Thursday, March 18, 2021

 

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

Dear family, I'm not quite sure whether it was Fr. Heilman or Fr. Peckman who "assigned" the topics - but I am sure it was guided by the Holy Spirit! Consequently, I was blessed to have secularism among my topics. If you ever want to "push my buttons," just bring it up! So we are clear on what button is getting pushed, the term "secularism" was first used by the British writer George Holyoake in 1851. He invented the term secularism to describe his views of promoting a social order separate from religion - like that ever would be a good idea - without actively dismissing or criticizing religious belief.

Obviously, given its date of creation, secularism, in word and in deed, was not a principle stated in the Constitution. For the record, what the Constitution does state in the Establishment Clause is, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The unanimous understanding of this clause had to do solely with preventing the national government from creating - like Henry VIII - a religion enforceable through government police power. This truth is confirmed by the prohibition against prohibiting "the free exercise thereof." Understand, dear family, that this applied only to the federal government, while states had the right to establish a particular religion. Few people know and understand that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which clearly prohibits the creation of a national church, did not eliminate established churches in those states where they still existed. Indeed, it would have encountered opposition in those states if it had sought to do so.

Too many people spout off a definition of secularism as "the principle of the separation of church and state." Typically, those same people - like the godless "Freedom from Religion" fascists in Madison, Wisconsin - twist those words around to make it something it is not. They embody the words of John Lennon's song, "Imagine." A doctoral dissertation could not cover all the many problems with that pagan paean, but let it suffice to say that when Lennon wrote "Imagine no possessions," he was living in a multi-million-dollar mansion, and the music video finds him playing his ridiculously expensive white Steinway piano that George Michael bought at auction for over two million dollars. Lennon wrote that it's easy if we try to imagine no religion, even as he lived in a time when godless communists slaughtered a hundred million of their own citizens.

As President Reagan put it so perfectly: "The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; it's declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray." Yet the "Freedom from Religion" crowd throw a tantrum over such things as taxpayers' children praying in taxpayer funded schools. Leftists get away with throwing their tantrums because too many people do not know the Constitution nor its historical precedents. Dear family, just wrap your minds around the fact that taxpayers' children praying in taxpayer funded schools was, in fact, Constitutional for roughly the first 175 years of our Country. Then realize that the ramifications of the rapid shift from this truth to the big lie of "Freedom from Religion" has resulted in the downfall of our culture and society. As a brilliant meme put it so well, "Bibles aren't allowed in schools anymore but are encouraged in prisons. If kids were allowed to read it at school, they might not end up in prison."

How do we sin regarding secularism? Simple. We sin every time we support, in word or deed, the big lie of "separation of church and state" according to the secularist model. We sin through any kind of voting for godless agendas. We also commit sins of omission when we fail to make a reasonable effort to be aware of, and fight against, these dark forces which are prevailing in our times. The many, versus the few, sin constantly in their ignorant and uninformed support - even cowardly support - for the godless left-wing agenda. This would include disregarding the unchanged and unchangeable truth regarding the five non-negotiables of Catholic morality, including abortion and same-sex unions.

What are we to do in a culture that literally assaults us (in words and in deeds) just for being Catholic and standing up for the unchanged and unchangeable truth? Firstly, recognize that we cannot be surprised by the hatred of the godless world. Jesus warned us: "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first ... If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you ... And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me" (John 15:18-21). No matter what hatred comes our way, we must stay attached to Jesus, who is the True Vine, lest we wither away. And we know what happens to those who choose to not stay attached to the vine: "Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned" (John 15:6).

Dear family, buying into the big lie of secularism, and failure to intentionally let God's grace and wisdom openly direct and guide our public life, is a grave sin. You don't have to take my word for it. Jesus said, "Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father" (Matthew 10:32-33). We also know that standing up for our faith will alienate us from the godless because Jesus said that too: "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three ...." (Luke 12:51-52).

Dear family, the left bludgeons anyone who brings faith into the public square, even priests, with the big lie of "separation of church and state." But prior to Lyndon Johnson's amendment and threat of taxation, faithful shepherds spoke up and spoke out against secular sin. Now, most everyone is a big coward, trembling in fear about being taxed. Please, dear family, honestly ask and answer two simple questions: Do we think the Father of Jesus Christ thinks it's a good idea that we cower in a corner because of oppressive secularism? Do we think Our Father thinks we should not openly bring Him into the public square? The answers are obvious. So are the consequences for how we answer those questions.

When Jesus said, "give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's," the corollary is "don't give to Caesar what belongs to God." As it was, as it is, as it always will be: God first, last and always. So, let us always acknowledge God before men, and let us always openly apply our lives of faith in the public square.

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward secularism. Countless times we have cowered to the prevailing leftist sentiment to imagine no religion, not just in public life, but even in private life. We are so immersed in temporal pleasures that we are blinded to our purpose in life, which is to know, love and serve God in this world so we can be with Him in the next. We intentionally justify leaving God out of our public lives because, after all, "freedom from religion" and their ilk have successfully inculcated us with the big lie of their false interpretation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause and insistence upon "separation of church and state." We fail to attribute the current chaos and anarchy of our times to the seeds of godlessness sown way back in the sixties when prayer was taken out of our taxpayer-funded schools. Ever since we have wittingly or unwittingly joined the side of the godless through our open or tacit acceptance of the big lie of secularism. We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our own secular attitudes - especially for our cowardice about speaking up and speaking out in the public square. We love You Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more. We know Lord, if You will it, it will be done. Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

 
Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of heaven and earth, in Your power and goodness, You created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth, cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to secularism. 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 secularism 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 Precious Blood of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son
of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, etc.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of Eternal Life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,

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.

V. Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
R. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. 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)

 

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 10, Verse 20

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

Have you fallen? Get up! Be resolute! 

Have your dreams been crushed? Have your expectations been dulled? Have the five fears overtaken your mind? Has the fear of isolation, demons, darkness, suffering and death kept you from holding fast to our Lord? 

Rejoice for today is your salvation! 

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent[1]

Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who are chastised by the fasts we have undertaken, may rejoice with holy devotion; that, our affections being weakened, we may more easily apprehend heavenly things.

EPISTLE, iv. Kings iv. 25-38.

In those days a Sunamite woman came to the man of God to Mount Carmel: and when the man of God saw her coming towards, he said to Giezi his servant: Behold that Sunamitess. Go therefore to meet her, and say to her: Is all well with thee, and with thy husband, and with thy son?

And she answered: Well. And when she came to the man of God to the mount, she caught hold on his feet: and Giezi came to remove her. And the man of God said: Let her alone, for her soul is in anguish, and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. And she said to him: Did I ask a son of my lord? did I not say to thee: Do not deceive me?

Then he said to Giezi: Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thy hand, and go. If any man meet thee, salute him not: and if any man salute thee, answer him not: and lay my staff upon the face of the child. But the mother of the child said: As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. He arose, therefore, and followed her. But Giezi was gone before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child, and there was no voice nor sense: and he returned to meet him, and told him, saying: The child is not risen. Eliseus therefore went into the house, and behold the child lay dead on his bed; and going in he shut the door upon him, and upon the child, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up, and lay upon the child: and he put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he bowed himself upon him, and the child’s flesh grew warm. Then he returned and walked in the house, once to and fro: and he went up, and lay upon him: and the child gaped seven times, and opened his eyes. And he called Giezi, and said to him: Call this Sunamitess. And she being called went in to him: and he said: Take up thy son. She came and fell at his feet, and worshipped upon the ground: and took up her son, and went out. And Eliseus returned to Galgal.

GOSPEL. Luke vii. 11-16.

At that time Jesus went into a city that is called Nairn; and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude. And when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow: and a great multitude of the city was with her. Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, He said to her: Weep not. And He came near, and touched the brier. And they that carried it, stood still. And He said: Young man, I say to thee, arise. And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother. And there came a fear on them all: and they glorified God, saying, A great prophet is risen up among us: and God hath visited His people.

Bible Study[2]

 

The Bible is a weapon and in the hands of the untrained, “You could shoot your eye out kid”. Therefore, the Bible should be handled with care. Using an approved translation of the Bible; we should approach scripture reading in light of the liturgy and church Dogmas. “Dogma is by definition nothing other than an interpretation of Scripture.” (Pope Benedict XVI) Dogmas are the Church’s infallible interpretation of Scripture. In the 1970’s the Catholic Church revised its lectionary—the order of scriptural readings for the Mass. The readings now unfold in a three-year cycle and include almost all the books of both testaments of the Bible. The great thing about lectionary is that it presents the scriptures and also teaches us a method of understanding the Scriptures: Showing us a consistent pattern of promise and fulfillment. The New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old is revealed the New. Perhaps a good practice would be for us to read the daily scripture in the lectionary, maybe even before Mass.

 

Lectio Divina[3]


"Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo's description remains fundamental.

1.      He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer, but the passage should not be too long.

2.      The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.

3.      The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.

4.      The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously, this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives. 

These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Its natural movement is towards greater simplicity, with less and less talking and more listening. Gradually the words of Scripture begin to dissolve, and the Word is revealed before the eyes of our heart. How much time should be given to each stage depends very much on whether it is used individually or in a group. 

The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.

Aids in Battle[4] When the enemy seeks to discourage

When dismayed or grieved let these scriptural promises lift up your soul in trust and hope. Listen to our Lords words of encouragement, and consolation.

·         Because children have blood and flesh in common, so He in the same way has shared in these, so that through death He might destroy him who had the empire of death, that is, the Devil; and might deliver them who, throughout their life, were kept in servitude by fear of death. Heb 2: 14– 15

·         Christ has risen from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also comes resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made to live. But each in his own turn, Christ as first-fruits, then those who are Christ’s, who have believed, at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He does away with all sovereignty, authority, and power. For He must reign until “He has put all things under His feet.” 1 Cor 15: 20– 25

·         You shall not fear them; for it is the LORD your God who fights for you. Dt 3: 22

·         You draw near this day to battle against your enemies: Let not your heart faint; do not fear, or tremble, or be in dread of them; for the LORD your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory. Dt 20: 3– 4

·         No evil will befall the man who fears the LORD, but in trial He will deliver him again and again. Sir 33: 1

·         I give them everlasting life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. Jn 10: 28

Daily Devotions

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Manhood of the Master-week 5 day 2

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary



[1] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[2] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 16. Bible Study.

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



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