Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
ST MATTHIAS-Novena St. Rita-Chicken Dance Day
Jeremiah, Chapter 42, Verse 11-16
11 Do not FEAR the king of Babylon, as you do now. Do not FEAR him—oracle of the LORD—for I am with you to save you, to rescue you from his power. 12 I will take pity on you, so that he will have pity on you and let you return to your land. 13 But if you keep saying, “We will not stay in this land,” thus disobeying the voice of the LORD, your God, 14 and saying, “No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we will not see war, nor hear the trumpet alarm, nor hunger for bread. There we will live!” 15 then listen to the word of the LORD, remnant of Judah: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: If you are set on going to Egypt and settling down there once you arrive, 16 the sword you FEAR shall overtake you in the land of Egypt; the hunger you dread shall pursue you to Egypt and there you shall die.
Faith is always a great multiplier in overcoming odds take the story of Glen Cunningham who beat the odds to go on to compete at the Olympics.
Glenn Verniss Cunningham (August 4, 1909 – March 10, 1988) was an American distance runner and athlete considered by many the greatest American miler of all time. Cunningham was nicknamed the "Kansas Flyer", the "Elkhart Express" and the "Iron Horse of Kansas".
Cunningham's legs were very badly burned in an explosion caused when someone accidentally put gasoline instead of kerosene in the can at his schoolhouse when he was eight and his brother Floyd was thirteen. Floyd died in the fire. When the doctors recommended amputating Glenn's legs, he was so distressed his parents would not allow it. The doctors predicted he might never walk normally again. He had lost all the flesh on his knees and shins and all the toes on his left foot. Also, his transverse arch was practically destroyed. However, his great determination, coupled with hours upon hours of a new type of therapy, enabled him to gradually regain the ability to walk and to proceed to run. It was in the early summer of 1919 when he first tried to walk again, roughly two years after the accident. He had a positive attitude as well as a strong religious faith. His favorite Bible verse was Isaiah 40:31: "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
He competed in both the 1932 Summer Olympics as well as the 1936 Summer Olympics. While on the ship traveling from the U.S. to Germany, he was voted "Most Popular Athlete" by his fellow Olympians.
In 1934, he set the world record for the mile run at 4:06.8, which stood for three years.
Mental prayer according to St. Teresa of Avila is nothing more than, “A close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.” Mental prayer is the raising of our mind to God in a quiet intimate conversation. We acquire the “mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16) by spending time in his company, in quiet, intimate conversation. We need to set time aside for mental prayer (20 minutes should be the minimum) Most of that time we should be listening for God’s word in our soul. The best place for our conversations is before the Blessed Sacrament but any quiet place with few distractions will do. It is best to begin by making an “act of the presence of God” which is a short prayer addressing God and acknowledging his presence. During our time with the Lord we should tell him about the things of our heart, what we think we are doing well and not so well and what are our concerns. We may bring along a Bible or spiritual book to discuss with our Lord. It is always a good idea to invite the Mother of Christ into the conversation. Mental Prayer can be a one-shot deal but it is always better when we set aside time every day for our conversation with God.
Mental Prayer was the premise of my book, “Coffee with Christ” here is an excerpt from the book.
The idea of this book is to seek friendship with God through Christ, the Holy Spirit and His mother-Mary. Prayer is, in its purest sense, a personal journey or intimacy with Our Lord. There is no greater help in our life’s journey in this world than through friendship with Jesus Christ and His mother.
The imaginary premise of this book is to have a regular “Coffee Clutch” with Christ and gather for coffee and conversation through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Ideally this book will serve as encouragement for you to enter into your own “coffee clutch” with Christ. Having a regular or daily set time or appointment to meet and discuss with Him your hopes, dreams, plans and goals. To bear your heart to Him: To just sit down with Christ and talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company, over a cup of coffee and to make the common Holy and grow in the love and likeness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The plan of the journal is to talk with Christ over the next 30 days and enjoy a cup of coffee with Him and contains my personal reflections with Him. Ideally this little saga of mine will inspire you to have the habit of talking intimately with our Lord yourself and I will at the end of my reflections in this book include 10 days of questions for your own “Coffee Clutch” with Christ. The forty days (30 + 10) in this journal are ideally suited for reflection during the season of Lent; however, it is also suitable for anytime during the year.
Note: This journal is merely my own reflections on spiritual matters and may or may not be in accord with the magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
The feast of Saint Matthias was included in the Roman Calendar in the 11th century and celebrated on the sixth day to the Calends of March (24 February usually, but 25 February in leap years). In the revision of the General Roman Calendar in 1969, his feast was transferred to 14 May, so as not to celebrate it in Lent but instead in Eastertide close to the Solemnity of the Ascension, the event after which the Acts of the Apostles recounts that Matthias was selected to be ranked with the Twelve Apostles.
OF this apostle nothing certain is known beyond what is contained in the epistle. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.”
Prayer. O God, Who didst associate blessed Matthias to the company of the apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that, by his intercession, we may ever experience Thy tender mercy towards us.
EPISTLE. Acts i. 15-26.
In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren said (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty) : Men, brethren, the Scripture must needs be fulfilled which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus: who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of His resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, Who knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
GOSPEL. Matt. xi. 25-30.
At that time Jesus answered and said I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is sweet and My burden light. The wise and prudent referred to in this gospel are the proud scribes and Pharisees, who, in their imaginary wisdom, would not receive the incarnate and suffering Son of God, but despised and rejected Him; in general, they represent also all who in their pride would measure everything by their own understanding, and to whom, consequently, the mysteries of faith seem foolishness. The little ones are the apostles, who, although taken from a low condition of life, without a learned education, but rather ignorant, were enlightened by God to know the deepest mysteries, because they had docile and humble hearts, desirous of salvation. Thus, God gives grace to the humble, while the proud go away empty. To those who bear His yoke, and follow Him, Christ promises peace of mind, temporal and eternal happiness; and, indeed, we must confess that as often as we are disquieted and discontented the cause of it is our selfishness and want of submission to the will of God, our pride and vanity. Learn, then, to love to be meek and humble, if you would enjoy peace, here or here after.
Prayer to St. Matthias. O St. Matthias, glorious apostle and martyr of Jesus Christ, who, by the special providence of God, wast added to the eleven apostles in the room of the traitor, I humbly beseech thee to obtain for us the grace of Him Who chose thee from all eternity, that, assisted thereby, we may, after thy example, keep the commandments of God, practice good works, and thus merit to be numbered with the elect. Amen.
Today it is my daughter Dara Hope’s birthday; (her name means: House of Compassion and Hope) please pray the Novena of St. Rita for her. Also today is National Chicken Dance Day! Yes, she loves to do the chicken dance.
Novena of St. Rita
This novena prayer, although short is sufficient. It would be better of course to add, if time permits, three Hail Mary’s or say five times the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father, or to use some of the many well-loved novena prayers from other sources. Remember that prayers must be said with the lips in order to gain the indulgences. This novena begins on May 14 and ends on May 22. Rita is the patron of the impossible.
Chicken Dance Day
We’ve all seen it, it’s utterly ridiculous and usually performed in a bout of intoxicant driven lunacy. You tuck your hands into your armpits to make ‘wings’, and then you flap like an idiot in time with some particularly unfortunate music. All that aside, you’re having complete giggle fits with a bunch of your friends while you behave in a fashion that has the local sanitarium eyeballing you for membership. What are we talking about? The Chicken Dance of course! Chicken Dance Day commemorates this dance and its origins, and even gives you a chance to learn WHY anyone would do this terrible, terrible thing.
History of Chicken Dance Day
How to Celebrate Chicken Dance Day
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 37. Mental Prayer.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896