Sunday, July 12, 2020

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Envy Day 6
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
 
Let Freedom Ring: Freedom From Envy

The green-eyed monster that mocks what it feeds upon. In Othello, Iago warns Othello of the green-eyed monster that we know as jealousy or envy. How appropriate that the deadly sin of envy should be given a monstrous or demonic personage! Envy is the resentment one feels for the success or good of another. It is not necessarily directed only at one's enemies, but also at one's family and friends, which leads to the German term schadenfreude (leave it to our German ancestors to have an extensive vocabulary for pain). In the Gospel of Mark, 9:38-40, the apostles come across a man who is exorcising demons in Jesus' name and they try to stop him. Jesus responds by telling them to let the man be, as anyone who is with Him cannot be against Him. We see time and again the envy of the religious leaders who persecute Jesus, seeking ways to trap Him in the process of showing mercy. Envy, as Shakespeare noted, mocks what it feeds on in that it is incapable of rejoicing in the good of another.

Envy is pervasive in our society. We are taught to resent the success of others as somehow it threatens our identity or morale. We are taught to resent the belongings of others as it somehow came from our portion of the pie. We are taught to find excuses in our perpetual victimhood that can be laid at the feet of those who succeed. Some political movements, such as Marxism, rely on envy to stir resentment so as to destroy the social order. Envy leads us to demonize the successful, to seek their downfall, to denigrate their talents, and to destroy their reputations. It is much easier to tear someone down than it is to convert oneself to something greater.

Such a mentality can find itself in our churches. I worked in the business world for several years prior to going into the seminary. I have seen and climbed the corporate ladder. I did not see near the professional jealousy I have seen among those who work in the Church. Envy and ambition are constant companions. I have seen volunteers tear down other volunteers and wish them failure because they succeed. I have seen this in priests and have been guilty myself from time to time in over 23 years of priestly ministry. Envy is as destructive within the Body of Christ as it is outside of the Body of Christ.

How do we combat such a demonic presence? Let us go back to the response of Christ in Mark 9. "No man who performs a miracle using my name can at the same time speak ill of me. Anyone who is not against us is with us." The Apostles should have rejoiced that the man in question was exorcising in Jesus' name. They should have seen his success as Christ's success. Hence, part of defeating the demonic influence is learning to share in the joy of those who have succeeded justly and to pray for the redemption of those who have succeeded under nefarious means. Either leads us closer to our Christian call. Cultivate joy at the good. Cultivate mercy through prayer for the bad.

Another way to combat envy is thanksgiving. Gratitude for what God has done and continues to do will do more to alleviate the grasp of the green-eyed monster than anything else. It is easy to be envious when one has a dearth of thanksgiving. When one is truly thankful, one has less time and inclination to be envious of what others have or who others are. This thankfulness leads to a generosity and a correct stewardship of what God has given us. Nothing so starves and chases away the green-eyed monster of envy quite the way a heart full of thankfulness does.

Finally, one must cultivate the virtue of humility. Humility seeks the truth about oneself, both good and bad and restrains us from getting caught up in the tentacles of envy. A good example of this can be found in St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. St. Paul is tempted to resent Peter and Apollos in their preaching in Corinth. Although none of three men saw themselves as anything other than being of the team, the people of Corinth had allowed division based on who said what. In St. Paul's response, a plea for unity in Christ, he does not defend himself as greater than Peter or Apollos, rather he humbles himself in Chapter 2. He acknowledges that God uses each as He deems fit. Humility, because it is bound in truth, enables us to rejoice in the good of our brothers, to be thankful for what God does for us, and to have an attitude of mercy.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to resent the blessings You bestow on others and to be blinded to the blessings You have given to us.
We have allowed the thanksgiving we should have for You to become resentment and envy.
We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing selfish desires to suffocate Your love that is to dwell within us.
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 thanklessness and resentment.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to rejoice in Your goodness to others and be truly thankful for the many gifts You bestow on us.
Help us to love as You love.
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 resentment, envy and thanklessness.
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 envy 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 the Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal High Priest of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Divine Victim on the Altar for our salvation, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, dwelling in the tabernacles of the world, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, abiding in Your fulness, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Life, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Angels, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, with us always until the end of the world, R. have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, summit and source of all worship and Christian life, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, sign and cause of the unity of the Church, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, adored by countless angels, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, spiritual food, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Sacrament of love, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, bond of charity, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, greatest aid to holiness, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, gift and glory of the priesthood, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we partake of Christ, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which the soul is filled with grace, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we are given a pledge of future glory, R. have mercy on us.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

For those who do not believe in Your Eucharistic presence, R. have mercy, O Lord.
For those who are indifferent to the Sacrament of Your love, R. have mercy on us.
For those who have offended You in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, R. have mercy on us.

That we may show fitting reverence when entering Your holy temple, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may make suitable preparation before approaching the Altar, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may receive You frequently in Holy Communion with real devotion and true humility, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may never neglect to thank You for so wonderful a blessing, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may cherish time spent in silent prayer before You, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may grow in knowledge of this Sacrament of sacraments, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That all priests may have a profound love of the Holy Eucharist, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That they may celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with its sublime dignity, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may be comforted and sanctified with Holy Viaticum at the hour of our death, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may see You one day face to face in Heaven, R. we beseech You, hear us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Let us pray.
Most merciful Father, You continue to draw us to Yourself through the Eucharistic Mystery. Grant us fervent faith in this Sacrament of love, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received. We make this prayer through the same Christ our Lord.
Amen.


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


Sixth Sunday after Pentecost (15th S. Ord. Time)

ST. VERONICA 

Malachi, Chapter 3, verse 5

5I will draw near to you for judgment, and I will be swift to bear witness against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers, those who deprive a laborer of wages, Oppress a widow or an orphan, or turn aside a resident alien, without FEARING me, says the LORD of hosts. 

The God of Abraham bears witness to evil, which is the use of people as objects. Our God is a just God who wishes us to be free of sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, and enslavement of any kind. In modern terms God wants us free of sex, drugs and rock & roll. 

The entertainment industry uses sex; sex sells pure and simple. It diverts us from the true nature of our sexuality. That sex is a gift you give to someone to bring a new creation into the world. It is a gift that must be given freely, faithfully, and totally open to life. 

Sorcery is a Greek word that is closely related with Pharmakeia, and in fact is where our English word Pharmacy comes from. The indiscriminate use of drugs rob us of our soul; our very selves when we cannot say no to them. This could be any addictive substance whether it comes from a bottle, package or the internet. The only way to recover our sanity is through God or as 12 steppers say, “having a higher power than themselves”. A careful examination of the 12 step program reveals it is basically a form of repentance or confession and coming back to God.

 

  1. We admit we are powerless.
  2. We believe in a greater power.
  3. We turn our will over to Him.
  4. We search our souls of wrongs committed.
  5. We admit our wrongs to ourselves and others.
  6. We are ready for God to remove our defects.
  7. We ask Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. We list all we have harmed and be willing to correct the harm we have caused.
  9. We made amends except where to do so would cause more harm.
  10. We continue to build strength and virtue; promptly making corrections as needed.
  11. We pray and meditate daily.
  12. We carry (the cross) the message to others. 

Music is a gift from God just as sex is but, we must listen to the truth. Music can be noise that blatantly drowns out the truth. Many musicians and media personalities are perjurers of the truth. Their message is that of hopelessness and the objectification of women and people. Choose music that lifts up people rather than enslaves them to the ideas of the modern secular society of hedonism, materialism and minimalism. 

Our God will not turn a blind eye to those who enslave others economically either; or not care for our modern widows and orphans, which are single moms and fatherless children. Nor will our Lord, allow us to make slaves of immigrants to our country. 

No, we must be a righteous people, good to all; as He is.

 

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost[1]

 

This Sunday stresses the need for constant repentance and fidelity to our baptismal vows.

THE Introit of the Mass of to-day is the prayer of a soul that confides in the powerful and benign protection of God. The Lord is the strength of His people, and the protector of the salvation of His anointed. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance, and rule them forever. Unto Thee will I cry, O my God be not Thou silent to me, lest I become like them that go down into the pit (Ps. xxvii. 8, 9, 1).

Prayer. O God of hosts, to Whom belongeth all that is best, infuse into our breasts the love of Thy name, and grant within us an increase of devotion, that Thou mayest nourish what is good, and by the pursuit of piety preserve what Thou hast nourished.

EPISTLE. Rom. vi. &-11.

Brethren: All we, who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in His death. For we are buried together with Him by baptism unto death: that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer. For he that is dead is justified from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live also together with Christ: knowing that Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion over Him. For in that He died to sin, He died once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. So, do you also reckon that you are dead to sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Explanation. St. Paul here exhorts us that as through baptism we become members of Christ’s mystical body, what was accomplished in Him actually must also take place in us spiritually. As Jesus died for our sins, was buried, rose again, and ascended into heaven, so also must we, once risen from sin, live henceforth to God, a new, holy life, conformed to that of Christ.

GOSPEL. Mark viii. 1-9.

At that time, when there was a great multitude with Jesus, and they had nothing to eat, calling His disciples together, He saith to them: I have compassion on the multitude; for behold they have now been with Me three days, and have nothing to eat. And if I shall send them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way: for some of them came from afar off. And His disciples answered Him: From whence can any one fill them here with bread in the wilderness? And He asked them: How many loaves have ye? Who said: Seven. And He commanded the multitude to sit down upon the ground. And taking the seven loaves, giving thanks, He broke, and gave to His disciples for to set before them, and they set them before the people. And they had a few little fishes and He blessed them, and commanded them to be set before them. And they did eat and were filled, and they took up that which was left of the fragments, seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and He sent them away.

Why did Jesus say, I have compassion on the multitude, etc.? To confirm by acts what He had previously, through St. Matthew (Matt. vi. 33), taught in words, namely, that to them who seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, all other things shall be added without asking; and to show us, at the same time, the greatness of God’s love, which takes account of every hour spent in His service, and compassionates every want of man. The multitude were not solicitous for food, and had not even asked it from Him, and yet He cared for them.

Renewal of Baptismal Promises[2]

 

V. Do you reject Satan?
R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy
Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.
V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
R. Amen.


(This is a family service that is directed by one of the parents. The family members renew their baptismal vows and sprinkle themselves with the Easter water,)

St. Veronica[3]

According to Tradition, when St. Veronica saw Jesus fall beneath the weight of the cross He carried to his pending crucifixion, she was so moved with pity she pushed through the crowd past the Roman Soldiers to reach Jesus. She used her veil to wipe the blood and sweat from His face. The soldiers forced her away from Jesus even as He peered at her with gratitude. She bundled her veil and did not look at it again until she returned home. When she finally unfolded the veil--history does not clarify exactly what kind of material the veil was made from--it was imprinted with an image of Christ's face.

Some stories have alluded to St. Veronica being present at the beheading of St. John the Baptist. Others claim Veronica (Bernice) was a woman whom Jesus cured from a blood issue before His arrest in Jerusalem. There is no reference to the biography of St. Veronica in the canonical Gospels. Her act of kindness and charity is represented in the Sixth of the Fourteen Stations of the Cross. St. Veronica is believed to be buried in the tomb in Soulac or in the church of St. Seurin at Bordeaux, France. Her veil (the Veronica) is kept at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican at Rome

Simplicity Day[4]

” In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We live in a complicated world; with taxes and devices and every imaginable complication the world can provide. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just take some time to keep things simple? To winnow life down to the bare essentials and hold onto it like the precious thing it is? Simplicity Day encourages you to do just that, to let go of all of life’s complications and live a day… simple. Simplicity Day was born out of a need to be free from the complications of the world and to allow ourselves to just be simple. Celebrate life through simplicity by turning off your devices, getting rid of complicated things and just let life be about living for a day. One of the great conundrums of the modern world is that the more opportunities and options you have the less happy you’re going to be. Some of the happiest people in the world have been determined to be those who live in uncivilized areas concerning themselves only with what they’re going to eat that day and where a good place to sleep is. We can learn much from them, though few of us would want to go to such extremes. However, we can all benefit from just cutting out the things that make our lives difficult. Simplicity Day is about getting rid of these complications and culling from your life what doesn’t bring you joy.

How to Celebrate Simplicity Day

·         Step away from the computer and find a sunny nook with a cup of tea and a book to pass the time.

·         Walk in the forests or through fields and just feel the sun on your skin and the sounds of birds and insects. These moments will be the ones that can truly set you free. During these long moments take the time to relax and consider how you want to proceed in your life.

·         What can you cut out that buries you under complications that bring no benefits? Are there people or things you can remove that will make your life a little happier each day by the removal of these complications?

·         These questions can lead you to a simpler, happier life. Wouldn’t it be nice to have peace of mind? Simplicity Day can lead the way.

Daily Devotions

·         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.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2018-07-12

[4]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/simplicity-day/



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