Wednesday, March 24, 2021

 

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

Dear family, avarice is a synonym of greed. It is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Some distinguish between avarice and greed, essentially implying that avarice is like greed-on-steroids. No matter which word we care to use, both regard an excessive or inordinate desire of gain or wealth; a selfish or excessive desire for more than is needed or deserved, especially of money, wealth, food, or other possessions.

Avarice has a long if uncomplicated history in English. Chaucer in his 14th-century The Parson's Tale compared avarice with covetise, a now obsolete word that means "covetousness" ("Covetise is to covet such things as thou hast not; and avarice is to withhold and keep such things as thou hast, without rightful need"-743), and Shakespeare uses it in Macbeth ("With this there grows / In my most ill-composed affection such / A stanchless avarice that, were I king, / I should cut off the nobles for their lands, / Desire his jewels and this other's house: / And my more-having would be as a sauce / To make me hunger more"-IV.iii.76-82).

As he always seemed to do, the brilliant Shakespeare got it spot-on. "My more-having would be as a sauce to make me hunger more." Remember the life lesson of Adam and Eve, summarized as "Nothing is ever enough." Remember how they had everything, but it wasn't enough? That really is the problem with avarice - nothing ever is enough, but only makes one want more.

Apart from that issue, of course, are the Gospel teachings on what happens when avarice runs amok. Remember the rich man who had a bountiful harvest. "Oh!" says he, "I will tear down my smaller barns and build bigger barns!" Not a good idea. First, it sounds pretty wasteful to tear down perfectly good barns. When we hear about wealthy people buying homes and tearing them down to build bigger ones, don't we suppose those people have never read Jesus' parable? Second, Jesus makes it clear - crystal clear - what Almighty God thinks about that kind of stuff; "You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?" (Luke 12:20). And then Jesus delivers the coup de grace: "Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God" (Luke 12:21). And as if that weren't bad enough, there is the little problem about that camel trying to get through the eye of the needle.

Ok, so we know all that; but, here is something few look in the mirror and contemplate. Yeah, we might not be longing for Aaron Spelling's Hollywood mansion, but we all have it rather good. In fact, many of us tend to live beyond "our means." Here's an example ...

When I was teaching in the high school, I would ask the juniors or seniors, "How much do you think you will make when you get out of college?" The answers ranged from a low of about 40k, to a high of around 80k. The thing is, it did not matter what number with which I started, when we subtracted a mere 1/3 for taxes, and then subtracted the things upon which they themselves said they would spend "their" money - housing (I mentioned to them the hidden extras like furniture, appliances, bedding, towels, laundry soap, homeowners' or renters' insurance), auto (I mentioned to them the hidden extras like auto insurance, gas, oil changes), student-loans, cell phones, cable/internet, pizza on Friday - when we got done, both high and low incomes were at least 10-20% "in the red!" The thing is, the more we make, the more we live in nicer housing, drive fancier newer cars, and get the newest latest iPhones. And then I would bring up "Christmas and birthday gifts" - where their money was spent on someone other than themselves! They thought about it and sure enough, deeper into the red they went. And then - here it comes, dear family - about this point I would say "Hey! What's missing here?! I don't see any almsgiving, no giving back to God for all He has given you. There is nothing here for Church and charity."

Dear family, I wasn't being mean. I only was pointing out the reality that pretty much all of us are infected with an avaricious "living large" mentality. We all live in the biggest barns that the banks will loan us the money to buy. We all tend to drive the best vehicles the lenders will loan us the money to buy. And we all tend to have decent cell phones, cable, and internet. And pretty much none of us are going hungry when the CDC tells us: "During 2011-2014, the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity was 38.3% among women and 34.3% among men."

Dear family, we all suffer from avarice. Whatever level our income might be, we long for more. And what's even worse about all this, is that we even will blow off the 3rd Commandment so - really, how many times have we heard this? - "I'm working or putting in some overtime on Sunday."

As to that last thing, working on Sundays, I also used to ask the high schoolers if they would sell their soul to the devil for a million bucks. "Oh, NO, father," they would say. I would up the ante to ten million dollars. "Oh, NO, father," they would say. Finally, I went all out - "Would you sell your soul to the devil for a billion dollars?! You could have the house, the boat and the car, and still have 999 million to live off the interest!" "Oh, NO, father," they all would say. At that point, I would tell them they were dead wrong - they would sell their souls to work on Sunday for minimum wage at Shopko or the IGA, all because they "needed" money for clothes, cells, car insurance or gas.

This analysis does not apply just to high schoolers. It applies to all adults who - whether they realize it or not - suffer from a level of avarice that takes away not just from the amount of money they should be tithing, but also takes away from the most valuable time we are commanded to give back to God by keeping the Lord's Day holy.

Dear family, I'm not sure how to tell anyone to fix this problem. I cannot give specific advice for anyone because the circumstances differ for each one of us. What I can say is that each one of us, myself included, really needs to ask ourselves, are we giving back to God what is God's? Or are we, because of the deadly sin of avarice, keeping way too much for ourselves?
 

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward avarice. We are greedy. We recognize our avarice in the many things we own - including all the stuff we bought with borrowed money. At times we justify our avarice so much that we do not see ourselves in the Gospel parables of the man who planned to tear down his barns. At times we do not recognize in ourselves that we are the rich man who will have a harder time making it through the Gates of Heaven than a camel through the eye of a needle. We immerse ourselves in so many temporal goods that we do not even recognize we are living large with what we want, which is way more than what we truly need. We even justify leaving God out of our very budgets because we just cannot afford it! So often we just do not recognize our avarice. We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our avarice, and especially for all the times we have forfeited time with You for time to labor so we may indeed "live large." 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 avarice. 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 avarice 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. Joseph

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.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy 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.

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. 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)

 march 24 Wednesday Of the Fifth Week of Lent

WORLD TUBERCULOSIS DAY

 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 17, Verse 18-20

18When he is sitting upon his royal throne; he shall write a copy of this law upon a scroll from the one that is in the custody of the Levitical priests. 19It shall remain with him and he shall read it as long as he lives, so that he may learn to FEAR the Lord, his God, and to observe carefully all the words of this law and these statutes, 20so that he does not exalt himself over his kindred or turn aside from this commandment to the right or to the left, and so that he and his descendants may reign long in Israel. 

God commanded that the King should read the scrolls of the law and follow them. The scrolls were the bible of the time. If we wish to have, Fear of God, that is wonder and awe at God we need to read the bible every day. Perhaps today would be a good day to shut off the TV and read a chapter a day for every day of your life or read the daily readings for the Mass. Perhaps doing this along with a family dinner where you pray together over the meal and then read the bible together would help strengthen families. 

A good resource to peruse to strengthen the family is: 

            http://www.catholicfamilyfaith.org/

 

The Judgment of the Nations[1] (Matthew 25:31-46)

 

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,32 and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,36naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’37 Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’40  And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’44 Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

 

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Prayer. SANCTIFY this fast, O God, and mercifully enlighten the hearts of Thy faithful; and to those whom Thou grantest the grace of devotion mercifully grant, when they pray to Thee, a favorable hearing.

EPISTLE. Leviticus xix. 1, 2, 11-19.

In those days: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them: I am the Lord your God. You shall not steal. You shall not lie, neither shall any man deceive his neighbor. Thou shalt not swear falsely by My name, nor profane the name of thy God. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not calumniate thy neighbor, nor oppress him by violence. The wages of him that has been hired by thee shall not abide with thee until the morning. Thou shalt not speak evil of the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind: but thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, because I am the Lord. Thou shalt not do that which is unjust, nor judge unjustly. Respect not the person of the poor, nor honor the countenance of the mighty. But judge thy neighbor according to justice. Thou shalt not be a detractor nor a whisperer among the people. Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbor. I am the Lord. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but reprove him openly, lest thou incur sin through him. Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens. Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself. I am the Lord. Keep ye My laws, for I am the Lord your God.

GOSPEL. John x. 22-38.

At that time: It was the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem: and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. The Jews therefore came round about Him, and said to Him: How long dost Thou hold our souls in suspense? if Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

Jesus answered them: I speak to you, and you believe not: the works that I do in the name of My Father, they give testimony of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice: and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them life everlasting, and they shall not perish forever, and no man shall pluck them out of My hand. That which My Father hath given Me, is greater than all: and no man can snatch them out of the hand of My Father. I and the Father are one. The Jews then took up stones to stone Him. Jesus answered them: Many good works I have showed you from My Father; for which of those works do you stone Me?

The Jews answered Him: For a good work we stone Thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that Thou being a man, makest Thyself God. Jesus answered them: Is it not written in your law: I said, you are gods?

If He called them gods, to whom the word of God was spoken, and the Scripture cannot be broken: do you say of Him, Whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world: Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God?

If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But if I do, though you will not believe Me, believe the works: that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

Lenten Calendar[2]

Read:

The Servant Songs, Day Three: (Within the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we encounter four poetic sections known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant. The specific identity of this Servant of the Lord remains the topic of scholarly debate. Perhaps it refers to the prophet Isaiah himself, perhaps the entire nation of Israel, or possibly the promised Messiah. Christian faith sees these prophetic utterances fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Lord.

Because of the Christian identification of the Suffering Servant with Jesus, the four Servant Songs become a way of encountering the Lord during this Lenten Season. Not only do they give us a sense of the commitment and endurance that characterized his messianic ministry, but they become a way of touching the bruised face of the Messiah, of hearing the resolute determination that sustained him in the midst of trial, and of rejoicing with him in Gods ultimate vindication of his calling and service.)

In the third song, we learn of the abuse and derision the Servant endured at the hands of his enemies.

Reflect: Today we reflect on the third of the four Servant Songs.

Pray: Take time with the third servant song today. Read Isaiah 50:4-11. 

Act: Here, the servant knows and declares that his help is with the Lord. He does not allow suffering to cause him to stop trusting in the Lord. Instead, with strength of spirit, the servant declares his faith in God. The Lord GOD is my help . . . I shall not be put to shame. Amidst darkness and adversity, because he fears the LORD, the servant walks not by his own light but by the light of God. 

World Tuberculosis Day[3]




 

World Tuberculosis Day, also known as World TB Day, seeks to raise awareness for Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infectious disease that affects the lungs. It is estimated that in 2014, 9.6 million people fell ill with Tuberculosis and 1.5 million died from the disease. World Tuberculosis Day is a World Health Organization holiday that is observed annually on March 24. The celebratory date commemorates the discovery of Tuberculosis bacteria by Dr. Koch in 1882.

 

World Tuberculosis Day Facts & Quotes

 

·         Tuberculosis is the leading killer of HIV/AIDS-positive people.

·         The tuberculosis death rate dropped 47% between 1990 and 2015. The disease is treatable with a six-month course of antibiotics.

·         Tuberculosis occurs in every part of the world. The largest number of cases in the world occur in India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, China and South Africa.

·         The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted. - Mother Theresa

 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge..."[4]

Spoken by Albert Einstein but proven by Boyce Luther Gully. 

The reality of dying was thrust upon Boyce Gully in his prime. Choosing not to live a life of quiet desperation awaiting the end, he ran away from home, family and friends. Those were sad but wondrous times of soul searching and physical creativity. In his heart was permanently etched the vision of those precious moments when he and his little girl, Mary Lou, built sandcastles on the beach in Seattle. How she would cry when the tide washed them away. “Please, Daddy, build me a big and strong castle someday that I can live in. Maybe you ought to build it on the desert where there is no water.” He would just smile. Perhaps, it wasn’t a coincidence that he migrated to Arizona. He built Mary Lou a native stone castle - eighteen rooms, thirteen fireplaces, parapets and many charming nooks and crannies, then furnished it with southwestern antiques. Boyce Gully died in 1945 before he could send for his family. His “princess” was an adult when she moved into her “castle” and began living her fairy tale, perpetuating her dream. She shared her “home” by giving guided tours of her beloved Mystery Castle until her death in 2010. 

Today, the castle remains open for tours from October through May. The Mystery Castle Foundation, a 501c3 organization maintains the property so that future generations can share in the history and magic that is My Mystery Castle.

Aids in Battle[5] Psalms and Supplications in Combat with Evil

A number of the Psalms and other scriptural canticles praise God for giving His people victory in battle and ask for God’s assistance.

·         Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; my mercy and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, and He in whom I take refuge. Ps 144: 1– 2

·         And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior because He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. He has shown might with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart, He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly.” Lk 1: 46– 47, 49, 51– 52

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·         Do Day 31 of the Consecration to St. Joseph

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

 

Daily Devotions

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Manhood of the Master-week 6 day 1

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Explore the Wim Hof method

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

 

Comments