Saturday, March 20, 2021

 

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

It was on February 2, 1998, that I had the experience of a lifetime. It was my first ever Papal Mass, and this was with Pope John Paul II on the Feast of the Presentation. I went on sabbatical for two months with some priest friends to study in Rome. The priests studying received a beautiful, engraved invitation to the Papal Mass, and we were thrilled to be going.

There we were in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, about to pray with the Vicar of Christ. As Mass began, glorious sacred music filled the Basilica...and my soul. Since it was a Papal Mass there was great attention given to precision, which struck me as "beautiful order," much like is seen with a military honor guard granting the highest respect to a fallen soldier. But it was more than that. While I had always loved the Mass, I felt, maybe for the first time, that we were truly "glorifying" God. On that day, February 2, 1998, I was profoundly changed.

That amazing experience simultaneously left me filled with regret. I began to ask myself, "What have I been doing?" I had spent the first ten years of my priesthood buying into the common (at the time) notion that if we created all kinds of trendy nuances to the Mass, while keeping it as whimsical and entertaining as possible, people would hear about how "cool" and "fun" and "with the times" we were and come running. We were treating the Mass as a commodity that we needed to somehow market to the world. Worse than anything, I realized we were all but throwing out any sense of divinity, any sense of the supernatural. Where in all of this was any sense of awe and wonder in God's presence? Where was the sense of God's majesty? I realized, for the first time, we were gravely sinning in our irreverence before God.

Saint Francis of Assisi said, "Man should tremble, the world should quake, all Heaven should be deeply moved when the Son of God appears on the altar in the hands of the priest." Where was that in my "night club act" or "Broadway musical" entertainment-focused Masses? Irreverence!

I've come to understand that we have, throughout most of the Church, removed the very gateway into the Divine Life. I happen to agree with Pope St. Gregory the Great who, wanting to capture the spiritual dynamism of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, posited the following order: "Through the fear of the Lord, we rise to piety, from piety then to knowledge, from knowledge we derive strength, from strength counsel, with counsel we move toward understanding, and with intelligence toward wisdom and thus, by the sevenfold grace of the Spirit, there opens to us at the end of the ascent the entrance to the life of Heaven" ("Homiliae in Hiezechihelem Prophetam," II 7,7).

As you can see, the entry point to all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is "Fear of the Lord." What is Fear of the Lord, also known as the Gift of Awe and Wonder? According to Fr. John Hardon, Fear of the Lord "... inspires a person with profound respect for the majesty of God. Its corresponding effects are protection from sin through dread of offending the Lord, and a strong confidence in the power of His help. The fear of the Lord is not servile but filial. It is based on the selfless love of God, whom it shrinks from offending. Whereas in servile fear the evil dreaded is punishment; in filial fear it is the fear of doing anything contrary to the will of God. The gift of fear comprises three principal elements: a vivid sense of God's greatness, a lively sorrow for the least faults committed, and a vigilant care in avoiding occasions of sin. It is expressed in prayer of the Psalmist, 'My whole being trembles before you, Your ruling fills me with fear'"(Psalm 119:120).

Fear of the Lord is the entry point; this is the "trigger" that ignites all the other gifts of the Holy Spirit. Without this trigger, we are prone to reduce our faith/religion to merely another organization that has a sense of social responsibility. Jesus is then reduced to a historic figure to emulate. Mass is just a social gathering that many may say (without saying), "it had better have good entertainment if You are going to make me endure this for an hour." So then, why not just throw on our worst recreational attire for Mass, and get in line to grab Jesus like we're reaching for a potato chip? Where is the desire to be filled with the supernatural power of grace?

St. Bernard said, "For I have learnt for a fact that nothing so effectively obtains, retains and regains grace, as that we should always be found not high-minded before God, but filled with holy fear."

Fr. John Hardon wrote: "St. Thomas Aquinas believed that man is more than a composite of body and soul, that his is nothing less than elevated to a supernatural order which participates, as far as a creature can, in the very nature of God. Accordingly, a person in the state of grace, or divine friendship, possesses certain enduring powers, the infused virtues and gifts, that raise him to an orbit of existence as far above nature as heaven is above earth, and that give him abilities of thought and operation that are literally born, not of the will of flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

Do you see why Satan is winning?! He is in the supernatural realm using supernatural weapons, while we have surrendered ours. We seem to be choosing, instead, an irreverent, secular (anti-supernatural) version of religion. I honestly believe this goes to the very root of our problems. Unless, and until, we see a worldwide movement within our Church to restore reverence in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that assists us in becoming predisposed to receive the gateway Holy Spirit Gift of Awe and Wonder, Satan will continue to have an easy-time with us. Until then, Satan is eating our lunch!

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward fearfully allowing the spread of irreverence throughout our Catholic Church. We have fallen into this widespread irreverence when we have not lived up to the call of our baptism to, day-by-day, deepen our love and faith in You. We have been too easily swayed by the poor example of irreverence, in churches everywhere, and have not encouraged a deeper sense of supernatural faith. In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for any of our own irreverence or our lack of resolve to lift souls out of this spiritual malaise. We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance to be this visible light of fervent faith in You. 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 irreverence. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to do Your will. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of irreverence 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 Immaculate Heart of Mary

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 Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.

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.

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.

Let Us Pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord. 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)

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent

happiness day 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 13, Verse 5

The Lord, your God, shall you follow, and him shall you FEAR; his commandments shall you observe, and to his voice shall you listen; him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast.

 

How do we follow God? First follow Him not because you fear Him but that you revere and have awe for all He has created. Out of this revere with love obey all His commandments of which the two greatest are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.

 

What is God’s voice? The self-absorbed are deaf to the voice of God but alive to the voice of the adversary. Therefore, to hear God you must not only listen to the Holy Spirit but also see and hear those who are people of God around us. The above verse states that we are not only to hear God’s voice but to listen.

 

Is there something the Lord is calling you to this Lent?

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent[1]

Prayer. MAY our devotion be made fruitful by Thy grace, we beseech Thee, O Lord, for the fasts we have undertaken will become profitable to us only if they are pleasing to Thy mercy.

EPISTLE. Isaias xlix. 8-15.

Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee: and I have preserved thee, and given thee to be a covenant of the people, that thou mightest raise up the earth, and possess the inheritances that were destroyed: that thou mightest say to them that are bound: Come forth: and to them that are in darkness: Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in every plain. They shall not hunger, nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun strike them: for He that is merciful to them, shall be their shepherd, and at the fountains of waters He shall give them drink. And I will make all My mountains a way, and My paths shall be exalted. Behold these shall come from afar, and behold these from the north and from the sea, and these from the south country. Give praise, O ye heavens, and rejoice, O earth; ye mountains, give praise with jubilation: because the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy on His poor ones. And Sion said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? and if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee, saith the Lord Almighty.

GOSPEL. John viii. 12-20.

At that time: Jesus spoke to the multitudes of the Jews, saying I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said to Him: Thou givest testimony of Thy self: Thy testimony is not true. Jesus answered, and said to them: Although I give testimony of Myself, My testimony is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go: but you know not whence I come, or whither I go. You judge according to the flesh: I judge not any man. And if I do judge, My judgment is true; because I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me. And in your law it is written, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that give testimony of Myself: and the Father that sent Me, giveth testimony of Me. They said therefore to Him: Where is Thy Father? Jesus answered: Neither Me do you know, nor My Father: if you did know Me, perhaps you would know My Father also. These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, teaching in the temple: and no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come.

International Day of Happiness[2]


The International Day of Happiness seeks to celebrate and promote world happiness as a fundamental human goal. It recognizes the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth, one that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and well-being of all people.

At the UN Conference on Happiness in 2012, the United Nations proclaimed the International Day of Happiness. The day was celebrated for the first time on March 20, 2013 in an effort to highlight the importance of global happiness and its impact on world development and peace.

International Day of Happiness Facts & Quotes

 

·         There are currently about 1.8 billion young people in the world, more than ever before, creating an unprecedented opportunity for economic and social progress. Many studies have proved the link between happiness and productivity.

·         Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. - Mahatma Ghandi

·         At this time of grave injustices, devastating wars, mass displacement, grinding poverty and other manmade causes of suffering, the International Day of Happiness is a global chance to assert that peace, well-being and joy deserve primacy. — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

 

International Day of Happiness Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Print out and hang up posters of the Ten Keys to Happier Living. Research has proven that these ten keys have a positive impact on happiness and well-being.

·         Make the effort to cross an item off of your bucket list. We all have dreams and goals and fulfilling them creates happiness and a sense of accomplishment.

·         Give to others. Whether it's donating to a charity of your choice, volunteering or giving a thoughtful gift, studies have found that giving makes us happier.

·         Reduce the stress in your life. According to the American Psychological Association, these are the 5 best ways to manage stress:
1) Take a break from the stressor
2) Exercise
3) Smile and laugh
4) Get social support
5) Meditate

·         Watch a movie about happiness. Our suggestions: Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014), Eat, Pray, Love (2009), The Pursuit of Happiness (2008), Bruce Almighty (2003), Click (2006) and The Bucket List (2007). 

Don’t Worry Be Happy[3] 

Action for Happiness has developed the 10 Keys to Happier Living based on a review of the latest scientific research relating to happiness. Everyone’s path to happiness is different, but the research suggests these Ten Keys consistently tend to have a positive impact on people’s overall happiness and well-being. The first five (GREAT) relate to how we interact with the outside world in our daily activities*. The second five (DREAM) come more from inside us and depend on our attitude to life.

Giving-Do things for others

Relating-Connect with people

Exercising-Take care of your body

Awareness-Live life mindfully

Trying out-Keep learning new things

Direction-Have goals to look forward to

Resilience-Find ways to bounce back

Emotions-Focus on what’s good

Acceptance-Be comfortable with who you are

Meaning-Be part of something bigger

True Happiness[4]

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- True happiness can be found by strengthening one's friendship with God through a love for sacred Scripture and the sacraments, Pope Benedict XVI said. Christians today can find many role models in the saintly men and women who lived throughout history. The pope described the life of the 13th-century Benedictine mystic, St. Gertrude the Great. Far from being a historical figure stuck in the past, this "exceptional woman" remains for today's faithful "a school of Christian life, a principled life, and she shows us that at the heart of a happy and real life is friendship with Jesus". St. Gertrude entered the monastery at a very young age and was an extremely talented student. She loved literature and music and was diligently devoted to her studies. However, when she was 24, she grew disgusted with her secular pursuits. She said the sense of turmoil and anxiety she felt was a gift from God, who was giving her a sign that she needed to "tear down that tower of vanity and curiosity." While her ardent love of learning helped bring her to religious life, the saint said it had gone too far and it was driven by pride. From that moment on, St. Gertrude began to intensify her relationship with God. She switched her studies from humanistic subjects to theological works, and in her monastic life, she went from living what she called being "negligent" to a life of intense prayer and missionary zeal. St. Gertrude represents one of the most famous female mystics in church history, and she's called "the Great" because of her "exceptional natural and supernatural gifts." She displayed "a very profound humility, an ardent zeal for the salvation of others, an intimate communion with God through contemplation and a readiness to come to the aid of the needy". "True happiness is the goal in our life," and the only way to find that kind of happiness is in forging a friendship with God. "This friendship you learn through a love for sacred Scripture, a love for the liturgy and (by cultivating) a deep faith and a love for Mary in order to truly get to know God better".

Litany of Humility[5]

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Refrain: Deliver me, Jesus

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
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 ...
That, in the opinion of the world, others may, increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. 


The nation’s capital comes abloom every spring with the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. See the famed cherry blossom trees, lining the Tidal Basin, while strolling by iconic sites like the Jefferson and Martin Luther King memorials.

Aids in Battle[6] Declarations of Victory from the Word of God

When you become weakened and the outcome of the war seems uncertain, recall in faith that God’s ultimate triumph is secure.

·         You are of God, dear children, and have overcome him, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 Jn 4: 4

·         The LORD goes forth like a mighty man, like a man of war He stirs up His fury; He cries out, He shouts aloud; He shows Himself mighty against His foes. Is 42: 13

·         The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple. For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent, He will set me upon a high rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies round about me; and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD. .  .  . I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD! Ps 27: 1– 6, 13– 14

·         For, behold, your enemies, O LORD, for, behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. Ps 92: 9

Daily Devotions

·         Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·         Manhood of the Master-week 5 day 4

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

 



[1]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[3]http://www.actionforhappiness.org/media/80220/10_keys_summary.pdf

[5]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=914

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



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