Sunday, February 14, 2020

 Quinquagesima Sunday

Valentine’s Day 

Exodus, Chapter 14, Verse 30-31

30 Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day from the power of Egypt. When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore 31 and saw the great power that the LORD had shown against Egypt, the people FEARED the LORD. They believed in the LORD and in Moses his servant.

 

The Hebrew’s after the crossing of the red sea and seeing Gods great power feared Him with human fear; but not Holy fear. There was no love towards God; only fear. God desires a spiritual union with us; therefore our belief must be mingled with great love and affection. This is why later Israel would make the golden calf since their hearts were dead to God after 400 years in Egypt. What was it about Egypt that enslaved the Israelites even after they were freed by God? Egypt was rich, so rich that even the Israelites were as self-indulgent as the Egyptians. It meant a daily life of giving in to your desires and the brief enjoyments of this passing life.

 

·         They only thought of satisfying themselves with no thought of He that Is.

·         They made faint offerings to false gods to justify their behavior.

·         Their minds became weak and confused.

·         Their mistakes and sins robbed them of peace that only comes from doing the will of He that Is.

 

We only find peace and happiness when we are in union with God and doing His Holy will. We are created by God for eternal happiness with Him. Things cannot bring us happiness.

 

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength.

Power of Egypt[1]

The power of Egypt was the worship of demons back thousands of years ago. The occult still is around today and just as in the Holy Church, some official rites are required and are tied to particular feast days. The most important is Halloween, which falls on the night between October 31 and November 1 of each year: it is considered the magic New Year. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the extreme danger for our children and youth who participate in the feast of Halloween on that date. The second precedes our feast of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple on February 2. The night before, in fact, begins the magic spring. We need not fear but look with love to our Lord. Perhaps we could attend Mass this day and offer God our prayers and love.

Daily Devotions/Prayers

 

Drops of Christ’s Blood[2] St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, with St. Matilda and St. Bridget, wishing to know something of the Passion of Jesus Christ, offered fervent and special prayers. Upon which Our Lord revealed to them:

 

To all the faithful who shall recite for 3 years, each day, 2 Our Fathers, 2 Hail Mary’s and 2 Glory Be’s in honor of the drops of Blood I lost, I will concede the following 5 graces:

 

1.      The plenary indulgence and remittance of your sins.

2.      You will be free from the pains of Purgatory.

3.      If you should die before completing the said 3 years, for you it will be the same as if you had completed them.

4.      It will be upon your death the same as if you had shed all your blood for the Holy Faith.

5.      I will descend from Heaven to take your soul and that of your relatives, until the fourth generation.

 

Blessed by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII in Rome, April 5, 1890

 

The thought of saving souls should always be on our mind. St. John Bosco stated it well. "There is nothing more holy in this world than to work for the good of souls, for whose salvation Jesus Christ poured out the last drops of His blood." St. Vincent de Paul tells us that: "The salvation of men and our own are so great a good that they merit to be obtained at any price." 


Sad to say, the great majority of Catholics put forth little or no effort in promoting the greater honor and glory of God and the salvation of souls. Let us keep in mind that if we manage to save one soul, we also ensure the salvation of our own. The Holy Ghost reveals this to us in the Holy Bible. [St. James 5: 19-20] This little practice gives us a very easy way to save our own soul as well as the ones dearest to us------our family.

 ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[3] 

CHAPTER I 

DIES DOMINI 

"God blessed the seventh day and made it holy" (Gn 2:3)

15. All human life, and therefore all human time, must become praise of the Creator and thanksgiving to him. But man's relationship with God also demands times of explicit prayer, in which the relationship becomes an intense dialogue, involving every dimension of the person. "The Lord's Day" is the day of this relationship par excellence when men and women raise their song to God and become the voice of all creation.

This is precisely why it is also the day of rest. Speaking vividly as it does of "renewal" and "detachment", the interruption of the often-oppressive rhythm of work expresses the dependence of man and the cosmos upon God. Everything belongs to God! The Lord's Day returns again and again to declare this principle within the weekly reckoning of time. The "Sabbath" has therefore been interpreted evocatively as a determining element in the kind of "sacred architecture" of time which marks biblical revelation. It recalls that the universe and history belong to God; and without a constant awareness of that truth, man cannot serve in the world as co-workr of the Creator.

Quinquagesima[4]

 

"We are going up to Jerusalem" -- a setting of the stage for the pilgrimage of Lent, and the one thing we must bring with us: charity. [Also, traditional time for going to confession]

In the Roman Catholic Church, the terms for this Sunday (and the two immediately before it — Sexagesima and Septuagesima Sundays) were eliminated in the reforms following the Second Vatican Council, and these Sundays are part of Ordinary Time. According to the reformed Roman Rite Roman Catholic calendar, this Sunday is now known by its number within Ordinary Time — fourth through ninth, depending upon the date of Easter. The earlier form of the Roman Rite, with its references to Quinquagesima Sunday, and to the Sexagesima and Septuagesima Sundays, continues to be observed in some communities. In traditional lectionaries, the Sunday concentrates on Luke 18:31–43, "Jesus took the twelve aside and said, 'Lo, we go to Jerusalem, and everything written by the prophets about the Son of Man shall be fulfilled' ... The disciples, however, understood none of this," which from verse 35 is followed by Luke's version of Healing the blind near Jericho. The passage presages the themes of Lent and Holy Week.

ON[5] this Sunday the Church, in the Introit, calls upon God for help, with a sorrowful but confident heart. Be Thou unto me a protector and place of refuge; save me, for Thou art my strength and refuge, and for Thy name s sake Thou wilt be my leader, and wilt nourish me. In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded; deliver me in Thy justice, and set me free; (Ps. xxx. 3, 4, 2).

Mercifully hear our prayers, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and, absolving us from the bonds of sin, preserve us from all adversity. Amen.

EPISTLE, i. COT. xiii. 1-13.

Brethren: If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal; and if I should have prophecy, and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth: beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner: but then face to face. Now I know in part: but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain, faith, hope, charity: these three, but the greatest of these is charity.

Explanation. St. Paul here teaches the Romans, and us in them, the necessity, the qualities, and the advantages of charity: The necessity because all natural and supernatural gifts all good works, virtues, and sacrifices even martyrdom itself cannot save us if we have no charity. By charity only are we and our works pleasing to God. The qualities of charity which are good-will without envy, suspicion, perversity, or malice; pure intention without selflove, ambition, immodesty, or injustice; untiring patience without hastiness; and, finally, humble submission to God, Who is all to him that possesses charity. The advantages of charity in that it gives to good works their value, and that it never fails; for while all things else cease while faith passes into seeing, hope into possession, knowledge in part into knowledge of the whole charity is ever lasting, and therefore the greatest of the three. Faith, “says St. Augustine,”; lays the foundation of the house of God; hope builds up the walls; charity covers and completes it.”

Aspiration. O God of love pour into my heart the spirit of charity, that, according to the spirit of St. Paul, I may always endeavor to be in the state of grace, that so all my works may be pleasing to Thee, and of merit to me. Amen.

GOSPEL. Luke xviii. 31-43.

At that time: Jesus took unto Him the twelve, and said to them: Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of man; for He shall be delivered to the gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon: and after they have scourged Him they will put Him to death, and the third day He shall rise again. And they understood none of these things, and this word was hid from them, and they understood not the things that were said. Now it came to pass when He drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the wayside, begging. And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. And they that went before, rebuked him, that he should hold his peace. But he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus standing commanded him to be brought unto Him. And when he was come near, He asked him, saying: What wilt thou that I do to thee? But he said: Lord, that I may see. And Jesus said to him: Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he saw, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people when they saw it gave praise to God.

Why did Our Savior so often predict His sufferings to His apostles?  

1. To show that He already knew of them, thereby indicating His omniscience; and that,

2. He desired to suffer.

3. In order that His disciples should not be scandalized at His humiliation, nor think evil of Him as if He had deceived them, but by remembering His words, be rather confirmed in their belief in Him as the Son of God and Redeemer of the world.

Did not the apostles understand anything of what He thus predicted in regard to His sufferings?

They may have known that He was to suffer, for St. Peter undertook to dissuade Him from it (Matt. xvi. 22), but they could not reconcile these predictions with their expectation of a future glorious kingdom. Nor would we be able to cast off our prejudices, and understand the truths of the faith, however plainly taught, were we not enlightened by the Holy Ghost.

What should we learn from this history of the blind man?

1. The inexpressible misfortune of blindness of the heart a state in which we know not our God, our Redeemer and Sanctifier, and see neither the way of divine life, nor the hindrances to our salvation, but grope about in the darkness of ignorance and sin.

2. Where to find One Who will save us from this awful condition, in Jesus Christ healing and enlightening us through and in His Church.

3. The holy zeal and perseverance with which we should seek and call upon Him for deliverance, disregarding alike the bad examples, persecutions, and mockery of the world.

4. How fervently we should thank God, and how faithfully we should follow Him, after He has opened the eyes of our soul and freed us, by His grace, from the spiritual blindness of sin.

Eastern Orthodox Church

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, its equivalent, the Sunday before Great Lent, is called "Forgiveness Sunday", "Maslenitsa Sunday", or "Cheesefare Sunday". The latter name comes because this Sunday concludes Maslenitsa, the week in which butter and cheese may be eaten, which are prohibited during Great Lent. The former name derives from the fact that this Sunday is followed by a special Vespers called "Forgiveness Vespers" which opens Great Lent. On this day the Eastern Orthodox Church Christians at the liturgy listen to the Gospel speaking of forgiveness of sins, fasting, and the gathering of treasures in heaven. On this day, all Orthodox Christians ask each other for forgiveness to begin the Great Lent with a good heart, to focus on the spiritual life, to purify the heart from sin in confession, and to meet Easter - the day of the Resurrection of Jesus with a pure heart. This is the last day before Lent when non-lenten food is eaten.


 

NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE

DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER

 O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Eighth Day

Psalm 51, 16-17.
O rescue me, God my helper, and my tongue shall ring out your goodness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.

Most merciful Face of Jesus, who in this vale of tears was so moved by our misfortunes to call yourself the healer of the sick, and the good Shepherd of the souls gone astray, allow not Satan to draw us away from you, but keep us always under your loving protection, together with all souls who endeavor to console you. Mary, our Mother, intercede for us, Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.

Prayer to Saint Peter

O glorious Saint Peter, who in return for thy lively and generous faith, thy profound and sincere humility and thy burning love, was honored by Jesus Christ with singular privileges, and in particular, with the leadership of the other apostles and the primacy of the whole church, of which thou was made the foundation stone, do thou obtain for us the grace of a lively faith, that shall not fear to profess itself openly in its entirety and in all of its manifestations, even to the shedding of blood, if occasion should demand it, and to the sacrifice of life itself in preference to surrender. Obtain for us likewise a sincere loyalty to our Holy Mother the Church. Grant that we may ever remain most closely and sincerely united to the Holy Father, who is the heir of thy faith and of thy authority, the one true visible head of the Catholic Church. Grant, moreover, that we may follow, in all humility and meekness, the Church’s teaching and counsels and may be obedient to all her precepts, in order to be able here on earth to enjoy a peace that is sure and undisturbed, and to attain one day in heaven to everlasting happiness. Amen.

Pray one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)


 The Devil and Temptations[6]

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

The New Age Movement

·         Although virtually unknown a few years ago, this movement is gaining in popularity on an international level. On the surface it appears to be a "peace" movement, but in my estimation, it definitely belongs to the occult. This is because it presents some basic characteristics that are identified with the occult, even though Satan is not mentioned.

·         For example, the "god" of the New Age is not the God of Christianity and Judaism. The New Age god is more like an impersonal energy or force of which the whole universe consists. This is a form of pantheism. For us God is Creator and Lord of all. We are his creatures. In the New Age, Jesus becomes one of the many spiritual masters who discovered his higher self. It is believed that in the New Age we can also be enlightened, and this through our own efforts not through revelation and the grace of God.

·         The New Age Movement is sometimes called a peace movement. Somehow, it is said, that when we become a part of this "Harmonic Convergence" we can bring to bear a mighty power that is beyond ourselves for achieving world peace. But when we talk about any power that is not from God, and beyond ourselves we are really talking about the occult.

·         Do not be deceived by the talk about ecology, the beauty of nature in the world, and the fundamental goodness of the apparent goals of this movement. Those who join the New Age Movement are entering a movement dealing with occult spiritual power. It is not a spiritual power that comes from God, but from the Kingdom of False Light and Darkness.

Valentine's Day[7]

 

Valentine's Day is a celebration of love and friendship. The holiday derived its name from two Roman martyrs for love, both named Valentine.  The first Valentine was beheaded on February 14th, but not before leaving a note signed from your Valentine for his lady. The second Valentine was supposedly a bishop who secretly married young couples, an act that was forbidden by the Roman Emperor who wanted young men to first serve as soldiers before marrying.  Valentine ignored the law and was beheaded on February 14. An ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia, a celebration for which young men randomly chose the name of a young girl to escort to the festivities, has also been linked to the origins of Valentine's Day.

 

Since then, the custom of selecting a sweetheart on February 14th has spread through Europe and its colonies and transformed itself into the celebration of love and friendship that we know today.

 

Valentine's Day Facts & Quotes

 

·         Symbols for Valentine's day include hearts, chocolate, flowers, and Cupid - the Roman God of Love.

·         52% of US consumers will send out at least 1 Valentine's Day card, 47% will send candy, and 34% will send flowers.

·         Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore, is winged Cupid painted blind. - William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream)

 

Valentine's Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Send someone you care for a Valentine's Day card. Take the time to write a small note or love poem inside. Sign it, from your Valentine.

·         Go to a special romantic dinner with your sweetheart.  Tip: Book early as this is one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants.

·         Watch the movie Valentine's Day (2010) or the Notebook (2004). Both are romance movies with star casts.

·         Send a Secret Valentine to someone several days before, and then reveal your identity on February 14th.

·         Remember other important people in your life, such as your parents, grandparents and old friends. Send them a small card or gift to remind them of how much you care.

Catholic Things to Do[8]

·         Read the Golden Legend account of St. Valentine's life.

·         Pray to St. Valentine for an increase of true, sacrificial love within marriages.

·         Make Valentines for those closest to you — your family and friends. If you have children, teach them to make valentines from red construction paper and doilies.

·         Begin to read and discuss some of St. John Paul II's works on marriage; for example, Love and Responsibility or his The Theology of the Body Human Love in the Divine Plan (Parish Resources).

World Marriage Day[9]


 

The Two Ends or Purposes of Marriage

 

Marriage has two fundamental ends or purposes towards which it is oriented, namely, the good of the spouses as well as the procreation of children. Thus, the Church teaches that marriage is both unitive and procreative, and that it is inseparably both.

 

Unitive

 

Pope John Paul II ‘s theology of the body speaks of the human body as having a spousal significance. This means that the human body by its very nature signifies that we humans are directed to relationship—that we are to seek union with others. For it is only in relationship that we achieve a true wholeness as a communion of persons. Before Eve was created, Adam was alone. His joy upon perceiving Eve indicated that with Eve he achieved the―original unity that human nature seeks. God clearly made human beings to love and to be loved, to be in relationships wherein the act of giving oneself and receiving the other becomes complete.

 

In this context, the word ―original means not only that these experiences go back to the dawn of human history but, more importantly, that they are key to understanding our most basic human experiences. The experience of Adam and Eve speaks powerfully to our search not only to understand ourselves but also to love and be loved, to be in a relationship of love with a person of the opposite sex. God established marriage so that man and woman could participate in his love and thus selflessly give themselves to each other in love. A man and a woman who by their act of consent are no longer two but one flesh (see Mt 19:6ff.) render mutual help and service to each other through an intimate union of their persons and of their actions.―My lover belongs to me and I to him (Song 2:16; see Song6:3).With all the dignity and simplicity of poetry, the Bride in the Song of Songs sings of the unitive meaning of married love.―You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride. . . . How beautiful is your love! (Song 4:9-10).

 

So responds the Bridegroom of the Song, overcome with the wonder of conjugal love that is extended to him by the Bride. This is the love that is strong as death (see Song 8:6b). Just as beautifully, Tobiah prays with his wife, Sarah, on their wedding night, awestruck at the mercy of the God of their fathers, that is, the God of the covenant, in bringing them together in a union of true conjugal love: Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever. You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, ―It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself. Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her and allow us to live together to a happy old age. (Tb 8:5-7) The love that is as strong as death is the love that prays and praises, caught up into divine love.

 

Procreative

 

It is the nature of love to overflow, to be life-giving. Thus, it is no surprise that marriage is ordained not only to growing in love but to transmitting life: ―by its very nature the institution of marriage and married love [is]ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory. Married love itself is ordered to the procreation of children, for, after all, the first command given to Adam and Eve is―be fertile and multiply (Gn 1:28). Tobiah ‘s prayer, even as it asks for a happy and lifelong union, remembers that the human race descended from Adam and Eve. His prayer for happiness certainly includes, even if implicitly, a prayer for offspring. God indeed sends the couple seven sons (Tb 14:3) and long life (Tb 14:14).

 

Again, in the words of the Second Vatican Council: Children are the supreme gift of marriage. . .. Without intending to underestimate the other ends of marriage, it must be said that true married love and the family life which flows from it have this end in view: that the spouses would cooperate generously with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will in due time increase and enrich his family. Children are a gift in a myriad of ways. They bring joy even in the midst of heartaches; they give added direction to the lives of their parents. Children, who are the fruit of love and meaningful commitment, are a cause of love and meaning.

 

It is true that some marriages will not result in procreation due to infertility, even though the couple is capable of the natural act by which procreation takes place. Indeed, this situation often comes as a surprise and can be a source of deep disappointment, anxiety, and even great suffering for a husband and wife. When such tragedy affects a marriage, a couple may be tempted to think that their union is not complete or truly blessed. This is not true. The marital union of a man and a woman is a distinctive communion of persons. An infertile couple continues to manifest this attribute. Even when their child-bearing years have passed, a couple should continue to be life-affirming. They can do this by staying involved in the lives of young people, and especially their grandchildren, as spiritual mentors, teachers, and wisdom figures. They can also continue to be nurturing through the exercise of care for those who are needy, disabled, or pushed to the margins of society, and by their support for or participation in works of charity and justice.

 

Daily Devotions

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Devotion of the Seven Sundays: St Joseph-2nd Sunday

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary




[1]Amorth, Fr. Gabriele. An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels

[4]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinquagesima

[5]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[8]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2017-02-14

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