Day 16-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Godlessness
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to doubt in Your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing the strong storms to quell our trust in You.
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 faithlessness and timidity.
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 and ever.
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 disbelief.
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 godlessness have planted in Your Church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
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.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy 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.
And prince over all His possessions.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.
FEAST OF THE HOLY PENITENT MARY MAGDALEN
Matthew, Chapter 25, verse 24-25:
24 Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; 25 so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’
Christ is always trying to draw us away from fear to having a relationship of love and peace with the Trinity. For if we live our faith in fear, we will be like the person who buried his only talent. We must if we are filled with the love and joy of Christ go forth bravely to build Christ’s Kingdom in our own spheres of influence and in our way of being.
Ask our Lord how he wants you to spend your time assisting our priests today.
Boldness and Passion
· Holiness is also parrhesia: it is boldness, an impulse to evangelize and to leave a mark in this world. To allow us to do this, Jesus himself comes and tells us once more, serenely yet firmly: “Do not be afraid”. “I am with you always, to the end of the world”. These words enable us to go forth and serve with the same courage that the Holy Spirit stirred up in the Apostles, impelling them to proclaim Jesus Christ. Boldness, enthusiasm, the freedom to speak out, apostolic fervor, all these are included in the word parrhesia. The Bible also uses this word to describe the freedom of a life open to God and to others. Blessed Paul VI, in referring to obstacles to evangelization, spoke of a lack of fervor (parrhesia) that is “all the more serious because it comes from within”. How often we are tempted to keep close to the shore!
· Yet the Lord calls us to put out into the deep and let down our nets. He bids us spend our lives in his service. Clinging to him, we are inspired to put all our charisms at the service of others. May we always feel compelled by his love and say with Saint Paul: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel”. Look at Jesus. His deep compassion reached out to others. It did not make him hesitant, timid or self-conscious, as often happens with us. Quite the opposite. His compassion made him go out actively to preach and to send others on a mission of healing and liberation. Let us acknowledge our weakness, but allow Jesus to lay hold of it and send us too on mission. We are weak, yet we hold a treasure that can enlarge us and make those who receive it better and happier.
· Boldness and apostolic courage are an essential part of mission. Parrhesia is a seal of the Spirit; it testifies to the authenticity of our preaching. It is a joyful assurance that leads us to glory in the Gospel we proclaim. It is an unshakeable trust in the faithful Witness who gives us the certainty that nothing can “separate us from the love of God”. We need the Spirit’s prompting, lest we be paralyzed by fear and excessive caution, lest we grow used to keeping within safe bounds.
· Let us remember that closed spaces grow musty and unhealthy. When the Apostles were tempted to let themselves be crippled by danger and threats, they joined in prayer to implore parrhesia: “And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness”. As a result, “when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness”.
· Like the prophet Jonah, we are constantly tempted to flee to a safe haven. It can have many names: individualism, spiritualism, living in a little world, addiction, intransigence, the rejection of new ideas and approaches, dogmatism, nostalgia, pessimism, hiding behind rules and regulations. We can resist leaving behind a familiar and easy way of doing things. Yet the challenges involved can be like the storm, the whale, the worm that dried the gourd plant, or the wind and sun that burned Jonah’s head. For us, as for him, they can serve to bring us back to the God of tenderness, who invites us to set out ever anew on our journey.
· God is eternal newness. He impels us constantly to set out anew, to pass beyond what is familiar, to the fringes and beyond. He takes us to where humanity is most wounded, where men and women, beneath the appearance of a shallow conformity, continue to seek an answer to the question of life’s meaning. God is not afraid! He is fearless! He is always greater than our plans and schemes. Unafraid of the fringes, he himself became a fringe. So, if we dare to go to the fringes, we will find him there; indeed, he is already there. Jesus is already there, in the hearts of our brothers and sisters, in their wounded flesh, in their troubles and in their profound desolation. He is already there.
Feast of the Holy Penitent Mary Magdalen
MARY MAGDALEN, a sister of Lazarus and of Martha, of Bethany, was a notorious sinner in Jerusalem. Moved by the preaching of Jesus, she did public penance. She went openly into the house of the Pharisee with whom Jesus was sitting at table, threw herself at His feet, anointed them with precious ointment, washed them with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. Jesus, knowing her contrite heart, forgave her, her sins (Luke vii. 37, 38), and from that time forward she became the most zealous and faithful of the women who were disciples of Our Lord. She followed Him, always ministered unto Him of her substance (Luke viii. 3), and when He died was standing under the cross.
Prayer. We beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be helped by the intercession of blessed Mary Magdalen, at whose prayers Thou didst raise up again to life her brother Lazarus, who had been dead for four days.
EPISTLE. Cant. iii. 2-5; viii. 6, 7.
I will rise and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not. The watchmen who keep the city found me: Have you seen him whom my soul loveth? When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth. I held him: and I will not let him go till I bring him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that bore me. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes and the harts of the fields, that you stir not up, nor awake my beloved till she please. Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death; jealousy as hard as hell; the lamps thereof are fire and flame. Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing. The soul that, following the direction of the watchmen, that is, the priests, teachers, and rulers of the Church, seeks Jesus, He goes to meet, gives Himself up to, takes up His abode in, with all His love, with all His treasures. The soul which has found Christ for delight forgets all outward things, and no longer has love or joy but for and in Christ. How should it be otherwise? What can be wanting to him who truly possesses Christ? This love for Him Who loved us unto death shows itself by outward acts that are heroic. So, Mary Magdalen loved Jesus. Follow her example.
GOSPEL. Luke vii. 36-50.
At that time: One of the Pharisees desired Jesus to eat with him. And He went into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisee s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and standing behind, at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited Him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man, if He were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him, that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it. A certain creditor had two debtors, the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which, therefore, of the two loveth him most? Simon answering, said I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And He said to him: Thou hast judged rightly. And turning to the woman, He said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet; but she with tears hath washed My feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest Me no kiss; but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but she with ointment hath anointed My feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less. And He said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And He said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe, go in peace.
Magdalen, who had sinned openly, openly did penance. In like manner, he who has given public scandal must seek to make amends for it by public good example. Magdalen confessed her sins, says St. Ambrose, not with words, but with abundant tears of penitence. To tell her sins to Christ, the All-knowing, was not necessary but what a confession was there in the posture of humiliation, and in the tears that flowed from the contrite sinner. Would you obtain forgiveness? Confess with contrition, like Magdalen. The words, “Thy faith hath made thee safe,” denote a faith active as love. Faith and love are in truth never separated, for the only truly believes who also loves; and he only loves according to God’s will who believes in Him. Therefore, believe in truth, love, and show your love by earnest hatred of every sin, by flying from occasions of sin, by fighting against your passions, by change of your life, and by humble confession, and as true as God lives you will be saved, as was Magdalen the peace of God will enter into your heart.
Patron: Apothecaries; Casamicciola, Italy; contemplative life; contemplatives; converts; druggists; glove makers; hairdressers; hairstylists; penitent sinners; penitent women; people ridiculed for their piety; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; reformed prostitutes; sexual temptation; tanners; women.
Novena of St. Ann
Daily Prayer to Saint Ann
O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those
who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the
weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take
the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.
Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.
Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .
O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann, help me now and at the hour of my death. Good St. Ann, intercede for me.
Good St. Ann do not allow my soul, a masterpiece of God’s creative power, to be lost forever. Free my heart of pride, vanity, self-love. May I know myself as I really am and learn meekness and simplicity of heart.
God’s great love for me leaves me cold and unresponsive. I must reflect this love through works of mercy and charity toward my neighbor.
In your boundless charity,
good St. Ann, help me to merit the glorious crown which is given to those who
have fought the good fight against the world, the devil and the flesh. Assist
me to preserve purity of heart and body. With Mary and her divine Son, protect
Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 3
On Day 3 Father Calloway using the Litany points to the Mission of Christ which is to intercede and show us the mercies of God.
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.
Father Calloway stresses on this day that:
· Consecration to St. Joseph will increase the presence of the father in your life.
· The fatherhood of St. Joseph reflected the presence of the heavenly father in the life of Jesus.
Heavenly Father Did for Jesus He Wants to Do for You.
Notice the use of the word presence, St. Joseph was a man of presence. If we wish to emulate St. Joseph, we must be men of presence too. To be present is to be in the moment and be aware of the visible and the invisible. We must be in the presence of our Lord and talk to Him.
If you haven’t already done so, I recommend you develop the habit of spending 10-15 minutes a day with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel or if that is not available some other quiet place where you can be in the presence of our Lord. Read the daily entry and reflect on it asking our Lord and St. Joseph to talk to your heart and reveal to you the will of the Father and then Do it.
St. Joseph as our patron must be invoked as a defense against all dangers and for a renewed commitment to evangelization in the world. St. John Paul II in Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer).
John Paul II further said, “Because St. Joseph is the protector of the Church, he is the guardian of the Eucharist and the Christian family. Therefore, we must turn to St. Joseph today to ward off attacks upon the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and upon the family. We must plead with St. Joseph to guard the Eucharistic Lord and the Christian family during this time of peril.”
St. Joseph Our Spiritual Father
Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church and our own father in the spiritual life. The Eternal Father is our Father in the most perfect sense. But even the eternally begotten Son of this Father was obedient and entered the care of St. Joseph. As members of Christ’s body, we too enter into the care of St. Joseph who still acts as a “faithful and wise servant” over his master’s household.
There are few other reasons that enlighten us as to why St. Joseph is so crucial for the Church as a fatherly model for the Christian life. Although he was in the Davidic line, Joseph was not a political agitator, haughtily complaining of Roman occupation and stirring up support for his own cause. Rather, and more positively, he was a builder. The Greek tekton certainly can be translated as carpenter, but also has a broader connotation of craftsman or builder. Joseph, the kingly carpenter, would teach the Son of God, through whom all things were made, to fashion things with his hands. To be a builder or craftsman is fitting for one who is like God, sharing in God’s own creative work. It is from Joseph that Jesus the Creator learned to create. St. John Paul II draws this out in his encyclical Laborem Exercens, describing Christ’s “gospel of work,” and how “he who proclaimed it was himself a man of work, a craftsman like Joseph of Nazareth.”
We also see in Joseph the importance of the role of husband and father. St. Joseph is necessary right now as a model of fatherhood as we face its near extinction. In a piece called The Crisis of Fatherhood, Ray Williams describes how “America is rapidly becoming a fatherless society, or perhaps more accurately, an absentee father society” and gives startling statistics on the effects of the absence of fathers. Fathers have to be spiritual and moral leaders, as it has been widely noted that fathers are the number one influence on the religious practice of their children. St. Joseph’s courageous care for his wife and foster child, through poverty, danger, and hardship, is a model for us as we seek to restore fatherhood to its foundational role in society and the Church.
the Litany of St. Joseph.
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
Blessed Sacrament Fathers, ST. ANN’S SHRINE, Cleveland, Ohio