Day 40-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Sloth
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to sloth, lazieness, and disordered love of ease.
We have allowed ourselves to be negligent and unjust to those around us.
We have allowed ourselves to squander the great gifts you have given us of our minds, bodies, and souls.
We have expected You to be turn a blind eye to our sloth and reward our lack of juctice.
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 sloth in all its forms.
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 sloth.
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 sloth 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.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.
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.
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord.
FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY
46 And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; 47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior. 48 For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. 49 The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is from age to age to those who FEAR him. 51 He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. 52 He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. 53 The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, 55 according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Traditionally Roman Catholics believe Mary, the Virgin mother of Jesus, never physically died and instead ascended into heaven. Mary, as the mother of God, is believed by some Christian faiths to have lived a life without sin. Some early-church theologians believed that since she and Christ were both without sin that Mary must have raised bodily to heaven just as Christ was. This belief began the feast of the Assumption of Mary.
Assumption of Mary Facts
· The Assumption of Mary isn't in the Bible. The theology it is based upon is from several early church documents and sermons. The Orthodox Church continued the tradition, but it didn't become doctrine in the Roman Catholic Church until 1950 when Pope Pius XII declared the belief infallible.
· Thomas was the only disciple who purportedly saw Mary's ascension into heaven. In a reversal of his story in scripture, the other disciples didn't believe him at first. Mary dropped her girdle when she reached heaven, and Thomas caught it.
· The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is a high feast Day in the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The day venerates the assumption into heaven of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is held on August 15. In the Orthodox tradition, the feast, called the Dormition of the Theotokos, is held the same date, although the day may be later for churches that follow the Gregorian calendar.
Assumption of Mary Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend an Orthodox Church during the Feast of the Assumption to see the blessing of flowers.
· Start an herb garden or plant some bulbs to bloom in spring in honor of Mary.
· The Assumption of Mary is a popular subject in Christian art. One of the most famous is The Assumption of the Virgin, by El Greco and available for viewing in the Art Institute of Chicago. See if your local art museum has paintings of the Assumption.
· Sing or Listen to a rendition of "Ave Maria". One of the more popular renditions is by Luciano Pavarotti.
· Many faithful in the Orthodox Church will also be breaking a two-week fast after the service honoring the Assumption of Mary. If you are fasting attend a community meal offered by many Orthodox Churches.
· The Directory on Popular Piety talks about the deep significance of this feast day. It also refers to the custom of blessing herbs:
o In the Germanic countries, the custom of blessing herbs is associated with 15 August. This custom, received into the Rituale Romanum, represents a clear example of the genuine evangelization of pre-Christian rites and beliefs: one must turn to God, through whose word "the earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seeds in their several kinds, and trees bearing fruit with their seed inside in their several kinds" (Gen 1, 12) in order to obtain what was formerly obtained by magic rites; to stem the damages deriving from poisonous herbs, and benefit from the efficacy of curative herbs.
o This ancient use came to be associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary, in part because of the biblical images applied to her such as vine, lavender, cypress and lily, partly from seeing her in terms of a sweet smelling flower because of her virtue, and most of all because of Isaiah 11, 1, and his reference to the "shoot springing from the side of Jesse", which would bear the blessed fruit of Jesus.
o This Blessing of Herbs is included in the prayers library.
· In an age of sensuality and materialism the Assumption points out the dignity and destiny of our human body, extols the dignity of womanhood, and turns our eyes to the true life beyond the grave. At Mass today ask Mary for the grace to keep your mind fixed on things above and to aspire continually to be united with her and to be brought to the glory of the Resurrection.
Most likely the oldest and certainly the highest annual feast day of Mary, the Feast of the Assumption is held in both east and west as a day of great solemnity. Processions would wind their way either through cities and towns in order to publicly honor Mary or through fields in order to pray for God's blessing upon the harvest. Marian hymns would be sung, and statues of the Blessed Virgin carried. In some places there would even be a dramatic representation of the mystery of the assumption. The statue of Mary would be carried through town to an elaborate arch of flowers symbolizing the gate of Heaven. From here another statue, a statue of Christ, would greet "her" and conduct her to the church as a symbol of her entrance into eternal glory. The procession would then conclude with Benediction.
Our Lady’s 30 Days
In pre-Christian times the season from the middle of August to the middle of September was observed as a period of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the successful harvest of grains. Many symbolic rites were aimed toward assuring man of prosperous weather for the reaping of the fall fruits and for winter planting. Some elements of these ancient cults are now connected with the feast and season of the Assumption. All through the Middle Ages the days from August 15 to September 15 were called "Our Lady's Thirty Days" (Frauendreissiger) in the German-speaking sections of Europe. Many Assumption shrines even today show Mary clothed in a robe covered with ears of grain. These images (Maria im Gerteidekleid, Our Lady of Grains) are favored goals of pilgrimages during August. Popular legends ascribe a character of blessing and goodness to Our Lady's Thirty Days. Both animals and plants are said to lose their harmful traits. Poisonous snakes do not strike, poison plants are harmless, wild animals refrain from attacking humans. All food produced during this period is especially wholesome and good and will remain fresh much longer than at other times of the year. The fact that herbs picked in August were considered of great power in healing occasioned the medieval practice of the "Blessing of Herbs" on Assumption Day. The Church thus elevated a popular belief of pre-Christian times into an observance of religious import and gave it the character of a Christian rite of deep and appropriate meaning. In central Europe the feast itself was called "Our Lady's Herb Day" (Kräutertag in German, Matka Boska Zielna in Polish). In the Alpine provinces the blessing of herbs is still bestowed before the solemn service of the Assumption. The city of Wurzburg in Bavaria used to be a favored center of these blessings, and from this fact it seems to have received its very name in the twelfth century (Würz: spice herb). The Roman Ritual still provides an official blessing of herbs on Assumption Day which, among other prayers, contains the petition that God may bless the medicinal powers of these herbs and make them mercifully efficient against diseases and poisons in humans and domestic animals. The Eastern Rites have similar blessings. In fact, the Syrians celebrate a special feast of "Our Lady of Herbs" on May 15. Among the Armenians, the faithful bring the first grapes from their vineyards to church on Assumption Day to have them solemnly blessed by the priest. Before breakfast the father distributes them to his family. No one would dream of tasting the new harvest before consuming the first blessed grapes on Our Lady's Day.
Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 27
On Day 27 Father Calloway shows that devotion to St. Joseph will help families from falling apart.
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.
Pillar of Families, Pray for us.
The family was designed by God to be a school of love, something that is beautiful, delightful and life-giving. St. Joseph will help to protect your family which the devil and his cohorts desire to destroy.
· Saint Joseph loves the family!
· Saint Joseph wants to be the pillar of your family.
Joseph wants you to establish norms of:
· mutual respect
· and most importantly the supremacy of God as the head of your family.
The TV’s current representation of the modern family is a lie and deception. Joseph will show you the means to be a true husband and father. The men represented by Satan are self-serving and seek to avoid responsibility. Joseph will help you to perfect your love through a spirit of sacrifice and faithfulness to your wife and children. You are the vicar of your family and God has appointed you to lead them to salvation.
TEN COMMANDMENTS OF A HUSBAND & FATHER
“Take courage and be a man. Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, following His ways and observing His statutes, commands, ordinances and decrees, that you may succeed in whatever you do.” – 1 Kings 2:2-3
1. Develop an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus, allowing Him to forgive you of your past, to talk to you, to heal you and to guide you. Then, trust the Holy Spirit in all things. Trust Him to provide everything you need, including financial help.
2. Get your priorities in order: Jesus first, your wife second, your children third, your work fourth, etc. Develop a weekly schedule, blocking out quality time for the Lord, your wife, each child and the family as a whole. A husband’s most important time during any given day is the first five minutes when he gets home from work and the love and attention, he shows his wife and children at that time. Remember that your human fatherhood is rooted in the Divine Fatherhood of Almighty God (cf. Ephesians 3:14-15; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2214).
3. Realize that you are the “vicar” of the home. It is your primary responsibility to oversee the TV and its influence, the internet and its influence, as well as the books and magazines that enter into your home. You must stand firmly against all evil influences, asking constantly for God’s strength and guidance to lead your family in living a pure, holy and non-violent lifestyle. Esto vir! (Be a man!). A father fosters moral virtue within his home first and foremost by example. Get into the habit of blessing your children – both alone and with your wife – before they go to sleep at night or before they leave the house in the morning.
4. Make sure you know what your children are being taught at school regarding morals and values. All teachers teach “in your place” as you and your wife are the primary educators of your children. If objectionable subjects or materials are being taught in the classroom, you must stand strong. The primary place for Christian morals and values to be taught and practiced is within the family home – your home, which you oversee. This is an awesome responsibility given both to you (as the “head” of your household) and to your wife (as the “heart” of your household). Realize that your headship is to be modeled after the headship of the wise and prudent king who loves and rules over his kingdom and its inhabitants. Your headship is not to be modeled after the headship of the master who rules over his slaves. You do not exist as the head of your family to have your needs met, but rather to have your family’s needs met. Your headship is not about you being served, but rather about you serving. Your headship is about sacrificial love and service. As head of the family, you are called to great responsibility. Many husbands and fathers want headship without the responsibility it demands. Dare to discipline with love and firmness. The wise and prudent king loves all of the subjects within his kingdom and wishes to see them prosper in the fullness of beauty and Truth. He desires to bring them all to the fullness of Truth and prosperity. Jesus Christ Himself is the Head of His Church; He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Augustine calls the family the “domestic church.” You are the “head” and “king” and “lord” of this domestic church: “The place and task of the father in and for the family is of unique and irreplaceable importance. In revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God (cf. Ephesians 3:14-15), a man is called upon to ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of the family” (Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio [The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World], 25).
5. Pray with your wife and regularly so. Try to keep a simple, but sincere spiritual journal and share it with her, even if your entries are just short, inspirational sentences. Trust the Lord to guide, purify and sanctify your relationship with your wife. She is the “heart” of the home. Reverence her as such. Love her with the same love and affection Christ has for His Church. Remember that your sons will grow up to relate to women much in the same way that they saw you relate to your wife. Similarly, your daughters will learn from their father what to expect from men in a relationship. Share with your wife her burdens, her sorrows and her joys. Ask the Lord for the strength to love her with the same love and purity with which He loves His Bride, the Church.
6. Spend quality time with each child. Treat each child in a unique and personal way. The power of a father’s affirming love is tremendously overwhelming and something truly wonderful. Children need it. They require it for their full and proper development. Let each child share his or her ideas, feelings, fears and problems with you. Do everything in your power to ensure that your child can always approach you in any matter. Be sure to share periodically with your wife your insights concerning each child. Discipline with firmness and love (again, your model here is that of the wise and prudent king who rules over the inhabitants of his kingdom with a firm, but great love and not of the master who rules over his slaves).
7. Consecrate your home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Set up a “prayer corner” within the home in the room where the family most gathers. In this room should be an “altar-table.” On this table place a Bible, a good condensed version of the Lives of the Saints and a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. On or around this table also place images (statues, pictures or icons) of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The daily family Rosary is a powerful prayer. If your children are still small, pray only a decade of the Rosary and/or vary it daily with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. A wonderful, fixed time for daily family prayer and spiritual reading (say, a total of just 15 or 20 minutes) is immediately after supper each evening. Included here could be the Readings from the Mass of the day; purchase a daily Roman missal for this. Again, remember that you are the priest of the home. As such, you are called to be a true leader. A child will remember well into his adult life these early family practices of the Faith. They will never be forgotten. A father must be the first Christian witness to his wife and children. This is both a duty and a responsibility. Also, be sure to foster the use of sacramentals among your family members. Sacramentals are “sacred signs which bear a certain resemblance to the Sacraments and by means of which spiritual effects are signified and obtained through the prayers of the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Glossary). Examples of sacramentals include the Sign of the Cross, holy water, enrollment in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, religious medals, blessings, pilgrimages, processions, the Stations of the Cross, sacred art, rosaries and the veneration of relics. While sacramentals do differ from the seven Sacraments, they are still very important in the life of a Catholic Christian. Also, promote visits to the Blessed Sacrament with your family members, for instance, when in town running errands.
8. Do not let sports or outside activities become more important to you or to your children than Christ and family. Sports have become a false god in America today – especially on Sundays – and we tend to overemphasize them. Spend fun time at home. Do things together as a family. This calls for creativity, imagination and frequent planning in advance. Seek suggestions from your wife and older children in this regard.
9. Pray that each one of your children may answer the call to the vocation that Almighty God has chosen for him or her from all eternity. Never ask your children, “What do you want to be?” Rather, ask each child, “What do you think God is calling you to be?” Help them to discern their states-in-life, whether it be singlehood, the married state or consecrated religious life. Have this discussion often with your children, especially after they reach the age of 15.
10. Ensure the frequenting of the Sacraments by your family members. The Sacrament of Confession should be partaken of at least monthly and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist should be partaken of at least weekly. You must make sure that your family’s sense of sin is never dulled. Take your family to Sunday Mass precisely as a family. Do not give your teenagers an option here. If you do, you are not fulfilling your vocation as a father. Foster among your family members a great love of the Holy Eucharist. Tithe regularly and devotedly. Do everything in your power (as the wise and prudent king of your home) to truly make Sunday the Lord’s Day and a day of family togetherness; that is, a day of prayer, relaxation and recreation. Again, this calls for creativity, imagination and frequent planning in advance. Seek input from your wife and older children in this regard. Remember, any good and wholesome recreation is really a “re-creation” of both body and soul.
Joseph knew as a father “examples are caught; not taught”. Your actions are a silent witness. Who do you think modeled the “Our Father” for Jesus? Your attitudes toward bearing fatiguing work, or wealth/poverty; or in the bearing of injuries; or in standing up to injustice bear more of a witness that any spoken words.