Thursday, January 21, 2021
SAINT AGNES NINE--DAYS FOR LIFE
Genesis, Chapter 32, Verse 12
Save me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau! Otherwise, I FEAR that he will come and strike me down and the mothers with the children.
Jacob here was afraid of his brother whom he cheated. What’s interesting is that Jacob was Esau’s twin brother. Twins often think a feel alike so one wonders was Jacob’s fear generated because he assumed Esau would do what He himself would have done. Here is where God takes two imperfect humans and makes them better. God intercedes softening both Esau and Jacob’s heart.
Have you ever been so angry; livid at someone or something and then discovered the reason for your anger was directly correlated to a defect in yourself that you had buried and chose to ignore. We all have and then realized that we are not as perfect as we pretend to be. Let us reflect on Paul’s advice to the Ephesians, “Brothers and sisters: I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; that is not how you learned Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth. (Eph 4:17-20) By the renewal of our minds we through Christ’s grace check our feelings, moods and prejudices or preferences and strive to maintain the right intensions.
Lord, Grant that I may follow Your words in my daily life. Let Your truth teach me, guide me, and protect me and may it deliver me from all evil desires and foolish love. Let me esteem nothing as great, or valuable, or wonderful, except insofar as it makes me better and more pleasing in your eyes. In this way I shall never be a slave of this earth, but shall walk daily towards Heaven in Holy Fear.
Life First 9 Days for Life
9 Days for Life is a "digital
pilgrimage" of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every
person's life. A multi-faceted novena highlighting a different intention each
day provides reflections, bonus information, and suggested actions. Join
to receive the novena through the 9 Days for Life app, daily emails, or daily
texts. See below for information on how else you can get involved! #9DaysforLife #OurPrayersMatter
Intercession: May the tragic practice of abortion end.
Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be
Reflection: At every stage and in every circumstance, we are held in existence by God’s love. The presence of an illness, disability, or other challenging situation never diminishes the value of a human life. God does not call us to perfection of appearance or abilities, but to perfection in love. Christ invites us to embrace our own lives and the lives of others as true gifts.
Abortion tragically rejects the truth that every life is a good and perfect gift, deserving protection. This violent practice ends the life of a human being at its very beginning and horribly wounds all those involved. But Christ came that we “might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), taking on human flesh for the sake of our redemption. May our culture experience the power of God’s transforming love, that all eyes may be opened to the incredible beauty of every human life.
Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)
a break from television and movies today. Consider spending some of that time
praying with today’s reflection.
· Pray the short prayer “Every Life is Worth Living,” reflecting on the gift of human life. (Also available to order or download.)
Heavenly Father, thank you
for the precious gift of life.
Help us to cherish and protect
this gift, even in the midst of
fear, pain, and suffering.
Give us love for all people,
especially the most vulnerable, and help us bear witness to the truth that every life is worth living.
Grant us the humility to accept help
when we are in need,
and teach us to be merciful to all.
Through our words and actions, may others encounter the outstretched hands of Your mercy.
We ask this through
Christ, our Lord.
· Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.
Kiwanis International was founded on this day and an international service club founded in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan. It is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, and is found in more than 80 nations and geographic areas. Since 1987, the organization also accepts women as members. Membership in Kiwanis and its family of clubs is more than 600,000 members. Each year, Kiwanis clubs raise more than US$100 million and report more than 18.5 million volunteer hours to strengthen communities and serve children.
However, upon further research it was found that Kiwanis supports planned parenthood and the culture of death.
Life Decisions Int’l, the same organization that compiles the Planned Parenthood Boycott List, compiled the following list of charities and organizations that are linked to Planned Parenthood and/or the culture of death. Now that you know, as Christians, let us stop funding any organization that collaborates with Planned Parenthood or backs Embryonic Stem Cell Research!
Today we honor the martyrdom of Saint Agnes, a God-fearing child of 12, when she faced her death. Here is St. Ambrose’s account of her demise.
This treatise has a favorable beginning, since it is the birthday of the holy Virgin Agnes, of whose name, modesty, and martyrdom St. Ambrose speaks in commendation, but more especially of her age, seeing that she, being but twelve years old, was superior to terrors, promises, tortures, and death itself, with a courage wholly worthy of a man.
And my task begins favorably, that since today is the birthday of a virgin, I have to speak of virgins, and the treatise has its beginning from this discourse. It is the birthday of a martyr, let us offer the victim. It is the birthday of St. Agnes, let men admire, let children take courage, let the married be astounded, let the unmarried take an example. But what can I say worthy of her whose very name was not devoid of bright praise? In devotion beyond her age, in virtue above nature, she seems to me to have borne not so much a human name, as a token of martyrdom, whereby she showed what she was to be.
But I have that which may assist me. The name of virgin is a title of modesty. I will call upon the martyr, I will proclaim the virgin. That panegyric is long enough which needs no elaboration but is within our grasp. Let then labor cease, eloquence be silent. One word is praise enough. This word old men and young and boys chant. No one is more praiseworthy than he who can be praised by all. There are as many heralds as there are men, who when they speak proclaim the martyr.
She is said to have suffered martyrdom when twelve years old. The more hateful was the cruelty, which spared not so tender an age, the greater in truth was the power of faith which found evidence even in that age. Was there room for a wound in that small body? And she who had no room for the blow of the steel had that wherewith to conquer the steel. But maidens of that age are unable to bear even the angry looks of parents and are wont to cry at the pricks of a needle as though they were wounds. She was fearless under the cruel hands of the executioners, she was unmoved by the heavy weight of the creaking chains, offering her whole body to the sword of the raging soldier, as yet ignorant of death, but ready for it. Or if she were unwillingly hurried to the altars, she was ready to stretch forth her hands to Christ at the sacrificial fires, and at the sacrilegious altars themselves, to make the sign of the Lord the Conqueror, or again to place her neck and both her hands in the iron bands, but no band could enclose such slender limbs.
A new kind of martyrdom! Not yet of fit age for punishment but already ripe for victory, difficult to contend with but easy to be crowned, she filled the office of teaching valor while having the disadvantage of youth. She would not as a bride so hasten to the couch, as being a virgin, she joyfully went to the place of punishment with hurrying step, her head not adorned with plaited hair, but with Christ. All wept, she alone was without a tear. All wondered that she was so readily prodigal of her life, which she had not yet enjoyed, and now gave up as though she had gone through it. Everyone was astounded that there was now one to bear witness to the Godhead, who as yet could not, because of her age, dispose of herself. And she brought it to pass that she should be believed concerning God, whose evidence concerning man would not be accepted. For that which is beyond nature is from the Author of nature.
What threats the executioner used to make her fear him, what allurements to persuade her, how many desired that she would come to them in marriage! But she answered: It would be an injury to my spouse to look on any one as likely to please me. He who chose me first for Himself shall receive me. Why are you delaying, executioner? Let this body perish which can be loved by eyes which I would not. She stood, she prayed, she bent down her neck. You could see the executioner tremble, as though he himself had been condemned, and his right-hand shake, his face grow pale, as he feared the peril of another, while the maiden feared not for her own. You have then in one victim a twofold martyrdom, of modesty and of religion. She both remained a virgin and she obtained martyrdom.
Pray that we may emulate Agnes who was martyred rather than forsake her betrothal to Christ and exhibited the traits of a true marriage.