"FIAT NOVENA" - NOVENA OF DAYS FROM CHRIST'S CONCEPTION TO DEATH
Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Worldliness
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.
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
"Christ's reason for taking upon Himself a human nature was to pay for sin by death on the cross and to bring us a higher life ... This higher life which is divine, distinct from the human, is called grace, because it is gratis or a free gift of God ... Man may live at three different levels: the sensate, the intellectual, and the divine. These may be likened to a three-story house.The sensate level, or the first floor, represents those who deny any other reality except the pleasures that come from the flesh. Their house is rather poorly furnished and is capable of giving intermittent thrills which quickly dry up. The occupant of this first floor is not interested in being told of higher levels of existence; in fact, he may even deny their existence.On the second floor, there is the intellectual level of existence, that of the scientist, the historian, the journalist, the humanist; the man who has brought to a peak all of the powers of human reason and human will. This is a much more comfortable kind of existence, and far more satisfying to the human spirit. Those on the second floor may think their floor is 'a closed universe,' regarding as superstitious those who desire a higher form of life.But there is actually a third floor which is the floor of grace by which the human heart is illumined by truths which reason cannot know; by which the will is strengthened by a power quite beyond all psychological aids, and the heart is entranced with the love which never fails; which gives a peace that cannot be found on the two lower levels ...The world, therefore, is divided into the 'once born' and the 'twice born': between the sons of the old Adam, and the sons of the new Adam, Christ; between the unregenerate and the regenerate. There is a real inequality in the world. There are 'superior' and 'inferior' peoples, but the basis of distinction is not color, race, nationality, or wealth. The superior people of the earth are the supermen, the God-men; the inferior people are those who have been called to that superior state but, as yet, have not embraced it."
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ graciously hear 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, 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,
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.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.
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 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 of the Fifth Week of Lent
FRIDAY OF SORROWS-SPINACH DAY
Deuteronomy, Chapter 19, Verse 16-20
16 If a hostile witness rises against someone to accuse that person of wrongdoing, 17 the two parties in the dispute shall appear in the presence of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and judges in office at that time, 18 and the judges must investigate it thoroughly. If the witness is a false witness and has falsely accused the other, 19 you shall do to the false witness just as that false witness planned to do to the other. Thus, shall you purge the evil from your midst. 20 The rest shall hear and be AFRAID, and never again do such an evil thing as this in your midst. 21 Do not show pity. Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot!
This is some pretty hard stuff. Yet, we should not be namby-pamby either. There should be a system of justice and we should be just people. Christ reminds us that if we want justice, we must be just ourselves.
The Gospel of St. Matthew records these words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:
5:38 "You have heard that it was said, —An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 5:39 But I say to you, do not resist one who is evil. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; 5:40 and if anyone would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; 5:41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 5:42 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, —You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 5:47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Answer provided by Fr. John Echert on 6/12/2001 via EWTN.
Friday of the Fifth Week of Lentin First Passion Week
Prayer. MERCIFULLY infuse Thy grace into our hearts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, by doing voluntary penance for our sins, we may be punished here, rather than be condemned to punishment for eternity.
EPISTLE. Jerem. xvii. 13-18.
In those days Jeremias said: O Lord, the hope of Israel: all that forsake Thee shall be confounded: they that depart from Thee, shall be written in the earth: because they have forsaken the Lord the vein of living waters: heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise. Behold they say to me: Where is the word of the Lord? let it come. And I am not troubled, following Thee for my pastor: and I have not desired the day of man, Thou knowest it. That which went out of my lips, hath been right in Thy sight. Be not Thou a terror unto me, thou art my hope in the day of affliction. Let them be confounded that persecute me, and let not me be confounded: let them be afraid, and let not me be afraid: bring upon them the day of affliction, and with a double destruction, destroy them, O Lord our God.
GOSPEL. John xi. 47-54.
At that time: The chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said: What do we, for this man doth many miracles?
If we let Him alone so, all will believe
in Him, and the Romans will come, and take away our place and nation. But one
of them named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know
nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man
should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this he
spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied
that Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to
gather together in one the children of God, that were dispersed. From that day,
therefore, they devised to put Him to death. Wherefore Jesus walked no more
openly among the Jews, but He went into a country near the desert, unto a city
that is called Ephrem, and there He abode with His disciples.
Read: “Wherefore, we ask, urgently and prayerfully, that we, as people of God, make of the entire Lenten Season a period of special penitential observance. Following the instructions of the Holy See, we declare that the obligation both too fast and to abstain from meat, an obligation observed under a stricter formality by our fathers in the faith, still binds on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. No Catholic Christian will lightly excuse himself from so hallowed an obligation on the Wednesday which solemnly opens the Lenten season and, on that Friday, called ‘Good’ because on that day Christ suffered in the flesh and died for our sins. . .. Gratefully remembering this, Catholic peoples from time immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they may one day be glorified with Him. This is the heart of the tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church.”
(1966 USCCB Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence, no. 12 and no. 18)
Reflect: "If you have fasted two or three
days, do not think yourself better than others who do not fast. You fast and
are angry; another eats and wears a smiling face."
—St. Jerome, Letters, 22.37
Pray: Pray that abstinence from some of your favorite things this Lenten season will help bring you closer to God long after the season is over.
Act: Take note of the meatless meals you have
enjoyed this Lent. Add your favorites to your family’s regular meal rotation once Lent is
Friday of Sorrows
A special commemoration, one week before Good Friday, of Mary's compassion for (literally, "suffering with") Her innocent son.
The Friday of Sorrows is a solemn pious remembrance of the sorrowful Blessed Virgin Mary on the Friday before Palm Sunday held in the fifth week of Lent (formerly called "Passion Week"). In Divine Worship: The Missal it is called Saint Mary in Passiontide and sometimes it is traditionally known as Our Lady in Passiontide.
In certain Catholic countries, especially in Mexico, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Malta, Nicaragua and the Philippines, it is seen as the beginning of the Holy Week celebrations and termed as Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows). It takes place exactly one week before Good Friday, and concentrates on the emotional pain that the Passion of Jesus Christ caused to his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is venerated under the title Our Lady of Sorrows. In certain Spanish-speaking countries, the day is also referred to as Council Friday, because of the choice of John 11:47-54 as the Gospel passage read in the Tridentine Mass on that day (which is now read in slightly expanded form on Saturday of the fifth week of Lent), which recounts the conciliar meeting of the Sanhedrin priests to discuss what to do with Jesus. Like all Fridays in Lent, this Friday is a day of abstinence from meat, unless the national episcopal conference has indicated alternative forms of penance. A similar commemoration in sympathy with the Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Solitude is held on Black Saturday.
In this exhortation, Pope Francis is very clear – he is doing his duty as the Vicar of Christ, by strongly urging each and every Christian to freely, and without any qualifications, acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be – that is 'to be holy, as He is holy' (1 Pet 1:15).
The mission entrusted to each of us in the waters of baptism was simple – by God's grace and power, we are called to become saints. 'Do not be afraid of holiness (no. 32).' In a way, each one of us has a fear of striving for holiness – a fear that we would be mocked, ignored, or even hated by others because we would stand out. Yet that is what the Lord has called each and every person to! Pope Francis calls us out: A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for 'this is the will of God, your sanctification (I Thess 4:3) (no. 19).'
Holiness comes through the daily struggles each of us face. In the ordinary course of each day, the Pope reminds us, 'We need to recognize and combat our aggressive and selfish inclinations, and not let them take root' (no. 114). Yet, he says, this 'battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives' (no. 158). We need to have civility in all our interactions, especially in the media. 'Christians too,' the Holy Father writes, 'can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication.' This can be true even in Catholic media (no. 115). Even in our heated disagreements with one another, we always need to remember that it is God who judges, not man (James 4:12).' In the light of Easter joy, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, I encourage every Christian to rekindle their baptismal call to be holy by reading this wonderful exhortation by Pope Francis, especially the beautiful section on the Beatitudes. Through an exploration of the Beatitudes, and by offering examples of how to live out our call to holiness in everyday life, the Holy Father has given us a wonderful tool for renewing our love for God and for each other."
Prayers for the Dead
Relationships never end and neither should our prayers for
the dead. In addition to PRAYERS, we should also offer up Masses for them and
offer indulgences for their benefit. The dead cannot pray for themselves but
they can pray for us and we in turn should pray for them.
Fasting and Mortification
Modern man and the media often portray persons that fast as deranged, passé or even ignorant. However, fasting and bodily discipline are truly the marks of a man or woman of mature intellect which has mastery over not only the mind but also the body and spirit. St. Paul put it in stronger terms, “put to death therefore what is earthly in you (Col. 3:5).” Jesus has also said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Christ knew we become attached to created things and to the pleasure they bring us. St. Augustine said that sin begins as a turning away from God and a turning toward lesser goods. When we sin, we don’t choose evil. We choose something less than God and His will. Our bodies want more than they need, so we must give them less than they want. Our bodies must be subject to our reason—or our reason will soon be subjected to our bodies. St. Paul went even further. “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Cor. 9:27). Nevertheless, our goal should be to let our reason/soul cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
Chassidic philosophy demonstrates three ways in which the body and soul can interact:
Ø The soul can try and mitigate the urges of the body. Things that look good, taste good and feel good are stimulating and addictive. Most of us live life with our body in the driver’s seat. The soul just can’t compete. And so, the soul tries to negotiate reasonably, and encourages moderation.
Ø Or, the soul can choose to reject the body and abhor anything associated with materialism. The soul-driven person would then rebel against society’s shallow and false veneers. Simplicity and ascetism become the ultimate goals of the soul.
Ø The third scenario is not a compromise between the first two. It is an entirely new approach, where the body and soul learn to work together. The soul neither leans towards the body nor rejects it. It does not react; it pro-acts. In a proactive position, the soul directs and channels the body’s inclination in a constructive way. In this last approach, instead of repressing the body’s needs, the soul views them as an opportunity to serve God in a whole new way.
Using the third approach we should fast with a purpose like Moses or Elijah for example before going into God’s presence or to strengthen us or for the benefit of others. Jesus fasted not because He needed to, but as a model for us. We should make self-sacrifices in an effort to make others happy or out of love for our God to share in his plan of salvation. By dying to self, daily, we prepare ourselves for our own moment of death.
Aids in Battle Help from Saints
Saints are veterans of the spiritual war that continues to rage in this world. Their insights, born of long experience in combat with the Enemy, can make us wise and strong in battle.
· God has fashioned and shaped only one enmity, and that an irreconcilable one, which will endure and even increase, until the end: It is that between the Virgin Mary and the Devil, between the children and servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and accomplices of Satan; so that the most terrible of the enemies of Satan created by God is Mary, his Blessed Mother. ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT
· Men do not fear a powerful, hostile army as much as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary. ST. BONAVENTURE
· You, O Lady, by the simple invocation of your most powerful name, give security to your servants against all the assaults of the Enemy. ST. GERMANUS
· By invoking the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, Satan is driven out of men. ST. IRENAEUS
· We are all inclined to sin, my children; we are idle, greedy, sensual, given to the pleasures of the flesh. We want to know everything, to learn everything, to see everything. We must watch over our mind, over our heart, and over our senses, for these are the gates by which the Devil penetrates. See, he prowls round us incessantly; his only occupation in this world is to seek companions for himself. All our life he will lay snares for us; he will try to make us yield to temptations. We must, on our side, do all we can to defeat and resist him. We can do nothing by ourselves, children. But we can do everything with the help of the good God. Let us pray Him to deliver us from this enemy of our salvation, or to give strength to fight against him. With the Name of Jesus, we shall overcome the demons; we shall put them to flight. With this name, though they may sometimes dare to attack us, our battles will be victories, and our victories will be crowns for heaven, all brilliant with precious stones. ST. JOHN VIANNEY
It’s not just Popeye who will be strong to the finish on Spinach Day, but everyone who chooses to celebrate the day by consuming some of this leafy green plant will get to join in the health benefits as well! Packed with nutrients such as Iron, Vitamin A and Calcium, spinach is known for being a healthy part of a balanced diet – but do we eat enough of it? If not, why not try a new recipe on Spinach Day? Sauté it in olive oil and a little bit of garlic – or what about a baby spinach salad with mozzarella cheese, avocado slices and crispy bacon crumbled on top? Delicious! You can purée spinach up and hide it in soups and pizza sauces for the finicky eaters in your life who might not eat it straight up. So, no excuses – get your leafy greens down you on Spinach Day!
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 40. Prayers for the Dead.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 27. Fasting and Mortification.
 Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.