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Friday, August 14, 2020

                                            Day 39-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Presumption

ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

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 Presumption" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, we're almost through to the end. What a holy, holy endeavor. So much Grace. So very much Grace. The Grace we need now, more than ever, in the midst of all the crazy stuff going on all around us. If I had any words to wrap up my part, it would be words of encouragement to keep it going, to not stop now, for we are not yet at the end of our time on earth. Rather, Our Father has chosen us to live in this time and place, to serve Him in this time and in this place. What we have endured in the abandonment of so many shepherds only is a precursor to what may be coming soon. The spiritually weakened state of so many out there will not bode well when worse things come. To me, this whole holy endeavor was a spiritual boot camp to toughen us up, to strengthen us, to fight the battles that lie ahead.

Fr. Heilman tells me that close to 70,000 have joined in this spiritual boot camp. That is amazing. It tells us, dear family, that we are not alone. But maybe the number should have been 700,000. In fact, the grotesque abandonment by so many shepherds is all the more reason why there should have been even more than 700,000. So, why hasn't there been that many, and more? A big reason, probably the biggest reason, is the sin of Presumption.

As always, a good starting place is Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary. He states that Presumption "leads one to expect graces from God without doing anything to obtain them, and even when acting the opposite, as when sinning, the person presumes that forgiveness is assured." (etymology:  Latin Praesumere, to suppose, take for granted.)  Donald Attwater's A Catholic Dictionary writes similarly: Presumption is "a vice ... whereby a man expects to gain eternal life by his own strength or without merits, or to obtain pardon without repentance."

Wow. There it is in a nutshell. I don't have to reinvent the wheel. That is the beauty of being Catholic. We have 2000 years of the Bible, 2000 years of Saints and Martyrs, 2000 years of the constant teaching of the Catholic Church, 2000 years of the unchanged and unchangeable Truth.  So, unlike, say, Joel Osteen et al. who wallow in Presumption, we know that to be a disciple of Jesus the Lord, we actually must pick up our crosses daily and carry them. We must carry them not for five minutes and set them down. That's not what Jesus said. Jesus did not say "clock in, carry for 8 hours, clock out." Jesus did not say "any time after eight hours is overtime, time-and-a-half." No.  The Real Jesus said, in essence, "take it from Me when you wake up, let Me hold it close while you sleep."

Our crosses mean we actually must make an effort to grow in Grace daily. Truly, we can never be worthy of the Salvation for which Jesus endured His Passion. He does not ask us to be. He asks us only to pick up our crosses daily. Yet so many do not. Presumption is bad enough amongst Catholics, but amongst so many Protestants it is worse. That whole "I just asked JAY-zus into my heart and I'm SAAAAVED" is so much Presumption baloney. Jesus never said that. Jesus said pick up your cross. Daily.

Amongst Catholics, there seems to be way too many with a similar attitude - an attitude that has become pervasive since we have been inculcated with all the meaningless drivel put out after Vatican II, that "oh, Our Father loves us all and doesn't want anybody to go to Hell, so I didn't do something really bad, like kill somebody, so I'm good to go." Or, as a well known shepherd recently posited, Hell really is kind of an empty place. Really? That is not what Jesus taught about Hell. And the Presumption of "I'm good enough" is not the standard Jesus set on Calvary?.

Cardinal St. John Henry Newman brilliantly eviscerated the attitude of Presumption when he observed "that [the aim of most men] is, to all appearances, not how to please God, but how to please themselves without displeasing Him!"

Jesus spoke specifically to such an attitude in a parable that addressed those who were convinced of their own righteousness. Remember the Pharisee "took up his position [in the Temple] and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity-greedy, dishonest, adulterous-or even like this tax collector." Jesus then contrasted that attitude with the sinner who "stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'" Jesus then said: "I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted" (Lk 18:9-14). So, dear family, let us be very careful about justifying our own righteousness, and exalting our status vis-à-vis our eternal destination.

Instead of being self-righteous, Jesus gave another parable about the right attitude of one of His disciples, or servants, quote: Is [God] grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?  ... When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done [only] what we were obliged to do'" (Lk 17:9-10).

Dear family, let us conclude with a sports analogy. There is no "I" in team. That's why that Protestant attitude about "Me 'n JAY-zus" is just pure garbage. Jesus is a team effort. He calls us to be part of His team. That means that every day is another day for each team member to show up for practice - practice to be a better team player. Each person on the team has a position to play and the better the person plays, the better the team (That is why, by the way, that blowing off attendance at Holy Mass on Sunday is not just a grave personal sin, but is a grave sin against the whole team). What happens when a player doesn't show up for practice? At best, he "rides the pine." That is to say, he has to sit on the bench and the coach - in this case, God - cannot put him in to play because he hasn't practiced. He has let the whole team down. That is what happens at best. At worst - he gets kicked off the team (welcome to hell).

Dear family, here is one last way to understand the sin of Presumption. Again, think of it as an attitude of "good enough." There is a quote, with many variations, all of which say the same thing:  The attitude of "good enough" is the enemy of "great." Put another way, "the enemy of 'great' is not bad, the enemy of 'great' is 'good enough.'"

Our Father offered up the Greatest on Calvary. Does our offering - through the carrying of our crosses - measure up to such greatness?

The cure for the sin of Presumption is to daily strive not just to do what we have been commanded to do. That only makes us a useless servant. The cure for the sin of Presumption is to do more than we have been commanded to do.

So, now that we are reaching the end of our forty days of preparation, let us do more. Let us continue to practice with the Grace Force Team - and show up to practice in the 54-day Novena for an upcoming Election which genuinely will shape the future of our country - either into a country striving for Greatness - or a country falling into the abyss of damnable socialism. Our choice could not be clearer. Let us make the Catholic Team strong through practice, so that we win the game come November.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward Presumption.
We think we are good enough.
We can recognize our attitude of Presumption whenever we simply do not show up for practice - whenever we do not make the effort to spend an hour a day with You.
At times we justify our Presumption because we have so many other things we "need" to do.
We ignore the plain truth that "if satan can't make you bad, he will make you busy."
At times we do not recognize in ourselves that we are the Pharisee who said "thank God I'm not like all those sinners back there."
Too infrequently do we approach the Sacrament of Confession of sins.
Too infrequently do we examine our conscience and see we really are sinners.
Too infrequently do we say to ourselves that we are unprofitable servants; for we have done only what we were obliged to do.
So often we just do not recognize our Presumption.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our Presumption, and especially for all the times we have failed to practice with and for Your Team, for all the times we have let down our teammates.
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 Sacred Heart 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, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus,  we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.

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


Luke, Chapter 8, Verse 50

On hearing this, Jesus answered him, “Do not be afraid; just have faith and she will be saved.”


When we ask something of our Lord, make it big, and believe He can do it. For the measure of faith that you have determines the measure of the healing from the Lord. I remember over 40 years ago I was a young man stationed in Barbados and became involved with a Christian cult of sorts, where a small group practiced faith as a measure of power. The leader taught that as men we are created in the image of God and we have the power to create miracles if we have the faith to do it. It was explained that even evil men can tap this power provided they believe which explains why some non-Christian’s can-do feats or miracles. As I evolved in Christ, I drifted away from this group but still today I believe all is possible via faith. This group I was in was called, “The Way.” I did an internet search for it but could not find it, but I did find an interesting Catholic resource written by Saint Jose Maria Escriva called “The Way.” “You feel a gigantic faith. He who gives you that faith, will give you the means.”


The Way[1]

The strength, the attraction of The Way is largely due to the fact that it is based on real, living experience, being the fruit of the author's work as a priest which began in 1925. The book appeared first in 1934 under the title Consideraciones espirituales and later (in 1939) received its definitive title, after being greatly expanded. Over the years, more than four and a half million copies have been sold, in 43 different languages. This is one of the main attractions of the book-its direct, conversational style, its personal and deeply human character. As a reviewer in Osservatore Romano (March 24, 1950) put it: "Msgr. Escriva de Balaguer has written something more than a masterpiece; he has written straight from the heart, and straight to the heart go the short paragraphs which make up The Way."

St. Maximillian Kolbe[2]

Born Raymond Kolbe in Poland, Jan. 8, 1894, he entered the Conventual Franciscan Order where he was ordained a priest in 1918. Father Maximilian returned to Poland in 1919 and began spreading his Militia of the Immaculata movement of Marian consecration (whose members are also called MIs), which he founded on October 16, 1917. In 1927, he established an evangelization center near Warsaw called Niepokalanow, the "City of the Immaculata." By 1939, the City had expanded from eighteen friars to an incredible 650, making it the largest Catholic religious house in the world. To better "win the world for the Immaculata," the friars utilized the most modern printing and administrative techniques. This enabled them to publish countless catechetical and devotional tracts, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000 and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million. Maximilian started a shortwave radio station and planned to build a motion picture studio--he was a true "apostle of the mass media." He established a City of the Immaculata in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1930, and envisioned missionary centers worldwide. Maximilian was a ground-breaking theologian. His insights into the Immaculate Conception anticipated the Marian theology of the Second Vatican Council and further developed the Church's understanding of Mary as "Mediatrix" of all the graces of the Trinity, and as "Advocate" for God's people. In 1941, the Nazis imprisoned Father Maximilian in the Auschwitz death camp. There he offered his life for another prisoner and was condemned to slow death in a starvation bunker. On August 14, 1941, his impatient captors ended his life with a fatal injection. Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a "martyr of charity" in 1982. St. Maximilian Kolbe is considered a patron of journalists, families, prisoners, the pro-life movement and the chemically addicted.  Militia of the Immaculata

Things to Do:

·         From the Catholic Culture library, read The Holy Spirit and Mary, an explanation of St. Maximillian's Marian theology and Maximillian Kolbe, Apostle of Mary by Fr. John Hardon.

·         Offer a Mass.

·         Say a rosary for those who suffer in the world today from man's inhumanity.

·         Pray for an end to abortion, our nation's own holocaust.

·         Read about Auschwitz and ponder the modern gas chambers (abortion, euthanasia, public school, cnn) in every state of our Union and resolve to do all that you can to end the killing.

Blessing of Herbs and Fruits[3]

The Church "baptized" an old pre-Christian belief in the great healing power of herbs picked in August by instituting a ritual for the blessing of herbs and fruits on the Feast of the Assumption. Since that time, Christians from both East and West have blessed herbs and fruit on the Feast of the Assumption in the belief that these sacramentals provide protection against harm and danger. But this custom also hearkens back to the Hebrew observance of the harvest, and more importantly, it teaches us something about our Lady's role in the economy of salvation. Eve foolishly used herbs (fig leaves) to hide and aggravate her sin, thereby bringing about a disorder of body and soul (Gen. 3.7). By contrast, Mary, the new Eve whose soul and body are untouched by sin or the decay of death (as we celebrate on this day), foreshadows a healing of our corporeal frailties, a healing represented by herbs. Likewise, fruits are an appropriate symbol for the new Eve because she never ate of the forbidden fruit but brought forth only the fruit of good works and, most importantly, the Fruit of her womb, Jesus Christ. The blessed fruit thus betokens the fruit of a holy and generous life which we are called to enjoy from our Lord through the patronage of His mother. In any case the solemn blessing of herbs and fruits on this day became so popular that in central Europe August 15 was simply called Our Lady's Herb Day. Usually these blessings would take place before Mass and would involve whatever was brought by the congregation to the church. Afterwards the herbs would be kept for medicinal use while the fruit would be served at dinner. The following is one of the special blessings from the Roman ritual that is used for herbs and fruits on Assumption Day:

O God, who by Moses Thy servant didst command the children of Israel to carry their sheaves of new fruits to the priests for a blessing, to take the finest fruits of the orchards, and to make merry before Thee, the Lord their God: Kindly hear our supplications, and pour forth the abundance of Thy blessing upon us and upon these sheaves of new grain, new herbs, and assortment of fruits, which we gratefully present to Thee and which we bless on this feast in Thy name. And grant that men, cattle, sheep, and beasts of burden may find in them a remedy against sickness, pestilence, sores, injuries, spells, the poison of snakes, and the bites of other venomous and nonvenomous creatures. And may they bring protection against diabolical illusions, machinations, and deceptions wherever they are kept or carried, or with whatever arrangement is made of them: that with sheaves of good works and through the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose Feast of the Assumption we celebrate, we may deserve to be lifted up to heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God unto endless ages. Amen.

The blessing of herbs and fruits has also led to the lovely custom of giving and receiving baskets of fruit on the Feast of the Assumption, a custom which was especially popular in Sicily.

Blessing of Nature[4]


August 15th is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and just as Mary's assumption into heaven signifies her purity of body and soul, so too does it remind us of her freedom from the curses of the Fall, such as having to live by the sweat of one's brow on a land that yields only thorns and thistles (Gen. 3.18,19). It is perhaps for this reason that the Feast or the Octave of the Assumption was a favorite time for blessing the scene of man's labors, especially those related to the production of food. In Western Europe, for example, fields would often be blessed by the parish priest, while in America and Latin countries Assumption Day is traditionally the occasion for blessing the fishing fleets of coastal towns. Also tying into this theme of nature is the German and Austrian time Mary is invoked for assistance or thanked for the autumn harvest of grains. This period lasts from Assumption Day until September 15, the Feast of the Seven custom of Our Lady's Thirty Days (Frauendreissiger), during which Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin. Legend states that nature is particularly benign during this time: snakes do not bite, wild animals do not attack, and food picked within the thirty days is especially wholesome. Finally, parts of England and Ireland observe Our Lady's Health Bathing, where bathing in rivers, lakes, the ocean, or any natural body of water is considered particularly good for one's health.


Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 26[5]

On Day 26 Father Calloway underscores that virginity and chase purity is the greatest gift a man or woman can give back to 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.

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.

Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, Pray for Us.

Foster Father of the Son of God, Pray for Us.

Zealous Defender of Christ, Pray for Us.

Head of the Holy family, Pray for Us.

Joseph Most Just, Pray for Us.

Joseph Most Chaste, Pray for Us

Joseph Most Prudent, Pray for Us.

Joseph Most Courageous, Pray for Us.

Joseph Most Obedient, Pray for Us.

Joseph Most Faithful, Pray for Us.

Mirror of Patience, Pray for Us.

Lover of Poverty, Pray for Us.

Model of Workmen, Pray for Us.

Glory of Domestic Life, Pray for Us.

 Guardian of Virgins, Pray for Us


To Joseph virginity is a treasure.

 ·         Saint Joseph will help you be a guardian of virginity and purity.


Saint Joseph, father and guardian of virgins, to whose faithful keeping Christ Jesus, innocence itself, and Mary, the virgin of virgins was entrusted, I pray and beseech you by that twofold and most precious charge, by Jesus and Mary, to save me from all uncleanness, to keep my mind untainted, my heart pure, and my body chaste; and to help me always to serve Jesus and Mary in perfect chastity. Amen.[6] 

A Miraculous Staircase in New Mexico[7]

 When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel.

Legend says that to find a solution to the seating problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters' prayers.

The stairway's carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today.

The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. It is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway's construction.

Over the years many have flocked to the Loretto Chapel to see the Miraculous Staircase. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, TV specials, and movies including "Unsolved Mysteries" and the full-length movie titled "The Staircase", starring William Petersen and Barbara Hershey.


·         If the carpenter were St. Joseph; I contend that as a father, he would have to have needed help to construct this staircase and as a dad would he not have called on his son to help him?

Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Devotions

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary

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