Monday, August 31, 2020
DAY 17 - VIRGIN MOST RENOWNED, PRAY THAT WE RECEIVE THE FRUIT OF JOY
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Joyful Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Sorrowful Mysteries
Those who would like to pray with others via The Telephone Rosary, call 1-951-799-9866 daily at 6 pm Eastern.
Introduction to the Acts
The Acts of the Apostles, the second volume of Luke’s two-volume work, continues Luke’s presentation of biblical history, describing how the salvation promised to Israel in the Old Testament and accomplished by Jesus has now under the guidance of the holy Spirit been extended to the Gentiles. This was accomplished through the divinely chosen representatives whom Jesus prepared during his ministry and commissioned after his resurrection as witnesses to all that he taught. Luke’s preoccupation with the Christian community as the Spirit-guided bearer of the word of salvation rules out of his book detailed histories of the activity of most of the preachers. Only the main lines of the roles of Peter and Paul serve Luke’s interest. Peter was the leading member of the Twelve, a miracle worker like Jesus in the gospel, the object of divine care, and the spokesman for the Christian community, who, according to Luke, was largely responsible for the growth of the community in the early days.
Paul eventually joined the community at Antioch, which subsequently commissioned him and Barnabas to undertake the spread of the gospel to Asia Minor. This missionary venture generally failed to win the Jews of the diaspora to the gospel but enjoyed success among the Gentiles. Paul’s refusal to impose the Mosaic law upon his Gentile converts provoked very strong objection among the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem, but both Peter and James supported his position. Paul’s second and third missionary journeys resulted in the same pattern of failure among the Jews generally but of some success among the Gentiles. Paul, like Peter, is presented as a miracle worker and the object of divine care.
In Acts, Luke has provided a broad survey of the church’s development from the resurrection of Jesus to Paul’s first Roman imprisonment, the point at which the book ends. In telling this story, Luke describes the emergence of Christianity from its origins in Judaism to its position as a religion of worldwide status and appeal. Originally a Jewish Christian community in Jerusalem, the church was placed in circumstances impelling it to include within its membership people of other cultures: the Samaritans, at first an occasional Gentile, and finally the Gentiles on principle. Fear on the part of the Jewish people that Christianity, particularly as preached to the Gentiles, threatened their own cultural heritage caused them to be suspicious of Paul’s gospel. The inability of Christian missionaries to allay this apprehension inevitably created a situation in which the gospel was preached more and more to the Gentiles. Toward the end of Paul’s career, the Christian communities, with the exception of those in Palestine itself, were mainly of Gentile membership. In tracing the emergence of Christianity from Judaism, Luke is insistent upon the prominence of Israel in the divine plan of salvation and that the extension of salvation to the Gentiles has been a part of the divine plan from the beginning. In the development of the church from a Jewish Christian origin in Jerusalem, with its roots in Jewish religious tradition, to a series of Christian communities among the Gentiles of the Roman empire, Luke perceives the action of God in history laying open the heart of all humanity to the divine message of salvation. His history of the apostolic church is the story of a Spirit-guided community and a Spirit-guided spread of the Word of God. The travels of Peter and Paul are in reality the travels of the Word of God as it spreads from Jerusalem, the city of destiny for Jesus, to Rome, the capital of the civilized world of Luke’s day. Luke argues that Christianity is deserving of the same toleration accorded Judaism by Rome. Part of Paul’s defense before Roman authorities is to show that Christianity is not a disturber of the peace of the Roman Empire. Moreover, when he stands before Roman authorities, he is declared innocent of any crime against the empire. Luke tells his story with the hope that Christianity will be treated as fairly.
AUGUST 31 Monday
LOVE LITIGATING LAWYERS DAY
When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last, and great FEAR came upon all who heard of it.
Piety, Generosity and Holiness cannot be pretended. Ananias’s story is a lesson in honesty. You cannot fool God, who knows your heart and mind.
The problem with pretending
True leaders give of themselves liberally. Being a liberal does not make one generous. Nor does pretending to be thus comes the sad story of Ananias and Sapphira.
In the early church in Jerusalem a group of believers were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they were of one heart and one mind. So, knit together were the hearts of the people that they held all their possessions loosely and willingly shared them with one another, not because they were coerced but because they loved one another. Those who sold land and houses gave of their profits to the apostles, who distributed the gifts to those in need. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira also had sold a field. Part of the profit from their sale was kept back by the couple, and only laid a part of the money was laid at the apostles’ feet. Ananias made a pretense of having given all the proceeds. Peter, who was filled with the power of the Spirit knew instantly that Ananias was lying—not just to him but to God—and exposed his hypocrisy then and there. Ananias fell down and died. When Sapphira showed up, she, too, lied to Peter and to God, saying that they had donated the entire proceeds of the sale of the land to the church. When her lie had been exposed, she also fell down and died at Peter’s feet. This was the sin of hypocrisy. It can be easy today to gloss over the holiness of God, to forget that He is righteous and pure and that He hates sin wholeheartedly.
Here God removed a spiritual cancer from the church by taking their lives and as Luke states in the Acts, “Fear (holy) came upon all the church.” Looking more closely at the problem we can see Ananias and Sapphira:
1. Clung to their possessions.
2. Agreed to lie about their giving.
3. Pretended to be someone they were not.
4. Thought they could get by with appearing to be generous.
5. Felt more concerned with their image than their relationship to God.
There is no better consolation under crosses and afflictions than the thought that all the troubles of this world are not to be compared with the glory to come and that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory (n. Cor. iv. 17). And, therefore, St. Bede says: If we had to bear for a while the pains of hell, it would not appear so hard, if thereby we might merit to see Christ in His glory, and to be added to His saints. 
In God We Trust
is filled with many difficulties and challenges that cause us to worry. Each
day we are confronted with many events that may cause us to become
apprehensive. What is worry? The dictionary says that when we worry,
we torment ourselves with disturbing thoughts. According to the National
Institutes of Health, one in three adults has occasional insomnia, and one in
ten adults has chronic sleeplessness. Experts are concerned about the
ever-increasing consumption of sleeping pills by many Americans. The
remedy for worry is for all of us to trust in God. St. Augustine once said
that God is closer to us than we are to ourselves. We experience God through
our life of prayer. Prayer is conversation with God. Prayer is a
continual being in love because God is real. God is personal.
No matter what might be going on in our lives, we must always pray and pray
daily. Prayer is the air that we breathe. One of the greatest
challenges that we encounter is our inability to see and to listen to
God. We can be caught up in the distractions of daily life that prevent
us from really encountering God. Our busy lives require refreshing times of
prayer throughout the day. God is moving us away from clinging to things,
people and institutions. He is calling us to detachment, to the desert,
to the journey into the night of naked faith. He is calling us to cling to
him and only him. This journey is difficult, frightening at times and
even risky. But, those who embark upon the journey will be transformed
into living witnesses of the God of love. However, without a serious spiritual
life, anxiety and fear will overwhelm us. If we are a people who live truly
spiritual lives, we will be filled with peace and joy no matter what may be
going on around us. And this is so, because we will always be able to trust
St. Teresa of Avila, the famous Spanish mystic, once wrote: "Let nothing trouble you. Let nothing frighten you. Everything passes. God never changes. Patience obtains all. Whoever has God, wants for nothing. God alone is enough."
St. Teresa provides us profound words of wisdom for our present times. The staggering number of prescription drugs available for the many forms of uneasiness and tension illustrates that many of our contemporaries suffer deep inner turmoil. It is true that we are experiencing profound challenges: wars, continual threats of terrorism, problems within our Catholic Church, the rapidly accelerating unraveling of moral decency in our society, an uncertain economy and the terrible wounds caused by the dismantling of family life. Nevertheless, challenges such as these should remind us that we must always trust in God who is always with us. Trust is rooted in faith which is a gift. If your faith is weak, ask God to give you more faith. To do this incorporate into your lives four practices that are so basic for anyone who wants to be a serious Catholic: contemplative prayer, daily Mass or a prolonged visit before the Blessed Sacrament, daily Rosary and the frequent use of the Sacrament of Confession. These four things will allow you to trust God and they will provide you with the interior peace that all seek.
What are the practical steps that we can take in order to incorporate into our busy lives a serious spiritual life?
· First of all, we need balance in our lives. When was the last time that we enjoyed dinner with family and friends, or turned off our cell phone and refrained from checking our email at every moment? Excessive work and travel, excessive involvement in sports and entertainment are tearing us apart.
· Secondly, a serious spiritual life requires the capacity to be alone. It is difficult to be alone in our contemporary society. Even when we are alone, the noise of our own worries and fears drown out the silence of God's voice. Many people are incapable of being alone and they immediately feel an obsession to talk with someone on a cell phone or check their email. We all need moments of solitude. Spending a quiet time before the Eucharist, reading the Scriptures during a peaceful moment at home, taking tranquil walks through the woods or along the beach all are necessary for our soul. In order to be with God, we must develop the ability to be alone with ourselves.
· Thirdly, we need order in our lives. Working out daily schedules for the entire family by setting realistic priorities and minimizing extra-curricular activities for the children are steps that we can take. Early to bed and early to rise is a wise principle which is still valid today.
Lætitia Looking to Jesus: The Vocation of the Family-
The transmission of life and the
rearing of children (80-85)
Marriage is firstly an “intimate partnership of life and love, which is a good for the spouses themselves, where sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. From the outset, love refuses every impulse to close in on itself; it is open to a fruitfulness that draws it beyond itself. Hence no genital act of husband and wife can refuse this meaning, even when for various reasons it may not always in fact beget a new life.
A child deserves to be born of that love, and not by any other means, for he or she is not something owed to one, but is a gift, which is the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of the parents. Thus, the Creator made man and woman share in the work of his creation and, at the same time, made them instruments of his love, entrusting to them the responsibility for the future of mankind, through the transmission of human life.
The Church’s teaching is meant to help couples to experience in a complete, harmonious and conscious way their communion as husband and wife, together with their responsibility for procreating life. We need to return to the message of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae of Blessed Pope Paul VI, which highlights the need to respect the dignity of the person in morally assessing methods of regulating birth… The choice of adoption or foster parenting can also express that fruitfulness which is a characteristic of married life.
It is urgent that the family respect the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the “property” of another human being.
The family protects human life in all its stages, including its last. Consequently, “those who work in healthcare facilities are reminded of the moral duty of conscientious objection. Similarly, the Church not only feels the urgency to assert the right to a natural death, without aggressive treatment and euthanasia, but likewise firmly rejects the death penalty.
It is important to reiterate that the overall education of children is a “most serious duty” and at the same time a “primary right” of parents. This is not just a task or a burden, but an essential and inalienable right that parents are called to defend and of which no one may claim to deprive them. The State offers educational programs in a subsidiary way, supporting the parents in their indeclinable role; parents themselves enjoy the right to choose freely the kind of education – accessible and of good quality – which they wish to give their children in accordance with their convictions. Schools do not replace parents, but complement them. This is a basic principle: all other participants in the process of education are only able to carry out their responsibilities in the name of the parents, with their consent and, to a certain degree, with their authorization. Still, a rift has opened up between the family and society, between family and the school; the educational pact today has been broken and thus the educational alliance between society and the family is in crisis.
The Church is called to cooperate with parents through suitable pastoral initiatives, assisting them in the fulfillment of their educational mission. She must always do this by helping them to appreciate their proper role and to realize that by their reception of the sacrament of marriage they become ministers of their children’s education. In educating them, they build up the Church, and in so doing, they accept a God-given vocation.
Brain Thrive by 25 is a scientifically designed research-based course designed to change the lives of teenagers and young adults all over the world.
Multi-Dimensional Education, Inc., (MDEI) an independent education research group, studied the effects of Brain Thrive by 25 at 16 sites on over 330 students. They found that the 12-lesson/12-lab course:
- Significantly decreased drug, alcohol and tobacco use
- Decreased depression
- Improved self-esteem
Utilizing a multi-dimensional approach to assessing the outcomes associated with the implementation of Brain Thrive by 25, this study supports the Brain Thrive by 25 positive impact on brain function and schools seeking to help students succeed academically.
According to Dr. Doug Grove, President of MDEI, “After spending a year organizing and implementing the study, and weeks of analysis, the results strongly supported that unlike many interventions we have evaluated, Brain Thrive by 25 was literally making a difference in developing better minds of the students who took part in the intervention.”
Love Litigating Lawyers Day, no matter how unpopular we generally consider them to be…or how unprincipled we believe them to be we are to love them for the sake of Christ. #LoveLitigatingLawyersDay
Our National Principles
Declaration of Independence is in July and the Constitution is in September, let us once again reflect on the marvelous principles underlying these two documents. The following is a review of these principles together with a comment or a quote by the Founders. Documentation may be found in The Five Thousand Year Leap.
· Principle 1–The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.
Natural law is God’s law. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.”
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” – Benjamin Franklin
· Principle 3–The most promising method of securing a virtuous people is to elect virtuous leaders.
“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who … will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.” – Samuel Adams
· Principle 4–Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports…. And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” – George Washington
· Principle 5–All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to him they are equally responsible.
The American Founding Fathers considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise underlying all self-evident truth. They felt a person who boasted he or she was an atheist had just simply failed to apply his or her divine capacity for reason and observation.
· Principle 6–All mankind were created equal.
The Founders knew that in these three ways, all mankind are theoretically treated as:
- Equal before God.
- Equal before the law.
- Equal in their rights.
· The Freedom to try.
· The Freedom to buy.
· The Freedom to sell.
· The Freedom to fail.
· Principle 7– The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things.
The Founders recognized that the people cannot delegate to their government any power except that which they have the lawful right to exercise themselves.
· Principle 8 – Mankind are endowed by God with certain unalienable rights.
“Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal [or state] laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner [of the right] shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture.” – William Blackstone
· Principle 9 – To protect human rights, God has revealed a code of divine law.
“The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found by comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature, as they tend in all their consequences to man’s felicity.” – William Blackstone
· Principle 10–The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people.
“The fabric of the American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legislative authority.” – Alexander Hamilton
· Principle 11–The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical.
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes … but when a long train of abuses and usurpations … evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” – Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence
· Principle 12–The United States of America shall be a republic.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic or which it stands….”
· Principle 13–A Constitution should protect the people from the frailties of their rulers.
“If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary…. [But lacking these] you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” – James Madison
· Principle 14–Life and liberty are secure only so long as the rights of property are secure.
John Locke reasoned that God gave the earth and everything in it to the whole human family as a gift. Therefore, the land, the sea, the acorns in the forest, the deer feeding in the meadow belong to everyone “in common.” However, the moment someone takes the trouble to change something from its original state of nature, that person has added his ingenuity or labor to make that change. Herein lies the secret to the origin of “property rights.”
· Principle 15–The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations.
Prosperity depends upon a climate of wholesome stimulation with four basic freedoms (Speech-Worship-Want-Fear) in operation.
· Principle 16–The government should be separated into three branches.
“I call you to witness that I was the first member of the Congress who ventured to come out in public, as I did in January 1776, in my Thoughts on Government … in favor of a government with three branches and an independent judiciary. This pamphlet, you know, was very unpopular. No man appeared in public to support it but yourself.” – John Adams
· Principle 17–A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power by the different branches of government.
“It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.” – James Madison
· Principle 18 –The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written Constitution.
The structure of the American system is set forth in the Constitution of the United States and the only weaknesses which have appeared are those which were allowed to creep in despite the Constitution.
· Principle 19–Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained by the people.
The Tenth Amendment is the most widely violated provision of the bill of rights. If it had been respected and enforced America would be an amazingly different country than it is today. This amendment provides:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
· Principle 20–Efficiency and dispatch require that the government operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority.
“Every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic under one government, puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded [bound] by it.” – John Locke
· Principle 21–Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.
“The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions he is competent [to perform best]. – Thomas Jefferson
· Principle 22–A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men.
“The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence of others, which cannot be where there is no law.” – John Locke
· Principle 23–A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education.
“They made an early provision by law that every town consisting of so many families should be always furnished with a grammar school. They made it a crime for such a town to be destitute of a grammar schoolmaster for a few months, and subjected it to a heavy penalty. So that the education of all ranks of people was made the care and expense of the public, in a manner that I believe has been unknown to any other people, ancient or modern. The consequences of these establishments we see and feel every day [written in 1765]. A native of America who cannot read and write is as rare … as a comet or an earthquake.” John Adams
· Principle 24–A free people will not survive unless they stay strong.
“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” – George Washington
· Principle 25-Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.”-Thomas Jefferson, given in his first inaugural address.
· Principle 26 –The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity.
“There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.” Alexis de Tocqueville
· Principle 27–The burden of debt is as destructive to human freedom as subjugation by conquest.
“We are bound to defray expenses [of the war] within our own time, and are unauthorized to burden posterity with them…. We shall all consider ourselves morally bound to pay them ourselves and consequently within the life [expectancy] of the majority.” – Thomas Jefferson
· Principle 28–The United States has a manifest destiny to eventually become a glorious example of God’s law under a restored Constitution that will inspire the entire human race.
The Founders sensed from the very beginning that they were on a divine mission. Their great disappointment was that it didn’t all come to pass in their day, but they knew that someday it would. John Adams wrote:
“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”
Monday: Litany of Humility
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.
September--Our buildings need to be winterized. Now is the time to think of energy conservation measures, adding caulking and painting, completing needed repairs, composting yard wastes, and protecting garden plants for late fall and winter. Do we regard our abodes as God's dwelling space, a sacred trust and healthy place? Do we cherish the abundance of space and use it properly as good stewards?
Overview of September
The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, whose memorial the Church celebrates on September 15. September falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
September is Harvest Time
Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest. The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks were known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons." Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Since the reorganization of the Roman calendar in 1969 after the Second Vatican Council, Ember Days are still retained in principle, but how and when they are to be observed is at the discretion of each country's Episcopal Conference. There is no longer set Mass readings for the Ember Days in the Ordinary Rite. Another harvest feast is September 29, the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Before the revision of the calendar, this used to be only the feast of St. Michael. In many countries this day was referred to as "Michaelmas" and is celebrated with traditional foods and customs.
September Devotion: Our Lady of Sorrows
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to her feast day on September 15, the month of September has traditionally been set aside to honor Our Lady of Sorrows. All the sorrows of Mary (the prophecy of Simeon, the three days' loss, etc.) are merged in the supreme suffering at the Passion. In the Passion, Mary suffered a martyrdom of the heart because of Our Lord's torments and the greatness of her love for Him. "She it was," says Pope Pius XII, "who immune from all sin, personal or inherited, and ever more closely united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love. As a new Eve, she made this offering for all the children of Adam contaminated through his unhappy fall. Thus she, who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh, became by a new title of sorrow and glory the spiritual mother of all His members."
Daily Prayers for September
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen. --Saint Bonaventure
Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace, and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.
Most holy Virgin. and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never-ending joy at His triumph; obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
O most holy and afflicted Virgin! Queen of Martyrs! thou who didst stand motionless beneath the Cross, witnessing the agony of thy expiring Son--through the unceasing sufferings of thy life of sorrow, and the bliss which now more than amply repays thee for thy past trials, look down with a mother's tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before thee to venerate thy dolors, and place my requests, with filial confidence, in the sanctuary of thy wounded heart; present them, I beseech thee, on my behalf, to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred death and passion, together with thy sufferings at the foot of the cross, and through the united efficacy of both obtain the grant of my present petition. To whom shall I resort in my wants and miseries if not to thee, O Mother of Mercy, who, having so deeply drunk of the chalice of thy Son, canst compassionate the woes of those who still sigh in the land of exile? Offer for me to my Savior one drop of the Blood which flowed from His sacred veins, one of the tears which trickled from His divine eyes, one of the sighs which rent His adorable Heart. O refuge of the universe and hope of the whole world, do not reject my humble prayer, but graciously obtain the grant of my petition.
Mary most sorrowful, Mother of Christians, pray for us. Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us.
September is the month of Angels and Mary is the Queen of Angels
The church traditionally honors angels during the month of September. Paul in Colossians states of Christ, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.”
“St. Michael and the Angels” is a beautiful and inspiring book telling all about the angels. Filled with stories from the lives and writings of the saints, it tells of the role which the good angels play in the divine economy of saving souls. Led by St. Michael, the Prince of the heavenly host, the angels act as our guardians, serve as messengers from God to us and from us to God, surround the altar during Mass, and bear the graces of the Mass like incense to the altar of God on high. Here is explained the relationship of the angels to the Blessed Virgin Mary and how, if she is to send them to our aid, we must request her to do so. Included too is the prayer to our guardian angel asking him to go in our place to attend Mass when we cannot, plus the way the good angels protect us against the evil spirits. The book also discusses in detail the pre-eminent role of St. Michael as "Champion of the Church," "Defender of Christians," "Guardian of Purgatory," and "Helper of the Sick and Dying."
It is also a good practice to ask for angelic help throughout our day. There are nine choirs of angels and three hierarchies three within three. Remember to ask their assistance about every two hours throughout your day
Upon rising (7 am) address the first choir of angels, the Seraphim. Their chief characteristic is great and ardent love. They were made for one thing alone-----to love the God of Love. Without ceasing they honor, praise, and love the most Blessed Trinity-----they can do nothing else-----this is their happiness. Practice upon rising to try to become a Seraph of love: let this be your habitual disposition. Love and do what God wills. Ask this great gift feverently. Aspiration: "Oh! Blessed Seraphim! Make us love." Say the Shema Yisrael.
At the fourth hour (11
the day address the third choir is the choir of Thrones. They are
called Angels of Peace; calm, tranquility, and stability. Ask them for
that peace of soul which is the fruit of a good conscience. Invoke their aid
for such as are prone to hatred, passion and impatience; and after their
example, practice being meek, calm, and peaceful with all. Practice: Dispose
yourself to great sweetness and patience. Aspiration: "O Holy
At the sixth hour (1 pm) of the day address the fourth choir of angels which is the choir of Dominations. They are consumed by their yearning for the interests of God: their principal office is to manifest His will. We should also beg of God to manifest His will to us by these Blessed "Intelligences" and then take care to fulfill it scrupulously, as being the shortest way to perfection and sanctity. We should ask these Angels to help us to spread God's kingdom upon earth, for the conversion of heretics and infidels, and for the return of lukewarm and fallen away Catholics to the practice of the faith. Practice: Give practical proof of your zeal for the glory of God; do something for His reign in souls, as instructing the ignorant. Aspiration: "Holy Dominations! Animate us with thy zeal."
At the eighth hour (3 pm) of the day address the fifth choir of angels which is the choir of Principalities. The Principalities watch over Empires, Provinces, and Dioceses. Purity of intention is the virtue ascribed to them, for in their high functions they never seek but the honor and interest of God alone. Let us imitate them. It is the intention which stamps the action with merit or demerit. Practice: In all you do and say, seek the greater glory of God. Aspiration: "O Holy Spirits! May we, like thee, seek God, for God alone." Now would be a good time to also pray a divine mercy prayer
At the 10th hour (5 pm) of the day address the sixth choir of angels the Powers. These Angels have unlimited mastery over the wicked Spirits; they are endowed with great intelligence and are able to discover their schemes and plans for our destruction. Their power is so incredible that one alone of them would be able to destroy the entire infernal host. It is well to invoke them in temptation: but to merit their assistance we must take care to avoid the occasions of sin. Practice: Resist the attacks of vice and passion; frequently make acts of diffidence in self and confidence in God; combat your evil inclinations. Aspiration: "Lord! Send Thy Angels to assist us."
At the 12th hour (7 pm) of the day address the seventh choir of angels the Virtues. Energy and strength are attributed to the Virtues. They have dominion over the elements; all nature is subjected to their control. Hence, they can raise or appease the tempest. We may profitably invoke them in unforeseen accidents, sickness, etc. We may also have recourse to them for that strength necessary to lead a penitential life and root out the inclinations of depraved nature. All persons inclined to the contemplative life should call on this choir of Angels for help, for good thoughts alone do not make holy, one needs also strength to persevere and to accomplish this great task. Practice: Visit the Blessed Sacrament to obtain grace to overcome your evil dispositions. Aspiration: "Holy Virtues! Strengthen and fortify us."
At the 14th hour (9 pm) of the day address the eighth choir of angels the Archangels. The Archangels are distinguished from the Angels by the greater importance of their functions: the Guardians of those invested with authority in the Church and State and are remarkable for their love and care of men. Let us imitate them, doing our neighbor all the good we can and invoking in his behalf these Blessed Spirits. Members of this choir are the holy spirits who stand before the throne of God, ever ready to announce His commands. St. Michael is the warrior leader of God’s angels. St. Gabriel is the special messenger of The Holy Spirit. St. Raphael is the angel of Joy. Practice-----Two Acts of Charity, with great affection. Aspiration: "Holy Archangels! Pray for us, and for our priests."
At the 16th hour (11 pm) of the day address the Ninth choir of the angels. They are charged with the execution of the Divine ordinances and are appointed the Guardians of men. Humility is the virtue particularly ascribed to them-----for though the least among the Choirs, yet they see their celestial companions without desiring their greater, more excellent endowments. The Guardian Angels exercise continual watchfulness over the souls committed to their care. Their number is exceedingly great, and it is not necessary when an Angel has accompanied his charge into Heaven, that he be again assigned to a soul in any future generation. Our Guardian, who is our companion in life, will also be forever at our side in Heaven. The joy of these Angels is immeasurably increased when souls entrusted to their care enter Heaven. The Guardian Angels of the lost souls are not deprived of their share of joy. God in His justice increases also theirs with the others, and then assigns them to the special guard of the Queen of Angels, where they with great joy praise the Infinite Justice of God. Let us, like the humble Guardian Angels, love the lowest place, especially when placed therein by Divine Providence, and to behold with joy the preference given to others. Practice: Three Acts of Humility, interior and exterior. Aspiration: "Who is like God!"
Information was obtained from: http://www.catholictradition.org/Angels/angels.htm
Devotion to the Angels is a mark of Predestination
The Church has always practiced and encouraged devotion to the holy angels. All ancient liturgies make mentions of them and the protection they provide to men. It is their greatest desire to aid us in all our acts of religion by uniting their supplications to ours. We should honor and love angels as well as our fellow mankind for it is though the Precious Blood of Christ we are all united. Christ is the head of angels as well as men, and it is as Man that He is Head of the angels. To honor them and love them we must first know them and earnestly strive to cultivate their friendship.
 St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.