Thursday, July 30, 2020

Day 24-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Consumerism
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.

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 Consumerism" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, if there was one word that might underlie the modern day "Fall of mankind" it very well could be consumerism. We've heard it said that we spend a lot of money we do not have on a lot of things we do not need - especially around Christmas. Surely we all are horrified by the annual satanic feast known as "Black Friday," the day after "Thanksgiving," when we reveal just how little thanks we actually give God for all the stuff we already have and rush out in the wee hours of the morning to stand in line - in all kinds of weather - to be first into some place to buy a bunch more other stuff. Dear family, the only Black Friday a good Catholic knows is Good Friday, for we know that on that blackest day in human history, when it seemed Lucifer had his victory, Easter Sunday is coming. How much less would we consume on the satanic holiday of Black Friday if our eyes were focused on The Resurrection of Jesus the Lord on Easter Sunday?

Consumerism. It is a "compensating behavior." It is a behavior that compensates for the hole within us, the hurts and wounds we have accumulated, the wounded-ness and brokenness from which we all suffer. When we have a headache, we have our go-to drug of choice, Exedrin or Tylenol or whatever. When we are hurting in our hearts and souls, we have our go-to compensating behavior. Our compensating behaviors are as addictive as any drug or any other vice into which we fall. We use it to compensate for our suffering. Such is consumerism.  As with any addiction or vice, it only is a temporary anesthetic, something that relieves the suffering only temporarily. Ultimately, it is a suffering that only can be healed and filled by Divine Love.

Why is it that humanity is so given to falling so readily into compensating behaviors like consumerism and so quick to forsaking the Divine Healer? Why is it that we think more stuff ever will be enough?
It is well understood that affluence is a Faith-killer. When we have "all we need" - indeed way more than we need - when we can rely upon ourselves to obtain or accumulate what we think we want - we tend to forsake God. The day we think we do not have to rely upon God, is the day we begin to drift away, very quickly immersing ourselves in immediate gratification through our own devices. No so slowly, but most certainly, we forget Jesus's admonition:
"If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?'  All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."  Mt 6:30-33
Anecdotally, Ireland once was very poor yet, at the same time, a rock-bed of Catholicism. Enter the economic boom of the 1990s-early 2000's. It was time of such spectacular economic growth in Ireland that it had its own nickname: Celtic Tiger. Faith fell away. Interestingly, Ireland still has about the lowest divorce rate in the Western world, less than a third of the United States. However, recently Ireland legalized abortion and same-sex marriage and - not in small part due to the horrific failure amongst bishops and the abuse scandal - faith has decreased significantly. Similarly, from the first time I went on pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Poland in 2001, to the last time in 2017, there not only has been a very visible increase in affluence but, sadly, an increase of the seeds of immorality being sown in the public square (Beware the young woman holding an umbrella in the broad daylight).

Here's the thing about consumerism. We already contemplated the Life Lesson of Adam and Eve - how nothing ever is enough. Far worse than that, consumerism cannot heal. Only the Divine Healer can heal the wounds within us. Only Divine Mercy can heal.

Dear family, we can build ourselves a bigger house, surround ourselves with more stuff in the house, get a bigger SUV to go get more stuff for the house - but nothing compares to being in a genuine Catholic Church, God's house, where His Son is present in the Real Presence.  Nothing we can buy, nothing we can accumulate, absolutely nothing, will heal our hearts and minds and souls like being in the presence of the Real Presence. That being the case, why is it that we spend a lot more time at work, working so hard to earn some money, to pay the bills that arise from buying - consuming - so much stuff we don't need? All we really have to do is spend a little less time consuming, and a little more time with Jesus.

We used to have a Catholic devotion, a Catholic tradition, of stopping on to the Church daily, even for just a few minutes. We were born and raised knowing that Jesus not only is present, but He waits for us in the Tabernacle. He thirsts for us to come and keep Him company. Do we understand that if we just spent a little bit of time in His Real Presence every day, something we do need, we would feel a lot less need to spend a lot of money to consume so much other stuff we do not need?

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward consumerism.
We have fallen into countless times of sinful buying stuff we do not need with money we do not have.
We do this all to fill the emptiness within us, to salve the wounds within us.
We turn so readily to consuming things of this world, instead of detaching ourselves from things of this world and attaching ourselves to You.
We spend so much time and effort and money consuming and yet we still are not happy.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for the consumption of temporal goods that stand in the way of our devotion to You.
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more.
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.

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 faithlessness and fear.
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 fear 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.

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.
R. 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.



Mark, Chapter 6, Verse 49-50

49 But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. 50 They had all seen him and were


Christ compels us to be not afraid. Bravery, Nerve, Pluck, Valor, Daring, Audacity, Mettle and lastly resolution are all synonyms for courage. Which word strikes your heart? For me it is resolution. For I am determined not to invalidate Christ sacrifice for me, I will not stop trying to become the vision He has for me; I am resolute. No matter how many times I fall I will get up; I will not stop. I will remember that the journey before a man tries the measure of his heart long before it tests the strength of his legs. I will remember that a man’s life is likening unto a lake with no outlet in which no life will come. Life giving water is always moving and giving of itself. Man, to be truly a creature of God must give of his essence and run to the sound of battle.

Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney[1]

Horror of Sin

Saint John Mary Baptist Vianney, you were so adamant against sin, yet so sympathetic and so ready to welcome the sinner. I come to you today as if you were still alive, as if I were kneeling at your feet and you could hear me. Bend towards me, listen to the repentant confidence for the weaknesses and miserable deeds of mine. Priest of the Lord, inexhaustible Confessor, obtain for me the horror for sin. You wanted us First to avoid the occasion of sin. I want to take your advice and make the resolution to break bad habits and to avoid the dangerous occasions of sin. Help me today to examine my conscience. 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


Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 11


On Day 11 Father Calloway points out that there has never been a man more in love with Mary than St. Joseph.


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.


Father Calloway stresses on this day that: 

·         St. Joseph is a model husband and father.

·         St. Joseph is the model for all men. 

Saint Joseph was a real man and real men are gentlemen at the service of others. St. Joseph although depicted as an older man was not much older than Mary. He needed to be viral to protect Mary and Jesus. He was a torch of love for them and mostly spent himself in dying selfless love for his family. Just as the Holy Roman Catholic Church will not ordain a man to priesthood who has not his vital powers. Likewise, God would not have place a weaken man as the head of the Holy Family. 

Young Husband of Mary

The Venerable Fulton Sheen describes St. Joseph in this way:

Joseph was probably a young man, strong, virile, athletic, handsome, chaste, and disciplined; the kind of man one sees sometimes shepherding sheep, or piloting a plane, or working at a carpenter’s bench. Instead of being a man incapable of love, he must have been on fire with love… Instead, then, of being dried fruit to be served on the table of the king, he was rather a blossom filled with promise and power. He was not in the evening of life, but in its morning, bubbling over with energy, strength, and controlled passion.

St. Joseph practiced virtue in a heroic fashion which transformed him into a man’s man. Virtue. Aristotle says that “excellence is an art won by training and habituation” and that virtue is essentially practicing good habits. To be an excellent man like St. Joseph, is to be virtuous.

Four simple steps to forming virtue.

1. Start Small

When you embark on the journey to practice virtue, you must start small. Don’t try to practice every virtue all at once.

If you desire to become more patient, start by putting up with that one really annoying person at work. Or if you desire to be milder and gentler, start holding your road rage at bay on your commute into work. If you desire to be more pious, start by waking up in the morning and making the Sign of the Cross.

Whatever virtue you decide to tackle, start small.

2. Be Mindful of Your Negative Thoughts and Temptations

Once you begin to form a new habit, you will be tempted to fall back into your old ways. Temptation comes from the world, the flesh, and the devil.

The world is the people and influences around you. They can either lead you to greatness or keep you in mediocrity.  I heard it once said, “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” The world will tempt us to be mediocre, but we are called to greatness.

The flesh is your own weak humanity that is further weakened by the effects of original sin.  Our love for bodily comforts can tempt us away from virtue. But the man endeavoring to live a life of virtue must “deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt. 16:24).

The devil, the third source of temptation, is the last person who wants us to be virtuous. St. Joseph is called the terror of the devils because he was virtuous. Don’t let the devil tempt you from being virtuous.

3. Have A Plan for When You Falter

Needless to say, that when begin to struggle for virtue, we will falter. Have a plan for when you do falter.

Perhaps that really annoying guy at work is beginning to grate on your nerves, have a compliment or kind word ready for him to help you regain your patience.

4. Rejoice at The Small Victories

All virtues are obtained by a hard-fought struggle and with the help of God’s grace. When you win that struggle and the good habit is transformed into a virtue, rejoice!

“For you O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy” (Psalm 92:4)

St. Joseph was able to share in the fatherhood of God because he was virtuous.

If you are single man and hope one day to be a husband and father, you must struggle for virtue like St. Joseph. If you are a married man and you are already a father, you must be virtuous like St. Joseph by being an excellent father.

If you are a single lady who is looking for a husband, ask God to send you a virtuous man. If you are a married woman, be like Our Lady and help your husband be a virtuous man.

St. Joseph, pillar of families and glory of home life, pray for us!

·         Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

National Cheesecake Day[4]

National Cheesecake Day is a day of appreciation for the cheesecake dessert.  Based on the discovery of cheese molds, it is believed that cheesecake originated in ancient Greece.  Athenaeus, a Greek writer, is credited with the first cheesecake recipe, which only used basic ingredients such as cheese, flour and honey.  After the Romans conquered Greece, cheesecake recipes began to include eggs and baking time. With the passing of time, cheesecake ingredients were modified to resemble the finished product we know today. However, the use of cream cheese is an entirely American version of the cheesecake, one that has evolved to consist of an uncooked cream cheese filling on top of cookie or graham crackers, while English cheesecakes are cooked to completion and have a dry texture. This scrumptious national holiday occurs every year on July 30th.

National Cheesecake Day Facts & Quotes

·         According to Guinness World Records, the largest cheesecake ever made weighed 6,900 pounds and was created by Philadelphia Cream Cheese in Lowville, New York, USA.

·         Arnold Reuben, owner of the Turf Restaurant in NYC, created the New York Style cheesecake in 1929.  This cheesecake is not served with any fruit or sauce, but has a smooth-taste from the extra number of egg yolks that are added in the cream cheese mixture.

·         Pretty in Pink Cheesecake by Elegant Cheesecakes of Saks Fifth Avenue is one of the most expensive American cheesecakes. The cheesecake weighs 8 pounds and is shaped as a stack of gift boxes, each made of edible chocolate wrapping, while the cheesecake is made of chocolate decadence layered with health crunch in vanilla and chocolate butter cream.  The price tag for this cheesecake is $325.

·         In 1972, Evelyn and Oscar Overton moved to Los Angeles and opened The Cheesecake Factory Bakery to sell Evelyn's cheesecakes.  Today, The Cheesecake Factory has become a $2 billion global company with restaurants all across the States and in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Mexico.

·         Because you don't live near a bakery doesn't mean you have to go without cheesecake - Hedy Lamarr - Golden Age Actress

National Cheesecake Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Try baking a Japanese or English cheesecake.  Japanese cheesecakes have a soft, light and cottony texture, while English cheesecakes are cooked and served with a fruit compote.

·         Enjoy a discounted or free cheesecake from your favorite cheesecake restaurant.  Many restaurants offer discounts and samples of cheesecake on National Cheesecake Day.

·         Host a cheesecake potluck.  Each guest must bring one cheesecake of his/her own creation. All guests may then indulge in each other's delicious creations and try a wide new variety of cheesecake flavors.

·         According to the USDA, every 100g of cheesecake contains 321 calories with a total fat content of 23g.  To try a healthier alternative, bake a cheesecake using Greek yogurt instead of cheese.

·         Participate in the Kona Cheesecake Run, held on April 17, 2016 in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Cheesecake samples at the run are provided by The Cheesecake Factory Novi.

Jameson Cheesecake 

Baileys Cheesecake tends to be an ubiquitous - but very popular - feature of many pubs and restaurant menus in Ireland. 

Jameson Cheesecake 

-          Ingredients 

-          Base 

-          165g / 5.5oz butter

-          15 digestive biscuits or graham crackers 

-          Topping 

-          225g

-          275ml /10 fl oz (½ pint) fresh whipping cream

-          450g / 1lb Philadelphia cheese

-          4 caps (bottle caps) of Jameson Whiskey 

·         White and dark chocolate for decoration 

·         Preparation method 

-          Place digestive biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. 

-          Melt the butter and add the biscuits. 

·         Put into a 23cm (9 inch) loose bottom cake tin (do not press the mixture into the tin too much or your base will be too hard). Leave in the fridge to set. 

·         Beat the Philadelphia and add the icing sugar. 

·         Lightly whip the cream and mix into the cheese mixture. 

·         Add the Jameson whiskey to the cheese and cream mixture and mix well. 

Daily Devotions


·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Cultivate intelligent foresight in yourself

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary


Today is my Grandson Joshua’s birthday, who is currently undergoing military training at West Point.

please pray for his intentions.




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