Thursday, March 4, 2021

 

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

I have a confession. For about four to five years of my life, I was an agnostic. I was so troubled by what I saw in the seminary in the 1980s that I could no longer believe that there was a personal God. I could not believe that He had any concern nor hold on what was happening in the world or even in His own Church. Consequently, I found that nature abhors a vacuum. Something or someone would have to fill that hole in my soul, and someone was going to have to be the judge of morality and the direction of my life. The first problem I tried to fill with pleasure, money, power, and honor. It was an exercise in futility that left me often exhausted and frustrated. The second problem was quite the narcotic: I could decide for myself what was good and evil. Amazingly, such power led to me living a less than chaste life. I was not horrible because the foundation my parents built led me to have a work ethic, to try to be honest, and to avoid substance abuse. I was reduced to a moral pagan. Truth be told, I felt I was living a more moral life than what I had seen in the seminary.

I do not tell you this, kind reader, so that you may think one way or the other about me, only to assure you I know this sin from its maddening and intoxicating inside.

Our society is largely agnostic and atheistic. Our civil religion tips its hat in God's general direction occasionally but largely resents any influence religion, particularly Judeo-Christianity, has in the public purview. God has been chased from the public square, from our schools, and from our day to day lives. There are forms of politics such as socialism and Marxism that are expressly atheistic. They must be for the state takes the place of all authority and is the giver of all rights. We can't have a deity interfering with that!

There are many within the Church, even among her leaders, who are agnostic or atheistic, either practically or by confession. I would posit that it is impossible for some within the Church who have engaged in nefarious and predatory behavior to do such and believe anything of Jesus Christ or a personal God. Certainly, the pervasive watering down of catechesis would point to a de facto agnosticism among so many academics. You see, nature does abhor a vacuum, and if we divorce the idea of a personal and transcendent God from religion, all we have left is a social justice non-for-profit with arcane rituals and occasion statuary.

In Eden, the devil grounds his temptation in a belief that God does not want what is good for us. In this, he can tempt us to become our own gods, knowing for ourselves what is good and evil. He can sow vast amounts of seeds of doubt by just showing us the evil others do; especially the evil done by those who claim to represent God. The last 100+ years have been a field day for the devil to sow such seed!

To combat such a virulent temptation, we must cultivate the theological virtue of faith. This is more than making professions of faith or intellectually adopting points of the teachings of the Church. It is adopting these teachings in our lives and allowing them to draw us closer to God. We will have to do this during a storm! We will have to do this even when we see immense scandal in our Church and frightening godlessness in society. This allows us to give proper Christian witness to those scandalized or seeking. It allows others to see Christ through us.

One of the main reasons I returned to the Catholic faith and back into the seminary and priesthood, despite many misgivings, was that complaining about the poor witness and scandalous behavior of some within the Church did not absolve me of following the vocational path God had beckoned me to. I had a responsibility to live the type of life Christ calls us to live, authentically and powerfully. While I completely understand the reasons why people wander away or outright flee from the Church, I also understand that trying to fill the God-shaped hole in us with the things of this world is a frustrating dead-end; the narcotic of being one's own god leaves you empty and anchorless. Our society is exhibit A in this fool's errand. There is no denying that anger, frustration, and feeling adrift are hallmarks of our society and in so many of our churches.

St. Augustine, in his Confessions, reminds us, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." Let us not let the temptations of the devil leave our hearts wandering and baseless. Let us refute the devil and hold fast to the faith and relationship Christ has in store for us.

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to doubt in Your goodness. We have stilled our tongues in the face of evil. We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing the strong storms to quell our trust in You. Through our sinfulness and rebellion, we have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching. 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 faithlessness and timidity. 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 faithlessness and disbelief. 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 godlessness 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.

Thursday in the Second Week of Lent 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 2, Verse 25

This day I will begin to put a FEAR and dread of you into the peoples everywhere under heaven, so that at the mention of your name they will quake and tremble before you. 

This verse sounds a bit like in the beginning with Adam and Eve when God puts the fear of man into all creatures. It appears that men that are devoid of any connection with God who are nothing more than mere animals have a deathly fear of God’s own. These animals may see God’s people as clinging to their guns and their Bibles but in truth they have a fear of God’s people. Often this fear is express in stubbornness in mind, obstructionism and obstinacy in heart.

 

Thursday in the Second Week of Lent[1] 

Prayer. GRANT us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the help of Thy grace, that we, dutifully engaged in fasting and prayer, may be freed from all enemies of body and soul. 

EPISTLE. Jer. xvii. 5-10. 

Thus, saith the Lord God: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert in a salt land, and not inhabited. Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit. The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it? 

I am the Lord that search the heart and prove the reins: Who give to everyone according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices, saith the Lord Almighty. 

GOSPEL. Luke xvi. 19-31. 

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen: and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man s table, and no one did give him: moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: and he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now lie is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from thence come hither. And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. But he said: No, Father Abraham, but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance. And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe if one rise again from the dead. 

Lenten Calendar[2] 

Read: Yesterday, we read about the corporal works of mercy, and today we will focus on the spiritual works of mercy, which have long been a part of the Christian tradition, appearing in the works of theologians and spiritual writers throughout history. 

Reflect: Forgiving others is difficult at times because we do not have God's limitless mercy and compassion.  But Jesus teaches us that we should forgive as God forgives, relying on him to help us show others the mercy of God. Are there grudges you are holding on to that you should let go of?  

Pray: the Chaplet of Divine Mercy today. 

Act: In practicing one of the spiritual works of mercy, forgiving others, make an effort to go to Confession before Easter. 

Daily Devotions

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Manhood of the Master-week 3 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]http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/lent/march-21.cfm



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