Friday in the Octave of Ascension
ST MATTHIAS-Novena St. Rita-Chicken Dance Day
23As for me, far be it from me to sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you and to teach you the good and right way. 24But you must FEAR the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart, for you have seen the great things the Lord has done among you.
here is reminding the Israelites at the coronation of Saul that even though
they now have a king like all the other nations they are not to be like all the
other nations; that they must serve first the Lord of heaven and earth. Yet,
they did not nor could not; they like all men needed a savior. “We have no king but Cesar.”
Priestly Pentecost Novena
Holy Spirit! Lord of Light! From Your clear celestial height, Your pure beaming radiance give!
Only one thing is important — eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared–sin? Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.”
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Spirit, and hast given us forgiveness all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us your sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.
Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
On my knees I before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, “Speak Lord for Your servant heareth.” Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples, and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.
Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
The feast of Saint Matthias was included in the Roman Calendar in the 11th century and celebrated on the sixth day to the Calends of March (24 February usually, but 25 February in leap years). In the revision of the General Roman Calendar in 1969, his feast was transferred to 14 May, so as not to celebrate it in Lent but instead in Eastertide close to the Solemnity of the Ascension, the event after which the Acts of the Apostles recounts that Matthias was selected to be ranked with the Twelve Apostles.
OF this apostle nothing certain is known beyond what is contained in the epistle. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.”
Prayer. O God, Who didst associate blessed Matthias to the company of the apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that, by his intercession, we may ever experience Thy tender mercy towards us.
EPISTLE. Acts i. 15-26.
In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren said (now the number of persons together was about a hundred and twenty): Men, brethren, the Scripture must needs be fulfilled which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus: who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day wherein He was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of His resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, Who knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two Thou hast chosen to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
GOSPEL. Matt. xi. 25-30.
At that time Jesus answered and said I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth anyone know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is sweet and My burden light. The wise and prudent referred to in this gospel are the proud scribes and Pharisees, who, in their imaginary wisdom, would not receive the incarnate and suffering Son of God, but despised and rejected Him; in general, they represent also all who in their pride would measure everything by their own understanding, and to whom, consequently, the mysteries of faith seem foolishness. The little ones are the apostles, who, although taken from a low condition of life, without a learned education, but rather ignorant, were enlightened by God to know the deepest mysteries, because they had docile and humble hearts, desirous of salvation. Thus, God gives grace to the humble, while the proud go away empty. To those who bear His yoke, and follow Him, Christ promises peace of mind, temporal and eternal happiness; and, indeed, we must confess that as often as we are disquieted and discontented the cause of it is our selfishness and want of submission to the will of God, our pride and vanity. Learn, then, to love to be meek and humble, if you would enjoy peace, here or here after.
Prayer to St. Matthias. O St. Matthias, glorious apostle and martyr of Jesus Christ, who, by the special providence of God, wast added to the eleven apostles in the room of the traitor, I humbly beseech thee to obtain for us the grace of Him Who chose thee from all eternity, that, assisted thereby, we may, after thy example, keep the commandments of God, practice good works, and thus merit to be numbered with the elect. Amen.
Novena of St. Rita
This novena prayer, although short is sufficient. It would be better of course to add, if time permits, three Hail Mary’s or say five times the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father, or to use some of the many well-loved novena prayers from other sources. Remember that prayers must be said with the lips in order to gain the indulgences. This novena begins on May 14 and ends on May 22. Rita is the patron of the impossible.
Prayer: O glorious St. Rita! You who so wonderfully participated in the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the grace to suffer with patience the pains of this life and protect me in all my needs.
Mental prayer according to St. Teresa of Avila is nothing more than, “A close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.” Mental prayer is the raising of our mind to God in a quiet intimate conversation. We acquire the “mind of Christ” (I Cor. 2:16) by spending time in his company, in quiet, intimate conversation. We need to set time aside for mental prayer (20 minutes should be the minimum) Most of that time we should be listening for God’s word in our soul. The best place for our conversations is before the Blessed Sacrament but any quiet place with few distractions will do. It is best to begin by making an “act of the presence of God” which is a short prayer addressing God and acknowledging his presence. During our time with the Lord we should tell him about the things of our heart, what we think we are doing well and not so well and what are our concerns. We may bring along a Bible or spiritual book to discuss with our Lord. It is always a good idea to invite the Mother of Christ into the conversation. Mental Prayer can be a one-shot deal but it is always better when we set aside time every day for our conversation with God.
Mental Prayer was the premise of my book, “Coffee with Christ” here is an excerpt from the book.
The idea of this book is to seek friendship with God through Christ, the Holy Spirit and His mother-Mary. Prayer is, in its purest sense, a personal journey or intimacy with Our Lord. There is no greater help in our life’s journey in this world than through friendship with Jesus Christ and His mother.
The imaginary premise of this book is to have a regular “Coffee Clutch” with Christ and gather for coffee and conversation through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Ideally this book will serve as encouragement for you to enter into your own “coffee clutch” with Christ. Having a regular or daily set time or appointment to meet and discuss with Him your hopes, dreams, plans and goals. To bear your heart to Him: To just sit down with Christ and talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company, over a cup of coffee and to make the common Holy and grow in the love and likeness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The plan of the journal is to talk with Christ over the next 30 days and enjoy a cup of coffee with Him and contains my personal reflections with Him. Ideally this little saga of mine will inspire you to have the habit of talking intimately with our Lord yourself and I will at the end of my reflections in this book include 10 days of questions for your own “Coffee Clutch” with Christ. The forty days (30 + 10) in this journal are ideally suited for reflection during the season of Lent; however, it is also suitable for anytime during the year.
Note: This journal is merely my own reflections on spiritual matters and may or may not be in accord with the magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Today it is my daughter Dara Hope’s birthday; (her name means: House of Compassion and Hope) please pray the Novena of St. Rita for her. Also today is National Chicken Dance Day! Yes, she loves to do the chicken dance.
Chicken Dance Day
We’ve all seen it, it’s utterly ridiculous and usually performed in a bout of intoxicant driven lunacy. You tuck your hands into your armpits to make ‘wings’, and then you flap like an idiot in time with some particularly unfortunate music. All that aside, you’re having complete giggle fits with a bunch of your friends while you behave in a fashion that has the local sanitarium eyeballing you for membership. What are we talking about? The Chicken Dance of course! Chicken Dance Day commemorates this dance and its origins, and even gives you a chance to learn WHY anyone would do this terrible, terrible thing.
History of Chicken Dance Day
“Der Ententanz” was the name of the song that inspired all of this, and while the dance has come to be called “The Chicken Dance”, the song itself is called The Duck Dance. At least that was its original name, and now it has spread all over the world, undergoing multiple name changes in the process. It has been known as everything from The Little Bird Dance to De Vogeltjesdans, or “The dance of the little birds.” This rendition was actually the B-Side of a single released by a band called “De Electornica’s”. The A-Side simply wasn’t being well received by the radio stations audiences, so they flipped it over. At that moment, history was made and it rocketed to the Dutch charts and stayed there for nearly a year. So much has its popularity exploded that it has been recorded in no less than 140 versions with over 40,000,000 records published over its lifetime. In 1981 the dance brought to Oktoberfest in the United States, and due to a complete lack of duck costumes anywhere near the event, they had to settle for chicken costumes instead. The result of which is the name by which it is now known. The song responsible gets new covers done almost every year, with new lyrics added all the time. That’s right, there’s lyrics. You’re welcome.
How to Celebrate Chicken Dance Day
The Dance of polios and Prelates
Need we say it? The best way to celebrate Chicken Dance Day is by getting out there and doing the Chicken Dance! It’s quite simple, and it all starts with making a beak with your hands, and ‘squawk’ them four times in beat with the music, then you make wings as described earlier, and flap them four times in time with the music. Then… ya know what? Just watch this: How to Chicken Dance.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 37. Mental Prayer.