Monday, March 22, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Relativism
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 Relativism" by Fr. Bill Peckman

For years, I have tried to do a class with my seventh and eighth grade religion classes on some form of critical and analytical thinking. One of the first things I teach them is the difference between subjective and objective truth. I do this because they are entering a society that is more and more hostile to the concept of objective truth.

The easiest way to tell the two apart is that objective truth is something that is true on its own merit (it does not need my opinion to prove its veracity), whereas subjective truth is something that is true by my criteria (opinion). Our society has embraced relativism as a natural outgrowth of its hostility to true faith. In fact (and I say this as a former agnostic), relativism is the grand prize of godlessness: I get to decide for myself what is good and evil, moral and immoral, and right or wrong. Relativism gives me the false pretense of being my own God. It is biting into the apple at Eden.

Relativism bases itself in our emotions being more important than our rational thinking when it comes to decision making and the pursuit of truth. Since everything is subjective, truth is what I feel it is based on my own perceived emotional needs and passions. My passions and emotions are the filters through which I define my reality. So, what happens when my reality does not line up with your reality? You must be wrong and you should align yourself with my reality. If you don't, then I will call you intolerant, and if you try to express an opinion contrary to mine, then I will shout you down. Does this sound familiar?

Our society is rife with relativism. It has long trumped faith; now it trumps science and empirical evidence. If I am a male and feel that I am not, you must accept it. If I am sexually attracted to...well...anything, you must accept it. If I believe that I should get everything for free, you must give it. Progressivism is relativistic. It is why everything: every belief, every thought, and every word, must be a reflection of itself. It is the powertrain of narcissism.

Our Church has been rocked with relativism. It shows up in the cleric who has come to his own conclusion that a teaching is antiquated (say artificial birth control), and therefore ceases to discuss it or teaches contrary to it (and also in the one who believes it but lacks the intestinal fortitude to instruct his flock). It shows up in the "I am Catholic but..." attitude that CINO (Catholic In Name Only) politicians and academics like to hide behind. They pretend they are Catholics in good standing to get your vote or your ear. I have seen it in so called "celebrity priests" who talk a good game but allow the press to go to their heads. They start thinking they are above the teachings us ordinary folk must follow, and scandal soon ensues. I still maintain that a cleric must have a high degree of relativism to prey on their flock (or allow the predation to happen), AND still even so much as touch the Blessed Sacrament, let alone say Mass. It is the food that feeds the attitude that the purpose of the Mass is "getting something out of it."

In John 14, from the Farewell Discourse, Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). When preaching on this passage, I always remind people that articles matter. Jesus doesn't use the indefinite article as in "I am a way, a truth, and a life." He uses the definite article. Jesus, His teachings, and the Gospel are not just one man's opinion or an option among other possible options. His words are not co-equal with worldly or secular wisdom. Since He alone is the Second Person of the Trinity made flesh who dwelt amongst us, His words and teachings carry a unique and singular authority. By the same notion, the Church He set up, is the caretaker and keeper of the keys to that same singular truth. Because someone else (or even our own self) has come up with an alternative, does NOT make that alternative true or co-equal with the truth that is Jesus Christ.

So, what is the antidote to such a potent poison? Humility, humility, humility! In humility we see the truth. In humility we see our own paltry attempts at truth as nothing before God. In humility we bow our heads to God's wisdom and power. In humility we see truth clearly and can act rightly and justly. Since humility doesn't consider "What's in it for me?" it gives us clarity of vision and a hunger to act in truth. It helps us see relativism for the self-serving and ultimately (and eternally) self-destructive drug it is. Humility gives us the ability to move beyond ourselves and become genuinely loving.

My brothers and sisters, we do well to cultivate humility even when such cultivation upends our lives and forces conversion. This is a good thing. We would do well to do this now before it is too late. We might be able to fool ourselves and even those around us. We might be able to bully our neighbor and shout down those who disagree with us. Be that as it may, we will not be able to defend, shout down, nor bully God into seeing our way and giving us the reward set aside for those who allowed themselves to be conformed to His image and likeness. For after saying He is the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus tells us that no one comes to the Father except through Him. We do well to listen.

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your truth. We have chased after earthly goals and trinkets as if they were more important. We have allowed self-serving and self-destructive passions to supplant obedience to You. We have expected You to be pleased with our neglect and half-heartedness. We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You. In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our relativism. We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest-tossed boat. 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 relativism. 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 relativism 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 Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

 
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)
 


Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent (Passion Week)

AUGUST VON GALEN-WATER DAY 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 14, Verse 22-23

22 Each year you shall tithe all the produce of your seed that grows in the field; 23 then in the place which the Lord, your God, chooses as the dwelling place of his name you shall eat in his presence the tithe of your grain, wine and oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, that you may learn always to FEAR the Lord, your God. 

The way I read this is God wants you to celebrate life; you shall eat in his presence the tithe of your produce. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone did this! If we all took time off with a tenth of the money we made to celebrate with God and our family and friends together. What a different world it would be. Imagine all the celebrations you would attend. Maybe we should all strive to take a 40 day retreat/celebration. Save your money for this! What is on your bucket list; perhaps the Lord wants you and me to cross off some of those things in His presence. If I were young again this is how I would budget: 10% for His Presence (30 to 40 days’ vacation); 10% for charity/church; 10% savings and live off the 70 percent; that is after the government takes their 50%. Imagine if there was a flat tax……. A good resource for financial advice is a book entitled, “The Richest Man in Babylon”[1] 

Monday in the First Passion Week[2] 

Prayer. SANCTIFY our fasts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and mercifully grant us the pardon of all our faults. 

EPISTLE. Jonas iii. 1-10. 

In those days: The word of the Lord came to Jonas the prophet the second time, saying: Arise, and go to Nineveh the great city: and preach in it the preaching that I bid thee. And Jonas arose, and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord: now Nineveh was a great city of three days journey. And Jonas began to enter into the city one day s journey: and he cried, and said: Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed. And the men of Nineveh believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least. And the word came to the king of Nineveh: and he rose up out of his throne, and cast away his robe from him, and was clothed in sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published in Nineveh from the mouth of the king and of his princes, saying: Let neither men nor beasts, oxen nor sheep, taste anything: let them not feed, nor drink water. And let men and beasts be covered with sackcloth, and cry to the Lord with all their strength, and let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the iniquity that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn, and forgive: and will turn away from His fierce anger, and we shall not perish? 

And God saw their works, that they were turned from their evil way: and our Lord God had mercy on His people. 

Repent and believe: Do the Nineveh 90 Be a new person for the first day of summer! 

GOSPEL. John vii. 32-39. 

At that time: The rulers and Pharisees sent ministers to apprehend Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while I am with you: and then I go to Him that sent Me. You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither you cannot come. The Jews therefore said among themselves: Whither will He go, that we shall not find Him? will He go unto the dispersed among the gentiles, and teach the gentiles? What is this saying that He hath said: You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, you cannot come? 

And on the last and great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink. He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Now this He said of the Spirit which they should receive who believed in Him. 

Lenten Calendar[3] 

Read: The Servant Songs, Day One: Within the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, we encounter four poetic sections known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant. The specific identity of this Servant of the Lord remains the topic of scholarly debate. Perhaps it refers to the prophet Isaiah himself, perhaps the entire nation of Israel, or possibly the promised Messiah. Christian faith sees these prophetic utterances fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Lord. Because of the Christian identification of the Suffering Servant with Jesus, the four Servant Songs become a way of encountering the Lord during this Lenten Season. Not only do they give us a sense of the commitment and endurance that characterized his messianic ministry, but they become a way of touching the bruised face of the Messiah, of hearing the resolute determination that sustained him in the midst of trial, and of rejoicing with him in God’s ultimate vindication of his calling and service. The first song introduces God’s Servant who will establish justice upon the earth. 

Reflect: Today we reflect on the first of the four Servant Songs. 

Pray: Take time with the first Servant Song. Read Isaiah 42:1-4.  

Act: In this passage, the prophet Isaiah portrays a servant who pleases God. This servant shows meekness and is one who will never extinguish even the smallest, faintest light of faith. Likewise, the faith of this servant will never grow dim; distant nations will await his teaching and look for the justice that he brings. 

Clemens August von Galen, Bishop of Münster (1933-1946)[4]

In the summer of 1941, in answer to unwarranted attacks by the National Socialists, Bishop von Galen delivered three admonitory sermons between July and August. He spoke in his old parish Church of St Lambert and in Liebfrauen-Ueberlassen Church, since the diocesan cathedral had been bombed. In his famous speeches, Bishop von Galen spoke out against the State confiscation of Church property and the programmatic euthanasia carried out by the regime. The clarity and incisiveness of his words and the unshakable fidelity of Catholics in the Diocese of Münster embarrassed the Nazi regime, and on 10 October 1943 the Bishop's residence was bombed. Bishop von Galen was forced to take refuge in nearby Borromeo College. From 12 September 1944 on, he could no longer remain in the city of Münster, destroyed by the war; he left for the zone of Sendenhorst. In 1945, Vatican Radio announced that Pope Pius XII was to hold a Consistory and that the Bishop of Münster was also to be present.

T4: The Nazis' Euthanasia Solution[5]

He who is bodily and mentally not sound and deserving may not perpetuate this misfortune in the bodies of his children. — Hitler, Mein Kampf.

Beginning in 1939, the National Socialist regime begin systematically killing disabled children in "specially designated pediatric clinics" via starvation and overdose. By the end of World War II, an estimated 5,000 infants and children had been murdered by the Nazis. The program, code-named T4, was extended to adults beginning in 1940. Physicians working for the T4 program examined medical files (seldom the institutionalized patients themselves) and marked for death disabled and mentally ill adults, in most cases without the knowledge or consent of family members. Those selected for extermination were rounded up, processed, and directed into a facility for a "disinfecting shower." Instead, the victims were gassed to death via carbon monoxide. Their bodies were cremated, and the ashes sent to families with an official death certificate listing a fictitious cause of death.

By 1941 the program had become public knowledge, in part because of the opposition from German clergymen, including Bishop von Galen. Hitler officially halted the adult killings, but the child program continued. In 1942 the adult killings resumed in secret and continued until the end of the war, with an ever-expanding range of victims, including the elderly, hospitalized war victims, and foreign laborers. In all, an estimated 200,000 people were executed as part of the Nazi "mercy killing" agenda.

Pray America may not continue in its own Euthanasia Solution and we have a religious rise like the Lion of Munster!

World Water Day[6]

World Water Day serves to raise awareness about water issues such as sanitation problems and water shortages in many parts of the world. Today, 1 in 10 people lack access to safe and clean water, a problem which has a direct impact on the economy, health of the population and well-being of women and children worldwide. In 1992, World Water Day was proposed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.  The United Nations General Assembly responded to the proposition in 1993 by declaring March 22 as World Water Day. Each year, the UN-Water agency allocates a theme corresponding to a current or potential challenge for World Water Day.

World Water Day Facts & Quotes

 

·         In developing nations, nearly 80% of illnesses can be linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.

·         Russia's Lake Baikal and North America's Great Lakes hold about 40% of the world's fresh water supply, the large remainder of the freshwater supply is in the form of icecaps and glaciers.

·         According to UNICEF, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5 in the world.

·         You ain't gonna miss your water until your well runs dry. - Bob Marley

 

World Water Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Don't waste water!!! Make a conscious effort to use less water on World Water Day and on other days. Some ways to reduce water consumption include showers instead of baths, washing full loads of clothing only and turning off the tap while washing dishes and brushing teeth.

·         Donate to a charity or organization that supports water issues in developing nations. WaterAid is an organization that works in poor countries to set up and maintain water sources, UNICEF and UNCHR also provide support and relief efforts to improve water sanitation and hygiene globally.

·         Volunteer to help clean up trash and other debris along a beach or shore. This garbage and debris pollute the water that we need in our daily lives.

·         Watch documentaries about water-related issues such as pollution, contamination and diseases. Our top picks are Troubled Water, The Fight for Water, Flow for the Love of Water, Tapped, Thirst and Dhaka's Cholera Wars.

·         Take part in a local World Water Day celebration, such as a film screening or a water conservation event. One of the largest events, the White House Water Summit in Washington DC, will be live streamed. 

Daily Devotions/Activities

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Manhood of the Master-week 5 day 6

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Richest_Man_in_Babylon_%28book%29

[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[4]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-03-22

[5]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-03-22

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