Day 26-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Pride
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have been too self-involved to notice the damage our sins have wreaked on our neighbor and broken faith with You.
We have expected You to be pleased with our prideful and selfish hearts.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our pridefulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our pride and lack of sorrow.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
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.
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 pride.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of pride 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 for ever and ever.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord.
August--We may come to appreciate more deeply the various land forms (mountains, deserts, rock formations, valleys, and plains) during vacation time. They give us bearing, direction, and the geological history of our lives. This is the beginning of awareness of the "here" in our lives. The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord shows us the "hereness" of the risen Lord, and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary speaks of God's power to the blessed. While we can choose to extend the Savior's redeeming power to our wounded earth, we also can choose to withdraw from this awesome challenge.
Overview of August
The month of August is dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The entire 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.
is often considered the transitional month in our seasonal calendar. It is the
time of the year we begin to wind-down from our summer travels and vacations
and prepare for Autumn — back to school, fall festivals, harvest time, etc. The
Church in her holy wisdom has provided a cycle of events in its liturgical year
which allow the faithful to celebrate the major feasts in the life of Christ
and Mary. Most notably, during August, we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration
(August 6) and the feast of the Assumption (August 15).
The days of summer have provided a welcome change of pace. However, while vacations afford us the time to relax and refresh, the change of habits and routines can also have a negative impact on our spiritual lives. As if to re-ignite us, the Church offers us in the plethora of August feasts vivid examples of the virtue of perseverance: six martyrs — two who are named in Canon I of the Mass and two who were martyred during World War II; seven founders of religious congregations, as well as three popes and two kings; the apostle, St. Bartholomew; the great Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine and St. Monica, his mother; the humble patron saint of parish priests, St. John Vianney, and the patron of deacons, St. Lawrence, who joked with his executioners while being roasted alive.
It is never too late to begin — as the life of the reformed sinner, St. Augustine teaches us — nor too difficult to begin again, as demonstrated by the conversion of the martyr, St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein). We present-day members of the Mystical Body are certain of the reward to which we are called, for Christ's Transfigured body (August 6) is a preview of that glory. Moreover, in the Assumption of his Mother (August 15), Our Lord has demonstrated his fidelity to his promise. Her privilege is "the highest fruit of the Redemption" and "our consoling assurance of the coming of our final hope — the glorification which is Christ's" (Enchiridion on Indulgences).
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the most perfect example of Christian perseverance, but she is also our advocate in heaven where she is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth (August 22). Mary is the "Mother of Perpetual Help", the patroness of the Congregation founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori (August 1). "No one who has fled to her protection is left unaided" is the claim of the Memorare of St. Bernard (August 20). Heretics have returned to the faith by the prayers of her Rosary, first preached by St. Dominic (August 8) in the twelfth Century, and hearts have been converted by the graces received while wearing her Miraculous Medal, promoted by St. Maximillian Kolbe (August 14) and adopted as the "badge" for the Pious Union he founded. Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope!
AUGUST 1 First Saturday
SAINT PETER IN CHAINS
Mark, Chapter 11, Verse 18
The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it and were seeking a way to put him to death, yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
This was after Jesus had overturned the money changers tables. The priests were not afraid of the man Jesus, for they did not know or care if He was the messiah. They only respected money, power, or the ability to sway or manipulate the crowd.
In this chapter of Mark’s gospel, he also included the story of the fig tree. The fig tree was cursed by Jesus before He entered the temple because it although was healthy and looked as if it held much fruit was barren. After the incident in the temple the same tree had withered and died because it did not produce. It did not live up to its created purpose.
Mark records it thus,
“Early in the morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree
withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to him,
“Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus
said to them in reply, “Have faith in God. Amen, I say to
you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and
does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen; it
shall be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, all that you
ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a
grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your
First Saturday-Time to Get Serious About Fatima
The world's gone mad. Take the attacks and outrages perpetrated by men upon their neighbors or the persecutions of the Church in China and North Korea, and the list could go on. But it's pointless to compare tragedies, to try to determine who's most wounded, who is most in pain. Rather, it's time and long past time to apply the solutions we've had all along. I'm talking, of course, about the message of Fatima, specifically Our Lady's calls for the daily Rosary for peace in the world and the Five First Saturday’s devotion.
My fellow Marian Fr. Seraphim Michalenko sometimes tells a story that a priest ministering in Japan shared with him in Rome. This priest was attending an international gathering of Christians from across the world, attended by foreign dignitaries. The ambassador from Japan approached the priest, verified that the priest served in Japan and was a Catholic priest, and then said, "War is your fault." The priest was surprised and asked what the ambassador meant. The ambassador said, "You Catholics, all of you — we do not have peace in the world. It is your fault." The priest said, "Ambassador, why do you blame us?" The ambassador said, "I've read about this. The Lady came to you at Fatima, right? That's what you believe? She told you what to do to secure peace in the world. Well, there's no peace in the world, so obviously you Catholics haven't done it." The priest had to acknowledge that the ambassador was correct, but still tried to protest, saying, "Isn't peace everyone's responsibility?" The ambassador was vehement. "No, she came to you Catholics. Not to Buddhists. Not to Hindus. She came to you, and it is your responsibility."
We've been given the answer. Pray
the Rosary daily for peace in the world and invite others to pray with you. At
college, there would occasionally be "sit ins for peace." A number of
my fellow students, passionately convicted and righteously indignant though
they were, would go and sit outside the student center with signs. That was
their sit in for peace. It always massively frustrated me because here we were,
a Catholic school, armed with a whole host of powerful prayers and devotions,
and there they were just sitting. If they'd just bothered to pray the Rosary,
their protest would have meant a great deal in this world and the next. Why not
arrange for a Rosary for peace at your colleges and universities, if not every
day, then at least every Saturday, traditionally set aside as Our Lady's day?
Why not revive the tradition of family and neighborhood Rosaries, offered
specifically for the intention of peace in the world? What about having a
regular Rosary for peace at your parish, maybe even before Mass with the
permission of your pastor?
• Make the Five First Saturdays devotion
• Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart, and encourage others to do the same.
• Become invested in the Brown Scapular.
• Do penance for your sins and on behalf of poor sinners everywhere.
Don't just sit there — the world is in trouble, and we have the answer.
Saint Peter in Chains
Today commemorates St. Peter’s miraculous escape from prison by the hand of an angel. He had been incarcerated by Herod Agrippa, who had already killed St. James the Greater and intended to bring St. Peter before the people also after Easter. But, as the Acts of the Apostles tells us, “prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him”, and he was delivered by an angel who awoke him in the night, led him past the guards and out of prison.
The chains of St. Peter in Rome
Though no longer included in the general liturgical calendar, the feast of St. Peter in Chains is nonetheless an important day for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. The pilgrims who joined the Fraternity on our 30th Anniversary Pilgrimage to Rome last October visited the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, where they were able to venerate the chains of St. Peter.
Also commemorated today are the seven Maccabees, the holy brothers who were tortured and killed before the eyes of their mother in the 2nd century before Christ for refusing to abandon the Jewish faith. Please pray today for the priests of our Fraternity, that, through the intercession of our patron St. Peter and the holy Maccabees, we may ever possess the same fortitude and love for the Faith that enabled them to endure all things for its sake. “And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know in very deed, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.”
This is an extraordinary demonstration of God’s mercy in removing the chains of sin from those who devoutly and faithfully seek to gain the indulgence by completing its requirements. It is said that St. Francis was given this day by Our Lord because the Feast of the Chains of St. Peter celebrated on August first is the day Peter was released from prison and his chains removed.
The conditions to obtain the Plenary Indulgence of the Forgiveness of Assisi is (for oneself or for a departed soul) is as follows:
· Sacramental Confession to be in God’s grace (during eight days before or after.)
· Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist
· Recitation of The Apostles Creed, Our Father and also a prayer for the Pope’s Intention (such as an Our Father, Hail Mary, etc.).
The Portiuncula Indulgence is a grace not to be missed—not only for yourself but for the many suffering souls in Purgatory. Mark your calendar for the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels beginning at Vespers (Noon) on the First of August to August 2nd at Midnight.
Today is my deceased father’s birthday. My father was not always a blameless and upright man, but he had a great devotion to St. Jude. He always swore it was St. Jude’s prayers and intercession that brought him home from the war in the pacific and maybe it was. He got my grandmother to sign the papers and he was in combat before his 18th birthday. He was a ghost diver during WWII; his job was to scuba dive in before invasions and set up radio beacons for the invasion and avoid detection or capture. He went on 26 missions with 11 others in frogman teams. The normal mortality rate for these teams was 50%.
After the war, my father drank a lot to forget. As his disease of alcoholism ramped up, he stopped going to church refusing to go to church drunk. I don’t know if my father was aware St. Jude admonishes false teachers who used the church as a sort of country club and caroused fearlessly looking after themselves. My father did not see the church as a social institution but as a place where one encounters our Holy God, our Holy mighty one; our Holy immortal one.
My father knew he was a sinner. He always said that St. Jude was his patron saint because; St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and my father swore that’s what he was. As his disease progressed, he stopped going to church but built a shrine to our Mother Mary. Every day he would cut fresh roses for the shrine and sit at twilight, with beer and cigarette in hand; silently staring at the shrine.
In the end my father did receive his last rights and was ushered into our Lord by our Lady and St. Jude.
Prayer of St. Alphonsus Dc Liguori To the Sacred Heart.
adorable heart of my Jesus, heart created expressly for the love of men, until
now I have shown towards Thee only ingratitude. Pardon me, O my Jesus. Heart of
my Jesus, abyss of love and of mercy, how is it possible that I do not die of
sorrow when I reflect on Thy goodness to me and my ingratitude to Thee? Thou,
my Creator, after having created me, hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me
and, not content with this, Thou hast invented a means of offering Thyself up
every day for me in the Holy Eucharist, exposing Thyself to a thousand insults
and outrages. Ah, Jesus, do Thou wound my heart with a great contrition for my
sins, and a lively love for Thee. Through Thy tears and Thy blood give me the
grace of perseverance in Thy fervent love until I breathe my last sigh. Amen.
Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney
Dispeller of Satan
O Holy Priest of Ars, the infamous attacks of the devil which you had to suffer and the trials which disheartened you by fatigue would not make you give up the sublime task of converting souls. The devil came to you for many years to disturb your short rest, but you won because of mortification and prayers. Powerful protector, you know the tempter’s desire to harm my baptized and believing soul. He would have me sin, by rejecting the Holy Sacraments and the life of virtue. But good Saint of Ars dispel from me the traces of the enemy. Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
Our first path to holiness is through the Eucharist! Yes, prayers, confessions, the rosary and the saints, angels and our Lady help us in that path to holiness, but when we receive honorably, we become the resurrected Christ to others and us radiant His presence. Today make the Eucharistic Stations of the Cross.
Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 13
On Day 13 Father Calloway points out that St. Joseph’s role in naming the Savior was an extremely important one. Fathers are called by God the Father, to nurture the children they create. Often men are cavalier in their duties as co-creators with God and sometimes out of self-interest men shun their duty of fatherhood. It was not so with Joseph; out of pure love and humility he felt unworthy of being the “Nurturer of the Son of God” until the moment he was commanded to “Be not Afraid”, to take Mary as his wife.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, Pray for Us.
Noble offspring of David, Pray for Us.
Light of Patriarchs, Pray for Us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, Pray for Us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, Pray for Us.
Foster Father of the Son of God, Pray for Us.
Father Calloway stresses
· St. Joseph’s spiritual fatherhood is forever.
· Saint Joseph will always be your spiritual father.
is valid for Jesus is valid for you-Saint Joseph is your spiritual educator,
protector and provider. Saint Joseph’s spiritual fatherhood over Christ and us
(the mystical body of Christ) endures forever.
Virginal Father of Jesus
Saint Joseph was by birth of the royal family of David, but was living in humble obscurity as a carpenter, until God raised him to the highest office ever accorded a mortal man, by choosing him to be the spouse of the Virgin Mother, the virginal father and guardian of the Incarnate Word. Joseph, says Holy Scripture, was a just man. He was innocent and pure, as became the husband of Mary; he was gentle and tender, as one worthy to be named the father of Jesus; he was prudent and a lover of silence, as became the master of the holy house; above all, he was faithful and obedient to divine calls. His conversation was with Angels rather than with men. When he learned that Mary bore within Her womb the Lord of heaven, he feared to take Her as his wife; but an Angel bade him put his fear aside, and all doubts vanished.
Sacred Scripture has no direct reference to the question of Saint Joseph’s virginity. It does, however, bring out the fact that Joseph, while being the true father of the Son of God and the husband of Mary, is certainly not the natural father of Jesus. Indirectly it shows that the union between Mary and Joseph, while a true marriage, was primarily virginal.
Vision of Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God:
760. During this time saint Joseph said to his spouse Mary: "My spouse and Lady, I give thanks to the Lord most high God for the favor of having designed me as your husband without my merits, though I judged myself unworthy even of thy company; but his Majesty, who can raise up the lowly whenever He wishes, showed this mercy to me, and I desire and hope, relying on thy discretion and virtue, that Thou help me to make a proper return in serving Him with an upright heart. Hold me, therefore, as thy servant, and by the true love which I have for thee, I beg of thee to supply my deficiencies in the fulfillment of the domestic duties and of other things, which as a worthy husband, I should know how to perform; tell me, Lady, what is thy pleasure, in order that I may fulfill it."
761. The heavenly Spouse heard these words with an humble heart, and yet also with a serene earnestness, and She answered the saint: "My master, I am fortunate, that the Most High, in order to place me in this state of life, has chosen thee for my husband and that He has given me such evident manifestation of his will, that I serve thee; but if thou givest me leave I will speak of my thoughts and intentions, which I wish to manifest to thee for this purpose." The Most High forestalled the sincere and upright heart of saint Joseph with his grace and inflamed it anew with divine love through the word of most holy Mary, and he answered Her, saying: "Speak, Lady thy servant hears." On this occasion the Mistress of the world was surrounded by the thousand angels of her guard, in visible form. She had asked them to be present in that manner, because the Lord, in order that the most pure Virgin might act with greater grace and merit, had permitted her to feel the respect and reverence, with which She was bound to speak to her husband and left her to the natural shyness and dread, which She always felt in speaking to men alone; for She had never done this, except perhaps by accident with the high priest.
762. The holy angels obeyed their Queen and, visible only to Her, stood in attendance. In this glorious company She spoke to her spouse saint Joseph, and said to him: "My lord and spouse, it is just that we give praise and glory with all reverence to our God and Creator, who is infinite in goodness and incomprehensible in his judgments. To us, who are so needy, He has manifested his greatness and mercy in choosing us for his service. I acknowledge myself among all creatures as more beholden and indebted to Him than all others, and more than all of them together; for, meriting less, I have received from his liberal hand more than they. At a tender age, being compelled thereto by the force of this truth, which, with the knowledge of the deceitfulness of visible things, his divine light made known to me, I consecrated myself to God by a perpetual vow of chastity in body and soul; his I am and Him I acknowledge as my Spouse and Lord, with fixed resolve to preserve for Him my chastity. I beseech thee, my master, to help me in fulfilling this vow, while in all other things I will be thy servant, willing to work for the comfort of thy life as long as mine shall last. Yield, my spouse, to this resolve and make a like resolve, in order that, offering ourselves as an acceptable sacrifice to our eternal God, He may receive us in the odor of sweetness and bestow on us the eternal goods for which we hope."
763. The most chaste spouse Joseph, full of interior joy at the words of his heavenly Spouse, answered Her: "My Mistress, in making known to me thy chaste and welcome sentiments, thou hast penetrated and dilated my heart. I have not opened my thoughts to Thee before knowing thy own. I also acknowledge myself under greater obligation to the Lord of creation than other men; for very early He has called me by his true enlightenment to love Him with an upright heart; and I desire Thee to know, Lady that at the age of twelve years I also made a promise to serve the Most High in perpetual chastity. On this account I now gladly ratify this vow in order not to impede thy own; in the presence of his Majesty I promise to aid Thee, as far as in me lies, in serving Him and loving Him according to thy full desires. I will be, with the divine grace, thy most faithful servant and companion, and I pray Thee accept my chaste love and hold me as thy brother, without ever entertaining any other kind of love, outside the one which Thou owest to God and after God to me." In this conversation the Most High confirmed anew the virtue of chastity in the heart of saint Joseph, and the pure and holy love due to his most holy spouse Mary. This love the saint already had in an eminent degree, and the Lady herself augmented it sweetly, dilating his heart by her most prudent discourse.