Day 20-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Lack of Trust in God's Providence
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 weak to stand against the temptation to lose our trust in Your providence.
We have expected You to remove the challenges in our life, and so we have readily doubted You when difficulties enter in.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and lack of trust in 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 lack of trust in Your providence.
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 lack of trust in Your providence.
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 doubt 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. 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, 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, 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.
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 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.
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.
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.
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.
Introduction to the Gospel of Mark
Jesus is the Son of God. He is the Messiah, the anointed king of Davidic descent, the Greek for which, Christos, has, by the time Mark wrote, become in effect a proper name. Jesus is also seen as Son of Man, a term used in Mark not simply as a substitute for “I” or for humanity in general or with reference to a mighty figure who is to come, but also in connection with Jesus’ predestined, necessary path of suffering and vindication.
The unfolding of Mark’s story about Jesus is sometimes viewed by interpreters as centered around the term “mystery.” The word is employed just once, in the singular, and its content there is the kingdom, the open secret that God’s reign is now breaking into human life with its reversal of human values. There is a related sense in which Jesus’ real identity remained a secret during his lifetime, according to Mark, although demons and demoniacs knew it; Jesus warned against telling of his mighty deeds and revealing his identity, an injunction sometimes broken. Further, Jesus teaches by parables, according to Mark, in such a way that those “outside” the kingdom do not understand, but only those to whom the mystery has been granted by God.
Mark thus shares with Paul, as well as with other parts of the New Testament, an emphasis on election and upon the gospel as Christ and his cross. Yet in Mark the person of Jesus is also depicted with an unaffected naturalness. He reacts to events with authentic human emotion: pity, anger, triumph, sympathy, surprise, admiration, sadness, and indignation.
Traditionally, the gospel is said to have been written shortly before A.D. 70 in Rome, at a time of impending persecution and when destruction loomed over Jerusalem. Its audience seems to have been Gentile, unfamiliar with Jewish customs. The book aimed to equip such Christians to stand faithful in the face of persecution, while going on with the proclamation of the gospel begun in Galilee.
JULY 26 Eighth Sunday after Pentecost (17th S. Ord. Time)
FEAST OF SAINT ANN
Mark, Chapter 5, Verse 15:
This verse is about a young man, who lives out among the tombs, is fully possessed by many demons. The demons identify themselves as “Legion” stating that there are many of them. It is clear from the story that this man is wild, out of his mind, and fully under the control of these demons. Jesus addresses the demons, rebukes them, and casts them out, sending them into a herd of swine. The swine go running down a slope and drown in the lake. Afterwards, the man is totally transformed as he sits there conversing with others. Then when the townspeople came out and saw this man sitting there “in his right mind,” they are shocked and are “seized with fear.” They do not know what to think about this situation. Why is that? This young man was so dysfunctional, being possessed by a legion of demons, that the townspeople had written him off. They gave up on him and most likely wanted nothing to do with him. They were afraid of him. But when they see this man completely transformed, sitting there looking normal and rational, the people do not know what to think. They are shocked. And their shock takes on a form of fear in that they are afraid of what they do not understand. This reveals something interesting to us. It reveals that, if we fail to understand the power of God, we will find ourselves fearful of His power when confronted by it. The townspeople should have been filled with great joy and excitement at the total transformation of this man. However, instead of great joy and excitement, they were fearful. They were fearful because they did not understand God’s almighty power. Reflect, today, upon the power and glory of God. He desires to do great things and to bring total transformation to your life. He desires to cast out the evil one lurking within our world, bringing instead His mercy and peace. As you reflect upon God’s power, allow yourself to understand Him more clearly. If you understand Him, you will be more fully ready to rejoice in His good works.
Prayer: Lord, I rejoice in Your almighty power. I rejoice in Your greatness and glory. Help me to see the many ways that You are at work in our world and in the lives of those around me. As I see Your transforming power at work, fill my heart with gratitude for all that You do. Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.
Sunday after Pentecost
importance of intelligent foresight and the fascinating passage on "the
mammon of iniquity" (Lk. 16.9).
IN the Introit of the Mass the Church praises God, whose mercy and justice extend to the ends of the world. “We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple. According to Thy name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth; Thy right hand is full of justice. Great is the Lord and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of our God, in His holy mountain”. (Ps. xlvii. 11, 1).
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, at all times, the spirit of thinking and doing what is right, that we, who cannot exist without Thee, may be able to live according to Thy will.
EPISTLE. Rom. viii. 12-17.
Brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die but if by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live. For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry Abba (Father). For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also: heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ.
“The works of the flesh are,” according to St. Paul, “fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, reviling’s, and such like” (Gal. v. 19, 20). Those who practice such vices are not children of God, and will inherit, not heaven, but eternal death. Examine yourself, therefore, whether you are not living according to the flesh, and for the future resist sinful desires with God’s assistance, and you will gain a crown in heaven.
Grant me, Lord, Thy spirit, that I may always remember the happiness of Thy kingdom, may mortify the lusts of the flesh, and may walk as Thy child in holy chastity.
GOSPEL. Luke xvi. 1-9.
At that time Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship: for now, thou canst be steward no longer. And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able, to beg I am ashamed. I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. Therefore, calling together every one of his lord’s debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord? But he said: A hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: An hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill and write eighty. And the lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.
Who are meant by the rich man and his steward? By the rich man is meant God, by the steward, man. The goods entrusted to the steward are the different goods and gifts of soul and body, of nature and of grace.
Why did Christ use this parable? To teach us that God requires of every man a strict account of whatever has been given to him, to encourage us to be liberal to the poor, and to warn us against dissipation and injustice.
How are we to understand the direction “to make unto us friends of the mammon of iniquity”? Riches are called the mammon of iniquity because they so easily lead us to injustice, avarice, excess, and dissipation. Jesus intended to say that we should, according to our ability, employ in doing good those worldly goods which so easily carry us into sin. But He is not to be understood as saying that we should steal, or cheat, or use goods otherwise unjustly obtained, to give alms.
What friends are we thus to make? The friends are the good works which render us pleasing to God, and open to us heaven; the poor, the saints of God; the angels, who rejoice in our benevolence, and become our intercessors; and finally Christ, Who regards what is given to the poor as so much given to Himself (Matt. xxv. 40). “The hands of the poor” says St. Chrysostom, “are the hands of Christ” through them we send our goods to heaven beforehand, and through their intercession we obtain the grace of salvation.
Grant me, O most just God
and Judge, grace so to use the goods entrusted to me on earth, that with them I
may make myself friends to receive me, at the end of my life, into everlasting habitations.
INSTRUCTION ON CALUMNY
Is calumny a grievous sin? When the occasion is important, and the slander is deliberately uttered, with evil intention, when one’s neighbor is thereby grievously injured, and his good name damaged, everyone may see how grievous and detestable, in such a case, this sin is. (Hmm…Fake News?)
Is it sinful to disclose the faults of our neighbor? To make public the faults and sins of our neighbor uselessly, merely for the entertainment of idle persons, is always sinful. (Hmm…Twitter Mob?) But if, after trying in vain to correct his faults and sins by brotherly admonition, we make them known to his parents or superiors, for his punishment and amendment, so far from being a sin, it is rather a good work and a duty of Christian charity.
Is it a sin also to listen willingly to calumny? Yes, for thereby we furnish the calumniator an occasion for sin and give him encouragement. For which reason St. Bernard says: “Whether to calumniate be a greater sin than to listen to the calumniator I will not lightly decide.” (Do some news outlets give news or are they calumniators?)
ought to restrain us from calumny?
1, of the enormity of this sin.
2, of the number of sins occasioned thereby of which the calumniator, as the occasion of them, becomes partaker.
of the difficulty of correcting the harm done, since we cannot know the full
extent of the injury, nor stop the tongues of people. Finally, we must
think on the eternal punishment which follows this sin. The holy Fathers say
that of young persons who are condemned the greater part is for impurity, but
of the old, for calumny.
Feast of Saint Ann, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
ALL that we know of St. Ann is that she was married to St. Joachim of the tribe of David, and lived with him in all virtue and piety, but for a long time was childless. This she bore with all patience, till at last the Lord heard her supplications, and made her the mother of the most blessed Virgin. This distinction on the part of God is praise enough for her. On this account the faithful have always shown great veneration for her, and continually invoke her intercession. “Let us all rejoice in the Lord, keeping festival in honor of St. Ann, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and with one voice praise the Son of God. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King.”
O God, Who wast pleased to confer upon St. Ann the grace whereby she became the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we, who keep her festival, may, through her intercession, find help with Thee.
Aspiration to St. Ann.
Hail, O blessed mother Ann! Blessed art thou, who, for our consolation, didst bear the Mother of our Redeemer. With the greatest veneration, therefore, and full of confidence, we approach thee, beseeching thee that thou wouldst supplicate our divine Savior to bestow upon us the graces which we need to follow thy ardent devotion, thy fear of God, and to render us worthy one day to behold in heaven the blessed fruit of thy virgin daughter’s womb, Jesus, and to rejoice forever in the contemplation of Him.
The Mysterious Relics of Saint Anne
On Easter AD 792, Charlemagne discovered the relics of Saint Anne. Below is the account, preserved in the correspondence of Pope Saint Leo III, concerning the mysterious discovery of the relics of Saint Anne.
Fourteen years after Our Lord’s death, Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Martha, Saint Lazarus, and the others of the little band of Christians who were piled into a boat without sails or oars and pushed out to sea to perish — in the persecution of the Christians by the Jews of Jerusalem — were careful to carry with them the tenderly loved body of Our Lady’s mother. They feared lest it be profaned in the destruction, which Jesus had told them was to come upon Jerusalem. When, by the power of God, their boat survived and finally drifted to the shores of France, the little company of saints buried Saint Anne’s body in a cave, in a place called Apt, in the south of France. The church, which was later built over the spot, fell into decay because of wars and religious persecutions, and as the centuries passed, the place of Saint Anne’s tomb was forgotten. The long years of peace, which Charlemagne’s wise rule gave to southern France, enabled the people to build a magnificent new church on the site of the old chapel at Apt. Extraordinary and painstaking labor went into the building of the great structure, and when the day of its consecration arrived, the beloved Charlemagne, little suspecting what was in store for him, declared himself happy indeed to have journeyed so many miles to be present for the holy occasion. At the most solemn part of the ceremonies, a boy of fourteen, blind, deaf and dumb from birth — and usually quiet and impassive — to the amazement of those who knew him, completely distracted the attention of the entire congregation by becoming suddenly tremendously excited. He rose from his seat, walked up the aisle to the altar steps, and to the consternation of the whole church, struck his stick resoundingly again and again upon a single step. His embarrassed family tried to lead him out, but he would not budge. He continued frantically to pound the step, straining with his poor muted senses to impart a knowledge sealed hopelessly within him. The eyes of the people turned upon the emperor, and he, apparently inspired by God, took the matter into his own hands. He called for workmen to remove the steps. A subterranean passage was revealed directly below the spot, which the boy’s stick had indicated. Into this passage the blind lad jumped, to be followed by the emperor, the priests, and the workmen. They made their way in the dim light of candles, and when, farther along the passage, they came upon a wall that blocked further advance, the boy signed that this also should be removed. When the wall fell, there was brought to view still another long, dark corridor. At the end of this, the searchers found a crypt, upon which, to their profound wonderment, a vigil lamp, alight and burning in a little walled recess, cast a heavenly radiance. As Charlemagne and his afflicted small guide, with their companions, stood before the lamp, its light went out. And at the same moment, the boy, blind and deaf and dumb from birth, felt sight and hearing and speech flood into his young eyes, his ears, and his tongue. “It is she! It is she!” he cried out. The great emperor, not knowing what he meant, nevertheless repeated the words after him. The call was taken up by the crowds in the church above, as the people sank to their knees, bowed in the realization of the presence of something celestial and holy. The crypt at last was opened, and a casket was found within it. In the casket was a winding sheet, and in the sheet were relics, and upon the relics was an inscription that read, “Here lies the body of Saint Anne, mother of the glorious Virgin Mary.” The winding sheet, it was noted, was of eastern design and texture. Charlemagne, overwhelmed, venerated with profound gratitude the relics of the mother of Heaven’s Queen.
Things to Do
· See more about the Shrine of Sainte Anne de Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. Several relics of St. Anne are also located in this shrine. Take a video tour of the Shrine here accompanied by beautiful Gregorian chant.
· Foods related to St. Ann and Joachim: It seems shellfish, particularly lobster, is one traditional type of food served in France for this feast day.
The Modern Church Also Honors Saint Joachim on this day.
St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Nazareth, a little town in Galilee. His parents, though occupying a humble position in the world, were descendants of the holy king David. It was not without inspiration that, at his circumcision, the name of Joachim was given him; it means “Preparation for the Lord,” or, as others translate it, a preparation for the arrival of the Lord. It has been understood by many to signify that he would have a daughter whom he would prepare, by a holy education, to be the mother of Our Lord. Arriving at the years of manhood, he married Anna, a virtuous and chaste maiden of Bethlehem, whom, without doubt, God gave special graces, as she was chosen by Him to be the mother of the Queen of Heaven. Joachim and Anna continued, after their union, to serve God with the greatest fidelity. The most perfect charity and harmony reigned in their dwelling. They had divided their possessions into three parts. The first they devoted exclusively to the honor of God and to the adornment of the Temple; the second, to the poor; and the third they kept for themselves. One thing saddened the lives of Joachim and Anna. They had been married many years without being blessed with a child, and their advancing age made them despair of ever having one. Barrenness was considered a great disgrace and Joachim lived under that cross for many years. He never ceased to implore God with tears, prayers, and fasts to remove it from him; but it seemed that he was not heard, which gave him great grief. He, however, never murmured against the Almighty, but, submitting to His will, continued his prayer. It is also believed that he and his spouse made a vow that, if they were blessed with a child, they would consecrate it to His service. St. Epiphanius relates that, one day, while St. Joachim was praying, an angel appeared to him and assured him that God had heard his prayer, and that a daughter should be given him, who would become the mother of the promised Messiah. The angel informed him also of the name which God had destined for her. When he heard this, the joy of St. Joachim was beyond all description. He went immediately to tell his spouse of it, who, according to some authors, had received the same revelation. Both gave fervent thanks to the Almighty and praised His mercy. The angel’s prophecy was fulfilled, and St. Anna gave birth to a daughter, who was born free from the stain of original sin, full of the Holy Spirit, blessed above all women, and destined by heaven to be the mother of the only begotten Son of God. St. Joachim, renewing his thanks to the Almighty, redoubled his zeal in His service. As soon as the lawful time arrived, St. Joachim and his holy spouse carried their new-born child into the temple and offered her with great devotion to God, redeemed her again according to the custom, and returned with her to their home. Three years they kept their daughter with them, after which they brought the tender child, who was, however, gifted with the full use of mind, into the Temple of Jerusalem, and having consecrated her, with the usual ceremonies, to the service of the Almighty, gave her in charge of the priests for education and instruction. In this manner, St. Joachim fulfilled his vow and showed how truly he loved God. For although his love for his daughter, no doubt, surpassed the love of most parents for their children, yet he deprived himself of that which was most dear to him on earth and consecrated it to the Most High. It cannot be doubted that God rewarded his self-sacrificing love with great graces and favors. After having made this sacrifice to the Almighty, Joachim and Anna lived for many years in great sanctity. It is believed that St. Joachim expired in the eightieth year of his age.
Parents’ Day celebrates and recognizes the important role of responsible parenting in everyday family life. Families are a fundamental human institution; they are bonded by unconditional love and commitment. Parents' Day was established in 1994 and the National Parents’ Day Coalition was developed to support Parents’ Day by annually selecting ‘Parents’ of the Year’ at local, national and state levels. The Coalition also provides educational programs for parents and aims to promote the stability of family by encouraging fidelity between husbands and wives, as well as abstinence in young people prior to marriage. In addition to The National Parents’ Day Coalition, other organizations use Parents’ Day to promote the traditional two parent nuclear family model. Parents' Day is held annually on the fourth Sunday in July.
Parents' Day Facts & Quotes
· In 2015, 3.3 million unmarried or cohabiting couples in America had children under the age of 18. This is in comparison to 1.2 million cohabiting couples with children in 1996.
· In 1960, 73% of U.S. children lived in a traditional home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage. By 1980, this figure had dropped to 61%. By 2013, 46% of children lived in a traditional home.
· All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. — Abraham Lincoln.
· By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. — Charles Wadsworth, Classical Pianist
The Issue of the Nuclear Family
Father Joseph Fessio, founder of Ignatius Press, gave a 10-minute homily to staff members in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 7. Father Fessio in citing the day’s readings from Hosea about idols, made the point that we can make false idols out of words which take the place of the truth. As an example, he quoted the following words from the Black Lives Matter website” ‘We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family by supporting each other in extended families in villages, collectively care for one another, especially our children….’”
Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 7
On Day 7 Father Calloway using the Litany points to the idea that we look to Mary just as Joseph did. Joseph only found rest in Mary.
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.
Father Calloway stresses on this day that:
· St. Joseph will greatly bless those who love and honor Mary.
· St. Joseph will increase your love for the virgin Mary.
to St. Joseph will make you a knight of the Holy Queen.
The Consecrated Knight
Joseph is the model for total consecration to Mary. St. Joseph teaches that the Virgin Mary is
what every Christian knight seeks. Those who find her find Jesus in Holy
Communion. Mary desires to lead all souls to Holy Mass. Catholicism and its
greatest treasure is Jesus in Holy Communion. Joseph was the first warrior
knight that protected Mary and Christ.
Joseph the Warrior
All of us have heard the phrase, “Nice guys finish last.” There is this idea in the world today that “Meekness equals weakness,” and humility so often implied that you will get walked on. Unfortunately, in many cases the meek and the humble do very well and go unnoticed in their accomplishments and may not get the same attention, job opportunities or as many “likes” on their latest social media sites. Instead of encouraging men to be meek and humble, the world teaches men to go out into the world and dominate. We are encouraged to out-perform others so as to prove ourselves through our bank accounts, our possessions and our record of achievements. As someone once said, “Money is just a way of keeping score.” Many men are totally dedicated to winning the game, as if life were a game to begin with.
Nevertheless, Christian men are called to be meek and humble. “Far from being weak, however, the meek possess an inner strength to restrain anger and discouragement in the midst of adversity” (Ignatius Catholic Study Bible). We can practice these ideals in the simple ways in which we respond to the challenges of everyday life. Whether our wives snap at us at the end of a long and frustrating day, or a guy rudely cuts us off on the freeway, our responses define us. It is inevitable that life will provide us with major adversities in which to practice these difficult virtues! How you respond to God’s grace can truly make or break these experiences. We are called to be charitable, to love others and even pray for our enemies. It takes heroic strength and defining virtue!
Courage is also needed in order to withstand the storms of life that come our way. I can’t help but call to mind one of my favorite speeches from the classic movie, The Count of Monte Cristo:
“Life is a storm my young friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into the storm as you shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst for I will do mine. Then the Fates will know you as we know you as Albert Mondego, the man.”
There is something compelling in a man that seems to be calling us to fight and compete; but where is our ultimate battle? With whom are we fighting?
Joseph is our ultimate example of what it means to live authentic masculine Christianity. He was quite possibly the meekest and most humble of all. Yet at the same time, he was without question a warrior and a fighter. He participated in the greatest battle of all time. However, it was precisely his humility and meekness that allowed him to trample over the Evil One rather than faltering before him.
St. John Paul II proclaimed, “The family is placed at the heart of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and death, between love and all that is opposed to love” (Letter to Families, #23). Pope John Paul II insists that at the core and heart of Satan’s attack is the family. We see this vividly played out in the book of Revelation. “And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne” (Rev 12:4-5).
The Church understands this passage to have multiple meanings, but it is particularly clear that evil is attacking Our Lady and the Christ-child. This verse strikingly illustrates the attack of Satan at the very heart of the family. This is both a spiritual and a practical truth.
God chose Joseph for this battle because Joseph was a warrior for God. When Joseph said “Yes” to take Mary as his bride and Jesus as his Son, he was avowing “Yes” to engage in the most epic battle in human history. He was prepared to fight to the end to keep his family safe. From the beginning of Christ’s life, the powers of darkness wanted Joseph’s child dead and were willing to go to extreme lengths to accomplish their ambition. It’s incredibly ironic that Herod needed to take the life of an infant, the weakest and most helpless of mankind, in order for him to remain in a position of absolute power and strength. Herod represents an icon of what men who desire power over humility are willing to do and what men of humility are up against.
On the other hand, Joseph was willing to do whatever the Lord asked of him no matter what the personal cost. What strength! Most men lack the strength because most men lack the meekness.
A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Catholic church, especially in a military capacity. Examples of some orders include Knights of Columbus, Knights of St. Malumba, Knights of St. John, Knights of the Cross and Knights of the Blessed Sacrament.
Pontifical knighthoods are honors conferred by the papal court on laymen who are of irreproachable (fine) character, who have promoted the welfare of society, the Church, and the Holy See (office of the pope). These decorations are bestowed by motu proprio (without any formal request from another person) and forwarded by the Secretary of State, or when petitioned by a bishop expedited through his chancery.
The papal orders of knighthood are:
· Order of the Holy Sepulcher, which may be conferred on clerics and women.
5 requirements to become a Knight of the Catholic Church
1. Be a role model:
St. Francis of Assisi was a “knight errant” figure, and he is the model for the new Knights. Francis wandered the countryside defending truth and preaching love for the King of kings. St. Francis lived an itinerant lifestyle of poverty. He chose to be a “lesser brother” preaching repentance and conversion. His simple rule for the life of his followers was to “imitate Christ”. In this same vein of virtue and simplicity, the Knights of the Holy Eucharist teach and give witness to their adoration for the Lord of hosts.
2. Be Evidently charitable:
The Knights are one of the largest charitable organizations in the world. Through a variety of fundraisers throughout the year, the Knights raise financial support for many charities, including the Special Olympics and the Global Wheelchair Mission. The service aspect of the Knights encompasses the Church, Community, Council, Family, Pro-Life, and Youth.
3. Be supportive of the Church’s functions and activities:
The Knights have been a foundation of support for the Catholic Church. In recent years, the Knights have performed a variety of projects for the Universal Church as well as worked with Bishops of the particular churches here in Rome and also in-home countries where the Knights reside.
4. Be married:
Since the traditional family is composed of the husband, wife, and children, the Knights see them as the core, foundation, and fabric for all of society. Although the council meetings are for the members, many councils sponsor activities with the family in mind. It’s a great time to gather together as Catholic Christians and members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Asking for the intercession of the Holy Family is at the center of prayer for the Knights when it comes to family life.
5. Be Faithful to the Catholic Church:
Knights are faithful by being obedient to the teachings of the Church, its Bishops, and Priests, and showing fidelity to the See of Peter. As faithful Catholics, the Knights foster and develop Vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life, and Holy Matrimony. Standing with the Catholic Church, the Knights also fight for Religious Liberty, which is being threatened across the globe still to this day.
· 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.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Olmsted, Reverend Thomas J. Manual for Men