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Monday, July 13, 2020

Day 7-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Vengeance


My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us
 

"Freedom From Vengeance" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, vengeance sounds a whole lot like revenge to me, both of which we know in our hearts are not a good thing.  One site tried to explain the difference:  "... the difference between revenge and vengeance is that revenge is any form of personal retaliatory action against an individual, institution, or group for some perceived harm or injustice while vengeance is revenge taken for an insult, injury, or other wrong."  Well, that was no help!  They still sound like the same thing.  Sure enough, another site called the words synonyms.

In any event, this we know: Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord ...." -Dt 32:35. The Truth in Deuteronomy is found in the words of St. Paul, "Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord" -Rom 12:19. When the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, He confirmed it all, teaching: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well" -Mt 5:38-39.

What does all this mean, exactly? In our day and age, that is a very important question and, unfortunately, too often is answered with some glib and meaningless recitation of a disconnected scriptural verse, taken out of context, taken out of culture, and taken out of 2,000 years of a language that few people even know anymore: "turn the other cheek."

Let us begin with what Mt 5:38-39 really means. The biblical notes to those two verses states: The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance; the punishment should not exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation. Right away, then, we see this only regards the principle of retaliation. It did not mean then, and it does not mean now, that we simply lay down and play doormat for any evil doer. This "I'm not a doormat" principle may be understood best by the principle of "self defense." We are entitled to defend our lives and we are entitled to defend the lives of others. The right to defense is absolute, and is to be contrasted with the scriptural admonition against retaliation. It also may be understood by pondering the concept of "escalation," where one bad actor "A" incites retaliation from "B" which incites retaliation from "A" which incites more retaliation from "B" and the next thing we see are bodies in the streets of our cities, too often innocent victims, including little children, who get caught in the cross-fire of retaliation.  In a larger sense, who can deny that the current culture of violence, rioting, looting and burning is nothing other than vengeance and retaliation? The anarchists set themselves up against Christian Truth, Truth found in the words of the great prophet Jeremiah apply: "To whom shall I speak?  whom shall I warn, and be heard? ... See, the word of the LORD has become for them an object of scorn, for which they have no taste" -Jer 6:10. It explains why the Seattle mayor's absurd response to CHOP seems to prevail everywhere - remember she called it "the summer of love." We saw the "love" in the murders and violent crimes. Her perverse twisting of Truth also is found in the words of Jeremiah: "They have treated lightly the injury to my people: 'Peace, peace!' they say, though there is no peace" -Jer 6:14.

In a more personal sense, all that we are seeing is nothing other than a reflection of people's hearts devoid of tempering Grace of Divine Love. Divine Love did not rain down lightning bolts upon the Roman centurions who drove the nails into His sacred body. Rather, Jesus sought to show Divine Love when He asked Our Father to forgive them, for they knew not what they did (cf. Lk 23:34). Let us realize, though, that Jesus did not paint with a broad brush of forgiveness to include those who knew what they were doing, or should have known. That is why Jesus said the members of the Sanhedrin who condemned Him would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Mt 5:20). That is why God's Justice will have its day when the lack of love drives so many to act in a vengeful way.

Again, the opposite of Vengeance is Love. But Love is not defined by playing "doormat." In the face of evil, genuine love is known as "tough love." True Love speaks up and speaks out with courage in the face of grave error that threatens real peace. True Love is enshrined in The Spiritual Works of Mercy that teach us to instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinner. Instruction and Admonishment are correction and are not the same as Vengeance or retaliation.

In these dark times, let us not fall into the trap of a false mercy, some twisted interpretation of "turning the other cheek."   Rather let us be a Light of Christ and an example of genuine love that instructs the ignorant and admonishes the sinner. Amidst all the vengeance we see in the streets, and amidst all the personal hurts in our own lives, we will have plenty of opportunity to do that. So, any time we find ourselves struggling with thoughts of Vengeance, and not thoughts of Mercy, let us make haste to spend more time before the Blessed Sacrament, meditating upon the Holy Cross, where the Light of Christ enlightens the darkest thoughts of our own souls.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward Vengeance.
We have allowed works of evil to foment within us a heart of retaliation.
Worse, through our own sins of omission, we have not come to a more full understanding of Your Truth about the difference between a heart dark with the spirit of Vengeance, that expresses itself in acts of evil against others, and the heart enlightened by Love and Mercy that expresses itself in instruction and admonishment of others.
By allowing our hearts to move toward darkness, and not toward the Light, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance in ourselves, but more importantly, in our streets.
We turn to you Lord, in our shame, and beg your forgiveness for any heart of dark vengeance, and any failure to be light of Love.
We beg for the grace of Your strength and power to grant us the resolve to turn back the falsehoods of the enemy by freely and openly speaking Your truth with love to a waiting world.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to revenge and retaliation.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully in imitation of You.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of vengeance have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


NATIONAL FRENCH FRY DAY

 

Malachi, Chapter 3, verse 16

Then those who fear the LORD spoke with one another, and the LORD listened attentively; a record book was written before him of those who FEAR the LORD and esteem his name.

 The people during the time of the prophet Malachi were perplexed. Why is it that evildoers prosper and even mock God and escape? The prophet is reassuring those who loved the Lord that nothing escapes God and if we have Holy fear and love the Lord we will be taken care of. 

Many of the behaviors of evil people lead directly to success; the biggest liar and manipulator on the sales team will usually be the top salesperson, for example. The evil person develops skill in seeing how to get the optimal outcome in every situation, and is willing to take whatever the actions are to get that most desirable outcome… which is why they so often get there. These people are NOT being blessed, they are reaping the “rewards” of their evil in the same way that a child cheating on a test gets a higher score… this is NOT the work of God, as He NEVER rewards evil.[1]

No we should not envy evil doers for whatever they gain it is never enough. Nor do they find peace in their hearts for their needs are never satisfied nor their thirst for more ever quenched.

According to the author Michael H. Brown[2] we are in the midst of a war between the forces of good and evil and right now it may seem that they are winning the battle, but they have already lost the war-the war for our souls; which Christ purchase with his death on the cross.  Hallelujah!

It Is Better to Fry in This Life Then the Next[3]

Whether you call them French Fries, Chips, Finger Chips, or French-Fried Potatoes, this delicious treat is loved around the world, and French Fries day celebrates them. Not to be confused with the American Chips, which are thinly sliced pieces of potato fried until crisp, French Fries are the delicious result of batons of potato cut to various thicknesses and then fried in oil. The outside of this staple companion food to hamburgers and other grease-ball favorites generally have a golden texture, varying from soft to crispy, and most often served with little more than a dusting of salt.

History of the French Fry

French Fries are one of many foods whose name is most misleading, as the origins of this fat fried food seem to be in Belgium. The story of their creation can be found in a family manuscript dated 1781, which reveals that potatoes were originally cut into the shape of fish and served in lieu of the fish normally caught in a series of small villages in Belgium. It seems the river had frozen over and the fish they normally caught and fried were unable to be caught. Why theyre called French is often attributed to troops coming over during World War I who got their hands-on Belgian Fries. The official language of the Belgian army at that time was French, and as a result the men thought they were in France rather than Belgium. Interestingly, in that region of the world, they are still called Flemish Fries to further complicate matters. Now these treats are loved the world round, even becoming the national snack’ of the Netherlands.

How to Celebrate French Fries Day

With the popularity of French Fry, its not surprising that the world has come up with as many different varieties of this delicious food as you could imagine. So, one of the best ways to celebrate French Fries Day is to host a party dedicated to celebrating the international menu the fried potato has created. The simplest variation is simply to put chopped raw onions in some ketchup and eat them up like they do in the Netherlands. For the more adventurous, try some of the varieties below!

Canadian Poutine

This recipe is a classic way to have French Fries, originating in Canada. This dish is incredibly decadent, combining the crispy soft texture of the French Fries with a rich beef gravy, and topped with cheese curds.

American Bacon Cheeseburger Classic

There is little Americans love more than to add cheese and bacon to just about anything. French fries are no exception, there is little that is as well-loved as a rich, greasy accompaniment to any meal. To make this classic you start with a basic of fries, and layer on bacon, chopped onions, cheese, and ground hamburger before tossing them in the oven just long enough for everything to get melty. Then grab a handful and dig in!

Greek French Fries

The Mediterranean rarely fail at making an already delicious food rich and full of the smells of home. If you love the classic Greek flavors of parmigiano-reggiano or romano cheese, garlic, and oregano, then these fries are going to leave you smiling. The key ingredients here are Extra Virgin Olive Oil to fry them in, after which you toss them in garlic salt, Greek Oregano, and your choice of cheese such as those mentioned ahead. To get the full impact youre going to want to stick to the white crumbly cheese of the region, the truly adventurous might use Mazithra cheese.

These are a few dishes that can help enhance French Fries Day, and really bring out the amazing versatility of this centuries old treat. So, get out your deep fryer, chop up some potatoes, and celebrate French Fries Day by eating yourself into a starch filled stupor!

mussels and fries[4]

Moules-frites—the Belgians discovered a perfect marriage. They steam their mussels in simple marinière style (flavored with a little chopped onion, celery, carrot, parsley, bay leaf, and thyme), and then serve heaping mounds of them.

Shaslik[5]

Is a traditional seasoned grilled meat for the Feast of St. Bart. While stationed in Belgium many years ago with my young daughter Nicole there were none of the American fast food places in close vicinity, but there were frites stands. Nicole loved Belgium frites, which are “French Fries” with an attitude. We used to joke that someday we will open our own Frite stand and on the placard, we would proudly proclaim the name of our stand, “DICK AND NIC’S FRITES AND SHASLIKS”.

The First Cat Show[6]

Have you ever noticed that some people may be very, very good at lying with their lips; yet by their gestures or body language you can always see the truth? This may be the reason we have such a great affection for pets who bodily speak the truth of their own likings. Let us ask our Lord whose hands were nailed to the wood and can no longer gesture---to allow us to be His hands thus making our own gestures speak His language of love.

A British man, Mr. Harrison Weir, got the idea for the first cat show. He was a Fellow of the Horticultural Society, and artist, and a cat lover. He developed a schedule, classes, and prizes for the show. He also created the "Points of Excellence" -- a guideline for how the cats would be judged.

The Crystal Palace, in south-east London, was chosen for the site of the first show. (Dog shows had already been held there). A man named Mr. F. Wilson was appointed manager of the show for setting up the Crystal Palace. The judges were Mr. Weir, his brother John Weir, and the Reverend J. Macdona.

The show was held on July 13, 1871. Nearly 160 cats were shown. The cats were mostly short-haired, and were divided into different color groups. Pedigrees were not around at this time. It wasn't until 1887 that the National Cat Club formed in Britain and began tracking the parentage of cats. The prize cats did not have their photos taken, but were drawn by an artist to record them.

The show attracted a great deal of interest. Cat shows soon became fashionable in Britain, particularly because they were patronized by Queen Victoria, who owned a pair of Blue Persians. In the 1870s, larger and larger cat shows were held in Britain. In 1895 the first official cat show was held in Madison Square Garden, New York.

Daily Devotions

·         Spend some time in Prayer with Mary. Remember During the third apparition on July 13, 1917, Our Lady revealed that she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia.

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Practice fidelity to baptismal vows

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[1]https://formerheathen.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/why-does-god-allow-evil-people-to-succeed/

[2] Michael H. Brown, Prayer of the Warrior, 1993.

[4] Schultz, Patricia. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die


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