Monday, May 17, 2021

 FOURTH DAY (Monday, 7th Week of Easter)


Thou in toil art comfort sweet, Pleasant coolness in the heat, solace in the midst of woe.

The Gift of Fortitude 

By the gift of Fortitude, the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake, without hesitancy, the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."

Prayer

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. 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.




I began my sermon this weekend (see below) by pointing to heroes. The heroes in our times are those unafraid to speak the truth openly, especially as we are being brutalized and censored by the "worldly" who will have none of this "truth." These heroes are also seeing maltreatment from their own. Whether it is family, so-called "friends," or even chastisement toward priests by their fellow clerics. "You are being divisive!!," we are told, as if we are in direct contradiction to the image of Christ.

Let's take another look at that image ...
Jesus said, "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." (Luke 12:49-53)
Jesus did not remain silent, nor did he follow the "gospel of the world." He did not say what people wanted to hear, but what was true. He did not adapt to the world; he expected people to adapt to God's truth as he spoke it. When Jesus ministered on earth he had some who followed him, and some who sought to kill him and eventually had him crucified. Today, also, he has some who follow him and some who seek to destroy his influence.

In my sermon, I drew attention to two of my heroes, in this regard. The first was the late, great Bishop Robert Morlino. Bishop Morlino "truly" loved his flock. Why do I say this? Because his love extended beyond his desire for his own safety and security and whether the collection plate was full. His priesthood was not about being a "business manager" but one of a "loving dad" who looked out for his "family." He was willing to do everything he could to warn his flock of the wolves, who were intent on destroying his sheep; the wolves who were intent on twisting the truth as they sought to normalize pure evil. Because of Bishop Morlino's "truth," that countered the lies of the radical secular gospel of the world, there were those who sought to destroy him. Just as we saw President Trump regularly demonized in the media - because he was a real and present danger to the agenda of the radical secular "worldly" - Bishop Morlino experienced the same constant assault against him by local and even national media. That didn't matter to Bishop Morlino, just as it did not matter to Christ. His love was "authentic," and that meant putting himself in harm's way to "save the souls" of his flock.

The second hero I noted in my sermon was Fr. James Altman. Fr. Altman is being absolutely brutalized by the worldly who only allow the radical secular gospel to be spoken. Fr. Altman is ferocious, like Bishop Morlino, in speaking the truth openly, as he seeks to save souls from the evil hungry wolves. I repeated, to my congregation, what I told Fr. Altman in a recent Grace Force podcast, "You are probably my favorite priest. It is absolutely clear that you *actually* love your flock, because you are relentless in courageously giving them the truth when virtually all clergy are too afraid to do so." Because of this, Fr. Altman is pegged as being divisive ... as if this counters what Christ asks us to do. Reread the scripture from Luke's Gospel above.

I actually added a third hero, among the very few out there now, in my own Bishop Donald Hying. I about stood up and danced when I first read his May 14 tweet. Obviously, he was not concerned with "being divisive," especially in his tone and manner: "Pelosi says she's 'pleased' with Vatican letter to U.S. bishops on Communion. So, in other words, Nancy, we bishops should just be quiet about your radical pro abortion stance, as you facilitate the continuation of the murder of millions of unborn lives." Thank you, Bishop Hying, for expressing "authentic" love for your flock!!

I repeated over and over again in my sermon, "We are weak and divided." The time is now to "get strong" and become "unified." But, this "unity" is found at the cross of Jesus Christ, not some "compromised" position or the policy of accommodation and appeasement that, it seems, almost all of our bishops have chosen to follow.

So here we are. Evil has moved in and taken over because we are weak and silent, for fear of "being divisive."

I can't help but recall President Reagan's famous speech entitled, "A Time for Choosing." I'll conclude by sharing a portion of that historic speech:
"Their policy of accommodation is appeasement...gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand-the ultimatum. And what then? When Satan has told his people he knows what our answer's gonna be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of his Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary, because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet."
 
And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.
 
If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin-just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer after all.
 
You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." There is a point beyond which they must not advance. Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.
 
Well, you and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We'll preserve for our children this the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness. We're at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. And it's been said, if we lose this war, and in so doing, lose this great way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those that had the most to lose did the least to prevent it from happening.
 
Well, I think it's high time now that we ask ourselves if we still even know the freedoms that were intended for us by our founding fathers. Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom exists, not to do what you like, but having the right to do what you ought, and that is the freedom that I wish for you. Set yourselves apart from this corrupt generation. Be Saints. You weren't made to fit in, you were born to stand out.

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter

TAXES DUE-PINOT GRIGIO DAY

 

1 Samuel, Chapter 18, Verse 12

Saul then began to FEAR David because the LORD was with him but had turned away from Saul.

 

To this David writes psalm 27:

 

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should, I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, these my enemies and foes themselves stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart does not fear; though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.

 

One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: to dwell in the LORD’s house all the days of my life, to gaze on the LORD’s beauty, to visit his temple. For God will hide me in his shelter in time of trouble, He will conceal me in the cover of his tent; and set me high upon a rock. Even now my head is held high above my enemies on every side! I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and chant praise to the LORD. Hear my voice, LORD, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me. “Come,” says my heart, “seek his face”; your face, LORD, do I seek! Do not hide your face from me; do not repel your servant in anger. You are my salvation; do not cast me off; do not forsake me, God my savior! Even if my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me in.

 

LORD, show me your way; lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Do not abandon me to the desire of my foes; malicious and lying witnesses have risen against me. I believe I shall see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!

 

Tax Day (Taxes Due)[1]


 

Tax Day marks the last day to file income taxes in the United States.  The history of US Income Tax dates back to the Civil War and the Revenue Act of 1861.  This tax was imposed to help pay the costs of the war.  After several repeals, new taxes, and subsequent repeals, the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified and went into law in 1913.  This established the right of Congress to impose a Federal Income tax. The Income Tax remains the primary way that the US Government finances itself. To ensure that all monies due for the prior year are paid, a Tax Day was created. All US taxpayers are required to file taxes based on prior year’s earnings by this date.  Traditionally this date has been on April 15 of each year.  If this day falls on a weekend, the due date is extended to the following Monday.  This date is also impacted by the Emancipation Day Holiday in Washington DC.

 

Tax Day (Taxes Due) Facts & Quotes

 

·         The date of Monday May 17, 2021 represents the filing deadline to submit 2020 tax returns.

·         In 1913, the original US income tax rates were 1% for incomes over $3,000; 6% for incomes over $500,000.

·         During World War I, around 1918, the highest income tax rate was over 77%.

·         The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the very existence of government. - James Madison, U.S. President

·         A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy.  If it benefits you, it is tax reform. - Russell B. Long, U.S. Senator

 

Tax Day (Taxes Due) Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Be sure to mail your Tax Return before the midnight of the designated Tax Day.

·         File for an extension before midnight, if needed.

·         Visit Office Depot and shred your old documents for Free.

·         Take advantage of Tax Day Freebies at local restaurants.

·         Watch a movie that deals with taxes and the consequences of unpaid taxes.  Our picks: Stranger Than Fiction (2006), Catch Me If You Can (2012), The Firm (1993), The Mating Game (1959)

·         Wine about your Taxes

 

Pinot Grigio Day[2]


The Pinot Grigio complements any meal but sometimes it’s best by itself. Lorrie C

 

If you’re a wine aficionado, you know that there’s nothing quite like the fresh taste of a great vintage of wine to go with an incredible meal. There are so many vintages to choose from it can sometimes be a challenge to find the perfect pairing. Thankfully, there’s Pinot Grigio, an incredible wine that’s been known for hundreds of years in the world’s most respected wine regions. Pinot Grigio Pinot Grigio Day celebrates this astonishing wine and its ability to be paired with just about anything, or just enjoyed on its own.

 

History of Pinot Grigio Day

 

Pinot Grigio has a long history, as we already mentioned above, and shares part of its genetic heritage with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. As the years went by it came to be one of the most popular vintages to be grown and produced, with over 15,000 Hectares being used to grow the grape necessary to produce it. If you’ve never had this fine wine and want to know how it tastes, it has been described as having an acidic, lighter-bodied flavor, most of the noted as having a recognizable ‘spiciness’ to them.

 

Depending on where you’re getting your Pinot Grigio from it may come under a different name, with examples being the Auxerrois Gris from Alsace, the Grauer Monch from Germany, and the Rulander from Romania. While the basic profile of the wine remains the same, there are variations based on where and how its produced that lead to sweeter and drier varieties being available. Pinot Grigio Day is your opportunity to go out and buy a bottle or ten and start sampling a delicious variety of what the world has to offer in the way of excellent wines.

 

How to celebrate Pinot Grigio Day

 

As we already mentioned there’s no better way to celebrate this day than by getting yourself a fine bottle of Pinot Grigio and pouring it out with some friends. Given that there are multiple varieties of this wine it could be good to schedule a wine tasting where everyone brings a bottle of Pinot Grigio from a different region, to ensure that everyone gets the chance to enjoy the wide world of Pinot Grigio. Don’t let this holiday pass you by without taking the time to appreciate one of viticultures finest products.

 

Things you can do with Pinot Grigio besides drinking it!

 

Of course, having a delicious glass of Pinot Grigio is the best way to celebrate this day! However, there are a number of other things that you can do with Pinot Grigio, aside from drinking it. There are so many different recipes that call for Pinot Grigio. So, why not celebrate with a delicious meal incorporating Pinot Grigio and a glass of the wine to wash it down with? Fish dishes always work really well with this type of wine. Nevertheless, there are many other recipes whereby Pinot Grigio can be incorporated. 

 

Did you know that you can use Pinot Grigio in a pie and tart crust? You have probably heard about creating a tender pie crust with vodka. However, you can also use this delicious white wine. The science is very similar. Unlike water, gluten is not created when flour and alcohol or mixed together. If you overwork gluten, baked goods can end up tough. Therefore, you can enjoy a much more tender crust if you use less gluten. Moreover, the touch of Pinot Grigio is going to add a bit of sweetness to the crust as well, so it’s a win-win! 

 

If you’re looking for a great dinner idea to go with your bottle of white wine on Pinot Grigio day, how about a chicken cacciatore? In some countries, the tomato-based version of this dish is more well-known. However, with this version, chicken is served with a white sauce. You can prepare this with red chillis, oil, and garlic. You can then add some olives and a bottle of pinot grigio, cooking it for a long time so that all of the flavors are melded together properly. Ten minutes before you are finished cooking, add plenty of fresh rosemary to the sauce. 

 

If this doesn’t sound like the right dish for you, how about a pasta carbonara? You can add more flavor to your pasta dish by adding a splash of Pinot Grigio to the pan after the pancetta has been sauteed. You won’t look back after trying this version. There is a gamey aftertaste to the smoked pancetta cubes. However, you can get rid of this with the Pinot Grigio, which makes the pure pancetta flavor outstanding. It really takes your dish to the next level, and this is a sort of concept that can be applied to a lot of different dishes when it comes to adding Pinot Grigio. 

 

Last but not least, why not create your own cocktail with Pinot Grigio? Of course, you’re still going to be technically drinking it, but we’ve bent the rules a little bit for this one! There are some amazing Pinot Grigio cocktails on the Internet. Spend some time looking for a recipe you love. One of our favorites is a Hugo Spritzer. To make this cocktail, you will need your favorite Pinot Grigio (or any old bottle!) combined with soda water, elderflower syrup, mint leaves, some wedges of lime, and some ice. It’s a refreshing cocktail, which goes down a treat.

 

Shavuot – The Holiday that Nurtures Our Souls[3]begins at sunset

Shavuot is one of the three major Jewish festivals and comes exactly fifty days after Passover. After being redeemed from Egyptian slavery, the Jews arrived on Mount Sinai and received the Torah from God. This wonderful event took place 3,319 years ago. The word Shavuot means “weeks.” It marks the completion of the seven weeks, 49 days, between Passover and Shavuot during which the Jewish people prepared themselves for the giving of the Torah. During this time period they prepared themselves spiritually and entered into an eternal covenant with God with the giving of the Torah. Shavuot also means “oaths.” With the giving of the Torah, the Jewish people and God exchanged oaths, forming an everlasting covenant, not to forsake one another. Every year on this day we celebrate and renew our acceptance of God’s gift and our eternal bond with Him. There are several interesting customs associated with this holiday. We stay up all night learning Torah, read the Ten Commandments and the book of Ruth, and eat milk products, especially cheesecake. The custom of learning is especially fitting for the holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah. The custom of dairy products seems surprising. Among the different explanations given for this custom, one points out that the Hebrew word for milk is chalav. When the numerical value of the letters in this word are added together – 8; 30; 2 – the total is forty. Forty hints to the number of days Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Torah. I would like to present another, perhaps more personal and spiritual reason for this custom. Unlike meat that nourishes the flesh, milk is full of calcium which nourishes the bones. The Hebrew for bones is “Atzmot תמוצע ” which is also the word that means “essence.” This custom hints to the fact that on this holiday we absorb the Torah which nourishes our essence. Additionally, milk is the most basic of foods that a nursing mother shares with her infant. The mother literally gives of her essence and nurtures the essence of the baby. This relationship parallels the personal bond and love that a mother shares with her child. On Shavuot we celebrate the personal relationship that we have with God, when He gives over His essence, the Torah, and we absorb it into the essence of our soul.

 

Shavuot Facts[4]

·         On Shavuot, it is customary to adorn the Synagogue and home with flowers and green plants.  This is in memory of the foliage around Mount Sinai

·         On Shavuot, it is customary to eat milk products.  Many Jewish houses, replace the normal meat/chicken dinners with a festivity of milk products, including cheesecake, blintzes, cheeses and ice cream.  This custom commemorates the acts of the children of Israel at Sinai.  Having received the Law, they understood that their dishes were no longer Kosher, having been used for milk and meat together.  They also were in need of teaching on the intricate details of ritual slaughter (Shechitah).  Lacking these, they opted to eat only milk products.

·         It is customary in Orthodox and some traditional communities to partake in Bible/Jewish Law lessons throughout the eve and night of Shavuot.  This is in order to accept the Torah for their generation.  In Jerusalem, many people learn the whole night through until dawn and then walk to the Western Wall at sunrise and pray the morning and festival prayer from around 5-8 am.  Thereafter, they go home for a hearty festive breakfast and then sleep the rest of the morning.

·         The Book of Ruth is read in the Synagogue in the Morning of Shavuot.  Ruth converted to Judaism and it is her descendant, David, who became King in Israel.  The book of Ruth demonstrates that achieving a high level in Judaism, is neither ethnic nor genetic.

·         It is customary to wear new clothes on Shavuot.  In the seven weeks (the Omer) preceding Shavuot, people refrain from purchasing major clothing items.

Shavuot Top Events and Things to Do

·         Visit Mount Sinai (Egypt) or Israel.

·         Read the Book of Exodus, Joshua or Ruth in the Bible.

·         Watch the epic film Moses with Burt Lancaster, available for viewing on Youtube

·         Eat Milk products

Daily Devotions/Activities

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary

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