Day 36-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Avarice
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward Avarice. We are greedy.
We recognize our Avarice in the many things we own - including all the stuff we bought with borrowed money.
At times we justify our Avarice so much that we do not see ourselves in the Gospel parables of the man who planned to tear down his barns.
At times we do not recognize in ourselves that we are the rich man who will have a harder time making it through the Gates of Heaven than a camel through the eye of a needle.
We immerse ourselves in so many temporal goods that we do not even recognize we are living large with what we want, which is way more than what we truly need.
We even justify leaving God out of our very budgets because we just cannot afford it!
So often we just do not recognize our Avarice.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our Avarice, and especially for all the times we have forfeited time with You for time to labor so we may indeed "live large."
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
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, etc.
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us, etc.
St. Michael, the Archangel,
Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,
Standing at the right of the altar of Incense,
Ambassador of Paradise,
Glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies,
Leader of the Angelic hosts,
The standard-bearer of God's armies,
Defender of Divine glory,
First defender of the Kingship of Christ,
Strength of God,
Invincible Prince and warrior,
Angel of Peace,
Guide of Christ,
Guardian of the Catholic Faith,
Champion of God's people,
Guardian Angel of the Eucharist,
Defender of the Church,
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,
Angel of Catholic action,
Powerful intercessor of Christians,
Bravest defender of those who hope in God,
Guardian of our souls and bodies,
Healer of the sick,
Help of those in their agony,
Consoler of the Souls in Purgatory,
God's messenger for the souls of the just,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Victorious in battle against evil,
Guardian and Patron of the universal Church,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Sacrament of the Eucharist which we have received may make our souls holy and pleasing to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
FEAST OF ST. CLARE- Int’l Left-Handers Day
9 For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, 10 and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be AFRAID; from now on you will be catching men.”
The Lady Clare, "shining in name, more shining in life," was born in the town of Assisi about the year 1193. She was eighteen years old when St. Francis, preaching the Lenten sermons at the church of St. George in Assisi, influenced her to change the whole course of her life. Talking with him strengthened her desire to leave all worldly things behind and live for Christ. The following evening, she slipped away from her home and hurried through the woods to the chapel of the Portiuncula, where Francis was then living with his small community. He and his brethren had been at prayers before the altar and met her at the door with lighted tapers in their hands. Before the Blessed Virgin's altar Clare laid off her fine cloak, Francis sheared her hair, and gave her his own penitential habit, a tunic of coarse cloth tied with a cord. When it was known at home what Clare had done, relatives and friends came to rescue her. She resisted valiantly when they tried to drag her away, clinging to the convent altar so firmly as to pull the cloths half off. Baring her shorn head, she declared that Christ had called her to His service, she would have no other spouse, and the more they continued their persecutions the more steadfast she would become. Francis had her removed to the nunnery of Sant' Angelo di Panzo, where her sister Agnes, a child of fourteen, joined her. This meant more difficulty for them both, but Agnes' constancy too was victorious, and in spite of her youth Francis gave her the habit. Later he placed them in a small and humble house, adjacent to his beloved church of St. Damian, on the outskirts of Assisi, and in 1215, when Clare was about twenty-two, he appointed her superior and gave her his rule to live by. She was soon joined by her mother and several other women, to the number of sixteen. They had all felt the strong appeal of poverty and sackcloth, and without regret gave up their titles and estates to become Clare's humble disciples. Within a few years similar convents were founded in the Italian cities of Perugia, Padua, Rome, Venice, Mantua, Bologna, Milan, Siena, and Pisa, and also in various parts of France and Germany. Agnes, daughter of the King of Bohemia, established a nunnery of this order in Prague, and took the habit herself. The "Poor Clare’s," as they came to be known, practiced austerities which until then were unusual among women. They went barefoot, slept on the ground, observed a perpetual abstinence from meat, and spoke only when obliged to do so by necessity or charity. Clare herself considered this silence desirable as a means of avoiding the innumerable sins of the tongue, and for keeping the mind steadily fixed on God. Francis or the bishop of Assisi sometimes had to command her to lie on a mattress and to take a little nourishment every day. Discretion, came with years, and much later Clare wrote this sound advice to Agnes of Bohemia: "Since our bodies are not of brass and our strength is not the strength of stone, but instead we are weak and subject to corporal infirmities, I implore you vehemently in the Lord to refrain from the exceeding rigor of abstinence which I know you practice, so that living and hoping in the Lord you may offer Him a reasonable service and a sacrifice seasoned with the salt of prudence."
Saint Clare, Virgin, Foundress of the Poor Clare’s.
Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 23
On Day 23 Father Calloway confirms Joseph was a paramour of poverty.
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.
Joseph’s ambition was to do the will of God; he had no desire accept to serve. In monetary wealth the Holy Family was poor, living on Divine Providence. Joseph earned his bread by the sweat of his brow and could only provide a home that was small and simple. However, Joseph was a model for “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Joseph was happy and blessed because he was free and detached from the things of this world. He was not far from the Kingdom of God. Joseph never found happiness in material things. He was the freest man alive being satisfied in God’s overflowing love.
· Saint Joseph will help you be poor in spirit.
Joseph lived with Jesus for 30 years, his vocation was one of perpetual adoration.
Eucharistic Adoration is the adoration of Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist. In the many churches that have this adoration, the Eucharist is displayed in a special holder called a monstrance, and people come to pray and worship Jesus continually throughout the day and often the night. Christ’s great love for us was shown when He was crucified on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and give us eternal life. He loves us without limit, and offers Himself to us in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. The worship and custody of the Holy Eucharist, independently of Mass and Holy Communion, can be traced to post-apostolic times.
In his 1965 encyclical “Mysterium Fidei,” Pope Paul VI wrote, “The Catholic Church has always devoutly guarded as a most precious treasure the mystery of faith, that is the ineffable gift of the Eucharist which she received from Christ her Spouse as a pledge of His immense love, and during the Second Vatican Council in a new and solemn demonstration she professed her faith and veneration for this mystery...
“No one can fail to understand that the Divine Eucharist bestows upon the Christian people an incomparable dignity. Not only while the sacrifice is offered and the sacrament is received, but as long as the Eucharist is kept in our churches and oratories, Christ is truly the Emmanuel, that is, ‘God with us.’ Day and night, He is in our midst, He dwells with us, full of grace and truth. He restores morality, nourishes, virtues, consoles the afflicted, strengthens the weak. He proposes His own example to those who come to Him that all may learn to be, like Himself, meek and humble of heart and to seek not their own interests but those of God.”
Adoration means coming before the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. But what does that mean? What, or better who, is the reality of which we speak when we talk about the Real Presence?
This reality, as the Church has solemnly defined the truth for the faithful, is the “totus Christus,” the whole Christ: body and blood, soul and divinity. This is not a rhetorical expression nor a verse of poetry. It is an article of the undivided Roman Catholic faith.
There can be no doubt what the faithful are told when they are told to believe in this mystery. Once the words of consecration have been pronounced by a validly ordained priest, what used to be bread and wine are no longer bread and wine. Only the appearances or, rather, only the external physical properties of the former elements, remain. There is now on the altar Jesus Christ, true God and true man, full God and full man.
Does this mean that Jesus is present in the Eucharist? Yes. Is it Jesus in His divine nature? Yes. Is it Jesus in His human nature? Yes. But if Jesus in the Eucharist is really and truly present, is He there with all that makes Him not only man, but makes Him this man? Yes. After all, when God assumed human nature, He assumed this nature as a particular single human being. The divine Person of the Son of God did not merely in some abstract sense become human. He became a definite, historically specific human being.
Thus in the Eucharist is present the Jesus of history: the one who was conceived of His mother Mary at Nazareth; who was born in a stable at Bethlehem; who lived for 30 years in Palestine; and who walked and talked and wept and slept and ate and drank; who shed real red blood on the cross and who rose from the grave, and after His resurrection had the incredulous disciples put their fingers into His pierced side.
When, then, we speak of the Real Presence we imply that part of this reality, which is Christ, is the heart of flesh and blood that every human being has and also Christ has in the glorified body He now possesses since the resurrection.
Note what we are saying. We are affirming that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is not only a historical memory, as recorded by St. John when he tells us that the sacred side of the Savior was pierced on Calvary. Nor are we saying merely that, rising from the dead, Christ is now at the right hand of His heavenly Father in body and soul and therefore also with His human heart. Nor are we saying simply that in the Eucharist is some sort of abstract memorial of the real Christ, who is actually in heaven and no longer on earth. No; we profess on faith that Jesus is now simultaneously both in heaven and on earth; that He truly ascended into heaven and is truly still on earth; that although He left us visibly, He is with us really.
This means that the heart of Christ is in our midst, because Jesus is in our midst. He is the same Jesus in heaven and on earth. So, He must be present here with His Sacred Heart of flesh, living and beating in the bosom of a living human being.
He is present with His Sacred Heart, at once human and divine: human because He has a genuine human nature, like ours in all things but sin, and a truly divine nature, like that of the Father, with whom He is one God, in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
But that is not all. We know that the heart of Christ is more than just a physical organ of His human body. It is also the symbol of God’s love for the human race, and, indeed, of the eternal love (that obtains) within the Blessed Trinity.
A Beginner’s Guide to Adoration
by Caitlin Sica
The first time I went to adoration I was a sophomore in college, and it was unintentional.
Really. I was on vacation with a group of friends, but I made sure to check online for the nearest Mass schedule. I pulled into the parking lot at 10:20—10 minutes to spare, life was good. Except…the parking lot was empty. I walked to the front of the church—the doors were locked. I looked at the sign out front and realized I had missed Mass. Slightly panicked; I wasn’t sure what to do. I walked around for a bit and then remembered that this parish had perpetual adoration.
I walked up the hill to this tiny little chapel, opened the doors, and stepped inside. It was dark, chilly, and extremely quiet. I slid into a pew, knelt, and began to pray. I thought I could hear myself thinking. I looked down at my watch…3 minutes had passed. 3 minutes? I could hardly believe it. I looked next to me at the only other person who was in the chapel—a monk, who was sitting, barefooted, eyes closed, and smiling.
He made it look so easy, so peaceful. I, on the other hand, was in agony. I had promised myself I would stay in adoration for an hour—since that’s about how long Mass was. I closed my eyes, tried to relax. “Pray, Caitlin,” I coached myself, “it’s not that hard.” I opened my eyes. Another 5 minutes had gone by. 52 minutes to go, but who was counting?
Then it dawned on me that my whole attitude was wrong. God wasn’t forcing me to be there, to spend an hour with Him because I had missed Mass. I was choosing to be there. Did I want to be there? Did I want to spend time with Jesus? I did. So, I asked God for the grace to let me sit there with Him, in silence, peacefully.
Body, Soul, Blood and Divinity
I gazed upon the monstrance, containing Jesus — body, soul, blood, and divinity — and smiled at the intimacy of it all. I closed my eyes for the third time and prayed. This time, when I opened my eyes an hour had gone by! Halleluiah! I was filled with joy—not because I had fulfilled my made-up requirement, but because God had stilled my heart.
I left that chapel filled with a peace, contentment, and joy unlike anything I had felt before.
While it would be six months until I would attend adoration again, God had placed something on my heart—a desire to know Him more fully in the most Blessed Sacrament.
Today, I am a much different person than I was the first time I sat in adoration. I no longer dread the form of prayer, but desire it. I try to go to adoration several times a month. Sometimes, I am able to sit peacefully and sometimes my heart is more restless. But every time, I am grateful for the opportunity to sit and gaze upon the Lord.
5 Ways to be Successful in Adoration
Have you ever gone to adoration? Have you tried, but felt defeated like I first did, and occasionally still do? Here’s a list of 5 ways to be successful in adoration:
1. Be Patient
I was recently talking with a group of friends about their experiences of adoration. A lot of them expressed the same frustration—that sometimes, time seems to stand still, 5 minutes seem eternal. Have you ever been out of shape and tried to go for a one-mile run? Suddenly, 5 minutes into the run, you’re huffing and puffing, and you realize you’ve only gone one block. Rather than focusing on the success — you just ran for the first time in months!! — we tend to focus on the defeat. Adoration can be a bit of a workout… for your soul. So, set yourself up for success. If it’s been awhile, or your first time, 5 minutes of sitting with Jesus is a good goal. Slowly increase your time—you’ll be amazed at how God increases your capacity to be with Him!
2. Bring Scripture
Reading scripture is always a good thing, but is especially helpful and meditative during adoration. There are many prayer books and apps that contain daily scripture readings. I particularly like reading the Psalms and reflecting on a verse that speaks to me on that given day. As I read scripture, I ask myself: How is this scripture speaking to my heart? What changes is God asking me to take? How will I go about making those changes? I make this part of my prayer.
3. Pray the Rosary
The rosary is a beautiful prayer, one that many saints have prayed. St. Louis de Montfort said “’When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.” What better way to give Jesus and Mary glory than to pray the rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament? There are many guides and apps you can print/download to help guide you through this form of prayer.
4. Listen to Praise and Worship Music
When I’m the only one in the Church or chapel, I love to start adoration by listening to praise and worship music. “Restless” and “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad, “Lay it Down” and “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher, are just a few of my favorite songs to listen to during adoration. The music and the lyrics help me quiet myself and turn my thoughts to God.
5. Be Okay with Silence
It’s so easy to go a whole day without silence. We get in the car and turn on the radio, we have our phones, with days’ worth of music, in our pockets, and at the end of the day there’s Netflix. Even if we are in a quiet environment, we are usually accustomed to checking our phones—for a text, the latest Facebook drama, the trending hashtag on Twitter, the newest picture on Instagram, the list goes on.
Don’t get me wrong, I fall prey to every one of those habits. Which is why, when I’m sitting in adoration, I can find it difficult to focus. I’ve become so accustomed to the business of the world, that being truly still, truly silent, can seem uncomfortable, foreign. But that discomfort is ok, good even. In Audrey Assad’s “Restless” she sings “And I’m restless, I’m restless, ‘til I rest in You.” I find this sentiment to be so true when I am in adoration. Sure, the first few minutes I am restless as I begin to wind down. But eventually, I am filled with insurmountable peace. Allow yourself to sit in silence and to just be with Jesus.
In an apparition to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus spoke these beautiful words: “I have a burning thirst to be honored by men in the Blessed Sacrament.” Go to adoration, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Jesus desires to be with you, to have you gaze upon Him, as He so lovingly gazes upon you.
International Left-Handers Day
International Left-Handers Day is a day to bring attention to the struggles which lefties face daily in a right-handed society. August 13th is observed as International Left-Handers Day.
International Left-Handers Day Facts
· 10% of people are left-handed according to a report by Scientific American.
· Geniuses are more likely to be left-handed - 20% of the top scoring SAT takers are left-handed.
· In 2013, 31% of Major League Baseball pitchers are left-handed.
· lefties: Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo da Vinci
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel