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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Day 10-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Belligerence
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 Belligerence" by Fr. Bill Peckman

In the Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar, there is a scene in which Marc Anthony is alone with the body of the freshly assassinated Julius Caesar. He seeks vengeance on the assassins knowing it will send Rome into a killing frenzy. From this scene we hear the words, "Cry 'havoc' and let slip the dogs of war!" (Julius Caesar Act III, Scene I) This refrain plays all too quickly in our society as we fall into hellish nightmare of belligerence and anarchy. The word belligerence comes from the Latin words 'bellum' (war) and 'genere' (to bear/carry) and means a person engaged in war. In common usage, a belligerent person is one who looks for and pursues reasons to stir trouble and engage in violent revenge. The father of belligerence is none other than he who fomented the first ever revolution against God: the devil.

We live in a horribly belligerent society right now. So many referred to being 'triggered'; that is, being easily and frequently offended in such a way that justifies both the tenacity and disproportionate nature of their vengeance. The belligerent see themselves as victims of injustice whose suffering or imagined suffering is sufficient grounds for any destruction and mayhem they may engage in to address the injustice. They wreak havoc in the lives of all around them. It is as if they look for (even long for) reasons to be angry so that they may act out without regards for consequences.

That belligerence finds itself in our churches as well. There are so many ways in which we find ourselves willfully polarized by everything from music to ritual to leadership. Some of the most hateful things I have seen posted on social media over the years have been Catholics showing a truly hateful belligerence to their fellow Catholics. I have often noted how Satan cackles at our circular firing squads. As in the secular world, belligerence is all about the accrual of power.

There are times we will not be able to avoid the belligerence of others in our defense and propagation of the truth. Jesus Himself refers multiple times to parent be set against child and child against parent as some accept and follow Christ. How do we answer belligerence?  How do we stave off the desire to become belligerent against all but Satan and his minions?

The answer, I believe, can be found in Matthew 11:28-30. " Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light." In this we see that our lives will come with burdens, pains, injustices, and sorrows. We will have that temptation to return belligerence for belligerence. Certainly, Christ carried this reality right up the cross.

The answer lies in our willingness and ability to show meekness. Meekness has a bad reputation as the quality of being mousy, timid, or weak. Meekness is patience, a virtue that St Paul in Galatians 5:22 reminds us is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Patience is anything but weakness; patience takes incredible strength. It is the strength that Jesus had up on the cross. He shows His strength in patience and endurance. The time for judgement will come. It will be just.

Our ability to show meekness in the face of harm neither condones the harm done to us nor allows another to treat us a door mat. It shows the strength of character that reduces the mock and ridicule and provides a far stronger witness to all. Our war footing should be directed to the devil and his forces; with them we should show nothing but scorn and forcefulness. The devil and his demons have no hope of conversion. They are eternally damned. As for our fellow human beings, as long as they are on this side of the moment of death the possibility, however slim, exists for possible conversion. The Church exists for the salvation of souls. Driving belligerence from our hearts and souls help us endure the yoke of Christ: the ability to selflessly love and show unswerving obedience to the will of the Father in all things. Our only cry to release havoc and the dogs of war should be against the devil and his minions.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to belligerence and wrath.
We have allowed the desire to gain power be reason to crush others.
We have been too fearful of being considered weak by the world, that we have embraced impatience and violence as virtuous.
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 belligerence and rebellion against Your command to love our enemies.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance You exhibited on the Cross.
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.
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 belligerence and rebellion.
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 belligerence 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.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
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. 

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son
of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, etc.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of Eternal Life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
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.

Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


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



OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL


Luke, Chapter 1, verse 50:

His mercy is from age to age to those who FEAR him.

Christ the King is drawing near. We are to rejoice in her son just as Mary did in her Canticle of Praise when she entered the house of Zechariah.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

I would like to focus on the words from “age to age”. In physics, spacetime (also space–time, space time or space–time continuum) is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single interwoven continuum.[1] As I understand it what has been done in the past and in the future continues forever rippling through time and space from “age to age”. If this is the case let us follow Mary’s example and develop in ourselves Holy fear through her virtues of: humility, generosity, chastity, patience, self-control and of course love.

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel[2]

THE Church celebrates on this day the feast of the Scapular of Mount Carmel. The scapular, which derives its name from the Latin word scapulas, meaning shoulders, is a dress which covers the shoulders. It is mentioned in the rule of St. Benedict as worn by monks over their other dress when they were at work, and it now forms a regular part of the religious dress in the old Orders. But it is best known among Catholics as the name of two little pieces of cloth worn out of devotion to the Blessed Virgin over the shoulders, under the ordinary garb, and connected by strings. The devotion of the scapular, now almost universal in the Catholic Church, began with the Carmelites. The history of its origin is as follows: During the thirteenth century the Carmelite Order suffered great persecution, and on July 16, 1251, while St. Simon Stock, then general of the Order, was at prayer, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, holding in her hand a scapular. Giving it to the saint, she said,” Receive, my dear son, this scapular of thy Order, as the distinctive sign of my confraternity, and the mark of the privilege which I have obtained for thee and the children of Carmel. It is a sign of salvation, a safeguard in danger, and a special pledge of peace and protection till the end of time.” “Whosoever dies wearing this shall be preserved from eternal flames.” It is much to be wished that people should everywhere join this confraternity, for the honor of Mary and for the salvation of souls, by a life fitted to that end. In order to have a share in the merits of the sodality every member must:

1.       Shun sin, and, according to his state of life, live chastely.

2.       Say every day, if possible, seven times, Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father.

3.       Strive to serve God by venerating Mary and imitating her virtues. These rules, it is true, are not binding under penalty of sin, but the breach of them deprives us of all merit; and is not this something to be taken into account? “He who soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly.” (n. Cor. ix. 6).

Prayer. O God, Who hast honored the Order of Carmelites with the particular title of the most blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, mercifully grant that, protected by her prayers whose commemoration we this day celebrate with a solemn office, we may de serve to arrive at joy everlasting. 

EPISTLE. Ecclus. xxiv. 23-31.

As the vine, I have brought forth a pleasant odor: and my flowers are the fruit of honor and riches. I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. In me is all grace of the way and of the truth: in me is all hope of life and of virtue. Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb. My memory is unto everlasting generations. They that eat me, shall yet hunger and they that drink me, shall yet thirst. He that hearkeneth to me shall not be confounded: and they that work by me shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.

Explanation. The Church applies this epistle to Mary, thereby encouraging us fervently to honor the blessed Mother of God, in whom the Eternal Wisdom dwelt bodily, and through whom He was given to us, that by her intercession our understanding may be enlightened, our will strengthened, and we be inspired with fresh zeal to practice ourselves, and to prevail on others to practice also, whatever is chaste, becoming, and holy.

GOSPEL. Luke xi. 27, 28.

And it came to pass as He spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd lifting up her voice said to Him: Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck. But He said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.

Things to Do[3]

·         If you have not already done so, have a priest enroll you in the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, or popularly known as the "Brown Scapular" and begin wearing it as a sign of your love for Our Lady.

·         Wearing the Brown Scapular is not an automatic guarantee of salvation. It is not a magical charm, nor is it an excuse to live in a way contrary to the teachings of the Church. (see Catechism, no. 1670.)

·         See the Directory on Popular Piety the Brown Scapular is included in the document as a wonderful pious practice. The history of Marian piety also includes "devotion" to various scapulars, the most common of which is devotion to the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Its use is truly universal and, undoubtedly, it is one of those pious practices which the Council described as "recommended by the Magisterium throughout the centuries."

·         Pope John Paul II has worn the scapular for a long time. See the Holy Father's talk on the Scapular of Carmel, A Treasure for the Church.

·         For the definitive treatment on the brown scapular, read The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Catechesis and Ritual.

·         The Blessed Virgin's scapular should remind us that Christians have an apostolate against current extremes and extravagances in modes of dress. Clothes are a symbol of the person. Like the Christian heart, dress must be chaste and simple, for one judges the interior from the exterior. It should not be necessary to add that special attention be given this matter when preparing for church attendance. Examine yourself on how well you reflect Christian modesty in your dress and if you are a parent, how well you ensure that your children are modestly dressed.

·         In New York City in East Harlem is one of the oldest festivals in America for Our Lady of Mount Carmel. See Our Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine of East Harlem – since 1881. Also Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY annually holds the Festival of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Paulinus of Nola (Festa Del Giglio). It is unique to see a scene that one would expect in Europe unfolding on the street of a major East coast city. You can view a You Tube clip right here. Also look around your area for Italian parishes, maybe one named after Our Lady of Mount Carmel? Many times, the parish will host wonderful festivals in her honor.

·         Watch this You Tube video to learn more about devotion to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

·         From the Catholic Culture library, the Scapular Devotion, a description of Different Kinds of Scapulars, The Brown Scapular and information on the Scapular Medal.

·         Learn more about St. Simon Stock and the Brown Scapular.

Scapulars and Medals[4]

 

Medals have been part of Catholic life since the early centuries of the Church. The most popular is the cross; even Protestants wear crosses minus the corpus while Catholics wear a crucifix. It is also noted that in the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe she is wearing a cross about her neck. We wear scapulars, too, which are mini habits of the religious orders. Pope John Paul II said that the scapular is a powerful precisely because it is a “habit” in every sense of the word, both a uniform and a pattern of good belief and good behavior. Since 1910, Catholics have been permitted to wear a scapular medal in place of a cloth scapular.

Mount Carmel Coffee[5]

This coffee ice is cool and refreshing for this summer feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

DIRECTIONS

Stir the sugar into the warm water until it is melted and add the lemon juice, stirring for about five minutes. Add the coffee, strain, place in a freezing tray, and freeze, stirring frequently, until it becomes a mush.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups strong coffee

Serve the ice slush in glasses, topping the glasses of ice with any of the following:

  • whipped cream (add vanilla, sugar, almond extract, etc.)
  • liqueurs (Amaretto, Kahlua, Baileys, etc.)
  • chocolate curls or small pieces
  • candied citrus peel

 Daily Devotions

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Practice fidelity to baptismal vows

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[4] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 36 Scapulars and Medals.

[5]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/recipes/view.cfm?id=91



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