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Thursday, August 6, 2020



Day 31-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Materialism
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.
Amen

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 Materialism" by Fr. Bill Peckman

Back in 1985, Madonna nearly topped the Billboard 100 singing how she was "a material girl living in a material world." It seemed apropos for the 80's where herds of free-range yuppies thundered across the fruited plains alerting anyone who could hear them that too much stuff was never enough. Certainly, the USA is one on the wealthiest countries the world has ever seen. Even the bottom 20% of the economic strata in our country consume more than the bottom 60% of the rest of the developed world. Our suburbs are full of McMansions stuffed with goods. At my worst, I had clothes in my closet that I had for a couple years and never removed the price tags from. It used to be that the American Dream was about the ability to make something of yourself despite your economic class. Now the American Dream is the house, the car, the possessions and so on. It can become a garish display.

Materialism comes from a very dark place. It is a Godless place. Philosophically, materialism holds that all that is true is made up of material or comes from material interactions. Even the mind is subservient to the material world. In essence, all we have is what is measurable. No God. No heaven. No hell. No devil. Our life ends when we die. There is nothing beyond the grave. Hence, our only true happiness can be found in the accumulation of wealth, power, pleasure, and honor. Life becomes a mad dash of consumption and manipulation. Materialism is like a creeping vine; if not pulled up right away it will insinuate itself into your life and choke off any fruit a relationship with God might have born.

Many people who consider themselves good Catholics can be functional materialist. A canary in the mineshaft is our attitude to the Day of the Lord; our attitude towards Sundays. If there is anywhere where the effects of materialism (and its twin serpent, secularism) have more greatly felt it is in how we treat Sunday. In the last 40 years, Sunday has gone from the Day of the Lord to the hour of the Lord, unless there is something more fun or important to do. Even for one day we cannot put down our material interest in order to address our spiritual need for prayer, Communion, and rest. With the exception of school, every other secular enterprise has gobbled up Sunday like a quickly eaten trifle.

*ALERT* You are entering the slaughtering of sacred cows zone!

Let's use the following conversation that I have had multiple times with parishioners:
"My kid can't serve because he has a ball tournament this weekend."
"And this tournament is both on Saturday night and SUNDAY MORNING?"
"I know, Father, but he did make a commitment to the team. We will try to get to Mass at some time" (Thinking to myself: Hmmmm. I am sure what God meant by first fruits was really leftovers, but that's another discussion. Maybe we should talk about the commitment to God is of greater value).
"So why is going to this game so important?"
"Because he needs extracurriculars to get into a good college?"
"Why is that important?"
"So he can get a good job."
"Why is that important?"
"So he can be successful and make a good salary."
"Why is that important?"
"So he can raise a family and live without financial worry" (Me thinking to myself: Hmmmm, no wonder my homilies on priestly vocations fall on deaf ears; but again, another time).
"May I quote Mark 8:6? "What does it profit for man to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul?" The third commandment is to keep holy the Sabbath, no? Is teaching your son that a ball game holds greater importance than the Day of the Lord a lesson you wish teach to him?"

Teaching others, especially those placed in our care that the material world and its prizes are of greater value than one's relationship with God and His people is a dangerous lesson. It is a contributory factor to the ever plummeting attendance at Mass. If we will abandon Mass for worldly gain, will we not abandon anything of God to get ahead? The devil will grab his pom-poms and cheer you on that drive!

What Jesus calls for instead of such an attachment to the material world is a detachment from the material world. In the Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, ""Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."  If this is the attitude Jesus tells us to have about the necessities of life, how much more to things like ballgames and other non-essential activities? I am not against sports. I am for right priorities. Faith helps us discern right priorities, considering that which is material and hence passing to be of lesser importance to the spiritual.

It is telling that in such a culture abstinence and fasting are seen as little more than misery making exercises consigned to Lent. Are you aware that we are still not supposed to eat on any Friday?  Outside of Lent, we can substitute something else. But Friday...all Fridays are days of abstinence. Fasting and abstinence are incredibly good ways of breaking ourselves from materialism.

I challenge you, dear reader, to make a start of breaking from materialism with one simple step: make the Day of the Lord again. Maybe pick up some fasting and abstinence. We need to find ways to shout boldly our faith, "We need God before anything this world has to offer."

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness.
We have chased after earthly goals and trinkets as if they were more important.
We have allowed material goals to supplant our relationship with You.
We have expected You to be pleased with our neglect and half-heartedness.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our materialism.
We beg for the grace of your goodness to build up within us what you sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

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 materialism.
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 materialism 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.
Amen.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood 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,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us. 

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son
of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, etc.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of Eternal Life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
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.

Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
R. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


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



Introduction to the Gospel of Luke[1]


The Gospel according to Luke illustrates Gods dealings with humanity found in the Old Testament, showing how Gods promises to Israel have been fulfilled in Jesus and how the salvation promised to Israel and accomplished by Jesus has been extended to the Gentiles. The stated purpose is to provide Theophilus and others like him with certaintyassuranceabout earlier instruction they have received. To accomplish his purpose, Luke shows that the preaching and teaching of the representatives of the early church are grounded in the preaching and teaching of Jesus, who during his historical ministry prepared his specially chosen followers and commissioned them to be witnesses to his resurrection and to all else that he did. This continuity between the historical ministry of Jesus and the ministry of the apostles is Lukes way of guaranteeing the fidelity of the Churchs teaching to the teaching of Jesus. Lukes story of Jesus and the church is dominated by a historical perspective. This history is first of all salvation history. Gods divine plan for human salvation was accomplished during the period of Jesus, who through the events of his life fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies, and this salvation is now extended to all humanity in the period of the church. This salvation history, moreover, is a part of human history. Luke relates the story of Jesus and the church to events in contemporary Palestinian and Roman history for, as Paul says, this was not done in a corner. Luke is concerned with presenting Christianity as a legitimate form of worship in the Roman world, a religion that is capable of meeting the spiritual needs of a world empire like that of Rome. To this end, Luke depicts the Roman governor Pilate declaring Jesus innocent of any wrongdoing three times. At the same time Luke argues in Acts that Christianity is the logical development and proper fulfillment of Judaism and is therefore deserving of the same toleration and freedom traditionally accorded Judaism by Rome.

The prominence given to the period of the church in the story has important consequences for Lukes interpretation of the teachings of Jesus. By presenting the time of the church as a distinct phase of salvation history, Luke accordingly shifts the early Christian emphasis away from the expectation of an imminent Parousia to the day-to-day concerns of the Christian community in the world. He does this in the gospel by regularly emphasizing the words each dayin the sayings of Jesus. Although Luke still believes the Parousia to be a reality that will come unexpectedly, he is more concerned with presenting the words and deeds of Jesus as guides for the conduct of Christian disciples in the interim period between the ascension and the Parousia and with presenting Jesus himself as the model of Christian life and piety. Throughout the gospel, Luke calls upon the Christian disciple to identify with the master Jesus, who is caring and tender toward the poor and lowly, the outcast, the sinner, and the afflicted, toward all those who recognize their dependence on God, but who is severe toward the proud and self-righteous, and particularly toward those who place their material wealth before the service of God and his people. No gospel writer is more concerned than Luke with the mercy and compassion of Jesus. No gospel writer is more concerned with the role of the Spirit in the life of Jesus and the Christian disciple, with the importance of prayer, or with Jesus concern for women. While Jesus calls all humanity to repent, he is particularly demanding of those who would be his disciples. Of them he demands absolute and total detachment from family and material possessions. To all who respond in faith and repentance to the word Jesus preaches, he brings salvation and peace and life.

Early Christian tradition, from the late second century on, identifies the author of this gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles as Luke, a Syrian from Antioch. The prologue of the gospel makes it clear that Luke is not part of the first generation of Christian disciples but is himself dependent upon the traditions he received from those who were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.


 

AUGUST 6 Thursday

FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION

 

Luke, Chapter 1, verse 10-12:

10 Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, 11the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. 12Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and FEAR came upon him. 

Zechariah was troubled, and he was afraid.  I do not think this was Holy fear for Zechariah’s faith did not equal his fear and he was filled with unbelief.  His intellect outweighed his heart and as a result he was left unable to speak until the birth of his son as the angel told him.  That son was John the Baptist. There are times when we must listen to our hearts and not our heads. 

Feast of the Transfiguration[2]


This is the second commemoration during the liturgical year of the miracle of the Transfiguration. (The first, on the second Sunday in Lent, recalls Christ's divinity, while today emphasizes His triumph and glory. 

GOSPEL Matt xvii 1-9 

At that time: Jesus taketh unto Him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and He was transfigured before them. And His face did shine as the sun: and His garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with Him. And Peter, answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo a voice out of the cloud saying: This is My beloved Son, in Whom I arn well pleased: hear ye Him. And the disciple’s hearing, fell upon their face: and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them: Arise, and fear not. And they lifting up their eyes saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead. 


Why was Jesus transfigured before His disciples on Mount Thabor?

1. To give them a manifest proof of His divinity.

2. To prevent all doubt on their part when they should see Him on Mount Calvary.

3. To encourage all the faithful to patience under agony and suffering.

4. To show us how our glorified bodies shall rise from the dead (i. Cor. xv. 52).

 

Why did Moses and Elias appear with Our Lord? To testify that Jesus, was the Savior of the world, spoken of by the law and the prophets. 

Night Operations[3]

This vision happened in the night. As they went down the mountain early the next morning, Jesus bade them not to tell anyone what they had seen till he should be risen from the dead. In the Transfiguration Christ enjoyed for a short while that glorified state which was to be permanently His after His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. The splendor of His inward Divinity and of the Beatific Vision of His soul overflowed on His body and permeated His garments so that Christ stood before Peter, James, and John in a snow-white brightness. The purpose of the Transfiguration was to encourage and strengthen the Apostles who were depressed by their master’s prediction of His own Passion and Death. The Apostles were made to understand that His redeeming work has two phases: The Cross, and glory—that we shall be glorified with Him only if we first suffer with Him.

Transfiguration-Things to do:[4]

  • In the Russian Orthodox church, honey, pears, apples, plums and other fruits are brought to the church for blessing. This feast is also referred to as "Metamorphosis" in the Eastern church.
  • The Transfiguration was another "first fruits" harvest feast particularly of grapes and wheat. The Roman Ritual has a blessing of grapes and blessing of the harvest for this feast.
  • Playing up on the brilliant white of the garments, decorating with white (tablecloth, candles, etc.) and serving some white foods (mashed potatoes, vanilla ice cream, Mexican wedding cookies, meringues, etc.) can bring to mind that dazzling white.
  • Having Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration is a reminder of the Old Testament. Bring in some Jewish recipes or foods to highlight this aspect of the feast day.

Root Beer Float Day[5]

Root Beer Float Day is celebrated on August 6th every year. Between the luxurious vanilla ice-cream and the sumptuous root beer foam, how can any individual resist this delightful beverage? This amazingly refreshing summer treat has its own special day to celebrate its undeniable brilliance. Towards the end of the 19th century, a gentleman named Frank Wisner created the first root beer float. Strangely, this float was nicknamed the “black cow.” If you are wondering how to make one of these superb drinks, then simply add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to a cold glass of root beer. The taste of root beer float makes the taste buds tingle with utter excitement. To celebrate Root Beer Float Day why not create your own float? Make the float colorful and presentable so that other people can see you have really made an effort for this special occasion!

Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 18[6]

On Day 18 Father Calloway points out that Joseph was a gentle soul that was never too lenient nor too harsh. Joseph’s principal virtue was that of prudence. Prudence is necessary in the avoidance of erroneous extremes. A prudent man has the perfect balance of self-restraint, fairness and courage.

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.


 

Father Calloway emphasizes 

·         Saint Joseph will help you develop the virtue of Kings and Rulers: PRUDENCE. 

St. Joseph had prudence that was supercharged with the love of God. Unlike human prudence that guides a person to avoid difficulty, suffering and hardship. Joseph sought God’s heart which moved him to always strive for the greater good of God and man, even if it caused him suffering. 

St Joseph’s Prudence[7] 

1.  St. Joseph never acted on impulse.  He always reflected before acting.  What husband would not have put away his wife without any delay when he discovered that she was about to give birth to a child that was not his’ Not so St. Joseph.  He waited and pondered and prayed, and gradually formed the prudent resolve of sending her back in secret to her friends.  Even after deciding on this plan as the best, he again waited and commended it to God, turned it over and over in his own mind, prayed still more before proceeding to act.  It was this prudence of his, this charitable delay, that earned for him the solution of his doubts by an angel’s voice. 

2.  St. Joseph had entrusted to him the training up of Jesus.  The formation of the character of the divine Child was committed to him.  What prudence, what perfect prudence must he have possessed whom God considered as the fit guardian of the Eternal Word!  If I were more prudent, God would entrust to me greater works to be done for Him. 

3.  Our Lady must have had wonderful confidence in the prudence of her spouse when she arose unhesitatingly at dead of night to fly with him to Egypt, just because he told her he had had a dream warning him to do so.  But she knew not only how naturally careful and wise he was, but that he had an infused and supernatural prudence that could not be deceived.  If I were more prudent, others would trust me more, and listen with greater confidence to my advice or commands. 

Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys[8] 

Over the centuries there grew many different devotions to St. Joseph, expressing a deep filial love for the foster-father of Jesus. Among them was the powerful Seven Sunday’s devotion.

 According to Salt and Light Media, “The story goes that two Franciscan monks who were shipwrecked at sea clung to a plank for two days, and were saved by a man of venerable appearance who miraculously brought them to shore. When they asked who he was, he replied, ‘I am Joseph, and I desire you to honor my seven sorrows and seven joys.'” 

Whatever the origins may be, a devotion was developed where the seven sorrows and seven joys of Joseph became the focus of meditation on the seven Sundays preceding his feast on March 19. The first Sunday of these meditations is typically either the last Sunday of January or the first Sunday of February. 

Below are the following joys and sorrows of St. Joseph, along with their respective passages in scripture. One approach to these Sundays is to read each passage and consider how Joseph would have felt in the situation. This is a form of lectio divina or “divine reading,” where you are able to put yourself into the scene and see Joseph’s expressions during each episode. 

When praying the Seven Sunday’s devotion, it is customary to pray for a specific intention, asking St. Joseph’s powerful intercession for your needs. 

1st Sunday

Sorrow (Matthew 1:19) The Doubt of St. Joseph
Joy (Matthew 1:20) The Message of the Angel
 

2nd Sunday

Sorrow (Luke 2:7) The Poverty of Jesus’ Birth
Joy (Luke 2:10-11) The Birth of the Savior
 

3rd Sunday

Sorrow (Luke 2:21) The Circumcision
Joy (Matthew 1:25) The Holy Name of Jesus
 

4th Sunday

Sorrow (Luke 2:34) The Prophecy of Simeon
Joy (Luke 2:38) The Effects of the Redemption
 

5th Sunday

Sorrow (Matthew 2:14) The Flight into Egypt
Joy (Isaiah 19:1) The Overthrow of the Idols of Egypt
 

6th Sunday

Sorrow (Matthew 2:22) The Return from Egypt
Joy (Luke 2:39) Life with Jesus and Mary at Nazareth
 

7th Sunday

Sorrow (Luke 2:45) The Loss of the Child Jesus
Joy (Luke 2:46) The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

o   Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Devotions

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         The necessity of being faithful to the end

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




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