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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

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

Dear family, of all the things you can apply the saying "take it or leave it" to, going deeper into our faith is not one of them. We cannot be indifferent to our faith.

When we try to reflect on some principle of our faith - like "indifference" - it is always good to refer to the Catechism to get a working definition, so we all are on the same page. That is my starting point.

So, §2093 states: "Faith in God's love encompasses the call and the obligation to respond with sincere love to divine charity. The first commandment enjoins us to love God above everything and all creatures for Him and because of Him." Ok. So good so far.

Then it follows up with §2094 which states: "One can sin against God's love in various ways" - and then includes the definition for indifference: "indifference neglects or refuses to reflect on divine charity; it fails to consider its prevenient goodness and denies its power."

Oh, dear family, my head hurts when I try to read something like §2094, something someone cannot seem to put in understandable language. If I asked you, "Exactly what does it mean to fail to consider divine charity's prevenient goodness and deny its power?" could you answer the question? Don't feel badly if you couldn't; I couldn't either. I had to look up the word "prevenient" and then try to place it in some sort of context of "goodness," and then try to figure out how does refusing to reflect on divine charity have anything to do with understanding prevenient goodness and, more so, what that has to do with denying its power? Is it any wonder people do not get through the Catechism when they run into roadblocks like this? I say all this just so you know you are not alone. Even priests sometimes struggle with this stuff.

For the record, the definition of prevenient is "preceding in time or order; antecedent." So indifference, which apparently is neglecting to reflect on divine charity, means failing to consider its "preceding in time or order, antecedent" goodness. But what does that even mean?!?

In the law, there is an ongoing movement to take "legalese" - the formal and technical language of legal documents that is often hard to understand - and put it into "plain English." So, let us try to do that here.

God loved us first. His love preceded humanity's creation; it was so great that He willed us into existence so He could share it with us. And then, when we did not reciprocate that love (that's the whole fall of Adam and Eve thing and every sin afterwards), He still loved us so much that He sacrificed His only Son to hopefully inspire us to love Him back. In fact, He sent His Son even though He knew exactly what some of us would do to Him, because He knew it would be proof of His divine love. It is why St. Paul - so cognizant of this infinite love of God - hardly could keep in the immensity of his praise and worship for God when he wrote to the Ephesians: "Praised be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens. God chose us in Him, before the world began, to be holy and blameless in His sight. He predestined us to be His adopted sons through Jesus Christ, such was His will and pleasure, that all might praise the glorious favor He has bestowed on us in His beloved. In Him, and through His blood, we have been redeemed, and our sins forgiven, so immeasurably generous is God's favor to us" (Ephesians 1:3-7).

It is no accident that in the Breviary, the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, this passage is prayed every Monday at Evening Prayer. It, along with the entire Breviary, is a constant reminder of God's love for us. To pray the Liturgy of the Hours is to contemplate and reflect upon Divine Charity. It is the opposite of indifference.

So maybe by considering the opposite of indifference, we get a better understanding of whether we are or are not indifferent. If we want to know if we have fallen victim to indifference, perhaps the best answer is to ask the question: Do we immerse ourselves daily in contemplating God's love, so much so that we, like St. Paul, are compelled to praise and worship God in such words as he wrote to the Ephesians? Do we reflect enough upon the magnitude of God's love, expressed in our very own existence, such that we are compelled to give back to Him even just a tithing of the countless gifts He has given us?

Having just celebrated two Holy Masses of Christian Burial, this thought is fresh in my mind, the words prayed after the final Song of Farewell: "We give You thanks for the blessings which You bestowed upon (decedent) in this life: they are signs to us of Your goodness and of our fellowship with the saints in Christ."

God's blessings are indeed signs of His goodness, signs of His infinite love. Are we indifferent to those signs of His goodness and love? Are we so unaware of His signs that we are disconnected from Him, that we can take it or leave it? Or do we, in our daily contemplation, reflect so deeply upon those signs of His love that we are compelled, like St. Paul, to sing out such words as that hymn written way back in 1674 - amazingly enough, before even indoor plumbing and anesthesia: "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye Heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward indifference to Your divine love. We have fallen into countless times of sinful diversions from our purpose in life, which is to know, love, and serve You in this world. We are so immersed in things of this world, we have devoted ourselves so greatly to treasures on earth, that we have become indifferent to the treasures we must store up in heaven. We spend so much time, effort, and money on things that moth and decay will destroy, only to discover that we still are not satisfied, we still are not happy. We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our indifference to the treasures of heaven, the greatest treasure being Your love. 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 indifference. 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 indifference 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 St. Michael the Archangel

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, etc.
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us, etc.
St. Michael, the Archangel,
Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,
Standing at the right of the altar of Incense,
Ambassador of Paradise,
Glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies,
Leader of the Angelic hosts,
The standard-bearer of God's armies,
Defender of Divine glory,
First defender of the Kingship of Christ,
Strength of God,
Invincible Prince and warrior,
Angel of Peace,
Guide of Christ,
Guardian of the Catholic Faith,
Champion of God's people,
Guardian Angel of the Eucharist,
Defender of the Church,
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,
Angel of Catholic action,
Powerful intercessor of Christians,
Bravest defender of those who hope in God,
Guardian of our souls and bodies,
Healer of the sick,
Help of those in their agony,
Consoler of the Souls in Purgatory,
God's messenger for the souls of the just,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Victorious in battle against evil,
Guardian and Patron of the universal Church,

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. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Sacrament of the Eucharist which we have received may make our souls holy and pleasing to Thee. Through 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)

 

Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent

MEATBALL DAY 

Daniel, Chapter 3, Verse 40-42

40 So let our sacrifice be in your presence today and find favor before you; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. 41 And now we follow you with our whole heart, we FEAR you and we seek your face. Do not put us to shame, 42 but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.

 

Has your way of living been less than you wanted? Well? Welcome to the human condition. Emotions are what being human is about. Imagine the emotions of Peter after the resurrection. If your emotions or sinfulness despite your best efforts have left, you flat. You are human. Remember the disciples on the road to Emmaus; they were left flat at the loss of the Christ. Like Peter they felt they could have done more. Today walk with our Lord tell Him all.

 

In a sermon by Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas she states:

 

“Put away the gods that your ancestors served...” Joshua declares. Doing that requires an act of self-examination. Spend at least five minutes with each question, even if all you do is listen to your heart.

 

·         What are the gods that I serve?

·         What does my bank statement or my credit card statement say about my values?

·         What does the way I spend my free time say about what matters most to me?

·         How does the way that I treat family-members and co-workers, neighbors and friends show which gods I serve?

·         To what do I give my best, most focused attention and care?

·         What do I Really care about?

·         What motives really drive me?

·         What goals really draw me forward?

·         Are there compulsive patterns of thought or behavior to which I am excessively attached?

You and I can go to church and say very sincerely that we worship God, but in the hurly-burly of daily life there are all kinds of lesser gods that tug at us and clamor for our attention and our devotion.[1]

 

Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent[2]

Prayer.

GRACIOUSLY hear us, O almighty and merciful God, and~ favorably grant to us the gifts of wholesome self-denial. Amen.

EPISTLE, iv. Kings iv. 1-7.

In those days a certain woman of the wives of the prophets cried to Eliseus, saying: Thy servant my husband is dead, and thou knowest that thy servant was one that feared the Lord, and behold the creditor is come to take away my two sons to serve him. And Eliseus said to her: What wilt thou have me do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in thy house? And she answered: I thy handmaid have nothing in my house but a little oil, to anoint me. And he said to her: Go, borrow of all thy neighbor’s empty vessels not a few. And go in, and shut thy door, when thou art within, with thy sons: and pour out thereof into all those vessels, and when they are full take them away. So, the woman went, and shut the door upon her, and upon her sons: they brought her the vessels, and she poured in. And when the vessels were full, she said to her son: Bring me yet a vessel. And he answered: I have no more. And the oil stood. And she came and told the man of God. And he said: Go, sell the oil, and pay thy creditor: and thou and thy sons live on the rest.

GOSPEL. Matt, xviii. 15-22.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: If thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the Church. And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. Again, I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father Who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter unto Him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.

Lenten Calendar[3]


Read: The Seven Penitential Psalms, Day One:

(During times when we wish to express repentance, and especially during Lent, it is customary to pray the seven penitential psalms. The penitential designation of these psalms’ dates back to the seventh century. Prayerfully reciting these psalms will help us to recognize our sinfulness, express our sorrow and ask for God’s forgiveness.)

Today we will focus on Psalm 6.

Reflect: Read this reflection on Psalm 6—Prayer in Distress

Pray: “Have pity on me, LORD, for I am  weak; heal me, LORD, for my bones are       shuddering.” (Ps 6:3, NABRE)

Act: In this psalm, the psalmist proclaims his weakness before God, with tears and sighing. Yet he lifts his prayers to the Lord, confident in the Lord, who is merciful.

Listen to a recording of Psalm 6 as you read along with your Bible.

National Meatball Day[4]

Just the word meatball is enough to bring to mind great family meals for most people. These little balls of various meats can be found throughout the world in almost every culture. Most people may associate them with Italian cuisine, though spaghetti and meatballs are an American dish. No matter your background, you can jump in and enjoy Meatball Day! There are many times in history that meatballs have been recorded in culinary records. In Turkey, there is a dish called kofte which has many different variations. In China, there is a record of a recipe that can date back to 221 BC! Ancient Rome can add a claim to meatballs as there is a surviving cookbook that holds a variety of recipes with balls of meat. It is easy to see that people have been enjoying meatballs for a very long time. Meatballs are made by taking ground or minced meat that has been mixed with spices, breadcrumbs, eggs or other ingredients and then rolled into a ball to be cooked. Cooking methods vary and include frying, braising, or baking. There is no wrong way to choose to make your version of the meatball. Just remember to make a large enough batch so that all your friends and family will get to try them!

How to Celebrate Meatball Day

·         Meatball day, like other culinary holidays should be enjoyed with family or friends gathered around. The most difficult part of preparing for Meatball Day is going to be picking what nation’s recipe you will use. Lucky for you, this is a yearly occurrence, so you can pick a new nation each year to try if you like. Or you could be truly adventurous and try more than one at a time!

·         Meatballs can be an appetizer, a side dish or the star of the meal. To celebrate, you and your friends who like to cook can have a playful evening by letting each person bring their own dish and then you can select a favorite! Think if it as the home version of Iron Chef! With a little craftiness, a prize could even be offered to grace the winner’s mantle.

·         What is your favorite way to enjoy meatballs? There are so many ways to make them. Have you added them added to your pizza or on a sandwich? Do you prefer to stick to the traditions of your family or try to create something new? This is the time to shine! An entire day devoted to meatball goodness.

·         It doesn’t matter if you are a chef or a first-time cook. Making a meal with meatballs is easy but has the wonderful side effect of making you look like the star of your kitchen. Just do a search with your favorite search engine for meatball recipes and pick the one that sounds yummy (that might be all of them!). Don’t forget to record your adventure by taking a few pictures and use #meatballday on social media to share!

Preparing for Battle[5] Know Your Weapons


 

The weapon of Sacred Sacraments

 

1.      Baptism. Baptism is a sacrament of liberation and deliverance from Satan and his realm.

2.      Reconciliation. Each time we sin, the Devil strengthens his grip on us; that is why it’s so important to go to sacramental Confession regularly

3.      The Eucharist. Mass is a great defense against the assault of the Devil. Before Him the all-conquering power, the demons must flee. “We must return from that Table like lions breathing fire, having become terrifying to the Devil!”

4.      Confirmation. To confirm means to make strong.

5.      Anointing of the Sick. Illness, especially serious illness, can be a trial in which Satan comes to tempt us to be overcome by fear, discouragement, doubt, and even despair.

6.      Matrimony. The Devil’s first attack on the human race was focused on a married couple. The home must become a sanctuary, a holy place, a fortress against Satan’s assaults.

7.      Holy Orders. The sacrament through which Christ’s mission for the Church continues to be exercised until the end of the world.

 

Daily Devotions/Practices

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·         Pray Day 5 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

·         Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·         Manhood of the Master-week 3 day 7

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Pray for our nation.

·         Rosary.

                                                

[2] Goffines Devout Instructions, 1896

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






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