Monday, December 21, 2020

 

DAY 43 - MARY, QUEEN OF VIRGINS, PRAY FOR US

OIL - OBEDIENCE IN LOVE 
How then are we to prepare our restless hearts to receive the power of the Holy Spirit? Recall Jesus' parable of the ten virgins (Mt 25:1-12), five of whom were wise and five of whom were foolish. When the time came to meet the Bridegroom and go in to join the festivities, the foolish ones did not have enough oil for their lamps. They were forced to go get more oil while everyone else went in to "join the dance."

Why has study after study shown that people of religious conviction are the happiest? For those who have yielded to a deeply devoted (semper fi) love relationship with Jesus, there is a distinctive serenity and joy about them. There seems to be an extra spring in their step and twinkle in their eye. Far from the boredom and misery of sloth, they radiate a supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, and gentleness (Fruit of the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:22-23). They are attracted to spiritual things. They have a resolve to lighten the burdens of others. They have a sense of purpose and mission. They seem to have discovered the way to "join the dance" of life.

In the meantime, like the five foolish virgins, there are those who seem to be "on the outside looking in," wondering what it takes to be invited to "the dance of life."

Now, the Holy Spirit is often depicted as fire. Jesus said, "I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled" (Lk 12:49).

So, what is the fuel we offer for the Holy Spirit's fire? The word "oil" provides a superb acronym to describe the necessary fuel for receiving the fire of the Holy Spirit: O.I.L. = Obedience In Love. Blessed Charles de Foucauld called obedience the "yardstick of love." It's a clear way we measure the fidelity and unselfishness of our hearts. Jesus said that his yoke is easy and his burden light (Mt 11:28-30) not because he would ask less of us, but because he knew that love renders suffering bearable and even joyful. St. Ignatius of Loyola said, "It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey." (Excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual).
PRAY A ROSARY
Choose either:
  1. Rosary of the Day: Joyful 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.


Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

FEAST OF ST THOMAS-WINTER SOLSTICE 

Acts, Chapter 6, Verse 5-7

5 The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with FAITH and the Holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them. 7 The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the FAITH.

 

Are you a person acceptable to the whole community, filled with faith and obedient to the church? Then perhaps you should consider being a deacon following these seven.

 

The Deaconate[1]

Among those first seven men who were called to serve was St. Stephen the Martyr, whose feast we celebrate on December 26. It’s not surprising then is it that St. Stephen is the Patron Saint of Deacons. So, what’s the significance of the Office of Permanent Diaconate in the modern church? It’s a centuries-old ministry that was abandoned by the early church around the fourth century but was revived as a result of the Second Vatican Council, which decreed that it be opened to “mature married men”, which was later clarified to mean men over the age of 35. While the early members of the diaconate (from the Greek diakonos, “servant”) were primarily concerned with ensuring the general well-being of the widowed and orphaned among them, modern day deacons can be found carrying out their ministerial responsibilities in parishes, hospitals and prisons, tending to the abused and battered, the mentally ill, the homeless and victims of discrimination. They are in large cities, small towns and rural communities, holding the hands of the sick and the dying, bringing the light of Christ into the darkest corners of our world. In a parish setting, a deacon’s general role is to assist the pastor in carrying out his pastoral responsibilities. As an ordained cleric, a deacon can preside at the sacrament of baptism; proclaim the Gospel and preach; preside at funerals, graveside services, and wake services; witness marriages, and of course, distribute Holy Eucharist. He cannot preside at mass which, of course, would include praying over the gifts of bread and wine that they may become the Body and Blood of the Lord, a privilege reserved for those ordained as priests. Nor can a deacon preside in celebrations of the sacrament of penance or anointing of the sick. With over 18,000 ordained deacons in the United States alone, these men, along with their wives and families, continue to serve the people of God.

Feast of St. Thomas[2] 

According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Thomas, now celebrated July 3. 

THOMAS, also called Didymus, or the twin, was a fisherman of Galilee. After having been received among the apostles he accompanied Jesus in all His journeys, and uniformly showed docility, zeal, and love towards Him, particularly on the occasion of His going to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. For when the apostles were afraid to go thither, because the Jews desired to kill Jesus, Thomas, full of courage, said, “Let’s also go, that we may die with Him” (John xi. 16). His faith, indeed, wavered for a moment in regard to the resurrection of Christ but no sooner had Christ satisfied him thereof by showing His wounds, than he cried out with firm faith, My Lord and my God. St. Gregory thereupon says, “God overruled the doubting of Thomas to our good, since that very doubt has profited us more than the ready belief of the other disciples, inasmuch as thereby Christ was induced to give so much clearer proofs of His resurrection, in order to confirm us in the belief of it. Thomas showed the firmness of his faith by the innumerable labors which he undertook, and by the sufferings that he endured for Christ. He traversed the most extensive and remote countries, and preached Jesus to the Armenians, Medes, Persians, Parthians, Hyrcardans, Bactrians, and other barbarous and wicked nations, enduring in the course of his labors, with astonishing firmness, the greatest sufferings for the honor of God and the salvation of men. Finally, he came to India, when, in the city of Calamina, or Meliapor, he underwent a glorious martyrdom, being pierced through with lances, by order of the idolatrous priests, as he was praying at the foot of the cross. So much did the apostle do to repair a single fault but we, who every day commit so many what do we do to repair them? 

Winter Solstice[3] 

The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year as the Northern Hemisphere is angled the farthest away from the Sun on this day. 

Winter Solstice Facts 

·         On the Winter Solstice, there are 24 hours of sunlight in the Antarctic Circle, and 24 hours of darkness in the Arctic Circle.

·         Many pagan rituals have revolved around the Winter Solstice. The short days and long hours of darkness prompted rituals intended to lure the Sun back.

·         10 inches of snow melt down into only 1 inch of rain.

 

Winter Solstice Top Events and Things to Do 

·         Eat more Vitamin-D rich foods to balance out the lack of sunlight.

·         Light some candles and enjoy the early evening.

·         Finish some last-minute Christmas shopping.

·         Purchase a Christmas tree.  Tip: For a more environmentally friendly Christmas, purchase a Live trees in a burlap root sack that can be planted after the holiday.

·         Watch the lunar eclipse which happens within several days of the winter solstice. 

Short Girl Appreciation Day[4] My wife is 5’1" 

There’s something about a short girl, that delightfully compact and curvy phenomena that happens when a blessing of genetics realizes that less is more. It seems like evolution did them a favor and made up for their lack of vertical stature by packing those delightful frames with enough vim and vinegar to take on the world. They may be physically smaller, but they sure seem to live larger. Short Girls are all the rage, and Short Girl Appreciation Day is our opportunity to raise them up above the crowds. 

How to celebrate Short Girl Appreciation Day

 

·         No matter who you are, you have to hand it to the Short Girls (if only because they can’t reach it themselves.)

·         Let Short Girl Appreciation Day be your inspiration to truly let these compact little gems know how much you appreciate them.

·         Take your favorite short girl out to lunch, buy them a step-stool, or just generally let them know how awesome they are.

·          If you know one of these beauties that is suffering from standard short-girl problems, then you can take this opportunity to help them out with that. To really let them know how fantastic they are, you can also organize a party for your favorite pack of short-girls themed around those things that are small. Tiny cakes and cookies, even meals in small portions (but make sure there’s a lot of them, short girls can pack it away when they get a hunger on), and round it all up with a short girl fashion show.

·         It’s bound to be interesting since so many of them have to shop in the children’s section! 

One wonders if Mary was a short girl 

God’s Handiwork 

Every Christmas although the same in many ways is always new for each Christmas expresses a hope learned from a lifetime of praising God. For every Christmas if we open our eyes to truth, we will see the handiwork of God; the rock of our salvation. Perhaps in these final days of anticipation it would do us well to reflect on the virtues (Humility, Generosity, and Chastity) of Mary Christ’s very own mother and in these final days in some way reflect them in our own lives. 

Chastity[5] a pouring out of the soul to God 

After the fall of Adam, man's senses became rebellious to reason. As a consequence, chastity is the most difficult of all the virtues to practice. Saint Augustine says: "Of all inner conflicts the most arduous are concerned with chastity. These battles are of daily occurrence, but victory is rare." however, Mary is a shining example of this virtue. Saint Sophronius replies: "God chose a pure virgin for his mother, that she might be an example of chastity to everybody." That is why Saint Ambrose calls Mary "the standard-bearer of virginity." Because of Mary's purity the Holy Spirit declared that she is as beautiful as the turtledove: Your cheeks are beautiful as the turtledove's (Cant 1:9). "A most pure turtledove" is what Aponius calls her. She inspired everybody who saw her with chaste thoughts. Saint Thomas confirms this when he says that the beauty of the Blessed Virgin incited to chastity all who looked at her. Saint Jerome maintains that Saint Joseph remained a virgin as a result of living with Mary. Saint Gregory of Nyssa says that the Blessed Virgin loved chastity so much, that to preserve it she would have been willing to renounce even the dignity of Mother of God. This seems evident from her reply to the archangel: How shall this happen, since I do not know man? (Lk 1:34). And from the words she added then: Be it done to me according to your word (Lk 1:38), signifying that she gave her consent on the condition that, as the angel had assured her, she should become a mother only by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. Saint Ambrose says that "anyone who preserves chastity is an angel; anyone who loses it is a devil." Our Lord assures us that those who are chaste become angels: They...shall be as the angels of God in heaven (Mt 22:30). But the unchaste become hateful to God, like devils. Saint Remigius used to say that the majority of adults are lost by this vice. We have quoted Saint Augustine as saying that a victory is very seldom gained in this combat. Why is this? Because the means by which the victory may be gained are very seldom used. These means are threefold, according to Bellarmine and the masters of the spiritual life: fasting, the avoidance of dangerous occasions of sin, and prayer. 

1. By fasting we mean especially mortification of the eyes and the appetite. Although our Blessed Lady was filled with divine grace, she nevertheless practiced mortification of the eyes, according to Saint Epiphanius and Saint John Damascene. Her glances were always modest, and she never gazed fixedly at anyone. She was so unassuming, even from childhood, that everyone who saw her was charmed by her reserve. Saint Luke remarks that when she went to visit Elizabeth, she went with haste (Lk 1:39), in order to avoid the public gaze. Saint Gregory of Tours maintains that she fasted throughout her life. Saint Bonaventure explains this: "Mary would never have found so much grace if she had not been moderate in her meals, for grace and gluttony do not go together." In short, Mary was mortified in everything, so that it was true to say of her: My hands dripped with myrrh (Cant 5:5). 

2. The second means is avoidance of the occasions of sin: He that is aware of the snares shall be secure (Prov 11:15). Saint Philip Neri coined the expression: "In the war of the senses, cowards conquer." By cowards he means those who flee from dangerous occasions. Mary fled as much as possible from the gaze of men. Remember Saint Luke's remark that, in going to visit Elizabeth, Mary went with haste into the hill country. One author calls attention to the fact that Our Lady left Elizabeth before Saint John was born: And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her own house. Now Elizabeth's time was fulfilled that she should be delivered, and she brought forth a son (Lk 1:56-57). Why did Mary not wait for Saint John's birth? Because she wanted to avoid the hubbub and excitement that usually accompany such an event. 

3. The third means is prayer. The Wise Man said: And as I knew that I could not otherwise be continent except God gave it...I went to the Lord and besought him (Wis 8:21). Mary revealed to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary that she did not acquire any virtue without effort and without continual prayer. Saint John Damascene calls our Immaculate Mother "a lover of purity." She cannot endure those who are content to be unchaste. And if anybody appeals to her to be delivered from unchastity she will certainly help him. All he has to do is call upon her confidently. The Venerable John of Ávila used to say that many have conquered impure temptations merely through devotion to Mary Immaculate. 

The Battle of the Soul and Flesh[6] 

Beginning with Cain and Abel, there have been children of God who obeyed God's commandments, and, on the other hand, children of Satan, as Holy Scripture, call them, who seek their salvation in the pleasures of this life. Since the time of Cain and Abel, mankind has been split into two divisions, one seeking the kingdom of God, the other the kingdom of the world, the kingdom of Satan. When our Savior conquered Satan, He left him power over those who make themselves slaves to the sensual pleasures, and thus there exists an evil force against the Church, and it will exist to the end of time.

This is a fact that we must keep in view in order to fully understand and judge the conditions. The realm of darkness, Satan's realm, stands opposed to the realm of Christ. Satan and his adherents carry on the warfare against the Church of Christ, as they assaulted Christ Himself. "As they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you," so did Christ prophecy. The Church of Christ demands the subjection of the flesh; she preaches against luxury, pride and selfishness. She preaches chastity and submission to the commandments of God; she preaches penance alike to those of high and low station in life. This angers all those who would indulge in the evil things of this world. They cry: "Let us break her bonds asunder; and let us cast away her yoke from us." But as Christ foretold the persecution of His Church, so He also foretold that the gates of hell would not prevail against her. 

Evening Antiphon

Come, and shine on those seated in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

O Dawn, splendor of eternal light, and sun of justice, come, and shine on those seated in darkness, and in the shadow of death. 

Spiritual Crib[7] 

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. 

·         11th day, December 21st: THE HOLY ANGELS—Attention to Inward Inspirations Have special regard for them today. Perhaps our dear Lord demands a little sacrifice, an extra prayer, an act of some virtue, an acknowledgment of your love for Him. Be watchful and faithful. 

Daily Devotions

·         Jesse Tree ornament: Jesus is the Radiant Dawn: Psalm 19:6-7 (in older Bibles this will be Psalm 18) Symbols: sun rising or high in sky

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Humbug Day-watch Scrooge

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary



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