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Introduction to Baruch
Many believe this global pandemic, and subsequent distancing from Mass and Communion, has the hand of God on it. Or, at least, many believe God seeks to utilize it for His purposes. It may be that a kind of illumination is at work here. One that is calling us to a greater appreciation and love for the Most Holy Eucharist, while calling us priests and bishops to a greater fortitude, amidst the forces of evil moving, mostly, unabated in our times.
Recently, I pointed out that our First Shepherds (Apostles), when faced with a "crisis moment" (Jesus is arrested) behaved in certain way. I hypothesized that the ratio of present day Shepherds (we priests & bishops) seems similar to the first Shepherds.
- 1/12th of us present day Shepherds seem to have no supernatural faith, treating the Church merely as a business - like Judas.
- 10/12ths of us present day Shepherds seem to lack fortitude, like 10 of the 12 Apostles who deserted Jesus and fled, when Jesus was arrested. It seems that many of us modern day Shepherds simply allow evil to advance while we retreat in silence. However, it must be noted that the forces of evil in our times may be the strongest and most aggressive they have ever been, especially in this age of "instant information" ... "instant propaganda." Shepherds, today, are facing an enormous Goliath. We need much prayer for the strength of the Holy Spirit.
- Finally, there is the remaining 1/12th of us present day Shepherds who, like John the Beloved, courageously stay with Jesus, all the way to the foot of the cross. These modern day Shepherds fearlessly put their reputations on the line to bring the light of the Spirit of truth to outshine the evil forces of darkness.
However, don't we know that the Apostles were huddled in the Upper Room, when Jesus penetrated obstacles - a locked door - and breathed on them with the power of the Holy Spirit. In that moment, empowered by the Holy Spirit, they left their fear and timidity behind, and became courageous John the Beloved Good Shepherds. They would then go forth from the Upper Room to stand against the forces of evil in their times, bringing the Spirit of truth, even when that meant they would be martyred. They bravely accepted their call to be the "influencers of their times."
Jesus said to his disciples:
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you (John 14:15-17).
We need to call out to God for the grace of a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit for priests and bishops! We need a "Priestly Pentecost."
Blessed Concepción Cabrera de Armida (1862-1937) was a Mexican Roman Catholic mystic and writer. She is also referred to often simply as Conchita. She was beatified in Mexico City on 4 May 2019, as the first Mexican laywoman to receive this recognition.
The Lord revealed to Conchita the vital role of the priesthood for the world, and then the Lord revealed this:
"I want to give my Church a powerful impulse in which I will pour out the Holy Spirit over my priests like a new Pentecost. The Church and the world need a new Pentecost, a priestly Pentecost, an interior Pentecost."
Pentecost Novena Asking God for a Priestly Pentecost
A global pandemic emerges, distancing Catholics from the Mass, only a few months after our Church received a shocking new Pew Research Report that revealed 70% of professed Catholics do not believe in Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist. Coincidence? One wonders. This is a "crisis moment" that should not be dismissed.
Let's pray like we have never prayed before!
The Pentecost Novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church.
Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed.
Pentecost Novena Dates: The Pentecost Novena for our Priests and Bishops goes from
Friday, May 22 to Saturday, May 30 (Vigil of Pentecost).
Power Up Your Pentecost Novena: Be in a State of Grace (Go to Confession). Find time to pray, in silence, before the Blessed Sacrament. Add fasting, to whatever level God is calling you.
Simple Intention: We will seek the intercession of the Virgin Mary and Pope St. John Paul II, as our intention will be the same as that of the holy monk of In Sinu Jesu: "Johanninise the souls of our priests and bishops. Please, Lord, grant a Priestly Pentecost."
Daily Pentecost Novena Prayers Found by (I will post the daily novena prayers here) ...
- Joining the Grace Force email list: HERE
- Going to usgraceforce.com
- Joining the Grace Force Facebook group: HERE
Introduction to Baruch
Baruch was Jeremiah's secretary, and he thus lived in the 6th century B.C. (though some conjecture that the book is only attributed to him but may have actually been written in the 2nd century B.C. to give people hope during the Maccabean Revolt). Baruch's book offers the People of God in either century (and our own) a second chance and reasons for hope. In his pages, we'll read of the Jews in exile in Babylon and of his call to pray for them, send them funds, and even pray for the ruler there, Nebuchadnezzar: delivery into his hands had been God's will, and now the people were to pray for forgiveness of their sins (ch. 1); we hear more about cannibalism in the next chapter, as well as a wonderful Prayer for Deliverance (well worth our own occasional saying) and the promise of a new Covenant ahead (ch. 2); then comes a beautiful poem on Wisdom which should serve as a guide back into God's graces (ch. 3); this poem continues into the next chapter which then launches into encouragement for those in exile not to lose heart because help is on the way and they will be free—perfect Lenten themes (ch. 4); then, just as in other places in the Bible God gives people new names when a new divine-human relationship is struck, so too the whole people God is saving receive new names: “Peace-Through-Justice” and “Glory-Through-Devotion”—God was into hyphenated names (ch. 5); the final chapter in some older Bibles actually appears as a separate book between Lamentations and Baruch as it is a Letter of Jeremiah which Baruch, his secretary, here incorporates into his own book: it reiterates that the people's long captivity was due to their having turned in the past to foolish idols (ch. 6).
This is why you put into our hearts the FEAR of you: that we may call upon your name, and praise you in our exile, when we have removed from our hearts all the wickedness of our ancestors who sinned against you.
What we are talking about is the effects of having the sins of our forefathers having a negative influence on us. This is often referred to as generational sin.
It is very important to remember that the sins of previous generations can be visited upon the present generation, as well as our sins today being visited on future generations. The Bible says in Exodus 20:5 (where God gives us His First Commandment to have no strange gods before Him), Exodus 34:7, Numbers 14:18, & Deuteronomy 5:9, that the punishment for sins can be given to the 3rd and 4th succeeding generations. You may want to think about that while you are considering committing a mortal sin. Do you really want the punishment for your sin given to your baby daughter, or to your grandson? This actually happened to David, where his son was killed for his adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:14), even after his guilt was removed. In the New Testament, Jesus talks about the blood of the prophets killed in previous generations being brought to bear on the current generation in Jerusalem (Matthew 23:29-36 and Luke 11:47-51). That's a scary thought for us alive today, with all of the blood of the 60 million or so innocent babies who were legally killed in the womb in the USA since 1973 being brought to bear upon us someday. There are people who don't believe in future generations being punished for the sins of previous generations, but then you have to remember that we are ALL still suffering for the one sin of Adam and Eve. In 2 Maccabees 6:14, it says that God waits patiently to punish nations until they have reached the full measure of their sins. Of course, the really good news is that for those who love and serve Jesus, his love is extended to a thousand generations, from Deuteronomy 7:9. So what do we need to do about all of these inter-generational curses caused by ancestral sins? Two things - You can recite the prayer below from Father Hampsch and the Claretian Teaching Ministry every day. The best time to recite it is immediately after Holy Communion, when you and Jesus Christ are one, when you are like the Blessed Virgin Mary - a living tabernacle of The Savior. That is when you are the holiest, and when your prayers are the most efficacious. A few minutes of heartfelt prayer after receiving Jesus in the Eucharist while in the state of grace are worth many hours of prayer later on. And, you can also have
"Heavenly Father, I come before you as your child, in great need of your help; I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord. But I also ask you to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders. With your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. In the name of your divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of his Holy Spirit, I ask you, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your precious Son, Jesus, I beg you to extend your blessing to me and to all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree. I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask you to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage. Set your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members' guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as your sovereignty permits. In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with you, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to your Son, Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus' precious Name. Amen.
"St. Joseph, Patron of family life, pray for us.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him, upon those who count on his mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive through famine. (Ps. 33:18-19)
THE Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before the Ascension are observed as days of solemn supplication, and are called Rogation Days. These three Rogation days serve also as a preparation for the feast of the ascension, which reminds us that we have the most powerful intercessor in our savior, who is now enthroned at the right hand of the father. Since 1929 many churches in the United States have observed Rogation Sunday as Rural Life Sunday, or Soil Stewardship Sunday. Services on this day examine the religious aspects of rural life. In 1969 the Roman Catholic Church cancelled the Rogation Days. In their place Church authorities instituted days of prayer for human needs, human works, and the fruits of the earth. Local bishops may now set appropriate dates for these observances in their dioceses.
Rogation Days are a Roman Catholic "baptism" of the Robigalia, a pagan procession to gain favor from the Robigo, the Roman god of grain. Since the Church had no objection to praying for the harvest, it threw out Robigo while keeping the procession and prayers. Today would be a good day to reflect on what we want to harvest this fall; so like farmers we must till the soil of our soul reflecting this day on our use of our TIME and look at in what ways we may offer our time to Christ to help build a harvest for His Kingdom
Sunday: The Holy Trinity – Sunday is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. This is entirely fitting as Sunday is the first day of the week and the day when we offer God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit our praise, adoration, and thanksgiving.
Monday: The Angels – Monday is the day in which we remember the angels. Angels are powerful guardians, and each of us is protected by one. Many of the saints had a great devotion to the angels in general and to their guardian angel in particular.
Tuesday: The Apostles – The Catholic Church is apostolic. That is, it is founded on the authority and teaching of the apostles, most especially that of St. Peter to whom Jesus gave the keys of his kingdom. Each bishop is a direct successor of the apostles.
Wednesday: Saint Joseph – Saint Joseph is known as the prince and chief patron of the Church. As the earthly father of Jesus, he had a special role in protecting, providing for, and instructing Jesus during his earthly life. Now that Christ is ascended into heaven, St. Joseph continues his fatherly guardianship of Christ’s body, the Church.
Thursday: The Holy Eucharist – Our Lord instituted the most holy Eucharist on a Thursday, so it is fitting that we remember this greatest of sacraments on this day. The Eucharist is the greatest gift of God to mankind, as it is nothing less than Jesus himself. What gift could be greater?
Friday: The Passion – Jesus was scourged, mocked, and crucified on a Friday. Because of this, the Church has always set aside Fridays of days of penance and sacrifice. While the U.S. sadly does not require abstinence from meat on Fridays, penance is still required in one form or another. This day should always be a day of repentance and a day in which we recall Christ’s complete self-sacrifice to save us from our sins.
Saturday: Our Lady – There are a number of theological reasons Saturdays are dedicated to Our Lady, perhaps the most significant is that on Holy Saturday, when everyone else had abandoned Christ in the tomb, she was faithful to him, confidently waiting for his resurrection on the first day of the week.
January: The Holy Name of Jesus – There is no name more powerful than the name of Jesus. The Catechism sums up the power of this name beautifully: “The name ‘Jesus’ contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray ‘Jesus’ is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him” (CCC #2666)
February: The Holy Family – The Holy Family is an earthly reflection of the Holy Trinity. By meditating on the Holy Family, we can learn the meaning of love, obedience, and true fatherhood and motherhood. We are also reminded that the family is the foundational unit of both society and the Church.
March: St. Joseph – St. Joseph is the icon of God the Father: silent but active and perfectly providing for the needs of all. The Church constantly invokes the protection of St. Joseph, admonishing us to ite ad Joseph, go to Joseph.
April: The Blessed Sacrament – Holy Church is the guardian of
the Holy Eucharist. For two thousand years, she has guarded this treasure, administering it to the faithful and proclaiming that it is nothing less than Jesus himself. We can never be too devoted to the Blessed Sacrament or show it too much honor.
May: The Blessed Virgin Mary – Our Lady has long been associated with the beauty of flowers and the coming of spring. This is fitting because she is both beautiful and the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the life of the world. In May, the Church remembers our glorious lady with crownings and processions in her honor.
June: The Sacred Heart of Jesus – The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the revelation of God’s immense love for us. It is often depicted as a fiery furnace, pierced and broken, but beating with love. The Sacred Heart is also a profound reminder of the humanity of our Lord, for his heart is not a mere symbol, but a true physical reality.
July: The Precious Blood – The blood of Christ saves us from sin. It is the blood of Christ that gives us the hope of heaven. St. Paul tells us that Jesus reconciled “to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20). Without the blood of Christ shed for us, all would be lost.
August: The Immaculate Heart of Mary – The heart of Mary is a motherly heart, a heart full of love and mercy for her children. The heart of Mary is also the channel through which all the graces of God flow down to us. She is “our life, our sweetness, and our hope.”
September: The Seven Sorrows of Mary – Aside from Jesus, no human being has suffered more than our Blessed Mother. In perfect obedience to the will of God, she consented to her son’s torture, humiliation, and brutal executed for our salvation. As any parent knows, watching one’s child suffer is the greatest suffering of all. She still bears the sufferings of her divine Son in her heart.
October: The Holy Rosary – The rosary is one of the most powerful weapons the Church possesses. We are constantly exhorted by saints, popes, and Our Lord and Our Lady themselves to pray this simple yet profound prayer. Accordingly, Mother Church has set aside a whole month to the promotion of this prayer.
November: The Souls in Purgatory – The souls in purgatory are suffering a great deal, and they cannot pray for themselves. They are our brothers and sisters, and as members of the body of Christ, we must pray and offer sacrifices for those who have gone before us, asking that they may rest in the light of God’s presence.
December: The Immaculate Conception – The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a profound mystery. In the Immaculate Conception, Mary was without sin from the first moment of her conception. She is perfectly united forever to her spouse, the Holy Spirit. Their fruitful union produced a wedding of heaven and earth in the Godman, Jesus Christ. We will meditate on these truths for all eternity.
Time is a Gift
The Church takes seriously the call to sanctify all things, even time. The Catholic significance of days and months is a profound reminder that our lives are finite, and that time should not be squandered. As the Psalmist said, “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). But more than anything, it reminds us that time is a gift from God, and with him and through him, all things are holy, and nothing is without meaning.
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.
US NavyJohn Barry, an Irish Catholic, was the "Father of the American Navy." He has been forgotten by all but a few historians, but he outranks John Paul Jones and was the official father of the Continental and U.S. Naval forces. He went to sea at a young age in Ireland and settled in Philadelphia. In October 1775, John was given command of the Continental Congress vessel, the Leviathan, and his commission, the first issued, was dated Dec. 7, 1775. When the war began, John Barry served in a spectacular manner. If his ship was shot out from under him, he and his crew battled on land. They were with George Washington at Trenton and Princeton. At the end of the war, Congress enacted on March 27, 1794, a law establishing the U.S. Navy. The U. S. Senate issued the appointments of officers made by George Washington, and John Barry's commission reads: "Captain of the U.S. Navy...to take rank from the 4th day of June, 1784...registered No. 1." With victory in hand at the end of the Revolutionary War, Americans in cities, towns and villages chanted a new ditty:
"There are gallant hearts whose glory
Columbia loves to name,
Whose deeds shall live in story
And everlasting fame.
But never yet one braver
Our starry baner bore,
Then saucy old Jack Barry,
The Irish Commodore."
Please pray for the intentions of my dear friend from my South Pole adventure and the Godfather of my daughter Claire, the eminent Navy Chief James Grace.
Ask for the Prayers and assistance of the Angels