Wednesday, March 3, 2021

 

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

Dear family, maybe you, like me, would hear your mom say something to the effect, "Finish what's on your plate, don't waste it, you know there are people starving in Africa." It's safe to say that when it came to peas and carrots, I was not much concerned about who might be starving. Frankly, if they were hungry, I gladly would have shared my excess peas and carrots.

The same anti-wastefulness doctrine would be drilled in many ways, "Quit standing there with the refrigerator door open" - "Close the door, we're not heating the outside" - "Don't waste your money on that." Whatever it might be, we came to understand that wastefulness was a bad thing. In these "green" times, the culture really has hammered us with wasting any natural resources.

Further, depending on the gravity of what was wasted, the consequences could be great indeed. If we failed to work hard in school, we will have "wasted" our opportunity to get a good education. If we failed to further God-given talents in any other field, like music or sports, we might hear, "What a waste." Pope St. John Paul II said, "Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it."

If we failed to take advantage of any opportunity for such development, it would be an opportunity "wasted." Who among us would want to bear the brunt of the accusation, "What a waste"? Jesus the Lord taught about wasting talents in the Parable of the Talents, and we all know what became of the guy who buried his talents in the back yard: "Throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth" (Matthew 25:30).

Ironically, when I was younger, there was a phrase bantered about, essentially as a badge of honor, "I got wasted," when referring to having done some hard partying. Somehow "getting wasted" was a good thing. To my shock, when researching the theology of waste, one search turned up the following: "Guidance on Cannabis Waste Management Requirements." Seriously? What's this world coming to?

Dear family, we all know we are supposed to eat our food, conserve energy, take good care of our bodies, and make something of the talents God has given us. We probably all do a credible job at not being wasteful in those departments. Rather, at the Last Judgment, the thing that likely will be the downfall of many is something few people even think about: wasted time. Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, said: "Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time." Unfortunately, it seems not many pay attention to this waste of time until they run out of time. We all have heard the line: "On their deathbed nobody ever says I wish I would have spent another day in the office!" What I never have heard anyone say is "I wish I would have spent another day in church."

So much of our thought processes about waste, maybe all of them, consider waste only as regards to temporal things. Do we ever consider waste regarding preparation for eternity? How much time do we waste that better could be spent in prayer and contemplation of eternal truths upon which our salvation actually depends? Perhaps if we spent more time in prayer and contemplation, we would not feel so great a need to waste so much time immersed in activities that do not promote an increase of grace in our lives. Perhaps we would not waste so much time on the accumulation and maintenance of temporal goods and spend a lot more time in accumulation and maintenance of spiritual goods. Unfortunately, sometimes trying to tell someone this is like "talking to the wall," as the saying goes. In other words, it may seem like "you're wasting your breath!"

St. Vincent de Paul said, "Our business is to attain heaven; everything else is a sheer waste of time." That pretty much says it all. How many of us devote even a small portion of time, much less spend adequate and sufficient time, on the business of attaining heaven? How many of us hear and follow the voice of the Good Shepherd Himself who told us point blank, "When (Jesus) returned to His disciples He found them asleep. He said to Peter, 'So you could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test'" (Matthew 26:40-41).

Do we not know that the time for testing is upon us?! Are we even attempting to waste less time on frivolous and temporal matters and spend more time on the only thing that counts?

Even this thought does not give us the fullness of our calling, our duty of service to others. All of us are called to suffer for others, to suffer for their souls. That is why the great Archbishop Sheen said, "Much suffering in hospitals is wasted." It is why Mother Angelica said, "Suffering in itself does not make us holy. It is only when we unite it, out of love, to the suffering of Christ that it has meaning. Suffering without love is wasted pain." It is why Pope St. John Paul II said, "each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ."

Dear family, time is the only thing we cannot buy. No amount of money can perpetually delay our inevitable suffering and death. When that time comes for all of us, we will be called to account for our time. Did we waste it, or did we make good use of it? Did we take the toughest times of suffering and offer it up to share in the redemptive suffering of Christ? Let us once again stop and ponder those ultimate words of St. Vincent de Paul, "Our business is to attain heaven; everything else is a sheer waste of time."

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward a gross waste of time. We have fallen into countless and endless distractions when we have not lived up to the call of our baptism by not giving back to You a just tithing of our time. We cling to so many meaningless distractions that fill up our day, leaving little energy to spend time with You. In our weakness, we have been weak in faith, and clung to our time as if it were our own, even to the point of acting like the rich fool who himself did not realize: "his time was up." Why is it we are afraid to come to You in time, so we can be with You in eternity? We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our selfish waste of the time You have given us. We love You, Lord, and we beg for the courage to live out our lives giving generously to You of our time, especially our time in suffering, as St. Paul urged us to do: "Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16). 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 wastefulness. 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 wastefulness 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)
 



Wednesday In the Second Week of Lent

Deuteronomy, Chapter 2, Verse 4

Command the people: You are now about to pass through the territory of your relatives, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. Though they are AFRAID of you, be very careful.

 

Those that are beloved by God are those who revere and follow His commandments. When we are infused with the Spirit of God others can see it because the spirit within us is reflected in our physical presence. When we receive the blessing of God; those who are not in the spirit can become afraid of you. Our Lord wants to remind us even those who are close to us, even those who are relatives will be afraid of us and we must be very vigilant and be able to see in them simultaneously the humanity of Christ; to have peace while waging a war with evil. This peace comes because while in the presence of the Holy Spirit; we have heard things that cannot be put into words and we have experienced the truth mystically. By this truth we are compelled to follow Christ and at times we too must pass through the territory of our relatives; yet ever continuing our journey with Him. For in truth those who do His Fathers will are His brothers and sisters.

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. (Ralph Waldo Emerson) 

Faith is like having a telescope that allows us to see the distant that others cannot perceive.

 

Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent[1]

 

Prayer. regard Thy people, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and grant that we, whom Thou commandath to abstain from carnal food, may also cease from hurtful vices.

 

EPISTLE. Esther xiii. 9-17.

 

In those days Mardochai prayed to the Lord, saying: Oh, Lord, Almighty King, for all things are in Thy power, and there is none that can resist Thy will, if Thou determine to save Israel. Thou hast made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven. Thou art Lord of all, and there is none that can resist Thy majesty. Thou knowest all things, and Thou knowest that it was not out of pride and contempt, or any desire of glory, that I refused to worship the proud Arnan. (For I wrould willingly and readily for the salvation of Israel have kissed even the steps of his feet.) But I feared lest I should transfer the honor of my God to a man, and lest I should adore anyone except my God. And now, O Lord, O King, O God of Abraham, have mercy on Thy people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish Thy inheritance. Despise not Thy portion, which Thou hast redeemed for Thy self out of Egypt. Hear my supplication, and be merciful to Thy lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise Thy name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of them that sing to Thee, O Lord our God.

 

GOSPEL. Matt. xx. 17-28.

 

At that time: Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart, and said to them: Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death. And they shall deliver Him to the gentiles to be mocked, and scourged, and crucified, and the third day He shall rise again. Then came to Him the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking something of Him. Who said to her: What wilt thou?

 

She saith to Him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left, in Thy kingdom. But Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?

 

They say to Him: We can. He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink but to sit on My right or left hand, is not Mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by My Father. And the ten hearing it, were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them to Him and said: You know that the princes of the gentile’s lord it over them: and they that are the greater exercise power upon them. It shall not be so among you, but whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister. And he that will be first among you, shall be your servant. Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a redemption for many.

 

Lenten Calendar

Read: During Lent, it is important for us to remember the corporal works of mercy, which are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others: as if they were Christ in disguise. 

Reflect: What small changes would allow you to perform corporal works of mercy: Can you allocate your time differently, so you have a couple extra hours to volunteer? Do you discard food that could instead be donated to a local soup kitchen? When was the last time you participated in a blood drive?

Pray: With mercy on your mind, revisit Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy Prayer

Act: Pick one of the seven corporal works of mercy and do it this week! 

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 28 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 3 day 1

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[1] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896



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