Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 18-20
Now as all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the blast of the shofar and the mountain smoking, they became AFRAID and trembled. So, they took up a position farther away and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we shall die.” Moses answered the people, “Do not be AFRAID, for God has come only to test you and put the FEAR of him upon you so you do not sin.”
The Israelite’s were afraid and preferred to have Moses mediate for them with God rather than having a real relationship with God.
What is love? In his text On Loving God, St. Bernard surveys the four types of love that Christians experience as they grow in their relationship with God: loving one's self, selfish love, loving God as God, and loving one's self in God. St. Bernard reminds us that not only did God give us life, but He gave us Himself. For indeed, "God deserves to be loved very much, yea, boundlessly, because He loved us first, He infinite and we nothing, loved us, miserable sinners, with a love so great and so free." St. Bernard reminds us that we are indebted to God for his love and His sacrifice. Not only should we love God because it is what He deserves, but also because loving God does not go without reward. Loving God is to our advantage. The Lord rewards those who love Him with the blessed state of the heavenly Fatherland, where sorrow and sadness cannot enter. St. Bernard's medieval prose is poetic and full of clever imagery. His work is as beautiful as it is knowledgeable.
Emmalon Davis, CCEL Staff Writer
Shrove Tuesday occurs the first Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It officially ends the season of Epiphany and is the vigil for the starting of Lent. Traditionally viewed as a day of repentance, Shrove Tuesday has become the last day for celebration and feasting before the period of fasting required during the Lenten season. The name "Shrove Tuesday" is derived from the word "shrive", which means to confess and receive absolution. The name denotes a period of cleansing, wherein a person brings their lusts and appetites under subjection through abstention and self-sacrifice.
The concept behind this practice is found in 1 Corinthians 9:27, where the Apostle Paul states: "I buffet my body and make it my slave..." Ironically, Shrove Tuesday has evolved into a day of frivolity and indulgence, during which people participate in as much pleasure and self-gratification as they can before Lent begins. Shrove Tuesday originated during the Middle Ages. As in contemporary times, food items like meats, fats, eggs, milk, and fish were regarded as restricted during Lent. To keep such food from being wasted, many families would have big feasts on Shrove Tuesday in order to consume those items that would inevitably become spoiled during the next forty days.
The English tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday came about as a way to use as much milk, fats, and eggs as possible before Ash Wednesday began. In France, the consumption of all fats and fatty foods on this day coined the name "Fat Tuesday" or Mardi Gras. Originally beginning on Sunday, Shrove Tuesday was a three-day celebration that culminated in large feasts on Tuesday night. By the beginning of the 20th century, however, the event was restricted to the Tuesday observance. Carnival became associated with Shrove Tuesday, in part from the Spring Equinox celebrations that were practiced by the Romans and the ancient tribes of Europe. The word "carnival" comes from the Latin carnem levare, meaning "to take away the flesh".
However, in the New Orleans and Rio de Janiero celebrations, public revelry and carousing have become the tradition for Carnival around the world. It was mostly as a result of the Carnival celebrations that the Church restricted the observance to a single day. Shrove Tuesday has a variety of customs that have derived from different regions around Europe and the Americas. As previously mentioned, England began the tradition of serving pancakes, and for this reason the day is known as "Pancake Day". In addition, there are the annual Pancake Day Races, where contestants dress in aprons and scarves and race down a course flipping a pancake in a frying pan or skillet. In Eastern Europe, the Carnival celebrations include boisterous processions where people in large masks parade around and play jokes on bystanders. The masks are often caricatures of individuals from traditional folklore. Men and women will dress as one another and engage in gendered mimicry. The day is filled with eating, drinking, fortune telling, and practical jokes.
Perhaps the most prominent customs are the balls and pageants in New Orleans and Rio de Janiero. Like Eastern European celebrations, participants wear masks and costumes, many of which are quite flamboyant and elaborate. Rio has a parade of multi-colored feathers, which include hundreds of dancers dressed in costumes decked with feathers, all dancing the samba. In New Orleans, Mardi Gras includes a variety of parades featuring grand floats and giant effigies of eccentric characters. There is much eating, drinking, and dancing, as well as practical jokes and humorous street plays. For many Protestant believers, Shrove Tuesday holds no particular significance. For Catholics and Anglicans, however, the day is still observed with confession and absolution, in addition to modest feasting and rejoicing.
Here are a few suggestions to help you celebrate the final day before Lent.
· Today is Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras! Try some of the traditional recipes linked here. When eggs were among the foods that were forbidden by the Church during Lent, people would use them up on Fat Tuesday by mixing up large quantities of pancakes or doughnuts (also known as fastnachts).
· Read Maria von Trapp's explanation of the traditions associated with Carnival, or Fat Tuesday here.
· Sing this American favorite, Turkey in the Straw, with your children as part of your Mardi Gras celebrations.
· Discuss Jesus' Gospel teaching for today, He who would be first must be last, with your children and ask them how they can put others in the family before themselves. Keep it simple and practical — setting the table, washing the dishes, folding laundry, watching the littler ones, doing homework right away.
· What does it mean to become a child spiritually, that we may enter Heaven and be received by Christ Himself? We can learn much from St. Therese of the Child Jesus about spiritual childhood. Begin reading her Story of a Soul.
· Read Fr. William Saunder's article, Shrove Tuesday and Shrovetide, from the Catholic Culture Library.
Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) Top Events and Things to Do
· Eat pancakes! Catholics and other Christians use Shrove Tuesday to get rid of all sugar, fats and eggs in the house by making pancakes, which not only reduces waste but also temptation.
· Decide what you will sacrifice for Lent. If you are not Christian or don’t observe Lent, then consider refraining from a habit such as smoking, eating junk food or buying fast food.
· Participate in a Pancake Competition. Every year since 1950, women from the county of Liberal, Kansas compete against women from Olney, Buckinghamshire, England. Dressed in aprons and holding pancakes in frying pans, women compete against one another in this great trans-Atlantic Pancake Race.
a Mardi Gras festival and parade. Here are some recommendations:
1) Mardi Gras, New Orleans
2) St. Louis Mardi Gras, St. Louis, Missouri
3) Pensacola Mardi Gras, Pensacola, Florida
4) Galveston Mardi Gras, Houston, Texas
5) Mobile Mardi Gras, Mobile, Alabama
a twist on traditional maple syrup pancakes. Here are some suggestions:
1) Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes made with mint extract and chocolate chips. Add a few drops of green color for a burst of color.
2) Red velvet pancakes with cream cheese frosting. Add cocoa powder and red food coloring to the pancake batter.
3) Caramel banana pancakes made by layering pancakes with caramel and topping with sliced bananas
4) Blueberry peach cobbler pancakes made by layering pancakes with peach jam and topping with fresh blueberries.
Forty Hours' Devotion
Since the Shrovetide celebrations became prone to excess and scandal, Pope Benedict XIV instituted in 1748 the Forty Hours of Carnival, especially in those areas prone to such reveling. During this devotion the Blessed Sacrament is exposed during the day and Benediction held in the evening.
Mardi Gras marks the end of the Carnival season, a period observed by many Roman Catholics that starts at Epiphany on January 6 and ends on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (Mardi Gras). Since Mardi Gras is the last day before lent (a solemn period observed by prayer, repentance, fasting, and moderation), it is often associated with lavish Carnival-like celebrations.
Mardi Gras Facts
· Some families eat a festive King Cake on Mardi Gras. Although it is traditionally served on Epiphany, many cultures, especially the people of Louisiana, savor the sweet cake the night before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras cakes are often decorated with a toy baby to represent the baby Jesus.
· Although the holiday is rooted in the Christian calendar, not many churches observe it with a worship service. Most observances include festive parties, balls, and parades.
· Green, gold, and purple are the official colors of Mardi Gras, and they all have roots in Christianity. Green represents faith, while purple symbolizes justice. Gold stands for power.
· Mardi Gras is not celebrated as an official church holiday, but is celebrated because the following day starts Lent, a 40-day period of preparation and penitence before Easter. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, so Mardi Gras, French for "Fat Tuesday", is often the last day that people may indulge before beginning dietary restrictions. In Roman Catholic tradition, the faithful refrain from eating meat during Lent except on Sundays. Fish is acceptable in some Latin American countries.
Mardi Gras Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend the largest Mardi Gras celebration, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
· Make your own King cake and serve it to your family and friends.
· Wear purple, green, and gold beads to celebrate the day.
· Attend a local Mardi Gras event. Many local communities organize street fairs and celebrations for this day.
Feast of the Holy Face
Jesus Wants His Holy Face to be More Honored
Why do you think Jesus miraculously printed His Body on the holy shroud on Easter Morning? Jesus Himself gave the answer to Sister Pierina on the First Friday of Lent in 1936:
"I firmly wish that My Face reflecting the intimate pains of My Soul, the suffering and love of My Heart, be more honored! Whoever gazes upon Me, already consoles Me"...
Principal reasons why we must honor the Holy Face of Jesus
Jesus asked it of Sister Pierina on the First Friday of Lent, as we read above. This reason should be enough but for those Thomases who still doubt, there are more. Thirty-Three Popes have spoken in favor of The Holy Shroud. Here are the statements of a few of them: Leo XIII declared enthusiastically that this photograph of The Holy Shroud with its undeniable revelation of the true likeness of Christ was a providential event and "a means well-adapted in our time to stimulate everywhere a revival of the religious spirit." St. Pius X referred to the photograph as the "true image of The Holy Shroud" and declared it can be a very effective aid in meditating on the Passion and Death of our Divine Savior.
St. Pius X expressed the desire that this image be published and seen around the world and venerated in every Christian family. He recommended it to all bishops and priests and gave a special blessing to all who propagate the image and devotion to Jesus Christ pictured on the Holy Shroud.
Why do we so rarely see the picture of The Holy Face of Jesus in Catholic churches, religious orders and Catholic homes? Why are so many Catholics not more devoted to The Holy Face of Jesus? Why?
Because there is a plot of silence! Demons do not like The Holy Face of Jesus and are doing everything to stop the devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus.
How can we not fall in love with Jesus seeing His Holy Face?
Catholic churches, religious families, Catholic families have nice human pictures of Jesus. Why not have the miraculous Holy Face of Jesus given to us on Easter Morning by the risen Jesus, just as St. Pius X recommended?
When I have to choose between a picture made by a man or by Jesus, the choice is easy for me. I have The Holy Face of Jesus in my office, in my living room, in my room, in my Bible, in my Breviary, in my many books. The result: I am always walking in the presence of Jesus, thinking, loving, adoring and speaking of Jesus. Then it is also impossible not to live in the presence of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Jesus' Mother and ours.
· St. Pius X expressed the desire that the image of The Holy Shroud of Jesus be seen around the world and venerated in every Christian family. When Catholics will see The Holy Face of Jesus in their churches and hear their priests preaching St. Pius X's call to devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus, then the devotion to The Holy Face will be spread all over the world like the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If you want to please a father, speak nicely of his son and publish his picture everywhere. If you want to please God the Father, speak nicely of Jesus, and publish and show The Holy Face of Jesus everywhere. Believe me, doing so is a special way to have the Heavenly Father shower on you and your family graces and blessings so abundantly that you will be obliged to say: Heavenly Father, please stop, because my heart will burst with joy and happiness.
· Pius XII asked the faithful to spread knowledge and veneration of so great and sacred a relic. On the occasion of the golden jubilee of Sister Celine Martin, sister of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus of The Holy Face (her full religious name!), he sent her his photograph and the one of The Holy Face of Jesus! He was truly a pope with faith and without fear of the truth.
· John XXIII, on seeing the relic, said, "This can only be the Lord's doing... There we see the finger of God."
· Paul VI added these words: "The Holy Face of Jesus printed on The Holy Shroud of Turin appeared to us so true, so profound, so human and divine, that we admired and loved it like no other image..."
· John Paul I has been named "The Pope of The Holy Shroud."
· John Paul II said "The Holy Shroud is the most splendid relic of the Passion and Resurrection [of Our Lord Jesus Christ]. People say: `Who will make us see happiness? Raise the light of Thy Face over us!' We become what we contemplate... Why don't we contemplate the Icon of Icons: The Holy Face of Jesus!" Instead of icons made by man, let us venerate the greatest icon of all: The Holy Face of Jesus!
· Saint Peter Chrysologus, Father of the Church, tells us: "A love that desires to see God may not have reasonableness on its side, but it is the evidence of filial love. It gave Moses the temerity to say: 'If I have found favor in Thine eyes, show me Thy face'. It inspired the psalmist to make the same prayer: 'Show me Thy Face'. Even the pagans made their images for this purpose; they wanted to see what they mistakenly revered."
Mass of the Holy Face
The feast of The Holy Face is always on Shrove Tuesday, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Pius XII confirmed that feast on April 17, 1958 and gave the Mass of The Holy Face of Jesus for all dioceses and religious orders who ask for the Indult from Rome in order to celebrate it. Papal documents like this can be forgotten unless priests preach on them often. I hope the devotion and Mass to the Holy Face will become as popular as the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Priests who go to the Basilica of St. John, in Turin, Italy, can celebrate the Mass of The Holy Face on the very altar above which is a silver box that contains The Holy Shroud on which is imprinted the Holy Face of Jesus. There they can incense the Holy Shroud itself. I myself celebrated the Mass of The Holy Face and incensed The Holy Shroud three times, in three separate visits with my pilgrims. Great Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus and of The Holy Face, one of the greatest saints of our modern time, Patroness of Missions with St. Francis Xavier, was also one of the greatest apostles of the Holy Face. Let us all be apostles of the Holy Face of Jesus. Let us speak up and write on the Holy Face. Let us stop doubting like St. Thomas, but believe, venerate, and distribute copies and show the world the Holy Face of Jesus. I think, and I really hope that one day the Holy Face of Jesus will be seen in all Catholic churches. The Holy Face of Jesus is already in many Catholic cathedrals and churches in Montréal, Quebec City and elsewhere.
What should Catholics think and do about the devotion to the Holy Face?
Why not have a nice, large, beautiful Holy Face picture in your living room, your bedroom, in your Bible, Breviary and in your spiritual books? Like St. Paul, you will be thinking and talking only of Jesus.
To encourage the faithful to honor the Holy Face of Jesus, Jesus made wonderful promises, just as He did with the twelve promises for those who practice the devotion to His Sacred Heart.
Eight promises of Our Lord to those devoted to His Holy Face
1. I will grant them contrition so perfect that their very sins shall be changed in My sight into jewels of precious gold.
2. None of these persons shall ever be separated from Me.
3. In offering My Face to My Father they will appease His anger and they will purchase as with celestial coin pardon for poor sinners.
4. I will open My Mouth to plead with My Father to grant all the petitions that they will present to Me.
5. I will illuminate them with My light, I will consume them with My love, I will render them fruitful in good works.
6. They will, as the pious Veronica, wipe My adorable Face outraged by sin, and I will imprint My Divine Features in their souls.
7. At their death, I will renew in them the image of God effaced by sin.
8. By resemblance to My Face, they will shine more than many others in eternal life and the brilliancy of My Face will fill them with joy.
These priceless promises are drawn from the works of St. Gertrude, of St. Mechtilde and from the writings of Sister Maria de Saint-Pierre, a Carmelite, who died at Tours, in the odor of sanctity.
Family Consecration to the Holy Face of Jesus
O Lord Jesus, we believe most firmly in Thee, we love Thee. Thou art the Eternal Son of God and the Son Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thou art the Lord and Absolute Ruler of all creation. We acknowledge Thee, therefore, as the Universal Sovereign of all creatures. Thou art the Lord and Supreme Ruler of all mankind, and we, in acknowledging this, Thy dominion, consecrate ourselves to Thee now and forever. Loving Jesus, we place our family under the protection of Thy Holy Face, and of Thy Virgin Mother, Mary most sorrowful. We promise to be faithful to Thee for the rest of our lives and to observe with fidelity Thy Holy Commandments. We will never deny before men, Thee and Thy Divine rights over us and all mankind. Grant us the grace to never sin again; nevertheless, should we fail, O Divine Savior, have mercy on us and restore us to Thy grace. Radiate Thy Divine Countenance upon us and bless us now and forever. Embrace us at the hour of death in Thy Kingdom for all eternity, through the intercession of Thy Blessed Mother, of all thy Saints who behold Thee in Heaven, and the just who glorify Thee on earth, O Jesus, be mindful of us forever and never forsake us; protect our family. O Mother of Sorrows, by the eternal glory which thou dost enjoy in Heaven, through the merits of thy bitter anguish in the Sacred Passion of thy Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for us the grace that the Precious Blood shed by Jesus for the redemption of our souls, be not shed for us in vain. We love thee, O Mary. Embrace us and bless us, O Mother. Protect us in life and in death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Iceman and the Face
Here is an excerpt from my book on my South Pole adventure and my experience with the Holy Face of Christ.
“I thought about my experiences in Barbados, West Indies where I had a friendly relationship with a Jesuit Priest on the Island. I was stationed in Barbados after “A-School;” just prior to my assignment with MCB 71. It was luck or maybe providence that I got my first assignment to Barbados, West Indies. At the end of “A School”, I ended up having the highest-grade average-probably because I studied and drank less than the others drank. The Chief had six orders for Vietnam and one set of orders for Barbados. I was given the orders to Barbados.
It was while I was in Barbados that I was examining my Catholic Faith and was considering a faith change because I was also involved with a non-Catholic Pentecostal religious group and because my Father had not practiced the Catholic Faith. I was at a point where I had to decide to be a Catholic or not. I was praying about it and one night I had a horrid dream where a horribly disfigured face appeared in white on a dark background. I woke up in a sweat.
The Devil and Temptations
There are many and varied ways in which sin and evil are presented to us in an attractive way.
In the Home--Seeking God's Presence
· Although you are not a priest, as a baptized Catholic you have a power that you do not realize. St. Paul, in his letter, told the Ephesians this truth (Eph. 1:19): "How very great is his power that works in us is the same as the mighty strength which He used when He raised Christ from death and seated Him at his right side in the heavenly world. " Think about that for a while! The power of prayer is greater than we know.
· Although we do not have the power of an ordained priest, we can ask God to protect and bless our homes. It is good for us to keep blessed water in our homes and use it frequently. If we wish to ask God's blessing on our own homes, we can say a simple prayer of blessing and then sprinkle holy water in each room. Such a prayer of blessing could be something like the following:
· "Heavenly Father, we ask your blessing upon our home. In the name of your Son Jesus we ask to be delivered from sin and all evil influence. Protect us from sickness, accidents, theft and all domestic tragedies. We place our home under the Lordship of Jesus and consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May all who live here receive your blessing of peace and love."
· An "Our Father" and "Hail Mary" could also be recited.
· The consecration of the family and the home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is another beautiful Catholic custom. We need to have a crucifix and pictures of the Sacred Heart and Our Blessed Lady in our homes. We want home to be a sacred place.
· There needs to be a place in the home where the members of the family come together to pray. In some Mexican families the custom of having a little altar with pictures or statues, not only of Jesus, Mary and the saints, but also pictures of members of the family is observed. It reminds us to pray for them.
Manhood of the Master
In 1913 the renowned Harry Emerich Fosdick wrote a 12-week study on the Manhood of Jesus Christ. Fosdick writes, “This work is not a portrait of the life of the Master or a study of his teaching. It is an endeavor to understand and appreciate the quality of his character. Neither this this work an attempted to contribution to the theology; it is an endeavor, rather, to get back behind the thoughts of the centuries about him, and to see the Man Christ Jesus himself as he lives in the pages of the gospels.
During the Lenten period we will utilize the work to come closer to Christ’s manhood using this source as fruit for a study of Christ. Hopefully our study will help us rise with Christ and become true sons of Mary and the Church.
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
Havermale, Richard, The Ice is Nice and Chee Chee is Peachy, 2012.