Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 7-8
7 Blessed are those who trust in the LORD; the LORD will be their trust. 8 They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not FEAR heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit.
I live in Arizona where hardly anything grows in the desert. However, along a stream or a creek, trees do put their roots into the bed of the water and create a mini paradise with flowers, deer and even provides sustenance even during the hottest days. Likewise, we should sink our roots into our Lord through our church and receive refreshment through frequent reception of the sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist, along with spiritual reading and time alone with our Lord. In this way we are nourished and prepared for the work our Lord has given us.
Spiritual confession and communion on Sundays
A Memory of Bishop Schneider as a child under the oppression of the USSR communists:
One of my fondest memories from childhood were our family prayers on Sundays.
How old were you at the time? And what do you remember?
I was eight years old in Kyrgyzstan and I remember it very well. On Sundays, we closed all the doors, drew the curtains, and knelt down—my parents with the four children—and we sanctified the day of the Lord because there was no priest, no Mass.
We had to sanctify the day of the Lord, so in the morning we prayed the Rosary, a litany, prayers, and then we made our Spiritual Communion, to unite ourselves spiritually with the Mass which was being celebrated in some place at that time, at which we could not assist except in spirit. And we would invite the Lord to visit us and we made the Act of Contrition.
It was our Sunday worship as a family, in the house, in the domestic church.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mt. 5:3)
Though thus says the Lord for those who neither hope nor know Him and does not fear God: “Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a barren bush in the wasteland that enjoys no change of season, but stands in lava beds in the wilderness, a land, salty and uninhabited.” (Jer. 17:5-6)
Prayer for Help against Spiritual Enemies
Glorious Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly hosts, who stands always ready to give assistance to the people of God; who fought with the dragon, the old serpent, and cast him out of heaven, and now valiantly defends the Church of God that the gates of hell may never prevail against her, I earnestly entreat you to assist me also, in the painful and dangerous conflict which I sustain against the same formidable foe. Be with me, O mighty Prince! That I may courageously fight and vanquish that proud spirit, whom you, by the Divine Power, gloriously overthrew, and whom our powerful King, Jesus Christ, has, in our nature, completely overcome; so having triumphed over the enemy of my salvation, I may with you and the holy angels, praise the clemency of God who, having refused mercy to the rebellious angels after their fall, has granted repentance and forgiveness to fallen man. Amen.
“I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."
Why Five Saturdays?
The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1) Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
2) Blasphemies against her virginity
3) Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men
4) Instilling indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children
5) Direct insults against Her sacred images
How to complete the Five First Saturdays Devotion:
On the first Saturday of five consecutive months:
1. Go to confession.
2. Receive Holy Communion.
3. Say five decades of the Rosary.
4. Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary.
5. Have the intention of making reparation to Our Lady for the offenses listed above.
Kentucky Derby rescheduled due to COVID 19
The Kentucky Derby is the most popular and oldest horse race in the world. The race is a 1.25-mile long, Grade 1 stakes horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds on a dirt track. It is held annually at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby, run on the first Saturday in May of every year, is the first leg of the elusive Triple Crown races. It is followed by the Preakness Stakes two weeks later in Baltimore, Maryland and the Belmont Stakes, 3 weeks after the Preakness in Elmont, New York. Meriweather Clark founded the Kentucky Derby, which was first held in 1875. Since then, the Derby has become a day of luxury and fashion and celebrities are often in attendance.
The 146th Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve will be rescheduled from May 2, 2020 to September 5, 2020 and the 146th Longines Kentucky Oaks will be rescheduled from May 1, 2020 to September 4, 2020.
Schneider, Bishop Athanasius. Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age (p. 14).