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Day 34-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Gossip
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 Gossip" by Fr. Bill Peckman

On the old TV show, 'Bewitched' there was a character named Mrs. Cravitz. Mrs. Cravitz sat by her blinds, watching outside for anything that didn't look normal and would yell for her husband, Abner, every time she had something to report. If I were to pick a character that dominates the media now, it would be Mrs. Cravitz. We seemingly can't enough gossip. The more famous the person, the more gossip. We have TV shows dedicated to celebrity gossip. We have websites dedicated to gossip. We have collectively taken the attitude that you nothing nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.

The type of gossip I am talking about is what we call calumny and detraction. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, one who commits detraction is one who, "without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them" and one who commits calumny is one who, "by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them" (CCC 2477).

Gossip is an act in which we seek to destroy the reputation of another person for whatever reason. Many times gossip is a passive-aggressive form of vengeance. Sometimes gossip is done for pure blood-sport.  This is especially true in politics. Gossip is done as a way of distracting people from the problems the gossiper has. Sometimes it is done to position oneself as better in the eyes of others to get some worldly prize. Whatever reason it is done, it is a sin against charity.

Both calumny and detraction rely on a third leg for this dismal and demonic trifecta: rash judgement. The Catechism refers to one who commits rash judgement as one,"who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor" (CCC 2477). To engage in gossip is to act from a standpoint from which we expect the absolute worst motivations and actions from the person gossiped about. Furthermore, it is a sin against Jesus's teaching on fraternal correction (cf. Matthew 18:15-20), in which gossiping about he or she who has sinned or has perceived to sin is NOT one of the steps of fraternal correction. As followers of Christ, we are to seek the conversion of those who have sinned, not their public ridicule. It is most difficult to inspire conversion through destroying another person's good name.

This becomes mortally sinful when lies, either through unwarranted speculation or outright maleficence, when the gossip is not true. One then sins against the 8th Commandment: Thou shall not bear false witness.

We see this in the Church with great regularity. Many times in Catholic social media and in the blogosphere, we see stories that are little more than exercises in rash judgement, detraction, and calumny. As a priest, I would say that gossip is all too often an occupational hazard among clerics. I know I can justify it from time to time. I can sound like a not to be named 90's TV character who said, "I don't gossip. Maybe sometimes I find out things or hear something and I pass that information on...you know...kind of like a public service." We can make all kinds of excuses for our gossip. It is sinful.

People come to me and ask when is it considered gossip. My first question is, "Have you talked to that person about this?" That would be the first step in the Scriptural method for fraternal correction. Second, I ask if you are seeking that person's conversion or humiliation. If it is the former, then you need to talk to that person per the teachings of Christ. If it is the latter, then sin is incurred. In short, we should cultivate charity within our own heart. Jesus warns us that the "Measure you use against others will be the same measure that will be used on you" (Matthew 7:2). If we spent the time we waste on gossip on praying for the good of the person we gossip about, we would find ourselves in a much holier and peaceful place.

Now, please excuse me as I contemplate all possible meanings of "Physician heal thyself."

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts against our brothers and sisters.
We have gossiped about our brothers and sisters instead of seeking their conversion and good.
We have allowed rash judgement to harden our hearts.
We have expected You to be pleased or blind with our sin.
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 gossip 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 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 gossip.
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 gossip, detraction, calumny, and rash judgement 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.
Amen.

Litany of St. Joseph

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.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

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.

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.


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


INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY

 Luke, Chapter 7, Verse 16

FEAR seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, “A great prophet has arisen in our midst,” and “God has visited his people.”

 

This was said after Jesus had raised the widow’s son in Nain. There exists no better model for Godly leadership than our Lord. Everything he spoke he did. He had compassion on the high and the low. He had compassion on this poor widow. He looked around him and where he saw misery; he acted. He healed the sick, cast out evil spirits and raised the dead. They came to Him broken and empty and He filled them with faith, hope and love as well as taking physical action to help with their suffering. His focus was to restore the widow her son: to restore the family.

 

International Youth Day[1]

 

International Youth Day seeks to raise awareness to the cultural and legal issues faced by youth throughout the world.  The United Nations defines youth as people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, although locally, youth can be interpreted in a more flexible manner. In 1995, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the World Program of Action for Youth with the intention of establishing guidelines and policies for action and support that would lead to a brighter future for tomorrow's youth. The World Program of Action for Youth, which consists of 15 priority areas, including education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment and drug abuse, paved the way for the UN's declaration of International Youth Day in 1999. Since its inception on August 12, 2000, International Youth Day has served to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to the youth to actively participate in society. In 2009, the UN Economic and Social Council further expanded each of the 15 youth priority areas by developing goals and targets for monitoring youth progress, an expansion that now serves as the basis for International Youth Day's annual theme.  Each year, the theme is selected based upon immediate and relevant issues that youth are facing today.

 

International Youth Day Facts & Quotes

 

·         Of the 1.8 billion youth in the world today, half survive on less than $2 per day.  

·         Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies. - Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

Check out the United States Congresses program for youth: www.congressionalaward.org

 

Total Consecration to St. Joseph-Day 24[2]

On Day 24 Father Calloway states that the devil hates honest and diligent workers. Work reminds the devil of the love God has for man by humbling himself in taking human form and making himself capable of manual labor. Jesus learned how to work as a man by imitating Joseph.

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.

 

St. Joseph is a common working man with an uncommon faith. He models for us, as he did for Jesus, the benefits of hard work to the person, family, and society. 

·         Saint Joseph is the model of workmen.

·         Saint Joseph will teach you how to be a diligent worker. 

Joseph worked hard because he knew that work is honorable and pleasing to God. However, Joseph also knew that rest is also honorable to God. One need not be a workaholic. There is a time and place for everything; there is a time for Spirit, loved ones, enjoyment, and rest. Joseph could see in the eyes of his young son that God never desires his workmen to burn out from sheer exhaustion and that the divine spirit desires us to delight in the natural world He created for us. 

Saint Joseph the Worker[3] 

To foster deep devotion to Saint Joseph among Catholics, and in response to the “May Day” celebrations for workers sponsored by Communists, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker in 1955. This feast extends the long relationship between Joseph and the cause of workers in both Catholic faith and devotion. Beginning in the Book of Genesis, the dignity of human work has long been celebrated as a participation in the creative work of God. By work, humankind both fulfills the command found in Genesis to care for the earth (Gn 2:15) and to be productive in their labors. Saint Joseph, the carpenter and foster father of Jesus, is but one example of the holiness of human labor.

Jesus, too, was a carpenter. He learned the trade from Saint Joseph and spent his early adult years working side-by-side in Joseph’s carpentry shop before leaving to pursue his ministry as preacher and healer. In his encyclical Laborem Exercens, Pope John Paul II stated: “the Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help to guide [social] changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and society.” 

Saint Joseph is held up as a model of such work. Pius XII emphasized this when he said, “The spirit flows to you and to all men from the heart of the God-man, Savior of the world, but certainly, no worker was ever more completely and profoundly penetrated by it than the foster father of Jesus, who lived with Him in closest intimacy and community of family life and work.” 

Reflection 

To capture the devotion to Saint Joseph within the Catholic liturgy, in 1870, Pope Pius IX declared Saint Joseph the patron of the universal Church. In 1955, Pope Pius XII added the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. This silent saint, who was given the noble task of caring and watching over the Virgin Mary and Jesus, now cares for and watches over the Church and models for all the dignity of human work.

o   Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

 

Daily Devotions

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary

 



[2]https://catholicexchange.com/now-is-the-time-to-consecrate-yourself-to-saint-joseph

[3]https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-joseph-the-worker/


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