Saturday, February 20, 2021

 


Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Predation
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 Predation" by Fr. Bill Peckman

The devil is the ultimate predator. St. Peter warns his readers, "Stay sober and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). The devil is always looking for any opening in which he can pounce and destroy. He uses everything from occult practices to our concupiscence (our predilection to sin) to gain a beachhead. He will also teach us how to follow him as predators ourselves.

We live in a society that encourages predation. From the mobster who shakes down the local merchant for protection, to the sex trafficker and pornographer, to the predatory interest charged in so many loans, to the endless scams used to bilk people out of money, to the common bullying (cyber and otherwise), to those engaged in domestic violence - our society is full of predators looking for their mark, looking for their next meal. Many hide behind the cover of darkness, anonymity, or even behind the law.

Our Church has been rocked over the past half century by predation. The most obvious examples have stemmed from the scandals in which clerics preyed on their own flocks for sexual gratification, heinously even preying on the lambs of their flock. Others have preyed on their flock through financial malfeasance by defrauding their parishes or dioceses of funds. Many are also complicit in withholding from their flocks how to stave off predation. In abandoning their flocks, they are every bit as guilty as the wolves they welcomed.

Certainly, we can extend these behaviors to the most basic building block of the Church: the domestic church, or the family. In these places we can see domestic violence, molestation, and other nefarious abuses of power that have their roots in the diabolic. The demonic mimicking of the predatory behaviors of the devil must be purged from all levels of the Church.

All predatory behavior stems from selfishness: the person's needs or wants are so important that all means to satisfy them are justified. For a predator, his or her satiation is of far greater value than your happiness, security, or life. While a predator may be infatuated by their prey, they cannot love them. Their intent is to eventually destroy or discard, after they have taken all they want. What force could possibly stand up against such an insatiable beast?!

We look to Christ the Good Shepherd for our answer! Christ does not prey on His flock. No, He places Himself between His flock and that which would destroy them. He stands in that breech, sacrificing Himself for their salvation. Jesus tells us, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep" (John 10:11). Why would He do this? Because He loves them. It is impossible to love someone and prey on them at the same time. Hence, the virtue we cultivate to conquer the desire to be a predator is the theological virtue of love. Love, divine love (or agape) is completely selfless. Instead of focusing on one's own desires and satiation, love allows you to look to the good of others, even when doing so incurs suffering or sacrifice. Love, because it is of God, chases away the devil and his minions. It helps us, as St. Paul says of himself, to be "poured out like an oblation" (2 Timothy 4:6).

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to prey on those we deem weaker or disposable. We have stilled our tongues in the face of such evil. We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing selfish desires to suffocate Your love that is to dwell within us. 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 selfishness and silence. We beg for the grace of Your goodness to teach us to shepherd rightly those You place in our care, and the courage to stand in the breech between them and the demonic. Help us to love as You love. 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 selfishness and predation. 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 predation 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 the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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 Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.

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.

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.

Let Us Pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen.

 
Daily Checklist
__ Prayer for Freedom from the Devil
__ Daily reflection and prayers
__ Litany of the day
__ Pray a Rosary
__ Divine Mercy Chaplet
__ Spiritual or corporal work of mercy
__ Fast/abstain (according to level)
__ Exercise (according to level/ability)
__ Refrain from conventional media (only 1 hr. of social)
__ Examination of conscience (confession 1x this week)


Saturday after Ash Wednesday

FRANCISCO AND JACINTA MARTO


Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 17

Do not deal unfairly with one another, then; but stand in FEAR of your God. I, the LORD, am your God. 

Fairness is a word that means physical beauty. In a sense God is asking us to not do those things that mar the physical beauty of another. This means in essence that we need to nourish each other and to give to share with other the gifts we receive from God. This means to respect each person as a person, physically, mentally, and emotionally; to provide for their welfare.

Saturday after Ash Wednesday

EPISTLE. Isaias Iviii. 9-14.

THUS, saith the Lord God: If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which is good for nothing. When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday. And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whose waters shall not fail. And the places that have been desolate for ages shall be built in thee: thou shalt raise up the foundations of generation and generation: and thou shalt be called the repairer of the fences, turning the paths into rest. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy own will in My holy day, and call the Sabbath delightful, and the holy of the Lord glorious, and glorify Him, while thou dost not thy own ways, and thy own will is not found, to speak a word : then shalt thou be delighted in the Lord, and I will lift thee up above the high places of the earth, and will feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

GOSPEL. Mark vi. 47-56.

At that time: When it was late, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and Jesus alone on the land. And seeing them laboring in rowing (for the wind was against them), and about the fourth watch of the night He cometh to them walking upon the sea, and He would have passed by them. But they seeing Him walking upon the sea, thought it was an apparition, and they cried out. For they all saw Him, and were troubled. And immediately He spoke with them, and said to them: Have a good heart, it is I, fear ye not. And He went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased: and they were far more astonished within themselves: for they understood not concerning the loaves; for their heart was blinded. And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Genesareth, and set to the shore. And when they were gone out of the ship, immediately they knew Him: and running through that whole country, they began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard He was. And whithersoever He entered, into towns or into villages or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought Him that they might touch but the hem of His garment: and as many as touched Him were made whole.

Prayer.

May Thy faithful, O Lord, be confirmed by Thy gifts, that, receiving them, they may seek them, and seeking may receive them forever. Through Christ,

Doing Small Things Well[1]

First, while it is true that fasting is not the most important thing in the world, this does not make fasting irrelevant or unimportant. There are, certainly, more urgent things to abstain from than food or drink, such as maliciousness, backbiting, grumbling, etc. But a person is mistaken to conclude that he therefore does not need to fast. He should not believe that he can ignore fasting and instead abstain in more important matters. Rather, fasting and avoiding those other vices go hand in hand. Fasting must accompany efforts to abstain in greater matters. For one thing, fasting teaches a person how to abstain in the first place.

Moreover, it is presumptuous for a person to try to practice the greater virtues without first paying attention to the smaller ones. As Our Lord says, "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much"1 and so can be trusted with greater things. Therefore, if a person wants to be able to abstain in greater matters he must not neglect to abstain in smaller matters, such as through fasting.

Finally, there is a subtle form of pride present in the person who says that because something is not very important, he does not need to do it. Whoever makes such a claim implies that he does only important things. But the average person is rarely called to do very important things. Accordingly, each person is more likely to be judged on how he did the little, everyday things. Even when, rarely, a person is called to do a great work, how often does he fall short? All the more reason, then, for a person to make sure that he at least does the small things well. Furthermore, if he truly loves the Lord, he will gladly do anything—big or small—for him. So, in the end, saying that fasting is not the most important thing is not a good excuse for avoiding it.

What, then, is the reason for fasting? To answer this let us first clarify what fasting entails. It involves more than the occasional fast, such as on Good Friday. To be effective, fasting requires disciplined eating habits all the time. There are certainly days when a person should make a greater effort at abstaining from food and drink. These are what we usually consider days of fasting and they must be practiced regularly. But, still, there are never days when a person is allowed to abandon all restraint. A person must always practice some restraint over his appetites, or those periodic days of fasting are valueless. Always keeping a check on his desires, a person develops good habits, which foster constancy in his interior life. So, in addition to practicing days of fasting on a regular basis, a person should continuously restrain his desires, such as those that incline him to eat too much, to be too concerned with what he eats, or to eat too often.

We might, then speak of the discipline of fasting in order to avoid the impression that fasting is sporadic. The operative principle behind the discipline of fasting is simple: to limit yourself to only what is necessary for your physical and psychological health—no more, no less. St. Augustine puts it concisely when he teaches: "As far as your health allows, keep your bodily appetites in check by fasting and abstinence from food and drink." So, fasting is meant only to keep a person's unnecessary wants in check. A person is not— nor is he permitted—to deny himself what is necessary for his health. The discipline of fasting instead asks a person to check his desires for what is superfluous and not necessary.

Sts. Francisco & Jacinta Marto[2]

Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three children, Portuguese shepherds from Aljustrel, received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. At that time, Europe was involved in an extremely bloody war. Portugal itself was in political turmoil, having overthrown its monarchy in 1910; the government disbanded religious organizations soon after. At the first appearance, Mary asked the children to return to that spot on the thirteenth of each month for the next six months. She also asked them to learn to read and write and to pray the rosary “to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war.” They were to pray for sinners and for the conversion of Russia, which had recently overthrown Czar Nicholas II and was soon to fall under communism. Up to 90,000 people gathered for Mary’s final apparition on October 13, 1917. Less than two years later, Francisco died of influenza in his family home. He was buried in the parish cemetery and then re-buried in the Fatima basilica in 1952. Jacinta died of influenza in Lisbon, offering her suffering for the conversion of sinners, peace in the world and the Holy Father. She was re-buried in the Fatima basilica in 1951. Their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, became a Carmelite nun and was still living when Jacinta and Francisco were beatified in 2000. Sister Lucia died five years later. The shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is visited by up to 20 million people a year.

This prayer was given by the Angel of Fatima to Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta.

Prayer:

Oh Most Holy Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
I adore Thee profoundly.
I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world,
in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and
indifferences by which He is offended.
By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I beg the conversion of poor sinners.
Amen.

In light of the fact that both Francisco and Jacinta died of influenza let us pray for our lady’s intercession in the coronavirus.

 

The Devil and Temptations[3]

There are many and varied ways in which sin and evil are presented to us in an attractive way.

Hypnotism

·         Although hypnotism is now used sometimes by respectable doctors, dentists and therapists, it was linked in the past with the occult and with superstition.

·         Even when it is legitimate, there are certain real dangers that must be very carefully considered. In hypnotism, one surrenders for a time his own capacity to reason; there is a dependence of the one hypnotized on the will of the hypnotist; also, there can be unfortunate aftereffects that result from this technique.

·         Except for a very serious reason, avoid submitting to a hypnotist; never do it for the purpose of entertainment.

Music

In our day, hard rock music played by "satanic" musical groups presents additional problems. This music often glorifies Satan and also, at times, awakens desires to commit suicide, to use drugs, and to misuse sex. The music is also known to encourage physical violence. Even hell is proposed as a desired end of life. The evil is found in the musical combination of words, rhythm and noise. Records or tapes of this kind should not be kept in the home but should be destroyed, even if they have cost a considerable amount of money. Choose the Kingdom of God!

Devil Worship

·         It goes without saying that praying to the devil, worshipping Satan, reading the Satanic bible, or taking part in a Black Mass which mocks the crucifixion of Jesus and the Eucharist are among the most serious sins that one can commit.

·         In some Satanic worship, there is at times sacrifice to Satan by a horrible killing of animals, and even the murder of human infants. The secrecy surrounding this activity enables the "Church of Satan" to obtain a certain respectability in our society. It has the same legal standing as any other church.

·         Do not be deceived; being involved in this false church is a very serious matter. Catholics who wish to repent must resign from the false religion at whatever cost, renounce Satan and their sin in all their heart, and confess this sin in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Daily Devotions

·         Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·         Manhood of the Master-week 1 day 4

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

·         Mass



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