Day 22-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Indifference
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have been too self-involved to notice the damage our sins have wreaked on our neighbor and broken faith with You.
We have expected You to be pleased with our duplicitous and selfish hearts.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our narcissism and lack of sorrow.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if you will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to narcissism and entitlement.
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 narcissism have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy, etc.
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us, etc.
St. Michael, the Archangel,
Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,
Standing at the right of the altar of Incense,
Ambassador of Paradise,
Glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies,
Leader of the Angelic hosts,
The standard-bearer of God's armies,
Defender of Divine glory,
First defender of the Kingship of Christ,
Strength of God,
Invincible Prince and warrior,
Angel of Peace,
Guide of Christ,
Guardian of the Catholic Faith,
Champion of God's people,
Guardian Angel of the Eucharist,
Defender of the Church,
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,
Angel of Catholic action,
Powerful intercessor of Christians,
Bravest defender of those who hope in God,
Guardian of our souls and bodies,
Healer of the sick,
Help of those in their agony,
Consoler of the Souls in Purgatory,
God's messenger for the souls of the just,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Victorious in battle against evil,
Guardian and Patron of the universal Church,
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.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Sacrament of the Eucharist which we have received may make our souls holy and pleasing to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mark, Chapter 5, Verse 35-36
35 While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” 36 Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be AFRAID; just have faith.”
This is the message of the gospel: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” All who believe in Christ for their salvation have access to Him at any time. Christ compels us to trust in Him as He did the synagogue official. Through faith the Holy Spirit brings us the gifts of knowledge and understanding. The gift of counsel and we are driven by the spirit to a higher level of prudence. We are docile to the spirits promptings; we have foresight and circumspection and we desire holiness.
How can we know if something comes from the Holy Spirit or if it stems from the spirit of the world or the spirit of the devil? The only way is through discernment, which calls for something more than intelligence or common sense. It is a gift which we must implore. If we ask with confidence that the Holy Spirit grant us this gift, and then seek to develop it through prayer, reflection, reading and good counsel, then surely, we will grow in this spiritual endowment.
The gift of discernment has become all the more necessary today, since contemporary life offers immense possibilities for action and distraction, and the world presents all of them as valid and good. All of us, but especially the young, are immersed in a culture of zapping. We can navigate simultaneously on two or more screens and interact at the same time with two or three virtual scenarios. Without the wisdom of discernment, we can easily become prey to every passing trend. This is all the more important when some novelty presents itself in our lives. Then we have to decide whether it is new wine brought by God or an illusion created by the spirit of this world or the spirit of the devil.
At other times, the opposite can happen, when the forces of evil induce us not to change, to leave things as they are, to opt for a rigid resistance to change. Yet that would be to block the working of the Spirit. We are free, with the freedom of Christ. Still, he asks us to examine what is within us – our desires, anxieties, fears and questions – and what takes place all around us – “the signs of the times” – and thus to recognize the paths that lead to complete freedom. “Test everything; hold fast to what is good” (1 Thess 5:21).
Discernment is necessary not only at extraordinary times, when we need to resolve grave problems and make crucial decisions. It is a means of spiritual combat for helping us to follow the Lord more faithfully. We need it at all times, to help us recognize God’s timetable, lest we fail to heed the promptings of his grace and disregard his invitation to grow. Often discernment is exercised in small and apparently irrelevant things, since greatness of spirit is manifested in simple everyday realities. It involves striving untrammeled for all that is great, better and more beautiful, while at the same time being concerned for the little things, for each day’s responsibilities and commitments. For this reason, I ask all Christians not to omit, in dialogue with the Lord, a sincere daily “examination of conscience”. Discernment also enables us to recognize the concrete means that the Lord provides in his mysterious and loving plan, to make us move beyond mere good intentions.
Certainly, spiritual discernment does not exclude existential, psychological, sociological or moral insights drawn from the human sciences. At the same time, it transcends them. Nor are the Church’s sound norms sufficient. We should always remember that discernment is a grace. Even though it includes reason and prudence, it goes beyond them, for it seeks a glimpse of that unique and mysterious plan that God has for each of us, which takes shape amid so many varied situations and limitations. It involves more than my temporal well-being, my satisfaction at having accomplished something useful, or even my desire for peace of mind. It has to do with the meaning of my life before the Father who knows and loves me, with the real purpose of my life, which nobody knows better than he. Ultimately, discernment leads to the wellspring of undying life: to know the Father, the only true God, and the one whom he has sent, Jesus Christ. It requires no special abilities, nor is it only for the more intelligent or better educated. The Father readily reveals himself to the lowly. The Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways, at work, through others and at every moment. Yet we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us better to perceive God’s language, to interpret the real meaning of the inspirations we believe we have received, to calm our anxieties and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light. In this way, we allow the birth of a new synthesis that springs from a life inspired by the Spirit.
Nonetheless, it is possible that, even in prayer itself, we could refuse to let ourselves be confronted by the freedom of the Spirit, who acts as he wills. We must remember that prayerful discernment must be born of a readiness to listen to the Lord and to others, and to reality itself, which always challenges us in new ways. Only if we are prepared to listen, do we have the freedom to set aside our own partial or insufficient ideas, our usual habits and ways of seeing things. In this way, we become truly open to accepting a call that can shatter our security, but lead us to a better life. It is not enough that everything be calm and peaceful. God may be offering us something more, but in our comfortable inadvertence, we do not recognize it. Naturally, this attitude of listening entails obedience to the Gospel as the ultimate standard, but also to the Magisterium that guards it, as we seek to find in the treasury of the Church whatever is most fruitful for the “today” of salvation. It is not a matter of applying rules or repeating what was done in the past, since the same solutions are not valid in all circumstances and what was useful in one context may not prove so in another. The discernment of spirits liberates us from rigidity, which has no place before the perennial “today” of the risen Lord. The Spirit alone can penetrate what is obscure and hidden in every situation, and grasp its every nuance, so that the newness of the Gospel can emerge in another light.
An essential condition for progress in discernment is a growing understanding of God’s patience and his timetable, which are never our own. God does not pour down fire upon those who are unfaithful, or allow the zealous to uproot the tares growing among the wheat. Generosity too is demanded, for “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. Discernment is not about discovering what more we can get out of this life, but about recognizing how we can better accomplish the mission entrusted to us at our baptism. This entails a readiness to make sacrifices, even to sacrificing everything. For happiness is a paradox. We experience it most when we accept the mysterious logic that is not of this world: “This is our logic”, says Saint Bonaventure, pointing to the cross. Once we enter into this dynamic, we will not let our consciences be numbed and we will open ourselves generously to discernment. When, in God’s presence, we examine our life’s journey, no areas can be off limits. In all aspects of life, we can continue to grow and offer something greater to God, even in those areas we find most difficult. We need, though, to ask the Holy Spirit to liberate us and to expel the fear that makes us ban him from certain parts of our lives. God asks everything of us, yet he also gives everything to us. He does not want to enter our lives to cripple or diminish them, but to bring them to fulfilment. Discernment, then, is not a solipsistic self-analysis or a form of egotistical introspection, but an authentic process of leaving ourselves behind in order to approach the mystery of God, who helps us to carry out the mission to which he has called us, for the good of our brothers and sisters.
World Hepatitis Day
Hepatitis Day seeks to raise awareness for the spectrum of Hepatitis diseases.
Hepatitis diseases cause inflammation of the liver cells. There are five main
types of hepatitis, A, B, C, D and E. It is estimated that around 250 million
people worldwide are infected with Hepatitis C and 300 million people are
Hepatitis B carriers.
World Hepatitis Day was proclaimed by the World Health Organization. It is celebrated annually on July 28th.
Hepatitis Day Facts
Hepatitis A is usually transmitted by consuming contaminated food or water or coming into contact with an infected person's feces.
Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease. It is transmitted through exposure to infected blood or body fluids.
Hepatitis B is spread via blood of an infected person.
can also be caused by alcohol and other toxins and infections.
Matters: Embryo Research
The Nuremberg Code (1947) was prompted by the horrific and often deadly experimentation on human beings in Nazi concentration camps that came to light during the “Doctors’ Trials” before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals. The main principles of the Nuremberg Code require that experiments involving human subjects cause no unnecessary risk, be undertaken with the full and informed consent of the subjects and must never knowingly cause serious injury or death. Nazi doctors were not the first, nor the last, to perform inhumane and sometimes disabling research on unsuspecting human subjects living in poverty, in prisons, mental health institutions, and orphanages. The Tuskegee syphilis experiments, the Stateville Penitentiary Malaria Study, and the Willowbrook (Long Island) State School experiments—in which children with mental disabilities were intentionally infected with viral hepatitis—are just a few examples of cases in which doctors put the pursuit of knowledge and “cures” ahead of the lives and well-being of individual human beings. The Nuremberg Code inspired other declarations of medical and research ethics. In 1948, the World Medical Association approved a statement addressing the ethics of physicians, the Declaration of Geneva. As originally adopted, it read in part: “I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.”
Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney
Complete Trust in God
Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney, what confidence the people had in your prayers! You could not leave your old rectory or your humble church without being surrounded by imploring souls, who appealed to you as they would have appealed to Jesus Himself during His earthly life. And you, O good Saint, gave them hope by your words, which were full of love for God. You, who had always counted entirely on the heart of God, obtain for me a deep filial trust in His Providence. As the hope of divine goods fills my heart, give me courage and help me to always obey the Commandments of God. 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 9
On Day 9 Father Calloway using the Litany points to the idea that St. Joseph came from a noble family of Kings.
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.
Father Calloway stresses on this day that:
· St. Joseph was King of the Holy Family.
Joseph is a noble lord.
Son of David
As a descendant of David St Joseph knew the prophesies about the messiah.
his new book, Jesus of Nazareth:
The Infancy Narratives
Joseph had to come to terms with the fact that Mary “was with child of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 1:18). With regard to the child’s origin, Matthew is anticipating something here that Joseph does not yet know. Joseph has to assume that Mary has broken their engagement, and according to the law he must dismiss her. He has a choice between a public juridical act and a private form. He can bring Mary before the court or he can issue her with a private writ of divorce. Joseph decides on the latter option, in order not “to put her to shame” (1:19). Matthew sees in this choice an indication that Joseph was “a just man.” . . .After the discovery that Joseph made, his task was to interpret and apply the law correctly. He does so with love: he does not want to give Mary up to public shame. He wishes her well, even in the hour of his great disappointment. He does not embody the form of externalized legalism that Jesus denounces in Mt 23 and that Paul opposes so strenuously. He lives the law as Gospel. He seeks the path that brings law and love into a unity. And so he is inwardly prepared for the new, unexpected and humanly speaking incredible news that comes to him from God. . .. The message conveyed to Joseph is overwhelming, and it demands extraordinarily courageous faith. Can it be that God has really spoken, that what Joseph was told in the dream was the truth—a truth so far surpassing anything he could have foreseen? Can it be that God has acted in this way toward a human creature? Can it be that God has now launched a new history with men? Matthew has already said that Joseph “inwardly considered” (enthymẽthéntos) the right way to respond to Mary’s pregnancy. So we can well imagine his inner struggle now to make sense of this breathtaking dream-message: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 1:20).
The Hajj starts today. Hajj is a holy pilgrimage to Mecca that is obligatory for all Muslims who can afford to go. The 3rd chapter of the Quran, Surah Ale-Imran makes Hajj mandatory. During this pilgrimage, Muslims try to get closer to God. The Hajj is performed in the last month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul-Hijjah. All Muslims who can afford to go on the Hajj are required to do so at least once in their life. Muslims believe that the Prophet Abraham built the Ka'aba with his son Ismael. Kaaba is a sacred cube-shaped shrine at the centre Al-Masjid al-Haram mosque, in Mecca (Saudi Arabia). Muslims walk around the Ka'bah seven times as part of the Hajj. Muslims face to pray in the direction of the Ka'bah no matter where they are in the world. It was the first house built solely for the purpose of worshipping God. To be completed, the Hajj requires a minimum of five days, during which pilgrim’s travel across Arabia to complete various rituals, some of which are optional, but considered highly beneficial.
· According to Sahih Bukhari (one of the six main hadith writings of Sunni Islam), the Prophet Muhammad once said that those who finish the Hajj without committing any obscenity or transgression will have their sins completely wiped away.
· It is believed that to teach Muslims to remain humble and unified, God mandated the Hajj. During it, everyone wears the same clothes, prays together, and goes around the Ka'bah together.
· According to the Saudi Arabian Embassy, the Hajj is the largest gathering of human beings on the Earth.
Hajj Events and Things to Do
· Visit the mountains of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah in Mecca. Pilgrims walk between two hills, Safa and Marwa, seven times during the Hajj because they believe that Hagar, the wife of Abraham, did the same when looking for water for her thirsty baby Ismael. As soon as she finished her seventh run, the Zamzam well sprung out from under baby Ismael's foot. To this day, pilgrims on the Hajj drink the Zamzam's water, and often take it home with them in large canisters.
· Visit the tower at Jamrat-al-Aqabah (Saudi Arabia). After sunset on the day of Arafah, as part of the Hajj, pilgrims throw small pebbles at Jamrat-al-Aqabah. This is the place where it is believed the Devil stood as he tried to tempt Abraham from carrying out orders from God. This is act commemorates and symbolizes Abraham's rejecting of the devil.
Understanding Islam: A Guide
Today we are bombarded with conflicting versions of Muslims and Islamin the media. This guide is intended to help all people in the Roman Catholic Church to present Islam accurately and in ways that preserve and promote “together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom” (Nostra Aetate3). In spite of the many conflicts and hostilities that have arisen between Muslims and Christians over the centuries, as Christians we are called to reject violence and to live in fraternal love with all human beings. This document intends to identify some of those beliefs and values that Muslims and Christians have in common, as well as some differences, so as to assist those whom we are teaching to live harmoniously together with understanding and respect and to work for peace more effectively. Understanding Islam and Muslims the name Islam means “submission” and those who submit to God are Muslims. The terms have the same Arabic root as the word for peace, Salam. Muslims believe that peace comes through the submission to the one and only God. Although it is often associated with Muslims alone, the name of God in Arabic, Allah (al-Lah– “the God”), is the same name used by Christians and Jews. When saying the name of Allah, Muslims enerally say: “Subhanahu wa ta’aalaa”, which means “May He be glorified and exalted”. Muslims and Christians share many common beliefs in their worship of a single Creator God who loves creation and who commands that His most cherished creations, human beings, love Him, one another, and His creation. In some ways, however, Muslims and Christians have profoundly different beliefs. Muslims do not believe in the Trinitarian nature of God, nor do they accept that Jesus Christ is God incarnate. They believe, however, that Jesus is one of the five most distinguished Prophets of God sent to mankind. Christians, on the other hand, do not recognize Muhammad as a prophet, and do not accept many aspects of the message he preached, including dietary restrictions, polygamy, and other teachings. For Muslims, Muhammad is the recipient of God’s final revelation, the Qur’an, and the model for all human beings, in much the same way as the Virgin Mary is for many Christians. But Muhammad’s role as prophet, law giver and military leader is more similar to that of Moses in the Old Testament. Muhammad is not worshipped by Muslims –he is recognized by them as the final Prophet, the Seal of the prophets, sent by God and is the object of great reverence and devotion. Christians do not accord Muhammad the same status as the biblical prophets but may regard him as a prophetic figure on such issues as charity and the protection of the poor, widows and orphans.
· Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel