Sunday, March 14, 2021

 

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

Pride is the "Biggie." This is the sin Satan committed in his choice to refuse to submit to God. This is the "original sin" that infected our first parents - "You will be like God" - and every generation that followed. In fact, without the waters of baptism, empowering us to stand against the original sin, along with a daily commitment to keep our "personal pride radar" up and on high alert, we can very easily slip into the intoxicating grip of pride. If we are not careful, we can find it driving just about every sin we commit. Pope St. Gregory the Great counted pride as the "mother of all sins."

Pride, in fact, is the sin that is most at work to divide and destroy our culture. Think about this, Adam and Eve, to their ruin, believed that "freedom" was defined as the freedom from adhering to the will of God. They wanted the ability to "Just Do It," to do as they pleased and determine for themselves what was right and wrong. They believed they had "progressed" beyond God.

There's that seemingly indisputable term: "progress." Or, as its adherents refer to themselves, "progressives." By and large, this is a movement to remake whatever is determined to be archaic and no longer applicable, by the generation who has thankfully, "arrived on the scene" (sarcasm alert). They claim to have a kind of gnostic understanding of things that the "common folk" do not possess. They often make the lofty proclamation that they have "evolved." What is archaic? What have they evolved from? GOD!

In fact, God, and His adherents, are a threat to the agenda of the "evolved." In their eyes, the Dark Age's notions must be destroyed. Notions such as seeing faith as a positive influence in the culture; revering and protecting the child in the womb; supporting the bedrock of civilization - the nuclear family; seeking care, housing and assistance for those dealing with psychological disorders and addictions ... many of which are abandoned on the streets (e.g., drug addicts, homosexuals, those with gender dysphoria, etc.); banning the slavery of prostitution and child sex-trafficking; supporting a healthy economy to assist people off of government assistance and giving them the dignity of work; healing, instead of stoking, racial division; seeking quality education for our children (over kowtowing to unions who fill politicians' coffers); having a patriotic heart for our country; honoring and thanking the heroic lives of police, military, first responders, and all those who put themselves in harm's way to protect us and our freedoms.

In today's culture, if you hold these truths to be self-evident (to borrow a phrase) - notions that find their source in our faith in God - YOU are the problem! YOU are causing division. And YOU must be silenced or even assaulted. In other words, the so-called progressives have granted to themselves the right to dictate to everyone else what is right and wrong. They are the arbiters of what is considered the "new normal" of values. They have made themselves gods.

Add to this, that fitting in has become compulsive among far too many. Those who seek to preserve the best qualities of our culture, founded in God, have become targets for the "evolved." We have now found ourselves in a place where it has become socially acceptable to ridicule, shame, and even physically attack those who are not adhering to the new values. Many are even on the receiving end of this socially acceptable abuse from family members and friends.

Humility opposes pride. Not that we are called to let ourselves be a "whipping boy" to bolster others' lust for superiority. Humility is a reverence for the truth; a reverence for who we are and what we are called to be; a reverence for the reason we even exist - God. Humility opens the door to the spirit of gratitude. In our abundant gratitude for all God has done (beginning with setting us into existence) and is doing, we say "YES" to God, and a big fat "NO" to the incessant propaganda of a new normal of lies that directly oppose the will of God.

Like the heroic first Christians, we go about radiating our love for God and neighbor, while we are willing to die for the TRUTH. This was why the first Christians grew in number so rapidly. They were attractive because they were HEROIC! Now is the time, possibly more than any other time in salvation history, for more and more souls to rise up, as the first Christians did, with that humble and heroic light of truth and love.

 
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 goodness. We have stilled our tongues in the face of evil. We have been too self-involved to notice the damage our sins have wreaked on our neighbor and broken faith with You. We have expected You to be pleased with our prideful and selfish hearts. We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our pridefulness 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 pride and lack of sorrow. 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. 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 pride. 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 pride 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 Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal High Priest of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Divine Victim on the Altar for our salvation, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, dwelling in the tabernacles of the world, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, abiding in Your fulness, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Life, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Angels, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, with us always until the end of the world, R. have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, summit and source of all worship and Christian life, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, sign and cause of the unity of the Church, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, adored by countless angels, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, spiritual food, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Sacrament of love, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, bond of charity, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, greatest aid to holiness, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, gift and glory of the priesthood, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we partake of Christ, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which the soul is filled with grace, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we are given a pledge of future glory, R. have mercy on us.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

For those who do not believe in Your Eucharistic presence, R. have mercy, O Lord.
For those who are indifferent to the Sacrament of Your love, R. have mercy on us.
For those who have offended You in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, R. have mercy on us.

That we may show fitting reverence when entering Your holy temple, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may make suitable preparation before approaching the Altar, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may receive You frequently in Holy Communion with real devotion and true humility, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may never neglect to thank You for so wonderful a blessing, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may cherish time spent in silent prayer before You, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may grow in knowledge of this Sacrament of sacraments, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That all priests may have a profound love of the Holy Eucharist, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That they may celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with its sublime dignity, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may be comforted and sanctified with Holy Viaticum at the hour of our death, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may see You one day face to face in Heaven, R. we beseech You, hear us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Let us pray.
Most merciful Father, You continue to draw us to Yourself through the Eucharistic Mystery. Grant us fervent faith in this Sacrament of love, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received. We make this prayer 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)

 

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Mothering Sunday)

PI DAY

 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 7, Verse 24-25

17 If you say to yourselves, “These nations are more numerous than we. How can we dispossess them?” 18 do not be AFRAID of them. Rather, remember clearly what the Lord, your God, did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: 19 the great testing’s which your own eyes have seen, the signs and wonders, the strong hand and outstretched arm with which the Lord, your God, brought you out. The same also will he do to all the peoples of whom you are now AFRAID.

 

We in America have much to be afraid of If we have not been obedient to God’s word but If we have been obedient, we also have nothing to fear from those nations and peoples which hate us.

 

We on our own have no power to defeat the devil and his evil forces but with God fighting for us nothing can defeat us. Do you believe this?

 

Then we as a people must be a nation, that follows the precepts of the Lord or clearly, we too will be dispossessed of our land. You must know that those who are loyal to God’s commandments will not be in terror. We must be humble before God and confident that His power will save us. On the Day of Judgment, it will be the poor and the humble that will have great confidence and joy, but the proud and powerful lovers of this world who have not repented that will be afraid. Let us pray for those who do not know and follow Christ.

 

Under all the false, overloaded, glittering masquerade, there is in every person a noble nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY[1] 

CHAPTER II 

DIES CHRISTI 

The Day of the Risen Lord

and of the Gift

of the Holy Spirit 

The weekly Easter 

19. "We celebrate Sunday because of the venerable Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we do so not only at Easter but also at each turning of the week": so, wrote Pope Innocent I at the beginning of the fifth century, testifying to an already well-established practice which had evolved from the early years after the Lord's Resurrection. Saint Basil speaks of "holy Sunday, honored by the Lord's Resurrection, the first fruits of all the other days"; and Saint Augustine calls Sunday "a sacrament of Easter". 

The intimate bond between Sunday and the Resurrection of the Lord is strongly emphasized by all the Churches of East and West. In the tradition of the Eastern Churches in particular, every Sunday is the anastàsimos hemèra, the day of Resurrection, and this is why it stands at the heart of all worship. 

In the light of this constant and universal tradition, it is clear that, although the Lord's Day is rooted in the very work of creation and even more in the mystery of the biblical "rest" of God, it is nonetheless to the Resurrection of Christ that we must look in order to understand fully the Lord's Day. This is what the Christian Sunday does, leading the faithful each week to ponder and live the event of Easter, true source of the world's salvation. 

Fourth Sunday of Lent

 

A note of joy is struck, for having died to sin with Christ during Lent, we will rise again with Him and be part of His mystical Body, the Church which is the new Jerusalem. Thus, the Introit: "Rejoice, Jerusalem." 

BY the Introit of the Mass the Church reminds us of the joys of heaven, to encourage us to persevering zeal in penance and fasting, and to patience under persecution, crosses, and sorrows. 

The Introit of the Mass begins with the word Laetare (rejoice),

from which the Sunday derives its name: Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together, all you that love her. Rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow, that you may exult and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. I was glad at the things that were said unto me: we shall go into the house of the Lord. 

Prayer. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that we, who are afflicted for our deeds as we deserve, may be relieved by the comfort of Thy grace. 

EPISTLE. Gal. iv. 23-31. 

Brethren: It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, and the other by a free-woman: but he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh: but he of the free-woman was by promise: which things are said by an allegory: for these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina engendering unto bondage: which is Agar: for Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now, we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he, that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was after the spirit: so also, it is now. But what saith the Scripture? 

Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ hath made us free. 

Explanation. The Jews, typified by Agar, served God like servants, from fear of punishment and in the hope of rewards. Christians, typified by Sara, lift up their hands to Him as their Father, and if they fulfil His will faithfully will become partakers of His glory in heaven. 

Prayer. O Jesus, grant that by fasting, prayer, and patience under persecution I may partake in Thy sufferings, and be found worthy of Thy divine promises and Thy eternal consolations in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen. 

GOSPEL. John vi. 1-15. 

At that time: Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias: and a great multitude followed Him, because they saw the miracles which He did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain: and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Pasch, the festival-day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up His eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to Him, He said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 

And this He said to try him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone may take a little. One of His disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to Him: There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes: but what are these among so many? 

Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to them that were sat down: in like manner also of the fishes as much as they would. And when they were filled, He said to His disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world. Jesus, therefore, when He knew that they would come to take Him by force and make Him king, fled again into the mountain Himself alone. 

Why did Christ thus try St. Philip?

 

1. To try his faith and confidence.

 

2. To teach us to make use of natural and ordinary means before we have recourse to the supernatural.

 

3. So that the miracle would be the more striking to the people, when they were satisfied that the provisions, they had been quite small and insufficient.

 

4. That we might have confidence in God, Who is a helper in time of tribulation (Ps. ix. 10).

 

What ceremonies did Our Savior use at this miracle, and why? He first looked up to heaven, to remind us that every good gift comes from above, and that it is God only Who opens His hand, and fills all with benediction. Second. He thanked His heavenly Father, to show us that we also should be careful to thank God for all His benefits. The table, says St. Chrysostom, which begins and ends with prayer shall never know want. Thirdly He blessed the bread that we might learn that it is the Blessing of God which gives success. 

Why did Jesus flee after this miracle?

 

1. To teach us to seek not the admiration and applause of men, but only the glory of God and the good of our neighbor.

 

2. To love solitude, that far from the noise of the world, we may with more freedom converse with God. 

Consolation in Poverty. 

To those poor who follow Christ this gospel is full of consolation, as it shows that from the very beginning of the world God has cared for His children. For the comfort and preservation of His chosen people He sent Joseph before them into Egypt (Gen. xlv. 5; Ps. civ. 4). He sustained the children of [Israel during forty years in the wilderness with bread from heaven He fed the prophet Elias, sending him bread and flesh by a raven (in. Kings xvii. 6). He remembered Daniel lying in the lion’s den (Dan. xiv. 37). In the New Testament also God has shown His care for His own by nourishing and feeding them in their greatest need, at times through the instrumentality of animals and at other times by that of angels and of men as we read in the lives of the saints. 

Aspiration. In Thy power and goodness, O my God, I put my trust. I firmly believe if I fear Thee, and do what is right, I shall, though poor here, after this life have abundance of good things from Thee. 

Reverence for the Tabernacle[2] 

So, let us worship God in His tabernacle for His goodness, truth and beauty. When we talk about the tabernacle of the Lord, we are talking about the Bless Sacrament were Jesus is really present—body, blood, soul and divinity. Yet, there is another tabernacle which we do not recognize easily. That is our very bodies and those of others when we receive the Eucharist. We need to acknowledge Christ is in others just as we genuflect before the tabernacle. He must be worshipped! According to Church law, the tabernacle, which keeps the consecrated Eucharistic hosts, should be “immoveable, made of solid or opaque material, locked so that the danger of profanation may be entirely avoided.” We also as a tabernacle should be immoveable in our faith, give others solid support and lock our hearts from the love of the world. We should, apart from making our regular attendance at Mass, drop by the church and make a short “visit” to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The visit needn’t be long, just a few minutes to greet Jesus and offer a silent prayer.

The Value of Fasting[3]

Prayer and fasting are extraordinary means (we may call them violent means) when other simpler ways are of no avail against the powers of hell. Look into the earthly life of our Savior. He is our model. He dwelt with us in order to teach us how to form our lives inwardly and outwardly. Christ Himself fasted often and accorded it high praise in His teaching. Recall how He fasted forty days before entering upon His work of teaching. At the beginning of Lent the Church wishes to stamp this fact deep in our hearts: our fasting must be in union with and in imitation of Christ's. Recall when the disciples were unable to cure a possessed boy, asked, "Why could we not cast him out?" and Jesus answered, "This kind can be driven out in no way except by prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29). Now another saying of Jesus comes to mind. When John's disciples began to reproach Him, "Why do Your disciples not fast?" He replied: "Can you make the wedding guests fast as long as the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; in those days they will fast" (Luke 5:35). There is a hidden depth of meaning in these words. The coming of Christ among men was a wedding feast. Fasting had no place. But it is most proper to fast when the divine Bridegroom is taken away. Fasting on Fridays and during Holy Week, then, is in accord with Christ's own wishes. Once our Savior compared Himself with the Baptist in these words, "John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a devil!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold a glutton and a wine drinker.’" John was a man devoted to penance, an ascetic, who fasted throughout his life. Not so Christ. His way of living was not based exclusively upon self-denial and mortification, but upon an ordered enjoyment of life. So, we learn from the Savior that fasting should be the exception, not the rule, in Christian morality. Let us consider the passage in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus speaks of the three important pious exercises of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. He highly recommends all three but warns against practicing these virtues in a pharisaical manner.

The main points in Jesus' doctrine on fasting, then, are:

  1. Fasting is an extremely important means of resisting the inroads of hell (hence Lent).
  2. Fasting should be practiced as a memorial of Christ's death (Friday, Holy Week).
  3. Fast days occur by way of exception in Christian life, they are not the normal practice.
  4. Fasting holds a place alongside prayer and almsgiving as a pious exercise.

Preparing for Battle[4] Keeping the Enemy Out of Your Camp

Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to save you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy.  DEUTERONOMY 23: 14. This principle of spiritual warfare must be emphasized: Don’t invite the Enemy into your camp. Look out for Trojan Horses, poisonous reptiles and be prepared to fight.

·         Trojan Horses. Sin is always wrapped in attractive packages. The simple pleasure of satisfying curiosity could be a Pandora’s Box. Stay away from all things of the occult, such as Ouija boards and fortunetelling; séances, channeling, and other forms of necromancy (attempts to contact the dead); substance abuse; sexual sin; and abortion. Seeking the attractive “gift” of pleasure, power, secret knowledge, or (in the case of abortion) even escape from responsibility. In addition, forgiveness is crucial to deliverance from the Evil One, because a bitter heart gives him a foothold in our lives. “Take heed lest anyone be lacking in the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it, many be defiled” (Heb 12: 15). Those especially who have suffered a grave injustice must seek the grace to let go of the offense and pray for the offender, so that resentment doesn’t ferment into malicious bitterness. If we’re ever tempted to invite the Enemy into our “camp” in any of these ways, we must recognize the Adversary’s deception and reject his offer firmly and immediately.

·         “Poisonous Reptiles” are the “little” sins that find their way into our hearts. We may ignore them or think them of no consequence as we try to stand guard over the carefully constructed fortifications of our spiritual life. To resist the temptations of ordinary demonic activity, we must guard our thoughts closely and reject immediately any thought that leads to sin. We must also carefully examine our thoughts to seek out assumptions or conclusions that may be false and contrary to faith, so that they lead us astray. Above all, we must engage in a frequent examination of conscience and then go regularly to Confession.

The Devil Will Use Covid-19 Fears to Get To You… Here’s How You Can Beat Him![5]

The world will never be the same again after the Covid-19 pandemic finally ends (whenever that may be!).

Every generation faces at least one mega-crisis that forever changes the way the world operates. In my lifetime so far, it had been the events on 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. Each of these events shocked us and had global ramifications we are still dealing with today.

From what we have seen to date, the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic will have lasting effects. We just have to wait and see how they unfold.

In the meanwhile, let’s try to live in the present. And by the present, I don’t mean what’s the latest with the Covid-19 pandemic, I mean, you: “How are you doing today?”

Unfortunately, for most of us, our answer to that question will in some way relate to the coronavirus pandemic. There is a tremendous weight of fear and anxiety that has overwhelmed many of us. Some of it is legitimate – we are after all rightly concerned for our loved ones and ourselves because we simply don’t know what tomorrow may bring. Some of our distress is also fueled by the news media and social media, currently flooded with coronavirus-related news and information.

But we need to ask ourselves:

What is the state of our relationship with God amid all the Covid-19 stuff that’s going on?

Have I allowed the devil to maximize my sense of fear and hopelessness?

Do I remember that this is still the season of Lent?

Lent is a season of purification. During this time, we adopt penitential practices to rid ourselves of unhealthy attachments and strive to grow closer to God, in preparation for the great feast of Easter that marks the resurrection of Christ and the triumph of Jesus over sin and death.

This year, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a unique set of challenges in all our lives, making for a unique Lenten experience. With all the current craziness, there will be a temptation to give up some of our Lenten penitential practices. Whether or not we do so, will depend on individual circumstances and responsibilities. 

For instance, if you committed to spending an hour in Eucharistic Adoration every day, you probably had to stop doing that as your church has likely been closed by now. Moreover, if you now have kids at home with classes having been canceled, you may need to make yourself more available to them. Similarly, if you pledged to skip a meal regularly during Lent, that may not be the most prudent thing to continue doing right now, at a time when it is essential to keep our bodies and immune systems strong to minimize any risk of infection – both for our own sake, but also for the sake of those around us. On the other hand, if you planned to limit your use of TV or social media this Lent, there may not be a sufficient reason to give up that penance just yet.

Either way, never forget that the devil is subtle, cunning, powerful, and very smart. He will try every tactic he has to distract us from God during this ongoing pandemic, especially to try to make us forget the significance of observing the Lenten season in anticipation of the glory of Easter. He will especially play on the pandemic-related fears and worries already on our minds to meet this objective.

Here are three ways to beat the devil and continue to stay true to the season of Lent during these difficult times:

Faith: Through the virtue of faith, we believe in God and all that he has said to us. The saints stand as giants of faith that we can strive to imitate during this time. If you’re stuck at home these days, read the life of any saint (online or through a book) and you will see what I mean. It is abundantly clear how their faith kept them strong in the most challenging of situations. 

If we are living in undue fear right now, then we are not living in faith. Our faith starts with us trusting God in prayer and surrendering ourselves completely to him. If we trust that we have a father in heaven who knows our needs, before we even ask for them (Matthew 6:8), then we can trust that God will be with us during this tumultuous time and see us through it – even if the particular trials in our lives become especially burdensome. 

Hope: Hope keeps us from discouragement and is the quality by which we anchor our souls in Christ. We should certainly be prudent and careful during this time. After all, there is a real possibility of catching the virus that is going around. But we should also place our hope in our all-powerful God. 

Throughout history, there have been countless natural and man-made disasters, but God has never forsaken his people. As the psalmist tells us:

“God is our refuge and our strength,

an ever-present help in distress.

Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken

and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.”

(Psalm 46:2-3)

In addition, never forget that we are not made for this world – we are made for heaven. And while we should certainly live in the hope of a better tomorrow in this world, we should also pray for a greater outpouring of the virtue of hope in our lives, so that we may even more ardently desire to one day enjoy the kingdom of heaven and eternal life.

Love: Among countless lessons that Jesus taught us through his Cross, two are particularly of value during this pandemic. The first is that Jesus showed us that love is expressed in action. There are people all around us right now who are alone or who may need help in various ways. Love them in action. This may involve helping your elderly neighbor get groceries. Or it may require you to give your spouse a night off as he/she deals with the new reality of working from home (including possibly a home filled with screaming kids). It may also be a good idea to reflect on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy to see how else you can love others in action.

The second lesson I wish to highlight from the Cross is its sacrificial dimension. Jesus showed us his love through sacrifice – dying to himself – by dying on the Cross. Everyone’s nerves are a bit frayed as we continue to grapple with the unknowns and ever-changing situations related to this current pandemic. Seize every opportunity you get to make sacrifices – big or small – for someone else in these days. 

Love is at the heart of the Christian faith and in these difficult times, we can witness to our faith in the way we love God and those around us. The greatest benefit of acting through the virtue of love is that the fruits of love are joy, peace and mercy (CCC 1829) – all of which are much-needed right now.

Living our lives rooted in faith, hope and love, especially during this pandemic, will root us more deeply in God, not just for the Lenten season, but for beyond it too. We don’t know how this pandemic will unfold and how it will continue to affect us. But we know God. We can trust and hope in God.

“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?”

(Psalm 27:1)

Pi Day[6]

 

Pi Day celebrates the mathematical constant π (pi) or 3.141592653... .  Pi is the ratio between the circumference (the distance around the circle) and diameter (the distance through the center of the circle). Pi is a constant, therefore it will be the same for circles of all sizes. Pi is a special number due to its infinite and patternless nature, meaning that the digits after the decimal point never repeat themselves in a specific order. Pi Day celebrations originated in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium when Larry Shaw, a physicist at the Exploratorium, organized the first Pi Day.  It was held on March 14th (3/14), given that the first digits of Pi are 3.14.  Celebrations at the Exploratorium included taking young museum visitors on a parade to the Pi Shrine, which is a round brass plaque fixed on the floor of the museum and serving fruit pies to visitors. Since then, Pi Day celebrations have spread both nationally and globally.  On March 12, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized March 14, 2009 as National Pi Day.

 

Pi Day Facts & Quotes

 

·         In 2015 at 9:26:53 (AM and PM), all of the first ten digits of Pi (3.141592653) were present in the date and time.

·         Pi is an irrational number, meaning it cannot be expressed properly as a fraction.

·         Albert Einstein, widely referred to as the father of modern physics, was born on March 14, 1879.  Therefore, Pi Day also recognizes Einstein's birthday.

·         According to the Guinness World Records, Rajveer Meena from India holds the record for memorizing the most decimal places of Pi.  On March 21, 2015, Meena wore a blindfold and recalled 70,000 decimal places of Pi over a period of 10 hours.

·         Pi is not just a collection of random digits, pi is a journey; an experience; unless you try to see the natural poetry that exists in pi, you will find it very difficult to learn. – Dr. Antranig Basman, Mathematician and Software Developer

 

Pi Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Memorize as many digits of Pi as you can (remember, the World Record Holder was able to memorize 70,000 decimal places of pi).

·         Eat a pie to celebrate Pi day and earn bonus points if you can calculate Pi for your pie's circumference!  Here are some twists on traditional pies that you can try:
1) Avocado and cream cheese pie
2) Cheeseburger and pickle pie made from ground beef, cheese, and chopped dill pickles
3) Mac and Cheese Pie topped with bacon
4) Hot dog pie covered with a layer of cheese
5) Twinkie pie topped with whipped cream

·         Practice your geometry and algebra equations that contain the constant Pi. Here are some useful formulas to help you:
Circumference of a circle = 2 πr
Area of a Circle =  π r^2
Volume of a Cylinder = π r^2h
where r=radius and h=height

·         Go for a 3.14km walk to celebrate Pi Day.

·         Watch movies about mathematics:
1) Good Will Hunting (1997)
2) A Beautiful Mind (2001)
3) The Number 23 (2007)
4) Rain Man (1988)
5) The Theory of Everything (2014)

 

Daily Devotions

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Devotion of the Seven Sundays: St Joseph-7th Sunday

·         Manhood of the Master-week 4 day 5

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary



[1]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=419

[2] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 38. Reverence for the Tabernacle.

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

[5]https://catholic-link.org/the-devil-will-use-covid-19-fears-to-get-to-you/

[6]https://www.wincalendar.com/Pi-Day



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