Wednesday, February 24, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Elitism
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 Elitism" by Fr. Rick Heilman

In an interview with Carl E. Olson, Dr. Angelo Codevilla, author of the book, The Ruling Class, said:
"The ruling class are society's 'ins.' This class comprises persons in government, those who depend for their livelihoods on government, and whose socio-economic prospects and hopes are founded on government. Thus, it includes most people in the educational establishment, the media, and large corporations. Its leading elements and its major voting constituencies are the Democratic party. But it transcends political parties because any number of Republicans aspire to its privileges and share its priorities.
Above all, the ruling class defines itself by a set of attitudes, foremost of which is contempt for those outside itself. This contempt stems from the rather uniform education that the ruling class's members absorbed from universities and which they developed by living in their subculture. Believing themselves intelligent apostles of scientific truth, they regard others as dumb and in the grip of religious obscurantism. Religion is the greatest of the divides between the ruling class and those it deems its inferiors. Whereas they believe themselves morally good and psychologically sound, they regard others as suffering from psychological dysfunctions and phobias - effectively as bad people. The ruling class does not believe that those outside itself have the right or capacity to conduct their own lives."
The rest of us, often described as the "country class" or, as the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate called us, "deplorables," comprise most of our country. Nevertheless, the secular religion of the ruling class has captured virtually all the sources of influence: the media, Hollywood, TV, universities, public schools, etc. At the same time, unfortunately, many religious leaders seem to be tripping over themselves with shameless attempts to ingratiate themselves with this secular religion's high priests.

In today's culture, this elitism has seemed to take control, as speech or conduct contrary to the agenda of the elites is suppressed with threats:  threats against reputation, employment, property, and even one's physical safety. Let's call it what it is: They are bullies. Operating from moral relativism, which proclaims the end always justifies the means, everything - EVERYTHING! - is on the table for accomplishing the elites' goal of gaining complete power and control.

Elitism is the temptation of every human being, and we have all recognized it as early as our childhood days when the so-called "cool kids" on the playground would exert their superiority, often by ridiculing those they deemed as "beneath" them. The temptation is to compromise, surrender, or even join ranks with these elites of our day. No! Jesus calls us to be the "mighty influencers" of our culture, to be "disrupters." We are called not to promote the selfish "establishment" and their power-hungry and godless agenda, but to promote the virtues, morals, values, and ethics of God's kingdom.

The influence of the elites is strong, and in many ways, we have grown weak. More than any other time, WE NEED EACH OTHER! We need to become UNIFIED! We need to do all we can to spend as much time as possible with others who are striving to GET STRONG in the virtues of God's Kingdom. Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Parishes were always meant to be these epicenters of unity and strength. Parishes simply must work to be the best possible "spiritual gymnasiums" they can be, where those who attend are encouraged, challenged, and instructed in all the ways to become "strong in the Lord and in His mighty power" (Ephesians 6:10). Parishes must be places where we find fellow Catholics who "spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24).

I'm sure you are, like me, long past tired of the ruling class's mob claiming the moral high ground with their demonically influenced secular religion. It's high time for all of us to become a force to be reckoned with, UNITED in our resolve to GET STRONG in God's mighty power!

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward elitism. We have allowed works of evil to foment within us a heart needing approval. We have been divided and weak in our lack of resolve to seek the unity and spiritual strength to resist the elites of our culture today. In our fear and silent self-protection, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to You Lord, in our shame, and beg Your forgiveness for our lack of resolve. We beg for the grace of Your strength and power to grant us the resolve to turn back the falsehoods of the enemy by freely and openly speaking Your truth with love to a waiting world. 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 elitism and division. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully in imitation of You. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of elitism 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 St. Joseph

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 Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

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.

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. 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)


Ember Wednesday-fast day

 Numbers, Chapter 14, Verse 9

Only do not rebel against the Lord! You need not be AFRAID of the people of the land, for they are but food for us! Their protection has left them, but the Lord is with us. Do not FEAR them.”

 

There’s a happy thought, “the people of the land…are but food for us!” The Israelites were a hard people, selfish people, but little did they know that God would turn that around to Him being food for us. Yes, we are all hard people. Yes, we eat our young. Look at the comments coming out of Planned Parenthood about making so much money from tissue sales they will be driving Lamborghinis.


 

Look at the world we can see that more and more there is a battle between the light and the dark. Look at advertising, marketing, media, politics; all are fighting either for Him who is or him who thinks he is. Choose…but choose-wisely: -do not fear them.

 

Our Lady tells us the battle is already won-their protection has left them!

Ember Days[1]

One question that comes up repeatedly is why are the Ember Days only Wednesday, Friday and Saturday? Is there any rhyme or reason to these days?

In the days of the early church, Mass was originally only on Sundays. Gradually other days were added, the development can be seen in connection with the Roman Station Churches, as I wrote about last year in Roman Pilgrimage: Station Churches. The Ember Days fall on the days that had assigned stational churches, originally Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Station churches for Thursdays were a much later addition and are not included in the Ember Days.

Unique Character of the Spring or Lent Ember Days

The Lent Ember Days fall on the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday during the first week of Lent. There are four major intentions of the Quarterly Ember Days, but each set of days has a different flavor according to the corresponding liturgical season.

The Lent Ember Days were the last ones added to the liturgical calendar, and they have a slightly different character than the other three. Since the Lenten season already had fasting and abstinence, observing Ember Days in Lent only added a little extra in penance to the already formerly strict laws of Lent.

The focus of the Lenten Ember Days:

1.      Consecration of the New Season. The other Ember Days marked thanksgiving for different harvests, but the Lent Ember Days did not. Instead, this was a time of consecrating the new spring to God and asking blessing on the upcoming growing season. This was also a time of thanksgiving for the gift of light. Instead of harvest offerings on Ember Wednesday, flowers were usually presented and blessed. The symbol of the Lenten Ember Days is the Paschal and baptismal candles. (I have not found any evidence, but I conjecture that perhaps the wax harvest from the honeybee might have been featured during these Lenten Ember Days? It would seem to be a logical connection.)

2.      Days of Spiritual Renewal. Holy Mother Church provides us so many opportunities to redirect, refresh and renew. The Lenten Ember Days blends with the season of Lent, providing reminders to continue and persevere in the spirit of conversion and penance.

3.      Praying for Priests. The Church no longer regularly ordains priests during the Quarterly Ember Days, but this is a special time, particularly Ember Saturday, to pray for priests and for seminarians, particularly the ones who are about to be ordained within the year.

4.      Reflecting the Spirit of the Season. Each set of Ember Days reflect the season of the Liturgical Year in which they occur. The Lenten season focuses on our conversion of our hearts, and also a focus on the supernatural life we receive at baptism, whether it be as a catechumen or a renewal of baptismal promises.

Wednesday in the First Week of Lent[2] 

EPISTLE, m. Kings xix. 3-8. 

IN those days came Elias to Bersabee of Juda, and left his servant there, and he went forward one day s journey into the desert. And when lie was there, and sat under a junipertree, he requested for his soul that he might die, and said: It is enough for me, Lord, take away my soul: for I am no better than my fathers. And he cast himself down and slept in the shadow of the juniper-tree: and behold an angel of the Lord touched him and said to him: Arise and eat. He looked and behold there was at his head a hearth-cake, and a vessel of water: and he ate and drank, and he fell asleep again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said to him: Arise, eat: for thou hast yet a great way to go. And he arose, and ate, and drank, and walked in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights, unto the mount of God, Horeb. 

GOSPEL. Matt. xii. 38-50. 

At that time, some of the scribes and Pharisees answered Jesus, saying: Master, we would see a sign from Thee. Who answering said to them: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was in the whale’s belly three days and three nights: so, shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold a greater than Jonas here. The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and behold a greater than Solomon here. And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So, shall it be also to this wicked generation. As He was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold His Mother and His brethren stood without, seeking to speak to Him. And one said unto Him: Behold Thy Mother and Thy brethren stand without, seeking Thee. But He answering him that told Him, said: Who is My Mother, and who are My brethren? And stretching forth His hand towards His disciples, He said: Behold My Mother and My brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my father, that is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother. 

Prayer. Mercifully hear our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and against all our adversaries extend the right hand of Thy majesty. Amen. 

What are the Ember-Days? 

Days instituted to thank God, each season of the year, for the benefits received during that season, and to remind the faithful, each quarter of the year, of the duty of penance; also, to pray to God for deserving priests, for on those days the ordination of priests usually takes place. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions)

 

·         The Ember Days are four series of Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays which correspond to the natural seasons of the year. Autumn brings the September, or Michaelmas, Embertide; winter, the Advent Embertide; Spring, the Lenten Embertide; and in summer, the Whit Embertide (named after Whitsunday, the Feast of Pentecost).

·         The English title for these days, "Ember," is derived from their Latin name: Quatuor Temporum, meaning the "Four Times" or "Four Seasons."

·         The Embertides are periods of prayer and fasting, with each day having its own special Mass.

·         Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday were days of particularly devotion in the early church: Wednesday, as recalling the betrayal of our Lord, and Friday in memory of His Passion, Saturday was later added to these days of prayer and penance as a continuation of Friday, and as far back as the second century they were set apart as Stational days, that is as days of special religious service and fasting.

·         The Ember Days, although the occasion of their institution is uncertain, are a reminder of these ancient days of devotion. Their purpose is to thank God for the fruits of the earth and other gifts of nature, to teach moderation in their use, and to assist the needy. From the time of Pope Gelasius in the fifth century it has been allowed to confer the diaconate and priesthood on the Saturdays of Ember weeks. 

The Four Occurrences of Ember Days are as Follows: 

·         Winter: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of St. Lucy. 

·         Spring: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Ash Wednesday. 

·         Summer: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Pentecost. 

·         Fall: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of the Holy Cross. 

Lenten Calendar[3] 

Read: Pope Francis’s 2019 Message for Lent. . . .  

Reflect “…we could also say that there is only one real kind of poverty: not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.” (Pope Francis, Message for Lent, 2014) 

Pray: Today is the sixth anniversary of Pope Francis’s election as Supreme Pontiff. Take time to pray for him.  

Act: Having read the pope’s Message for Lent 2019, take time to journal about what struck you most about his message.   

Ember Day Prayers[4]

Prayer: Antiphon: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He hath done for thee.
V. Lord, Thou has been our refuge. R. From generation to generation.

Let us Pray: Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that as year by year we devoutly keep these holy observances, we may be pleasing to Thee both in body and soul. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

In Honor of Christ's Betrayal and Passion

O God, Who for the world's Redemption was pleased to be born, circumcised, rejected by the Jews, betrayed by the kiss of traitor Judas, bound with chains, led like an innocent lamb to sacrifice, and shamefully presented before Annas, Caiphas, Pilate, and Herod, accused by false witnesses, beaten with whips, buffeted, insulted, spat upon, crowned with thorns, smitten with a reed, blindfolded, stripped of Thy garments, fastened with nails to the cross and lifted up on high, reputed among thieves, made to drink gall and vinegar and wounded by a lance; oh, by these most sacred sufferings, which, unworthy as I am, I thus commemorate, and by Thy holy cross and death, deliver me, Lord, from the pains of hell, and deign to lead me where Thou didst lead me where Thou didst lead the penitent thief, who was crucified by Thy side. Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest, forever and ever. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc. five times.

Prayer for God's Blessing on our Labors

O Lord, graciously look down upon Thy servants and upon the work of their hands, and do Thou, Who givest food to every creature, bless and preserve the fruits of the earth, that the needy may be filled with good things and that all may praise the glory of Thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Vocations to the Priesthood

Antiphon. Why stand ye all the day idle, go ye into my vineyard.
V. Ask the Lord of the harvest.
R. That He send laborers into His vineyard.

Let us Pray God, who willest not the death of the sinner, but rather that he be converted and live; grant, by the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin and of all saints, laborers for Thy Church, fellow laborers with Christ, to spend and consume themselves for souls. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer Source: Blessed Be God: A Complete Catholic Prayer Book by Charles J. Callan, OP, S.T.M, P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1961

Preparing for Battle[5]

Know Your Commander and Comrades

Our Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Conqueror of hell and death, calls us to battle alongside Him against the Enemy so that we can have a share in His victory. To fight the good fight, however, we must know not only our adversary and his strategies; we must also know the comrades that our great Commander has given to us. Our comrades in arms are our Lady and the Saints. Just as Eve’s yes to the Enemy’s temptation brought death and the Devil’s domination into the world, so Mary’s yes to God opened the door for the ultimate victory of her Son over Satan. 

Whenever the Enemy’s assaults on us seem to multiply, we should call on Mary not just as our Blessed Mother, but as a mighty warrior before whom the demon’s tremble. St. Bonaventure once put it: “Men do not fear a powerful, hostile army as much as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary.” 

We also have the aid of St. Michael and the Angels. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them” (Ps 34: 7). 

We also have our fellow Christians. We must not focus so much on heavenly warriors that we forget our earthly comrades-in-arms. Our brother and sister soldiers in the battles of this life need our support, and we need theirs. We should be praying daily with them and for them, spiritual soldiers “vigilant in all perseverance and supplication for all” our fellow combatants (Eph 6: 18). We should be offering them encouragement and counsel when we find them weary or confused, tempted by the Devil’s lies, accusations, doubts, enticements, and provocations. Roman soldiers were taught to fight alongside comrades with their backs toward one another. That way, as they battled the enemy, they were protecting one another’s backs. One man’s sword was another man’s shield. If they didn’t fight in this way, they were exposed to mortal danger. The same is true in spiritual warfare. Wherever a fellow soldier is vulnerable to the Enemy’s onslaught, we must make up the difference with the shield of our faith. This is one important reason why Our Lord established the Church. His grace to conquer the Enemy comes to us through her worship, her sacraments, and her teaching.

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.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·         Do Day 27 of the Consecration to St. Joseph

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

 


Daily Devotions

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Manhood of the Master-week 2 day 1

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions

[4]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1369

[5]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.



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