Sunday, May 31, 2020
MAY 31 Pentecost (Whit) Sunday
VISITATION OF MARY/NOVENA to the HOLY SPIRIT
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for FEAR of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
Life begins at the end of our comfort zone. Do you live in fear of failure or are you locking the doors of your heart to new opportunities? When you let in the spirit of Christ you open yourself to empowerment.
The Law of Empowerment
The job of leadership is to lead with the intent to work yourself out of a job. Imagine what would happen if our politicos did this! This is what Jesus did. After Christ gave His Peace to the apostles, he breathed on them to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and thus empowered them to live the supernatural life. We in turn by the power of the successors of the apostles are heirs to this. Christ wants us to be change agents to bring about the Kingdom. How can we begin? What steps can we take to mentor and empower others?
1. Pray for conviction and vision.
2. Select a person or group from your sphere of influence to mentor.
3. Meet and discuss expectations and goals.
4. Cast a vision to them for spiritual reproduction.
5. Ask for commitment.
6. Determine what tools or resources you will use together.
7. Prepare yourself and set goals for each meeting.
8. Meet regularly for a set time.
9. Discuss and apply the truths you learn together.
10. Invest yourself in the person, the process, and the purpose.
11. Help them find a potential person to mentor.
12. Evaluate and launch them to try the process themselves.
Fifty days after Easter, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles is one of the three great feasts of the liturgical year.
What is Pentecost? The solemn anniversary of the day on which the Holy Ghost came down, under the appearance of fiery tongues, upon Mary the Mother of Jesus, and His apostles and disciples, who were assembled in prayer at Jerusalem. To express her joy at the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Church sings, at the Introit of the Mass, The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole earth, alleluia, and that which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice, alleluia, alleluia. Let God arise, and His enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Him fly before His face.
Prayer. O God, Who on this day didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that we may be truly wise in the same Spirit, and ever rejoice in His consolation.
EPISTLE. Acts ii. 1-11.
When the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers’ tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans? And how have we heard every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and in habitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphilia, Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Gyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.
Why does the Church celebrate this day so solemnly? To praise and thank God for sending the Holy Ghost, Who gave so many spiritual graces and fruits to men.
Why did the Holy Ghost appear under visible signs? It was done to attract attention, and to indicate outwardly what took place inwardly. The roar of the mighty wind, according to the language of the prophets, pointed to the approaching Godhead, and was intended to announce something extraordinary. The appearance of tongues signified the gift of languages, and the division of them the difference of gifts imparted by the Holy Ghost. The fire which lightens, warms, and quickly spreads, denoted the love of God, the power and joy with which the apostles, and mankind through them, should be filled, and indicated the rapid extension of Christianity.
What were the effects of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles? Being enlightened and made acquainted with all truth, freed from all fear and faint-heartedness, and undaunted, the apostles preached everywhere Christ crucified, and for love of Him endured with joy all sufferings. Their discourses were understood by all present, as if they had carefully learned each particular language. From that time Christianity spread with wonderful rapidity throughout the whole world. Pray the Holy Ghost to-day to enlighten you also, to inflame you with holy love, and to give you strength daily to increase in all goodness.
GOSPEL. John xiv. 23-31.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, arid We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not, keepeth not My words. And the word which you have heard is not Mine: but the Father s Who sent Me. These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come to you. If you loved Me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it came to pass that when it shall come to pass, you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and in Me he hath not anything. But that the world may know that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given Me commandment, so do I.
Why is the Holy Ghost called a spirit, and the Holy Spirit? Because He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is as it were, the Spirit of the Father and the Son.
What does the Holy Ghost effect in men? He renews their hearts, by cleansing them from sin, by imparting to them the sanctification and likeness to God gained through Christ, together with all these supernatural gifts and graces by which they can become holy and happy, and brings forth in them wonderful fruits of sanctity.
Which are these gifts of the Holy Ghost? The seven following:
1. The gift of wisdom, which teaches us to value the heavenly more than the earthly, infuses into us a longing for the same, and points out to us the right means to salvation.
2. The gift of understanding, which enlightens us to rightly understand the mysteries and doctrines of our holy religion.
3. The gift of counsel in doubtful cases, which enables us to know what to do or omit, and what to advise others. This gift is particularly necessary for superiors, for those who are changing their state of life, and for those who are entangled in perplexing and unfortunate marriage relations.
4. The gift of fortitude, which banishes all timidity and human respect, strengthens a man to hate sin, and steadfastly to practice virtue; preferring contempt, temporal loss, persecution, and even death, to denying Christ by word or deed.
5. The gift of knowledge, by which the Holy Ghost enlightens us with an inner light, that we may know ourselves, the snares of self-love, of our passions, of the devil, and of the world, and may choose the fittest means to overcome them.
6. The gift of piety and devotion, which infuses into us veneration for God and divine things, and joy in conversing with Him.
7. The gift of the fear of God, that childlike fear, which dreads no other misfortune than that of displeasing God, and which, accordingly, flees sin as the greatest evil.
The gift of Wisdom
Wisdom empowers a person “to judge and order all things in accordance with divine norms and with a connaturality that flows from a loving union with God.” So, while knowledge and understanding enable a person to know and to penetrate the divine truths, wisdom moves us to “fall in love” with them. The Holy Spirit aids the contemplation of divine things, enabling the person to grow in union with God. This gift unites us to the heart of Jesus. Father Adolphe Tanquerey taught, “This, then, is the difference between the gift of wisdom and that of understanding, the latter is a view taken by the mind, while the former is an experience undergone by the heart; one is light, the other love, and so they united and complete one another. Wisdom, withal, remains the more perfect gift; for the heart outranges the intellect, it sounds greater depths, and grasps or divines what reason fails to reach. This is particularly the case with the saints, in whom love often surpasses knowledge” (The Spiritual Life, p. 630). For example, St. Therese of Lisieux (declared a doctor of the church), had no formal education in theology, and yet was wise to the ways of the Lord, a wisdom gained through prayer and simple acts of love offered to God. While this gift contemplates the divine, it also is a practical wisdom. It applies God’s ideas to judge both created and divine matter, thereby directing human acts according to divine wisdom. Therefore, a person will see and evaluate all things — both joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, success and failure — from God’s point of view, and accept them with equanimity. With wisdom, all things, even the worst, are seen as having a supernatural value — for example, giving value to martyrdom. Here a person arises above the wisdom of this world and lives in the love of God. St. Paul captured well this gift of wisdom: “What we utter is God’s wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom. God planned it before all ages for our glory. …Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit. …The Spirit we have received is not the world’s spirit but God’s Spirit, helping us to recognize the gifts He has given us. We speak of these, not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, thus interpreting spiritual things in spiritual terms. The natural man does not accept what is taught by the spirit of God. For him, that is absurdity. He cannot come to know such teaching because it must be appraised in a spiritual way. The spiritual man, on the other hand, can appraise everything. We have the mind of Christ” (I Cor 2:6ff). Or consider St. John’s first epistle: “God is love. Everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God. …He who abides in love, abides in God, and God in him. Our love is brought to perfection in this, that we should have confidence on the Day of Judgment; for our relation to this world is just like His. Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear” (I Jn 4:7, 17-18).
Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost? They are the twelve following:
These fruits should be visible in the Christian, for thereby men shall know that the Holy Ghost dwells in him, as the tree is known by its fruit.
What is Whitsunday or White Sunday? The liturgical color of this Sunday is red in order to recall the tongues of flame that descended on the Apostles. The old English name for Pentecost, Whitsunday, originated from the custom of the newly baptized redonning their white robes for the services of the day. By extension this could also apply to the new Easter clothes worn by the faithful fifty days earlier.
Like Ascension Thursday, Whitsunday was once the occasion for several liturgical eccentricities. Many medieval churches, for example, had a Holy Ghost Hole in the ceiling of the church from which a large blue disk bearing the figure of a white dove would swing slowly down to the congregation during the Mass sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus. Midway through the sequence, the disk would stop and from the Holy Ghost hole would rain symbols of the Spirit: flowers, water, even burning pieces of straw. A practice far less susceptible to excess, on the other hand, is the use of beautifully carved and painted wooden doves in the home. These figures would usually be suspended over the dinner table, and would sometimes be encased in glass, having been assembled entirely from within (much like the wooden ships assembled in bottles). The painstaking effort that went into making these doves serves as a reminder to cherish the adoration of the Holy Spirit.
The Blessed Dew
Though the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is often described in dramatic terms (a mighty wind, tongues of fire, etc.), it is also portrayed in soothing, comforting ways. The Whitsunday sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus, for example, calls the Spirit our "sweet refreshment" (dulcis refrigerium), while the postcommunion prayer, in an allusion to Isaiah 45.8, refers to the "inward sprinkling of His heavenly dew." Hence there arose the charming superstition that the morning dew of Whitsunday is especially good luck. To obtain a blessing, people would walk barefoot through the meadows before Mass and would even feed their animals with bread wiped by the dew.
Age of the Holy Spirit
Where we are is the age of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church because even though the Apostles were transformed by earlier events such as the institution of the Eucharist and priesthood on Maundy Thursday or their acquiring the power to forgive sins on Easter afternoon, they - and by extension, the Church - did not really come into their own until the Paraclete inspired them to burst out of their closed quarters and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. And just as Pentecost marks the birthday of the Church in the Holy Spirit, so too does the Time after Pentecost mark the life of the Church moving through the vicissitudes of history under the protection and guidance of that same Spirit. It is for this reason that the epistle readings from this season emphasize the Apostles' advice to the burgeoning churches of the day while its Gospel readings focus on the kingdom of heaven and its justice. It is also the reason why the corresponding lessons from the breviary draw heavily from the history of the Israelite monarchy in the Old Testament. All are somehow meant to teach us how to comport ourselves as citizens of the city of God as we pass through the kingdoms of this world.
Pentecost Monday remains an official festival in many Protestant churches, such as the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and others. In the Byzantine Catholic Rite Pentecost Monday is no longer a Holy Day of Obligation, but rather a simple holiday. In the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, as at Easter, the liturgical rank of Monday and Tuesday of Pentecost week is a Double of the First Class and across many Western denominations, Pentecost is celebrated with an octave culminating on Trinity Sunday. However, in the modern Roman Rite (Ordinary Form), Pentecost ends after Evening Prayer on the feast day itself, with Ordinary Time resuming the next day.
· My advice: Go to Mass for the 8 days.
Feast of the Visitation of Mary
THIS day is called the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, because on it Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, whom, as the angel had told her, God had blessed with a son in her old age. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “Hail, holy parent, who didst bring forth the King Who rules heaven and earth forever. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak of my works for the King.”
Prayer. Vouchsafe, O Lord, we beseech Thee, unto us Thy servants the gift of Thy heavenly grace, that, as in the childbirth of the Blessed Virgin our salvation began, so from the votive solemnity of her visitation we may obtain an increase of peace. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, etc. Amen.
EPISTLE. Cant. ii. 8-14.
Behold lie cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart; behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land: the fig-tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come: my dove in the cliffs of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, show me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.
GOSPEL. Luke i. 39-47.
At that time: Mary rising up went into the hill-country with haste, into a city of Juda: and she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she cried out with a loud voice and said : Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?
For behold, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord; and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
1. As soon as Mary heard that Elizabeth was with child, she hastened to her. The alacrity of the Blessed Virgin teaches us that we should take part with gladness in the happiness of our fellowmen, and quickly make ourselves ready to discharge our duties, sacrificing for that object, if necessary, even our own much-loved retirement, our devotions and other exercises of piety.
2. Mary visited her cousin out of real love, not out of unmeaning ceremony. Would that her example were followed in our visits!
3. By the visit of the Blessed Virgin John was sanctified in his mother s womb, and Elizabeth, enlightened by the Holy Ghost, knew, by the miraculous movements of her child, that Mary was the Mother of the Lord. Such effects did this visit produce. What would Jesus effect in us if we received Him with due preparation!
EXPLANATION OF THE CANTICLE “MAGNIFICAT”
In this hymn Mary with joy praises God, the Lord, that He has regarded her humility, and made her to be the Mother of His only begotten Son, wherefore she should be called blessed by all generations; and she declares the truths and mysteries which the incarnation brought to light. The mercy of God, namely, reaches from generation to generation to them that fear Him. He scatters the thoughts of the proud, and puts down from their seats the mighty; but He exalts the humble. He fills those who hunger for justice with good things, but those who think themselves rich He sends away empty. He receives all true Israelites, and performs in them the promises which He gave to the fathers. This hymn is repeated by the Church every day at Vespers, in praise of the work of redemption, begun by the incarnation of the Son of God in Mary. Would that every Christian, since he becomes one only by Christ being, as it were, born in him, might share those feelings which the Blessed Virgin and Mother has expressed in this hymn of praise, and, with the Church, daily praise God for the mystery of the incarnation!
Aspiration. O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who didst descend from the highest heavens to the womb of the Virgin Mary, didst therein rest for nine months, and with her didst condescend to visit and sanctify St. John, grant that we, by the practice of good works, particularly of humility, may become partakers of the fruits of Thy incarnation.
Things to Do
- Read Luke 1:39-47, the story of the Visitation. Read and meditate on the words of the Magnificat and the Hail Mary, two prayers from this feast. For those with children, depending on the ages, assign memorization for these prayers. Also discuss the meaning of the text as a family.
- This feast reminds us to be charitable to our neighbors. Try to assist some mother (expectant or otherwise), visit the elderly or sick, make a dinner for someone, etc.
World No Tobacco Day
World No Tobacco Day serves to generate awareness about the health risks of tobacco use and to advocate for more effective policies that can help reduce worldwide tobacco use.
World No Tobacco Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Think about your health. Quit smoking or encourage others to do so. Many help books are available online to coach you through the withdrawal and help you find alternative solutions to the cravings.
· Educate youth and teenagers in your neighborhood about the negative effects of smoking and encourage them to quit if they have already picked up the habit. The best way to eradicate smoking is by educating the new generation of the negative effects of tobacco use.
· Volunteer for the Freedom from Smoking program or another like program that helps smokers quit.
· Watch a movie or documentary about smoking and tobacco. Our favorites: The Tobacco Conspiracy, We Love Cigarettes and Passion for Cigarettes.
· Lobby for stricter tobacco advertisement laws and smoking laws in your community. Tobacco companies continue to be pressured legally to disclose the negative effects of their product and your help in supporting this legal action can lead to even stricter laws.
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after SUNSET ON SATURDAY till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
Wildlife fills our life with joy and refreshment. Songbirds and birds of prey, squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and lightning bugs all carry a message worth discovering in early summer. Do we see and hear them, or do we overlook them, even despise them? Are they simply an annoyance, or do we come to know, love, and even serve these fellow creatures by providing protection and habitat?
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.
Overview of June
The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
As we begin to feel the warmth of summer, we can reflect that we celebrate the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 19) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 20). God is Love and the Sacred Heart of Jesus — present on earth in the Blessed Sacrament — is the human manifestation of God's Love for men.
Appropriately June is considered the month for weddings where human hearts join and cooperate with the Creator in bringing forth new life. The family they create is a human reflection of the Blessed Trinity. Also, on June 1 we celebrate the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church.
Following Pentecost, the Church begins her slow descent from the great peaks of the Easter Season to the verdant pastures of Ordinary Time, the longest of the liturgical seasons. Like the lush June growth all around us, the green of the liturgical season points to the new life won for us by the Redemption of Jesus Christ, the new life of Charity. For Our Lord came to cast the fire of His love on the earth, and to that end, sent His Holy Spirit at Pentecost in the form of tongues of fire. Ordinary Time is the hour to “go out to all the world and tell the good news.” The feasts of June highlight this expansion of the Church. At least ten times, the Church vests in the red of the martyrs whose blood is the very seed of her growth. She also celebrates the feasts of the apostles Peter and Paul, and the birth of St. John the Baptist, proto-disciple and prophet. We too are called to be witnesses like the apostles and martyrs. May the Heart of Jesus inflame our hearts so that we may be worthy of our Baptismal call to holiness. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
feasts of this month are
· St. Justin (June 1),
· Sts. Marcellinus and Peter (June 2),
· St. Boniface (June 5),
· St. Norbert (June 6),
· St. Ephrem (June 9),
· St. Barnabas (June 11),
· St. Anthony of Padua (June 13),
· Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More (June 22),
· the Birth of St. John the Baptist (June 24),
· St. Josemaria Escriva (June 26),
· St. Cyril of Alexandria (June 27),
· the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29) and the
· First Martyrs of the Church of Rome (June 30).
The feast of St. Romuald (June 19) is superseded by the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The feasts of St. Aloysius Gonzaga (June 21) and St. Irenaeus (June 28) are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896