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Friday, January 24, 2020

SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES Sirach, Chapter 2, Verse 15-17 15 Those who fear the Lord do not disobey his words; those who love him...

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Friday, December 18, 2020

 

DAY 40 - MARY, QUEEN OF APOSTLES, PRAY FOR US

DIVINE CONNECTION 
The Gospel story Pope John Paul II sets as the foundation for his new millennium appeal is the "Call of the First Disciples" (Lk 5:1-11). This is the classic scene in which Jesus tells Peter to "Put out into deep water (duc in altum), and let down the nets for a catch." Peter's response is: "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." They proceed to catch the maximum amount of fish their nets can hold. Peter, filled with awe and wonder once he realizes he is in the presence of divinity, does not feel worthy to be called. But Jesus says, "Do not be afraid, from now on you will be fishers of men."

Why does the Holy Father choose this particular Gospel reading as the basis for his new millennium master plan? Because Peter's words - "We've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything" - could not speak any more directly to the modern tsunami-like wave of secularism rolling across our planet, as well as our endless parade of parish programs that are mostly done as though God were not there (etsi Deus non daretur).

In other words, the story of the great catch is meant to show that when we try to move only under our own natural power without God (we've worked hard), we will flounder in the chaos of darkness (all night) and come up empty (caught nothing) every time. Jesus asks us to get in sync with him (to obey him) and not be afraid to set aside our superficial (man-powered) tendencies, as we enter the depths of a supernatural (God-powered) life.

Everything in the religious order - sacraments, devotions, teaching, scripture, moral discipline, preaching, etc. - is meant to bring us to this deeper state of being, to this Divine Connection. Jesus calls it "abiding" (Jn 15:4). The Latin for this is maneo which means "to remain" or "to stay" or "to endure" (or like the Marine Corps' semper fi). This Divine Connection, this conformity to love, this participation in the Divine Life of God is the very power of the Holy Spirit and is referred to as being in a state of grace. (Excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual).
PRAY A ROSARY
Choose either:
  1. Rosary of the Day: Sorrowful Mysteries
  2. Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Joyful Mysteries
PRAYERS FOR TRADITIONAL 54 DAY NOVENA

THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY

Prayer before the recitation: Sign of the cross. Hail Mary.

In petition (first 27 days): Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I humbly kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses, snow white buds to remind thee of thy joys, each bud recalling to thee a holy mystery, each 10 bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, dispenser of God's graces, and Mother of all who invoke thee, thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my petition; from thy bounty thou wilt give me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly seek. I despair of nothing that I ask of thee. Show thyself my Mother!

In thanksgiving (last 27 days): Hail, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, hail! At thy feet I gratefully kneel to offer thee a Crown of Roses snow white buds to remind thee of thy joys each bud recalling to thee a holy mystery; each ten bound together with my petition for a particular grace. O Holy Queen, Dispenser of God's graces. and Mother of all who invoke thee! thou canst not look upon my gift and fail to see its binding. As thou receivest my gift, so wilt thou receive my thanksgiving; from thy bounty thou hast given me the favor I so earnestly and trustingly sought. I despaired not of what I asked of thee, and thou hast truly shown thyself my Mother.

Say: The Apostles' Creed, Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

The Annunciation - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of humility and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Visitation - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of charity and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Nativity - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of detachment from the world and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

The Presentation - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of purity and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple - Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, Glory Be.

Concluding Prayer: I bind these snow-white buds with a petition for the virtue of obedience to the will of God and humbly lay this bouquet at thy feet.

Say: The Hail Holy Queen.

Spiritual Communion: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

In petition (first 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this spiritual communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow. O my Mother! Look with favor upon my gift, and in thy love obtain for me (specify request, see below). Hail Mary ...

In thanksgiving (last 27 days): Sweet Mother Mary, I offer thee this Spiritual Communion to bind my bouquets in a wreath to place upon thy brow in thanksgiving for (specify request, see below) which thou in thy love hast obtained for me. Hail, Mary, etc.

PETITION: May truth be revealed, and may America and the Catholic Church become strong in God's power. - Ephesians 6:10
 
Please consider adding these prayers, until the election is called (more  information HERE):

Fr. Ripperger's Recommended Prayers for
Breaking Oppression and Sending Back Evil
Until the Election is Called

Consecration of One's Exterior Goods to the Blessed Virgin Mary

(This prayer is particularly useful for breaking various forms of oppression. By relinquishing what belongs to us into the hands of the Blessed Virgin, Satan cannot touch them. This is a strong prayer of protection on you and yours):

I; (Name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose thee, O Mary, this day for my Mother and Mistress. Knowing that I have received rights over all my exterior goods by the promulgation of the Natural Law by the Divine Author, I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, all of my exterior goods, past, present and future; I relinquish into thy hands, my Heavenly Mother, all rights over my exterior goods, including our President, the fairness, honesty and accuracy of the outcome of the election, and our country and I retain for myself no right of disposing the goods that come to me but leave to thee the entire and full right of disposing of all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity. As I now interiorly relinquish what belongs to me exteriorly into thy hands, I entrust to thee the protection of those exterior goods against the evil one, so that, knowing that they now belong to thee, he cannot touch them. Receive, O good and pious Virgin, this little offering of what little is, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to Thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of You have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. Trusting in the providential care of God the Father and thy maternal care, I have full confidence that thou wilst take care of me as to the necessities of this life and will not leave me forsaken. God the Father, increase my trust in Thy Son's Mother; Our Lady of Fair Love, give me perfect confidence in the providence of Thy Son. Amen.

Sending Evil Back

(Fr. Chad Ripperger comments that the following prayer may appear harsh, in that it seems to seek evil befall on another, yet it is meant to expose evil and to teach that evil does not win. And, in fact, choosing evil will, eventually, lead to bad repercussions)

Jesus and Mary, I ask that if it be Your Holy Will, that any curses or evil sent against the President or the election process be sent back from whence they came.

 
All of the daily Novena Prayers and Reflections are also posted at usgraceforce.com

Spanish language Novena prayers and reflections are available at https://rosarycoasttocoast.com/nfon-espanol/.

Those who would like to pray with others via The Telephone Rosary, call 1-951-799-9866 daily at 6 pm Eastern.


Ember Friday of the Third Week of Advent

FEAST OF THE EXPECTENCY 

Acts, Chapter 3, Verse 16

And by FAITH in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the FAITH that comes through it has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you.

 

Peter at the beginning of Christ’s approach to him said Lord Leave me for I am a sinful man-and he was. Notice that after the resurrection Peter was changed and now took on the work of Christ. We are all sinners we are all lame as the man in this verse but by faith we can do the work of Christ and He will change us.

 

Demonstration + Proclamation = Credibility[1]

 

After Pentecost when the apostle received the Holy Spirit, they started to build the church: The Kingdom of God. Peter and John encountered a lame man on their way to temple. Using only the name of Jesus they healed the man and they gained credibility because they did what they said, “they walked the talk.” As their credibility grew so did the church. Note how Acts 3 (Acts 3:1-26) describes these leaders:

 

1.      They faithfully did what they knew to do.

2.      They stopped and sensitively addressed needs.

3.      They had courage to face problems.

4.      Others anticipated receiving solutions from them.

5.      They realistically admitted their lack of material resources.

6.      They generously gave away their spiritual resources.

7.      They solved practical problems.

8.      They gained credibility through demonstration, not just proclamation.

9.      Peter’s demonstration gave him a platform and a convincing argument.

Eyes of Faith[2]

Many of us today are still enthralled to a Deist view of God, whereby God is a distant and aloof first cause of the universe, uninvolved with the world he has made. But Thomas Aquinas taught that God is in all things, "by essence, presence, and power" and that God providentially cares for every aspect of his creation. Therefore, we should expect to see signs of his presence and activity in nature, in history, and in human affairs.  And once we see, we are meant to speak! In a way, followers of Jesus are not looking at the signs of the times for their own benefit, but rather that they might share their prophetic perspective with everyone else. So, look around, look with attention, look with the eyes of faith!

Amoris Lætitia[3] the Transformation of Love (163-164)

Longer life spans now mean that close and exclusive relationships must last for four, five or even six decades; consequently, the initial decision has to be frequently renewed. While one of the spouses may no longer experience an intense sexual desire for the other, he or she may still experience the pleasure of mutual belonging and the knowledge that neither of them is alone but has a “partner” with whom everything in life is shared. He or she is a companion on life’s journey, one with whom to face life’s difficulties and enjoy its pleasures. This satisfaction is part of the affection proper to conjugal love. There is no guarantee that we will feel the same way all through life.

 

Yet if a couple can come up with a shared and lasting life project, they can love one another and live as one until death do them part, enjoying an enriching intimacy. The love they pledge is greater than any emotion, feeling or state of mind, although it may include all of these. It is a deeper love, a lifelong decision of the heart. Even amid unresolved conflicts and confused emotional situations, they daily reaffirm their decision to love, to belong to one another, to share their lives and to continue loving and forgiving. Each progresses along the path of personal growth and development. On this journey, love rejoices at every step and in every new stage. In the course of every marriage physical appearances change, but this hardly means that love and attraction need fade. We love the other person for who they are, not simply for their body. Although the body ages, it still expresses that personal identity that first won our heart. Even if others can no longer see the beauty of that identity, a spouse continues to see it with the eyes of love and so his or her affection does not diminish. He or she reaffirms the decision to belong to the other and expresses that choice in faithful and loving closeness.

 

The nobility of this decision, by its intensity and depth, gives rise to a new kind of emotion as they fulfill their marital mission. For “emotion, caused by another human being as a person… does not per se tend toward the conjugal act”. It finds other sensible expressions. Indeed, love “is a single reality, but with different dimensions; at different times, one or other dimension may emerge more clearly”. The marriage bond finds new forms of expression and constantly seeks new ways to grow in strength. These both preserve and strengthen the bond. They call for daily effort. None of this, however, is possible without praying to the Holy Spirit for an outpouring of his grace, his supernatural strength and his spiritual fire, to confirm, direct and transform our love in every new situation. 

Ember Friday of Advent.[4] Commemoration of the Visitation. 


Mary visits her relative Elizabeth; they are both pregnant: Mary with Jesus, and Elizabeth with John the Baptist. Mary left Nazareth immediately after the Annunciation and went "into the hill country ... into a city of Judah" (Luke 1:39) to attend to her cousin (Luke 1:36) Elizabeth. There are several possibilities as to exactly which city this was, including Hebron, south of Jerusalem, and Ein Karem. The journey from Nazareth to Hebron is about 130 kilometers (81 mi) in a direct line, probably up to half as far again by road, depending on the route taken. Elizabeth was in the sixth month before Mary came (Luke 1:36). Mary stayed three months, and most scholars hold she stayed for the birth of John. Given the prevailing cultural traditions and needs for security, it is probable that Joseph accompanied Mary to Judah then returned to Nazareth, and came again after three months to take his wife home. The apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew 1:19–25, may have taken place then to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary's maternity.

 

In the Gospel of Luke, the author's accounts of the Annunciation and Visitation are constructed using eight points of literary parallelism to compare Mary to the Ark of the Covenant.

 

Some Catholic commentators have maintained that the purpose of this visit was to bring divine grace to both Elizabeth and her unborn child. Even though he was still in his mother's womb, John became aware of the presence of Christ, and leapt for joy as he was cleansed from original sin and filled with divine grace. Elizabeth also responded and recognized the presence of Jesus, and thus Mary exercised her function as mediatrix between God and man for the first time.

 

And she [Elizabeth] spoke out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb. And whence [is] this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed [is] she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord." (Luke 1:42–45)

 

In response to Elizabeth, Mary proclaims the Magnificat (My soul doth magnify the Lord) Luke 1:46–55.

 

The word "blessed" is rendered in Greek not by the word "Makarios" but as "evlogimeni", which is the feminine second person singular, used only this once in the New Testament. Its masculine third person singular counterpart "evlogimenos" is used only for Jesus and only on this occasion and when he was welcomed into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday with: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". The masculine/mixed gender third person plural "evlogimenoi" is used by Jesus only when referring to the righteous who are to be raised to life in the Last Judgement. 

Ember days-wintertime[5]

Psalm 147:12, 16-17 "Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem: praise thy God, O Sion. Who giveth snow like wool: scattereth mists like ashes? He sendeth his crystal-like morsels: who shall stand before the face of his cold?"

Winter is a time of reflection, when human activity is stilled, and snow blankets the world with silence. For the Christian, Winter symbolizes Hope: though the world now appears lifeless and makes us think of our own mortality, we hope in our resurrection because of the Resurrection of the One Whose Nativity we await now. How providential that the Christ Child will be born at the beginning of this icy season, bringing with Him all the hope of Spring! Also among our Winter feasts are the Epiphany and Candlemas, two of the loveliest days of the year, the first evoked by water, incense, and gold; the latter by fire...Yes, despite the typical, unimaginative view of Winter as a long bout with misery, the season is among the most beautiful and filled with charms. The ephemeral beauty of a single snowflake... the pale blue tint of sky reflected in snow that glitters, and gives way with a satisfying crunch under foot... skeletal trees entombed in crystal, white as bones, cold as death, creaking under the weight of their icy shrouds... the wonderful feeling of being inside, next to a fire, while the winds whirl outside... the smell of burning wood mingled with evergreen... warm hands embracing your wind-bitten ones... the brilliant colors of certain winter birds, so shocking against the ocean of white... the wonderfully long nights which lend themselves to a sense of intimacy and quiet! Go outside and look at the clear Winter skies ruled by Taurus, with the Pleiades on its shoulder and Orion nearby... Such beauty! Even if you are not a "winter person," consider that Shakespeare had the right idea when he wrote in "Love's Labor’s Lost":

Why should proud summer boast
Before the birds have any cause to sing?
Why should I joy in an abortive birth?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth;
But like of each thing that in season grows.

Feast of the Expectancy[6]

This feast, which in recent times has been kept not only throughout the whole of Spain, but also in many other parts of the Catholic world, owes its origin to the bishops of the 10th Council of Toledo, in 656. These prelates thought that there was an incongruity in the ancient practice of celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation on the 25th of March, inasmuch as this joyful solemnity frequently occurs at the time when the Church is intent upon the Passion of Our Lord, so that it is sometimes obliged to be transferred into Easter time, with which it is out of harmony for another reason. They therefore decreed that, henceforth, in the Church of Spain there should be kept, eight days before Christmas, a solemn Feast with an octave, in honor of the Annunciation, and as a preparation for the great solemnity of Our Lord's Nativity.

In the course of time, however, the Church of Spain saw the necessity of returning to the practice of the Church of Rome and of the whole world, which solemnize the 25th of March as the day of Our Lady's Annunciation and the Incarnation of the Son of God. But such had been, for ages, the devotion of the people for the Feast of the 18th of December, that it was considered requisite to maintain some vestige of it. They discontinued, therefore, to celebrate the Annunciation on this day; but the faithful were requested to consider, with devotion, what must have been the sentiments of the Holy Mother of God during the days immediately preceding Her giving Him birth. A new Feast was instituted, under the name of "the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin's Delivery."

This Feast, which sometimes goes under the name of Our Lady of O, or the Feast of O, on account of the great antiphons which are sung during these days, and, in a special manner, of that which begins O Virgo virginum (which is still used in the Vespers of the Expectation—together with the O Adonai, the antiphon of the Advent Office), was kept with great devotion in Spain. A High Mass was sung at a very early hour each morning during the octave, at which all who were with child, whether rich or poor, considered it a duty to assist, that they might thus honor Our Lady's Maternity, and beg Her blessing upon themselves.

It is no wonder that the Holy See approved of this pious practice being introduced into almost every other country. We find that the Church of Milan, Whose Advent fast lasted 40 days, long before Rome conceded this Feast to the various dioceses of Christendom, celebrated the Office of Our Lady's Annunciation on the sixth and last Sunday of Advent, and called the whole week following the Hebdomada de Exceptato (for thus the popular expression had corrupted the word Expectato). But it, too, has given way to the Feast of Our Lady's Expectation, which the Church has established and sanctioned as a means of exciting the attention of the faithful during these last days of Advent.

Most just indeed it is, O Holy Mother of God, that we should unite in that ardent desire Thou hadst to see Him, Who had been concealed for nine months in Thy chaste womb; to know the features of this Son of the Heavenly Father, Who is also Thine; to come to that blissful hour of His birth, which will give glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men of good will. Yes, dearest Mother, the time is fast approaching, though not fast enough to satisfy Thy desires and ours. Make us redouble our attention to the great mystery; complete our preparation by Thy powerful prayers for us, that when the solemn hour has come, our Jesus may find no obstacle to His entrance into our hearts.

O Virgin of virgins! How shall this be? For never was there one like Thee, nor will there ever be. Ye daughters of Jerusalem, why look ye wondering at Me? What you behold is a divine mystery.

Today’s Antiphon

Come and redeem us with outstretched arm.

O Lord and Ruler of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with outstretched arm.

 

·         As Moses approached the burning bush, so we approach the divine Savior in the form of a child in the crib, or in the form of the consecrated host, and falling down we adore Him. "Put off the shoes from thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground . . . I am who am." "Come with an outstretched arm to redeem us." This is the cry of the Church for the second coming of Christ on the last day. The return of the Savior brings us plentiful redemption.[7]

 

Spiritual Crib[8] 

A special devotion that can be performed during Advent to prepare for the coming of the Infant Savior. It can be adapted for adults and/or children and applied as is appropriate to your state in life. 

·         8th day, December 18th THE MULE—Patience To practice this virtue, we must complain of no one or nothing. No shade of impatience should be seen on our countenance, nor an impatient word heard. Be brave. The Infant Jesus suffered much more for you. 

Daily Devotions

·         Jesse Tree ornament: Jesus is Lord: Ex. 3:2; 20:1 Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Christmas Novena

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary

 



[1]John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

[2]Bishop Robert Baron, October 27, 2017, gospel reflection.

[3] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.

[7]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-12-18

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