-up over the next 18 months. The USSF was established within the Department of the Air Force, meaning the Secretary of the Air Force has overall responsibility for the USSF, under the guidance and direction of the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, a four-star general known as the Chief of Space Operations (CSO) serves as the senior military member of the USSF. The CSO is a full member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

Mission

The USSF is a military service that organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force. USSF responsibilities include developing military space professionals, acquiring military space systems, maturing the military doctrine for space power, and organizing space forces to present to our Combatant Commands.

Space Capabilities

The new, independent U.S. Space Force will maintain and enhance the competitive edge in space while adapting to new strategic challenges. Spacelift operations at the East and West Coast launch bases provide services, facilities and range safety control for the conduct of NASA and commercial space launches. Through the command and control of all defense satellites, satellite operators provide force-multiplying effects  continuous global coverage, low vulnerability and autonomous operations. Satellites provide essential in-theater secure communications, weather and navigational data for ground, air and fleet operations and threat warning. Ground-based and space-based systems monitor ballistic missile launches around the world to guard against a surprise missile attack on North America. A global network of space surveillance sensors provide vital information on the location of satellites and space debris for the nation and the world. Maintaining space superiority is an emerging capability required to protect U.S. space assets from hostile attacks. 

Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Iceman’s 40 devotion
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Operation Purity
·         Rosary



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