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Friday, March 12, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Consumerism
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 Consumerism" by Fr. James Altman

Dear family, if there was one word that might underlie the modern day "fall of mankind" it very well could be consumerism. We've heard it said that we spend a lot of money we do not have on a lot of things we do not need - especially around Christmas. Surely we all are horrified by the annual satanic feast known as "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving, when we reveal just how little thanks we have.  We go from being "so thankful" for all the stuff we own, to rushing out in the wee hours of the morning to stand in line (in all kinds of weather), to be one of the first people through the door to buy a bunch more stuff. Dear family, the only Black Friday a good Catholic knows is Good Friday, for we know that on that blackest day in human history, when it seemed Lucifer had his victory, Easter Sunday was coming. How much less would we consume on the satanic holiday of Black Friday if our eyes were focused on The Resurrection of Jesus the Lord on Easter Sunday?

Consumerism is a compensating behavior. It is a behavior that compensates for the hole within us, the hurts and wounds we have accumulated, the woundedness and brokenness from which we all suffer. When we have a headache we have our go-to drug of choice, Excedrin, Tylenol or whatever. When we are hurting in our hearts and souls, we have our go-to compensating behavior. Our compensating behaviors are as addictive as any drug or any other vice into which we fall. We use it to compensate for our suffering. Such is consumerism. As with any addiction or vice, it only is a temporary anesthetic, something that relieves the suffering only temporarily. Ultimately, it is a suffering that only can be healed and filled by Divine Love.

Why is it that humanity is so susceptible to falling into compensating behaviors like consumerism, and so quick to forsake the Divine Healer? Why is it that we think more stuff will ever be enough?

It is well understood that affluence is a faith-killer. When we have all we need (indeed way more than we need) and when we can rely upon ourselves to obtain or accumulate what we think we want, we tend to forsake God. The day we think we do not have to rely upon God is the day we begin to drift away, very quickly immersing ourselves in immediate gratification through our own devices. Most certainly, we forget Jesus' admonition:

"If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides" (Matthew 6:30-33).

Anecdotally, Ireland once was an extremely poor country yet, at the same time, a rock-bed of Catholicism. Enter the economic boom of the 1990s-early 2000's. It was a time of such spectacular economic growth in Ireland that it had its own nickname: Celtic Tiger. Faith fell away. Interestingly, Ireland still has about the lowest divorce rate in the Western world, less than a third of the United States. However, recently Ireland legalized abortion and same-sex marriage and - not in small part due to the horrific failure amongst bishops and the abuse scandal - faith has decreased significantly. Similarly, from the first time I went on pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Poland in 2001, to the last time in 2017, there not only has been a very visible increase in affluence but, sadly, an increase of the seeds of immorality being sown in the public square (Beware of the young woman holding an umbrella in the broad daylight).

Here's the thing about consumerism. We already contemplated the Life Lesson of Adam and Eve - how nothing ever is enough. Far worse than that, consumerism cannot heal. Only the Divine Healer can heal the wounds within us. Only Divine Mercy can heal.

Dear family, we can build ourselves a bigger house, surround ourselves with more stuff in the house, get a bigger SUV to go get more stuff for the house - but nothing compares to being in a genuine Catholic Church, God's house, where His Son is present in the Real Presence. Nothing we can buy, nothing we can accumulate, absolutely nothing, will heal our hearts and minds and souls like being in the presence of the Real Presence. That being the case, why is it that we spend a lot more time at work, working so hard to earn some money, to pay the bills that arise from buying - consuming - so much stuff we don't need? All we really must do is spend a little less time consuming and a little more time with Jesus.

We used to have a Catholic devotion, a Catholic tradition, of stopping by the Church daily, even for just a few minutes. We were born and raised knowing that Jesus not only is present, but He waits for us in the Tabernacle. He thirsts for us to come and keep Him company. Do we understand that if we just spent a little bit of time in His Real Presence every day, something we do need, we would feel a lot less need to spend a lot of money to consume so much other stuff we do not need?

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward consumerism. We have fallen into countless times of sinfully buying stuff we do not need with money we do not have. We do this all to fill the emptiness within us, to salve the wounds within us. We turn so readily to consuming things of this world, instead of detaching ourselves from things of this world and attaching ourselves to You. We spend so much time and effort and money consuming and yet we still are not happy. We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for the consumption of temporal goods that stand in the way of our devotion to You. We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more. 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 consumerism. 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 consumerism 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 Sacred Heart of Jesus

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, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus,  we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. 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)

 Friday In the Third Week of Lent

FAST DAY

 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 6, Verse 13

The Lord, your God, shall you FEAR; him shall you serve, and by his name shall you swear.

 

Whom do you serve? What is the first thing you think of when you get up or the last thing before you sleep? We all serve something; whom or what do you serve?

 

FOLLOW ONE MASTER ONLY

 

What a sad life does he lead who wants both to please the world and to serve God! It is a great mistake to make, my friends. Apart from the fact that you are going to be unhappy all the time, you can never attain the stage at which you will be able to please the world and please God. It is as impossible a feat as trying to put an end to eternity. Take the advice that I am going to give you now and you will be less unhappy: give yourselves wholly to God or else wholly to the world. Do not look for and do not serve more than one master, and once you have chosen the one you are going to follow, do not leave him. You surely remember what Jesus Christ said to you in the Gospel: you cannot serve God and Mammon; that is to say, you cannot follow the world and the pleasures of the world and Jesus Christ with His Cross. Of course, you would be quite willing to follow God just so far and the world just so far! Let me put it even more clearly: you would like it if your conscience, if your heart, would allow you to go to the altar in the morning and the dance in the evening; to spend part of the day in church and the remainder in the cabarets or other places of amusement; to talk of God at one moment and the next to tell obscene stories or utter calumnies about your neighbor; to do a good turn for your next-door neighbor on one occasion and on some other to do him harm; in other words, to do good and speak well when you are with good people and to do wrong when you are in bad company.[1] 

Whom do you serve?[2]

 

What is meant by serving God? Doing the will of God in all things which He requires of us, in whatever state of life we may be placed, and doing this with fidelity, with unwearied zeal, and out of love for Him.

 

Who are the two masters whom we cannot serve at the same time? God and an inordinate desire for worldly gain. One cannot serve both, because they demand things that are contradictory.

 

Who are they that serve mammon, or worldly wealth? The avaricious, who, impelled by their longing for riches, offend God by manifold transgressions of His commandments.

 

Why does Christ refer us to the birds of the air and the lilies of the field? To awaken in us confidence in Divine Providence. If God feeds the young ravens (Ps. cxlvi. 9) and the birds of the air if He decks so beautifully the flowers of the field, how much more will He not care for men, whom He has created after His own image, and adopted as His children.

 

Are we, then, to use no care or labor? That by no means follows from what has been said. The Savior forbids only that anxiety, proceeding from little faith, which, in striving for maintenance, neglects God’s honor and commandments, and the good of one’s soul. For the rest, God Himself has commanded man to labor (Gen. iii. 17-19); and St. Paul says, “If any man will not work, neither let him eat” (n. Thess. iii. 10).

 

What should preserve us from excessive anxiety? A firm and living faith that God can and will help us. That He can is clear, because He is almighty; that He will is certain, for the reason that He is love that He has promised it to us, more than once, most expressly, and that He is faithful in keeping His promises.

 

Let us, then, trust in God, and daily renew our confidence in Him, particularly when we say the Creed, or when, in the Our Father, we pray, Give us this day our daily bread.

 

Consolation in Poverty

 

In your misery and poverty, say often, with Job: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; as it hath pleased the Lord so it is done; blessed be the name of the Lord (Job i. 21). Or seek comfort in these words: “We lead indeed a poor life, but we shall have many good things if we fear God and depart from all sin, and do that which is good” (Job iv. 23).

 

Warning against Usury

 

Usury is that mortal sin which takes advantage of our neighbor’s poverty and need to extort from him what is justly his own. Would that usurers might bear in mind what the Lord says: “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul?” (Matt. xvi. 26.)

 

Friday in the Third Week of Lent[3]

 

Prayer. LOOK down on our fasts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, with merciful favor, that, as we abstain from food in body, so we may fast from vice in mind.

 

EPISTLE. Numbers xx. 2-13.

 

In those days, the children of Israel came together against Moses and Aaron: and making a sedition, they said: Would God we had perished among our brethren before the Lord. Why have you brought out the Church of the Lord into the wilderness, that both we and our cattle should die? Why have you made us come up out of Egypt, and have brought us into this wretched place which cannot be sowed, nor bringeth forth figs, nor vines, nor pomegranates, neither is there any water to drink?

 

And Moses and Aaron leaving the multitude, went into the tabernacle of the covenant, and fell flat upon the ground, and cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord God, hear the cry of this people, and open to them Thy treasure, a fountain of living water, that being satisfied they may cease to murmur. And the glory of the Lord appeared over them. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Take the rod, and assemble the people together, thou and Aaron thy brother, and speak to the rock before them, and it shall yield waters. And when thou hast brought forth water out of the rock, all the multitude and their cattle shall drink. Moses therefore took the rod, which was before the Lord, as He had commanded him. And having gathered together the multitude before the rock, he said to them: Hear, ye rebellious and incredulous: Can we bring you forth water out of this rock?

 

And when Moses had lifted up his hand, and struck the rock twice with the rod, there came forth water in great abundance, so that the people and their cattle drank. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron: Because you have not believed Me, to sanctify Me before the children of Israel, you shall not bring these people into the land which I will give them. This is the water of contradiction, where the children of Israel strove with words against the Lord, and He was sanctified in them.

 

GOSPEL. John iv. 5-42.


 

At that time Jesus came to a city of Samaria which is called Sichar; near the land which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus saith to her: Give Me to drink. For His disciples were gone into the city to buy meats. Then that Samaritan woman saith to Him: How dost Thou, being a Jew, ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans. Jesus answered, and said to her: If thou didst know the gift of God, and Who He is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou perhaps wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. The woman saith to Him: Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep: from whence then hast Thou living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?


Jesus answered, and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst forever: but the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into life everlasting. The woman saith to Him: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw. Jesus saith to her: Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said I have no husband. Jesus said to her: Thou hast said well, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands: and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband. This thou hast said truly. The woman saith to him: Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet. Our fathers adored on this mountain, and you say that at Jerusalem is the place where men must adore. Jesus saith to her: Woman, believe Me, that the hour cometh when you shall neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem adore the Father. You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore Him. God is a spirit, and they that adore Him must adore Him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith to Him: I know that the Messias cometh (Who is called Christ): therefore, when He is come, He will tell us all things. Jesus saith to her: I am He Who am speaking with thee. And immediately His disciples came: and they wondered that He talked with the woman. Yet no man said: What seekest Thou, or why talkest Thou with her?


The woman therefore left her water-pot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men there: Come, and see a man Who has told me all things whatsoever I have done. Is not He the Christ?

 

They went therefore out of the city and came unto Him. In the meantime, the disciples prayed Him, saying: Rabbi, eat. But He said to them: I have meat to eat which you know not. The disciples therefore said one to another: Hath any man brought Him to eat? Jesus saith to them: My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, that I may perfect His work. Do not you say. there are yet four months, and then the harvest cometh?


Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes, and see the countries, for they are already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life everlasting: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. For in this is the saying true: that it is one man that soweth, and it is another that reapeth. I have sent you to reap that in which you did not labor, others have labored, and you have entered into their labors. Now of that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him, for the word of the woman giving testimony: He told me all things whatsoever I have done. So, when the Samaritans were come to Him, they desired Him that He would tarry there. And He abode there two days. And many more believed in Him because of His own word. And they said to the woman: We now believe, not for thy saying: for we ourselves have heard Him and know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.

 

Lenten Calendar

 

Read: The Seven Penitential Psalms, Day Four:

(During times when we wish to express repentance and especially during Lent, it is customary to pray the seven penitential psalms. The penitential designation of these psalms’ dates back to the seventh century.  Prayerfully reciting these psalms will help us to recognize our sinfulness, express our sorrow and ask for God’s forgiveness.) Today we will focus on Psalm 51.

 

Reflect: Read this reflection on Psalm 51—The Miserere: Prayer of Repentance.

 

Pray: “Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.” (Ps 51:3, NABRE)

 

Act: In this chapter, the psalmist acknowledges his sins to the Lord, and asks God to cleanse him from sin and unrighteousness. With faith in God’s purity and faithfulness, he asks to be washed and cleansed, so that his heart may be made pure. Listen to a recording of Psalm 51 as you follow along with your Bible. 


Aids in Battle[4] Demons are not a figment of your imagination

The Devil and other demons would like us to believe that they are outdated, unenlightened superstitions, but the Catholic Church remains firm, clear, and consistent in her teaching about this reality.

·         Our heavenly Father has placed over each of us an angel under whose protection and vigilance we may be enabled to escape the snares secretly prepared by our enemy, repel the dreadful attacks he makes on us.

·         Never was anyone, conceived been liberated from the Devil’s dominion except by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the mediator between God and humanity, who was conceived without sin, was born and died. He alone by His death overthrew the enemy of the human race, cancelling our sins, and unlocked the entrance to the heavenly kingdom, which the first man by his sin had locked against himself and all his posterity. COUNCIL OF FLORENCE (ECUMENICAL, 1431– 1445), SESSION 2

·         Men are separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all who follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God. POPE LEO XIII, HUMANUM GENUS (PAPAL ENCYCLICAL, 1884), 1

·         Satan manages to sow in man’s soul the seed of opposition to the one who “from the beginning” would be considered as man’s enemy— and not as Father. Man is challenged to become the adversary of God! The analysis of sin in its original dimension indicates that, through the influence of the “father of lies,” throughout the history of humanity there will be a constant pressure on man to reject God, even to the point of hating Him: “Love of self to the point of contempt for God,” as St. Augustine puts it. POPE JOHN PAUL II, DOMINUM ET VIVIFICANTEM (PAPAL ENCYCLICAL, 1986), 38

Thanks to Fear of the Lord, there is no Fear of Evil[5]

History, in fact, is not alone in the hands of dark powers, chance or human choices. Over the unleashing of evil energies, the vehement irruption of Satan, and the emergence of so many scourges and evils, the Lord rises, supreme arbiter of historical events. He leads history wisely towards the dawn of the new heavens and the new earth, sung in the final part of the book under the image of the new Jerusalem (cf. Revelation 21-22).

·         It must be reaffirmed, therefore, that God is not indifferent to human events, but penetrates them realizing his "ways," namely his plans and his efficacious "deeds."

·         According to our hymn, this divine intervention has a very specific purpose: to be a sign that invites all the peoples of the earth to conversion. Nations must learn to "read" in history a message of God. Humanity's history is not confused and without meaning, nor is it given over, without appeal, to the malfeasance of the arrogant and perverse. There is the possibility to recognize divine action hidden in it. In the pastoral constitution "Gaudium et Spes," Vatican Council II also invites the believer to scrutinize, in the light of the Gospel, the signs of the times to see in them the manifestation of the very action of God (cf. n. 4 and 11). This attitude of faith leads man to recognize the power of God operating in history, and thus to open himself to fear of the name of the Lord. In biblical language, in fact, this "fear" does not coincide with dread, but is the recognition of the mystery of the divine transcendence. Because of this, it is the basis of faith and is joined with love: "the Lord your God requires of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (cf. Deuteronomy 10:12).

·         Following this line, in our brief hymn, taken from Revelation, fear and glorification of God are united: "Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name" (15:4)? Thanks to fear of the Lord there is no fear of the evil that rages in history and one takes up again with vigor the journey of life, as the prophet Isaiah declared: "Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened: ‘Be strong, fear not!’" (Isaiah 35: 3-4).

Daily Devotions

·         Manhood of the Master-week 4 day 3

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary




[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

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

[5]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-03-12



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