Introduction to Joshua
Hail the conquering hero! Beowulf, Alexander the Great, Xerxes, Romulans, Marcus Aurelius, Hannibal, Caesar the Ape... okay, we'll stop here. Needless to say (but you know we're going to anyway), the world is full of conquering heroes. Did you know the Bible has one, too? His name is Joshua. Written in Hebrew during the late 7th century BCE, the Book of Joshua is the first recorded text of the Bible and kicks off what is known as the Historical Books. This doesn't mean that everything is to be taken literally (like our jokes). History was originally meant to teach a community about how to be good citizens and way less concerned with historical accuracy. The Book of Joshua, which reads like a game of Risk, tells the tale of a man named Joshua (didn't see that one coming) and his conquest of the land of Canaan with the Israelite army. Joshua was Moses's replacement to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. The problem? People already lived there. Joshua had the unfortunate job of clearing out the wandering tribes of Canaan so the Israelites could have a home. We think of this like when you go to play in the ball pit, but it's already filled with kids, so you kick them all out because it's your turn. Of course, that's all hypothetical. We don't do that anymore. We are proud to say we haven't kicked a child out of a ball pit since last week. Like Exodus, the Book of Joshua is about a nation discovering its identity and home in a foreign land, but it's also a very personal story about an ambitious patriot who sees it as his duty to sacrifice everything for his people and God. If that doesn't scream a rockin' good time, we're not sure what does. Maybe if this all took place in a ball pit.
Why Should I Care?
Look, we're going to be honest with you. This book is filled with a lot of bloody battles, human conflict, and pump your fist in the air moments. But that's not why you should care. The Book of Joshua is your history, a story about a foreigner in a strange land with a special talent. To us, that screams freshman year of high school. And college. And work. And the retirement home. It's a tale as old a time, one of those moments where the Bible speaks to some experiences, we all share, no matter where we fall on the religious spectrum. Being the new guy is never easy. Or new girl for that matter. The Book of Joshua teaches us about family, commitment, loyalty, and faith—all things we need to survive, to make new histories. Give it a read. We dare you.
APRIL 12 Monday of the Second Week of Easter
RAMADAN (Begins at Sunset)
I command you be strong and steadfast! Do not FEAR nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.
The Lord is patient and kind, yet He is also just. He will right the evil of man. When man goes too far God intervenes. Is another intervention coming? Is there a breach in the lines of defense against the forces of darkness? Have we become fat and gross and gorged with secularism? Have we forsaken the God who made us and scorned Him? Have we sacrificed to demons, to “no-gods”?
Good men heed the message of St. Faustina, and seek the Divine Mercy of God while there is still time and then join the battle of God coming into the breach. Read the online message of the Bishop of Phoenix and be prepared to fight and defend our church.
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, a simple, uneducated, young Polish nun receives a special call. Jesus tells her, "I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My merciful Heart." These words of Jesus are found in the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, which chronicles Sr. Faustina's great experience of Divine Mercy in her soul and her mission to share that mercy with the world.
Though she died in obscurity in 1938, Sr. Faustina was hailed by Pope John Paul II as "the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time." On April 30, 2000, the Pope canonized her as St. Faustina, saying that the message of Divine Mercy she shared is urgently needed at the dawn of the new millennium.
Aids in Battle When in the battle
In the moments when you are tempted to be careless or halfhearted in the struggle, let these exhortations stir you to a renewed valor in battle and provide you with strategies to follow.
· The life of man upon the earth is a warfare. Tob 12: 13 DOUAY-RHEIMS
· God has not destined us to wrath, but to gain
· Fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. 1 Tim 1: 19
· lay hold of the life eternal, to which you have been called
· Conduct yourself in work as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
· Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Rom 12: 21 RSVCE
· The unceasing prayer of a just man has great effectiveness.
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, during which, for a period of thirty days, Muslims abstain from eating, and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Muslims do this because it is a pillar of Islam, and obligatory for everyone and the entire month is holy for Muslims so that they can increase their remembrance of life after death. Muslims also abstain from all bad deeds and habits, like smoking, swearing, backbiting, and disrespectfulness. Muslims reflect upon themselves, their religion. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Fasting and abstaining from bad habits teaches Muslim’s self-control, humility, and generosity. Ramadan is a time for charity, family, and good deeds. Muslims fast because they believe it is vital for spiritual health. Unlike the fast of Ashurah, the fasts of Ramadan and salah (praying towards Mecca), fasting helps Muslims maintain spiritual and physical health. The month of Ramadan begins when the new moon of Ramadan is sighted and ends when the new moon of Sha'ban is sighted. Muslims also believe that devils are chained up during Ramadan.
Ramadan Facts & Quotes
· Ramadan comes from the word ramadaa, which means 'sunbaked' in Arabic. This is perhaps a reference to the pangs of hunger Muslims feel when fasting.
· According to Islamic tradition, menstruating women, women who are experiencing bleeding after giving birth, people who are sick (either with short term or long-term illnesses), and travelers are exempt from fasting. Pregnant women also have the option of skipping fasts.
· In Islamic countries, when Ramadan ends and the crescent moon is first seen, people bang drums and give mighty shouts.
· According to Sunnah belief, the Prophet Muhammad once said, there is no conceit in fasting.
· who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves (Quran, 2:183)
Ramadan Top Events and Things to Do
· The fast is usually broken in a family setting, where traditional foods are served. Most Muslims begin their meal with a few dates and a glass of milk because the Prophet Muhammad used to do the same. The high sugar content of the dates sends energy to weary fasting Muslim, while the fiber in the dates and the protein in the milk fills them up and prevents nausea.
· During Ramadan, Muslims congregate every night in the mosque to pray Taraweeh prayers in congregation. In the United States, in between sets of prayers, the Imam gives a brief sermon and encourages people to give to charity.
· In Islamic countries, the end of the fast is signaled by a loud call to the sunset prayer. Most people eat a small meal, pray at the mosque, and then join their families for a large, festive dinner.
Novena for the Poor Souls
O Mother most merciful, pray for the souls in Purgatory!
PRAYER OF ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT O Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory and for sinners everywhere— for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and for those within my family. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE DYING O Most Merciful Jesus, lover of souls, I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother, to wash in Thy Most Precious Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony and who will die today. Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the dying! Amen.
ON EVERY DAY OF THE NOVENA V. O Lord, hear my prayer; R. And let my cry come unto Thee. O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired, Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
MONDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scourging, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which is nearest to its entrance into Thy glory, that it may soon begin to praise Thee and bless Thee forever. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a delicious, toasted delight popular all across the world. They even have their own holiday, Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, when it’s practically your duty to indulge in them.
Melting cheese on top of bread is a culinary concept that has been around since the time of the Romans, but grilled cheese sandwiches as we know them didn’t become popular until the 1920s. Due to the ready availability of cheese and sliced bread, they became an American staple, but also spread around the world. Naturally, the best way to celebrate Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day is to make and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. All you need is bread, cheese and butter, although you can experiment by adding more ingredients of your choice. You butter the outside of each piece of bread and grill the sandwich while the cheese melts on top. Delicious!
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Monday: Litany of Humility
 Shmoop Editorial Team, "Book of Joshua," Shmoop University, Inc., Last modified November 11, 2008, https://www.shmoop.com/book-of-joshua/.
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
Schouppe S.J., Rev. Fr. F. X.. Purgatory Explained