ATTENTION! Operation Overlord 2.0: November 30 - December 8
OPERATION OVERLORD 2.0
- Starting Monday, November 30, we will enter into the St. Maximillian Kolbe Nine-Day Preparation for Total Consecration
- Be in a State of Grace = Go to Confession
- Add whatever intense fasting, penance and mortification God is calling you to during these nine days. Renew fitness goals
- On December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we will all make our Marian Consecration (or renew it)
- Dedicate yourself to wear the Miraculous Medal every day (or carry it. The Combat Rosary has the Miraculous Medal)
- We call upon the intercession of the Blessed Mother, St. Michael, St. Maximillian Kolbe, Pope St. John Paul II and Mother Angelica
- PETITION: May truth be revealed, and may America and the Catholic Church become strong in God's power. - Ephesians 6:10
DAY 24 - MARY, SPIRITUAL VESSEL, PRAY THAT WE RECEIVE THE FRUIT OF FAITHFULNESS!
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Glorious Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Glorious Mysteries
Wednesday of the First week of Advent
END OF SLAVERY DAY
34 I give you a new commandment: love
one another. As I have LOVED you, so you also should LOVE one
another. 35 This is how all will know that you are my
disciples, if you have LOVE for one another.”
Have you ever wondered how Jesus really loved? How the disciples felt in His presence?
Jesus commands us to love one another even as He loved us.
The crux of this command is to understand how Jesus loved us. Our text reveals five aspects of this love:
1. Jesus’ love was costly love (John 13:31-32).
Jesus, the way was a costly one. He traveled the road of sorrows, and it ended
with his death on a cross. Jesus was willing to suffer and die for us because
his death would enable us to escape from our sins and to live with God forever.
Though he was God in the flesh, Jesus let himself be whipped and spat on and
crowned with thorns. He let himself be crucified, with nails driven through his
hands and feet. He offered his life as an act of love for us--an act so
perfect, so pure, and so valuable that it paid for the sins of the whole world.
This was something only God could do. No matter what we might do to atone for
our sins, we are merely finite creatures and never could pay for our offenses
against the infinite holiness of God. But God could pay for them-- and, because
he loves us, he did. After the
Crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead. The Resurrection serves as a sign of
what is waiting for all who turn to God. One day Jesus will return, and those
who have loved God will experience their own glorious resurrection, the
overthrow of death, and eternal life in the love of God.
2. Jesus’ love was caring love (John 13:33).
MANDATE of Christianity is simple: love. Yet in this simplicity, complicated
problems can spring up like weeds, for we more often than not use “love” as a
mere excuse for self-indulgence. In the modern world
especially—although it has been a problem throughout Church history—we commonly
scorn real love. We scorn the suffering, self-sacrificial love with which
Christ loved us to save us from our sins. And even though Christ told us to love
each other “as I have loved you,” we scorn this love because we have so
perverted and eroticized the concept of “love” that we even condone sin today in the name of Christ.
3. Jesus’ love was commanded love (John 13:34).
Some people claim that the Church puts too much emphasis on the concept of sin, and that, if parents didn’t scare children with talk of sin and focused more on love, the world would be a better place. This argument can even lead to the idea that we should accept everything in the name of Christian love, and that we lack charity and are being judgmental merely to speak about sin. “It’s offensive to another’s individuality,” they claim, “to say that something that ‘does not really hurt others’ is morally wrong.” Well, it’s a great sadness that most parents do not teach their children how to love. Love is hard work, and most parents shrink from that work. When children misbehave, for example, it’s far easier to tell the children that they will go to hell because of their misbehavior than it is to show them consistently, by example, that all behavior should be motivated by love for God. When parents take the easy way, the children grow up being afraid of hell and understanding nothing about real love.
The irony, though, is that parents fail to teach their children real love because they fail to understand the psychological reality of sin.
4. Jesus’ love was conspicuous love (John 13:35).
psychological terms, sin can be described as a sort of infatuation with the
vanity of our personal desires. That is, most people are narcissistically
preoccupied with their immediate desires and have little, if any, altruistic
awareness of anyone or anything else around them. Psychologically, this
behavior allows you to feel good about yourself (that is, to feel strong and
“in control”) by using, hurting, or neglecting someone else. Sin therefore
leads you away from true love and
compassion, and it sends you right into all the predicaments of
self-indulgence. Sin really does hurt others because sin defiles love. Simply teaching children to be
kind to one another, therefore, will not make sin “take a back seat.” In fact,
teaching kindness without also teaching the full meaning of sin unwittingly
promotes sin. Without an awareness of sin, anything goes. “If it feels good, do
it,” is equivalent to the devil’s motto: Do what thou wilt. To see what is
really required to overcome sin, let’s look more closely at the various forms of
5. Jesus’ love was committed love (John 13:36-38).
Love, in its purest and most divine meaning refers to something so far beyond our comprehension that it is, well, incomprehensible. Christian theology says that “God is love,” but most us can grasp that concept only intellectually. Many Catholic mystics through the ages, however, have had an immediate experiential encounter with divine love, and they all end up saying essentially the same thing: I thought my heart would burst and that I would die right there. This sort of love is what Catholic mysticism is all about: a love for Christ so overwhelming that a person would risk anything and give up anything to get close to it. But this divine love is not something you “fall into”; it’s something you have to work at. To understand this, let’s first consider love’s other forms naturally accessible to general human experience.
· A child’s love for a parent refers to a natural emotional bond every child must make with a caretaker in order to survive the helplessness of infancy and childhood. This childlike love for a parent serves as a preparation for the eventual experience of real love for God.
· We also naturally love our siblings within our families; this is called brotherly love, and it is necessary for peace and growth in families—although sibling rivalry often manifests in dysfunctional families.
· We can naturally love our neighbors, too; this is called neighborly love, and it, too, is necessary for social survival—although aggression and war often stain all societies.
· What we commonly call romantic love, or erotic love (from the Greek eros), is just “common love”—a politically correct distortion of real love. Romance—in all truth, and contrary to popular sentiment—is actually a mixture of two things: a dependent, infantile attachment to a caretaker, and desire. Now, infantile dependence needs no further explanation. Desire, in the psychological sense, refers to our attempts to fill ourselves with things that feel pleasurable or soothing, so as to hide from ourselves the reality of our essential human emptiness and brokenness. When you look at another person with desire, you do not see a soul enrobed in chaste beauty; you see only your own exuberant fantasy that your aching throb of loneliness might be alleviated.
Desire isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. Although Buddhism, for example, teaches that all desire must be avoided, and although Christian theology teaches us that misplaced desire can lead us straight into sin, desire can be raised to the level of the divine. In fact, that’s the essence of the Catholic mystic tradition: to desire union with God as the supreme desire. As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God (Psalm 42:2). In this mystical desire for God we turn away from the illusory social attractions of the world around us and turn only to God for strength and refuge. That’s what it means to “die” to the world. And that’s a necessary step toward holiness for everyone—clerics, religious, and the laity. Thus, our natural human capacity for some forms of love is but a faint reflection of the divine love by which God created and redeemed us. Yet when natural love is raised to the level of the divine through Christ, it enters into a true mystery. In regard to this mystery, Christ told us something very important.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. —John 15:13
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery aims to end slavery in the world. Contemporary forms of slavery include sexual exploitation, forced marriage, trafficking of persons and recruitment of children for armed conflict. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are currently 21 million people enslaved in the world, a business that generates around 150 billion US dollars in illegal profits every year. The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as a day to be celebrated every December 2nd. The day marks the 1949 adoption of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Facts & Quotes
· The average cost of a slave globally is $90.
· Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry after illegal drugs and arms trafficking. It generates a profit of approximately 32 billion every year.
· 1 million children are enslaved worldwide.
· Child slavery is a crime against humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here. A lot of work still remains, but I will see the end of child labor in my lifetime. – Kailash Satyarthi, Indian children’s rights advocate and founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Top Events and Things to Do
· Watch a movie about the horrors of slavery. Some suggestions are: 12 Years a Slave (2014), Django Unchained (2014) and Amistad (1997)
· Donate to a charity fighting to end slavery.
· Spread awareness by using the hashtags #InternationalDayforAbolitionofSlavery, #EndSlavery and #HumanRightsMatter.
· Volunteer your time at a local rescue center for victims of human trafficking. These centers assist victims in sharing their stories, regaining their lives and dignity and helping to reduce this problem.
· Read a book about the horrors of slavery. Some suggestions are: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Beloved and Chains.
First Wednesday-St. Joseph
These words were spoken to Sister on the eve of St. Joseph’s feast day, March 18, 1958:
· My child, I desire a day to be set aside to honor my fatherhood.
· The privilege of being chosen by God to be the Virgin-Father of His Son was mine alone, and no honor, excluding that bestowed upon my Holy Spouse, was ever, or will ever, be as sublime or as high as this.
· The Holy Trinity desires thus to honor me that in my unique fatherhood all fatherhood might be blessed.
· Dear child, I was king in the little home of Nazareth, for I sheltered within it the Prince of Peace and the Queen of Heaven. To me they looked for protection and sustenance, and I did not fail them.
· I received from them the deepest love and reverence, for in me they saw Him Whose place I took over them.
· So, the head of the family must be loved, obeyed, and respected, and in return be a true father and protector to those under his care.
· In honoring in a special way my fatherhood, you also honor Jesus and Mary. The Divine Trinity has placed into our keeping the peace of the world.
· The imitation of the Holy Family, my child, of the virtues we practiced in our little home at Nazareth is the way for all souls to that peace which comes from God alone and which none other can give.
St. Joseph appeared to Sister again to explain the First Wednesday devotion God wishes to establish in his honor. Sister states:
His requests were similar to those of Our Lady and the First Saturday. The Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have been chosen by the Most Holy Trinity to bring peace to the world; hence, their request for special love and honor, also, in particular, reparation and imitation.
These are the words of St. Joseph as recorded on March 30, 1958:
“I am the protector of the Church and the home, as I was the protector of Christ and His Mother while I lived upon earth. Jesus and Mary desire that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored in a special way.
1. Let my children honor my most pure heart in a special manner on the First Wednesday of the month by reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary in memory of my life with Jesus and Mary and the love I bore them, the sorrow I suffered with them.
2. Let them receive Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received the Savior for the first time and each time I held Him in my arms.
Those who honor me in this way will be consoled by my presence at their death, and I myself will conduct them safely into the presence of Jesus and Mary.
I will come again, little child of my most pure heart. Until then, continue in patience and humility, which is so pleasing to God.”
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.
The Jesse Tree dates back to the middle ages and came from Europe. Even some ancient cathedrals have Jesse Tree designs in their stained-glass windows. The "tree" is usually a branch or sapling and is decorated with various symbols that remind us of the purpose and promises of God from Creation to the Birth of Jesus Christ. Jesse was the father of King David and God promised David that his Kingdom would last forever. Two centuries after the death of King David, God spoke through the prophet Isaiah and said: And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:1-2) Each Jesse Tree ornament usually consists of a handmade symbol or drawing that represents one of the major stories of the Old Testament along with a brief verse of Scripture from that story.
Jesse Tree Ornaments
If you decide to use one symbol each day during December, there are 24 symbolic ornaments to make for your Jesse Tree, so each family member will need to make several. Making the ornaments is a good project for Sunday afternoons during Advent. To make an ornament, first read the Scripture verses for the day. Then pick out one or two short verses that give the main idea. Copy these verses on the back of the ornament. By this time, you will probably be thinking of various ways to illustrate your Scripture verses. Use lots of creativity in making your ornament! You can use pictures from magazines or old greeting cards. Or draw pictures or symbols yourself. Color them with crayons, pencils, markers or paint. Look around the house for bits and pieces that will make your design beautiful! If you prefer to have a pattern already made, Caryn Talty, at Organic Living for a Healthy Family, has created 26 excellent ornaments which she graciously offers free – both full color and black and white.
Jesse Tree Scriptures (The Symbols Are Only Suggestions)
December 1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbols: sun, moon, stars, animals, earth
December 2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 Symbols: tree, man, woman
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus