Saturday, May 29, 2021

 Feast of Mary Queen of Apostles[1]

The feast of the Queen of Apostles was established on the first Saturday after the Ascension by the Sacred Congregation of Rites at the request of the Pallottine Fathers. Mary initiated her mission as Queen of Apostles in the Cenacle. She gathered the apostles together, comforted them, and assisted them in prayer. Together with them she hoped, desired and prayed; with them her petitions were heeded, and she received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Mary is Queen of Apostles because she was chosen to be the Mother of Jesus Christ and to give him to the world; she was made the apostles' Mother and our own by our Savior on the cross. She was with the apostles while awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit, obtaining for them the abundance of supernatural graces they received on Pentecost. The most holy Virgin was and always will be the wellspring for every apostolate.

·         She exercised a universal apostolate, one so vast that it embraced all others. The apostolate of prayer, the apostolate of good example, the apostolate of suffering--Mary fulfilled them all. Other people have practiced certain teachings of the Gospel; Mary lived them all. Mary is full of grace, and we draw from her abundance.

·         Mary attracts the zealous to the various apostolates, then protects and defends all these works. She sheds on each the warmth of her love and the light of her countenance. She presented Jesus in a manner unparalleled throughout the ages. Her apostolate is of the highest degree--never to be equaled, much less surpassed.

·         Mary gave Jesus to the world and with Jesus came every other blessing. Thus, because of Mary we have the Church: "Mary is the Mother of the Church not only because she is the Mother of Christ and his most intimate associate in 'the new economy when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that he might in the mysteries of his flesh free man from sin,' but also because 'she shines forth to the whole community of the elect as a model of the virtues' (Lumen Gentium. 55, 65).

·         She now continues to fulfill from heaven her maternal function as the cooperator in the birth and development of the divine life in the individual souls of the redeemed" (The Great Sign, by Paul VI). What do we have of value that we have not received through Mary? It is God's will that every blessing should come to us through her.

·         Because the Blessed Mother occupies a most important position in God's plan of salvation, all humanity should pay homage to her. Whoever spreads devotion to the Queen of Apostles is an apostolic benefactor of the human race, because devotion to Mary is a treasure. Blessed is the person who possesses this treasure! Mary's devotees will never be without grace; in any danger, in every circumstance they will always have the means to obtain every grace from God.

Mary - Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church[2]

 

963 Since the Virgin Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. "The Virgin Mary. . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. . . . She is 'clearly the mother of the members of Christ’. . . since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.""Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church."

 

Mary's Motherhood with Regard to the Church

 

Wholly united with her Son. . .

 

964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death";504 it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:

 

Thus, the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."

 

965 After her Son's Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers." In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."

 

. . . also, in her Assumption

 

966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

 

In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.

 

. . . She is our Mother in the order of grace

 

967 By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and.. . Wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" of the Church.

 

968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason, she is a mother to us in the order of grace."

 

969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."

 

970 "Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it." "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."

 

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

 

971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration." The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.

 

Mary - Eschatological Icon of the Church

 

972 After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own "pilgrimage of faith," and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, "in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity," "in the communion of all the saints," the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother.

 

In the meantime, the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God.

 

In Brief

 

973 By pronouncing her "fiat" at the Annunciation and giving her consent to the Incarnation, Mary was already collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish. She is mother wherever he is Savior and head of the Mystical Body.

 

974 The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.

 

975 "We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ" (Paul VI, CPG § 15).



Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests
Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of Mary Help of Christians (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests.

The Church teaches us that it is divided into the Church Triumphant (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the Church Suffering (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the Church Militant (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

The members of the Auxilium Christianorum should always bear in mind the reality of our state as members of the Church living in this world. Despite St. Paul's teaching, many Catholics do not take seriously their obligation to wage war against the demonic forces. It is for this reason the Association of the Auxilium Christianorum was founded.


Daily Prayers Offered for the Members of the Auxilium Christianorum

Prayers to be said every day:

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

Most gracious Virgin Mary, thou who wouldst crush the head of the serpent, protect us from the vengeance of the evil one. We offer our prayers, supplications, sufferings and good works to thee so that thou may purify them, sanctify them and present them to thy Son as a perfect offering. May this offering be given so that the demons that influence or seek to influence the members of the Auxilium Christianorum do not know the source of their expulsion and blindness. Blind them so that they know not our good works. Blind them so that they know not on whom to take vengeance. Blind them so that they may receive the just sentence for their works. Cover us with the Precious Blood of thy Son so that we may enjoy the protection which flows from His Passion and Death. We ask this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Michael Prayer. Guardian Angel Prayer. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
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.
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, save us.
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.

V. Thou hast redeemed us with Thy Blood, O Lord.
R. And made of us a kingdom for our God.

Let us pray.

Almighty, and everlasting God, Who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world, and hast been pleased to be reconciled unto us by His Blood, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation, that the power thereof may here on earth keep us from all things hurtful, and the fruit of the same may gladden us for ever hereafter in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

On Sundays:

O Glorious Queen of Heaven and Earth, Virgin Most Powerful, thou who hast the power to crush the head of the ancient serpent with thy heel, come and exercise this power flowing from the grace of thine Immaculate Conception. Shield us under the mantle of thy purity and love, draw us into the sweet abode of thy heart and annihilate and render impotent the forces bent on destroying us. Come Most Sovereign Mistress of the Holy Angels and Mistress of the Most Holy Rosary, thou who from the very beginning hast received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan. Send forth thy holy legions, we humbly beseech thee, that under thy command and by thy power they may pursue the evil spirits, counter them on every side, resist their bold attacks and drive them far from us, harming no one on the way, binding them to the foot of the Cross to be judged and sentenced by Jesus Christ Thy Son and to be disposed of by Him as He wills.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, come to our aid in this grave battle against the forces of darkness, repel the attacks of the devil and free the members of the Auxilium Christianorum, and those for whom the priests of the Auxilium Christianorum pray, from the strongholds of the enemy.

St. Michael, summon the entire heavenly court to engage their forces in this fierce battle against the powers of hell. Come O Prince of Heaven with thy mighty sword and thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits. O Guardian Angels, guide and protect us. Amen.

On Mondays:

In Thy name, Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that Thou cover us, our families, and all of our possessions with Thy love and Thy Most Precious Blood and surround us with Thy Heavenly Angels, Saints and the mantle of Our Blessed Mother. Amen.

On Tuesdays:

Lord Jesus Christ, we beg Thee for the grace to remain guarded beneath the protective mantle of Mary, surrounded by the holy briar from which was taken the Holy Crown of Thorns, and saturated with Thy Precious Blood in the power of the Holy Spirit, with our Guardian Angels, for the greater glory of the Father. Amen.

On Wednesdays:

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God, we ask Thee to render all spirits impotent, paralyzed and ineffective in attempting to take revenge against anyone of the members of the Auxilium Christianorum, our families, friends, communities, those who pray for us and their family members, or anyone associated with us and for whom the priests of the Auxilium Christianorum pray. We ask Thee to bind all evil spirits, all powers in the air, the water, the ground, the fire, under ground, or wherever they exercise their powers, any satanic forces in nature and any and all emissaries of the satanic headquarters. We ask Thee to bind by Thy Precious Blood all of the attributes, aspects and characteristics, interactions, communications and deceitful games of the evil spirits. We ask Thee to break any and all bonds, ties and attachments in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

On Thursdays:

My Lord, Thou art all powerful, Thou art God, Thou art our Father. We beg Thee through the intercession and help of the Archangels Sts. Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All Saints of Heaven, come to our aid.

From anxiety, sadness and obsessions - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From hatred, fornication, and envy - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every thought of suicide and abortion - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every form of sinful sexuality - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult - We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.

Thou who said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." Grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every demonic influence and enjoy Thy peace always. In the Name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.

On Fridays:

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

On Saturdays:

O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin, our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

Conclusion for Every Day

August Queen of the Heavens, heavenly Sovereign of the Angels, Thou who from the beginning hast received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech Thee to send thy holy legions, so that under Thy command and through Thy power, they may pursue the demons and combat them everywhere, suppress their boldness, and drive them back into the abyss. O good and tender Mother, Thou wilt always be our love and hope! O Divine Mother, send Thy Holy Angels to defend us and to drive far away from us the cruel enemy. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us, guard us. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us.
Virgin Most Powerful, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
All You Holy Angels, pray for us.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
  
Fr. Chad Ripperger on "Levels of Spiritual Warfare"



Introduction to 2 Samuel[1]

Many moons ago, in a time of great darkness, Madonna said that she was "a material girl in a material world" And, many moons before that, King David was a Deuteronomistic guy in a Deutoronomistic world. That might sound kind of complicatedbut it just means that the same editors involved in putting together the Book of Deuteronomy also put together the group of books that includes 2 Samuel, running from the book of Judges to 2 Kings. For the story of 2 Samuel is part of what we commonly call the "Deuteronomistic History" and David is just one teeny part of it. But here's the thing. When we say "history," we're using that term pretty loosely. It's hard to tell what extent 2 Samuel (and 1 Samuel, since they were originally one work) is hard history or legend or the exaggeration of real events or a crazy mixture of all these. For many true believers, naturally, it's going to be history all the way. Yet it's easy to interpret the Biblical writers' account of David's life as being perhaps a bit whitewashed. See, for the most part, in their eyes, David can do no wrong. But yet certain unsavory facts about his life are too big for the authors to omit particularly David seducing the wife (Bathsheba) of one of his generals, and then having that general murdered.

 

The authors don't attempt to justify this at allit's way badand it might make the reader see a more complicated picture of David in other situations, like when the writers keep insisting he had nothing to do with the death of another general, Abner. So, if you wanted to, you could easily see the whole book as an example of pro-David propaganda, trying to justify his legacy as God's one beloved king. But that wouldn't really do justice to the book as a whole. It gives a pretty thorough picture of Israelite kingship as an institutionhow it works, how kings maintain power. It's a fascinating glimpse into the way people in the ancient Near East viewed at least some of their kings: as people both divinely guided and humanly flawed.

 

In the period of time depicted in the book, the Israelites were wrestling with the transition from being ruled by Judges like Samuelwith God as the only true king and creator of lawsto being ruled by a human king (who was still considered to be divinely guided).

 

This was sort of like having a Supreme Court but no President (except for God). And yeah, this could get kind of confusing and messy But to be fair, so could being ruled by a king, as evidenced by the reign of Saul in 1 Samuel. What 2 Samuel does, then, is to tell the story of a king who managed to pull himself together and rule in the right way.

 

Why Should I Care?

 

How do you manage to seduce one of your general's wives, orchestrate that same general's death in battle, refuse to punish your first-born son for committing a heinous crime against his own sisterand still wind up with a reputation for being the greatest of all Israelite kings, and God's prize favorite?

 

The book of 2 Samuel may or may not answer that question for youbut it'll help you take a good, hard look at the life of the character who did all of the above: King David. Of course, David did a lot besides those rather dubious and devious actions. There's heroism, tragedy, plain bad luck, and moments of sublime goodness in his story, as well. Also, he's a smooth operator. Even when he's doing something wrong or questionable, David remains totally humanflawed, but recognizably one of us. In a way, the dark patches in David's life are what help make him one of the very most intriguing and compelling people in the Bible as a whole. After God and Moses, David is arguably the most important character in the Hebrew Bible (most people would probably agree that he's the third-most-central figure.) Even though the book has a huge and interesting supporting cast, the Second Book of Samuel really is all about David, the heart of the story. What King Arthur is to Great Britain, and Caesar Augustus is to Ancient Rome, and Luke Skywalker is to Tatooine, King David is to Israel. He's the model hero, the best example of how to do it right (despite the serious things he does wrong).

 

"We Can Be Heroes" (to Quote David Bowie)

 

That's fine, and David might be an interesting guybut what does the book have to do with life today? Well, since people throughout the world have been reading the Bible for a while, it's shaped the kind of hero’s people look for and write about. Heroes from other books and other cultures demonstrate heroism in different wayslike Odysseus in the Odyssey, they might be crafty warriors trying to outwit the gods and make it home. Or, like King Rama from Hindu myth, they might be gods themselves, fighting for truth and righteousness against demonic powers. But the important thing to remember is that David is a humana human who is trying to live according to a higher law, and serve his God's purposes, surebut a human, nonetheless. True, Odysseus is a human, too, but his goals are also all typically human, related to getting back to his kingdom, seeing his wife and son, and regaining power. David's concerned with his personal power, too, but he has to balance that with what he believes God wants. His goals are both human and divine.

 

This ends up being a pretty tricky tight rope to walk, and watching David walk it, wavering between his own selfish ambitions and this higher cause, is part of the value and fun of 2 Samuel.  Life actually imitates art pretty often. People mimic the heroes they see on TV or in the movies or read about in Newsweek or wherever (there's recently been an increase in people who are imitating superheroes by wearing underwear over leotards and trying to hit criminals with nun-chucks). Since David is one of the most widely read characters in the history of the world, the story of his reign (which begins when 2 Samuel starts) can help give us a better idea of what we actually think about heroes and leaderswhat we expect from them, what qualities they have.

 

That's not just important for understanding the heroes we see depicted around us every dayit's also a useful way to understand ourselves, to see how we measure up, and to define our own ideas of true heroism.

 

 

MAY 29 Saturday after Pentecost-Ember Day

 

2 Samuel, Chapter 1, Verse 14

David said to him, “How is it that you were not AFRAID to put forth your hand to desecrate the Lords anointed?

 

Honor God’s Anointed[2] It appears that the Amalekite was trying to get a reward for killing the enemy of David (Saul). Everyone in the nation knew that Saul and David were at odds and that Saul was trying to kill David. When he stumbled onto the body of Saul, he thought that he had hit the jackpot. Instead of telling the truth about what he found he lied to David with the hope of getting gain. David was faultless in killing him because the man told David that he had killed the Lords anointed. In David’s eye that was a serious crime and the man brought it on himself. Notice and verse 14 of second Samuel he says "How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lords anointed?" and in verse 16, "And David said unto him, thy blood be on thy upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying I have slain the Lords anointed." Even though he did not kill Saul he lied in hopes of being rewarded and he was, just not in the way he thought though. The wages of sin is death.

 

The lesson here is, do not be a person who seeks to gain from another’s misfortune.

 

Cue up the Sad Violins[3]

·         As 2 Samuel begins, Saul and Jonathan have just died fighting the Philistines—David almost fought for the Philistines, but ended up getting excused at the last second, and headed off to fight the Amalekites.

·         Saul had committed suicide after seeing his defeat was inevitable (with, as it turns out, a little help), and Jonathan was killed in the battle.

·         A survivor from Saul's army finds David and tells him the news. It turns out the survivor was an Amalekite who (at Saul's request) helped Saul finish dying, giving him a fatal sword thrust, before bringing Saul's crown and armlet to David.

·         However, David is offended that this guy had the guts to help kill the Lord's anointed, so he has one of his own men kill the Amalekite.

Singing the Blues

·         Then, David sings the blues. In a song, he laments the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, singing, "How the mighty have fallen!"

·         He hails them both, paying tribute to their strength and good qualities, and telling the rest of Israel to weep for them in mourning.

·         He also says that Jonathan's love for him was "wonderful, passing the love of a woman," before repeating again, "How the mighty have fallen."

 

Apostolic Exhortation[4]

Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling

of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Part II

I. The Graces of Holy Communion

i. Holy Communion changes and transforms us into “Alter Christus”

36. This Eucharistic Christ gives life to those that receive Him, assimilates them and transforms them into Himself. Jesus called Himself the “Bread of Life” precisely to make us understand that He does not nourish us as ordinary food does; rather, as He possesses life, He gives it to us. Being assimilated by Jesus in Holy Communion makes us like Him in our sentiments, desires, and our way of thinking. In Holy Communion, His heart nourishes our hearts; His pure, wise and loving desires purify our selfish ones, so that we not only know what He wants, but also start wanting the same more and more. Saint Paul aptly wrote, “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). Through the Eucharist, we really become not only an Alter Christus – Another Christ – but indeed Ipse Christus, Christ Himself. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in a homily on Corpus Domini speaks of this divine assimilation:

“The purpose of this communion, of this partaking, is the assimilation of my life with His, my transformation and conformation into He who is living Love. Therefore, this communion implies adoration; it implies the will to follow Christ, to follow the One who goes ahead of us” (Homily, Corpus Domini, 2005).

37. Have you ever wondered why Jesus chose to leave us His presence under the appearance of bread and wine? He reveals the reason in His discourse on the Bread of Life:

“Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me” (Jn 6:57).

He wants to be nourishment of higher order of life within us, a capacity to love and act like Him, even to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).

38. Bread and wine are also powerful symbols that convey eloquently Jesus’ invitation to walk the same path of sacrificial love. The grains of wheat that are used for making bread had to go through a grueling process. They are plucked, thrashed, crushed, and ground up, kneaded and shaped, and finally, they are thrown to be baked in an oven. In a similar way, the grapes are plucked and smashed. Their juice is purified and bottled. Then they are left until maturity. If we look up at the Crucified Jesus on the Cross, we can see a similar grueling process He went through in His Passion and Death; this is what true love really means. Every time we come to the Eucharist; we are invited to imitate this sacrificial love of Christ.

To be continued

Saturday after Pentecost-Ember Day[5]

EPISTLE, Romans v. 1-5.

BRETHREN: Being justified therefore by faith, let us have peace with God, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom also we have access through faith into this grace, wherein we stand, and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God. And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience trial; and trial hope, and hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost Who is given to us.

GOSPEL. Luke iv. 38-44.

At that time: Jesus rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon’s house. And Simon s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever, and they besought Him for her. And standing over her, He commanded the fever, and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them. And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers’ diseases, brought them to Him. But He laying His hands on every one of them, healed them. And devils went out from many, crying out and saying: Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them, He suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was Christ. And when it was day, going out He went into a desert place, and the multitudes sought Him, and came unto Him: and they detained Him that He should not depart from them. To whom He said: To other cities also I must preach the kingdom of God: for therefor am I sent. And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

Today is the end of Paschaltide (after the office of None).

Ember Saturday Meditation on the Entombment[6]

 

And when evening was now come (because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before the Sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. But Pilate wondered that He should be already dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if He were already dead. And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And Joseph buying fine linen and taking Him down, wrapped Him up in the fine linen, and laid Him in a sepulcher which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulcher.

 

Liturgy of the Cloth: How the Early Church Incorporated the Shroud and Sudarium in the Mass[7]

 

New research suggests that the burial cloths of Jesus have been central to the Roman liturgy for more than a millennium, and possibly from the earliest days of the Church.

A German theologian and friend of Benedict XVI, drawing on the writings of a ninth-century bishop, appears to have made a historic and fascinating discovery, revealing how the Shroud of Turin and the sudarium (the Veil of Veronica) were central to the Roman liturgy from as far back as the Carolingian times, most probably before. The two relics and their inclusion in those early liturgies also point to the Real Presence. The discovery has only now come to light, after debate over the burial cloths has intensified over the past 10 years and interest has developed regarding their authenticity. The Register spoke recently with German journalist Paul Badde, who has been following the discovery closely and is an authority on the Holy Face of Manoppello, which many believe to be the true sudarium.

The discovery was made by Klaus Berger of Heidelberg, a German theologian, an old friend of Joseph Ratzinger and New Testament scholar, who is carrying out detailed research on the Apocalypse of St. John. During his studies, he came across one of the great commentators on the Apocalypse, Amalarius (775-850), a liturgical expert from the Carolingian times. Amalarius, who used to be bishop of Metz in France and archbishop of Trier in Germany, was a great liturgist of the Carolingian age, whom Pope Sergius II made a cardinal. Even in those times, he said the cloth of the altar resembled the shroud and the sudarium, found and discovered first by the apostles Peter and John in the empty holy sepulcher the first Easter morning. But we have an enormous gap in documented records from the first Easter morning in Jerusalem and the moment when they first appeared in public. We know that the sudarium appeared in 1208 in Rome in public, when Pope Innocent III put it on public view, and the shroud appeared in 1355 for the first time in the West in Lirey in the Champagne area of France. But we can be sure that the two cloths have always been part of the memory of the liturgy,” even though their presence arrived later. Amalarius may have witnessed seeing them there [in Constantinople], and its important to note that their presence in the liturgy didnt begin in Carolingian times, but [they] were probably used from the very beginning.

Where were the cloths kept before that time?

They were stored for many years in the East, but they were always hidden. Showing them to the public wasnt a big deal in the Orthodox world. In the West, we make historical records, but in the East, they dont have it that [record keeping as] much. But even in the Dark Ages, in the first millennium, there used to be a tradition in the Roman liturgy that the cloth on the altar had to be linen, and the altar had to be rock to be understood as a sepulcher.

What is the significance of altar linen does it date back to these two priceless relics?

Yes, from this we can understand why the altar linen, analogous to the shroud, until 1969, had to be pure linen and why the so-called corporal must always be folded in a particular way by way of analogy with the sudarium. John says that, after Christs resurrection, it was found by Peter and John in the empty tomb: not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up or folded (enteeligmenon in Greek) in a separate place. That corporal is the starched cloth, which, in the old rite, after the priest had come at the altar in contact with the bread and wine, could only be touched by him reverently with his thumb and forefinger.

How is the altar significant in this?

Since the altar linens of the liturgy are called sindon and sudarium and theologically are in connection with the Real Presence of Jesus in his body and blood, Berger contends that their purpose is to point to the mystery of the Eucharist on the altar stone. There, the inanimate matter of the bread and wine as the tomb of Christ in the rock in Jerusalem, which had never been used is always transformed into the Bread of Life and living blood of Christ. After the [Second Vatican] Council, we had the discussion: Is the altar about Communion? Is it a table? Or is it a sacrifice? Until that time, it was clearly a sacrifice. The altar was understood as a sepulcher, where lifeless elements were turned into something living flesh and blood. That was also the tradition in the eighth century. But whether the actual relics were seen at the altar or not, the shroud and the sudarium have been mentioned by St. John and the liturgical tradition, not only in public, but also been remembered as far back as the eighth and ninth centuries as something very special, very important in the story of the Resurrection. And this we have also to keep in mind. Very much can be said about the liturgy, and one thing is for sure: The liturgy can also be understood as the inner hard drive of the sacred memory of the Church. So, its quite clear that everything Amalarius reports about it in his time has not and cannot be invented and introduced in the liturgy in the Carolingian age. It must be much older and points right back to the beginning of the Church, just like the holy Eucharist itself.

Could you explain more about how this points to the Real Presence?

The depiction of the face of Jesus on these cloths could be understood similarly to the so-called Mass of Pope Gregory (540-604). Gregory, I saw, appearing to him, a bloodied Lord, directly in connection with the transformation of the Eucharistic species. The shroud and the sudarium of Jesus would, therefore, be understood as the direct expression and the personified Real Presence of Jesus on the altar and would be directly related to the Eucharist as the center of the holy Mass. In this way, they agree as biblically confirmed evidence of the resurrection of Christ with the mystery of the Eucharistic transformation (transubstantiation). You could, therefore, say: Instead of the vision of Gregory, in Amalarius, there is the real, symbolic content of the altar cloths. In both cases, it is an expression of the Real Presence of Christ. What is true for Pope Gregory is the content of the vision, namely, the real, bodily presence of Christ (particularly of the suffering Christ). According to Amalarius, it would be expressed sensibly (sinnenfällig) in the liturgical altar linens. On the burial cloths, showing the stigmata on the shroud and on the sudarium the face of Jesus, there appeared a lasting imprint of what happened for an instant in Gregorys vision.

What does this mean for Holy Face of Manoppello?

To me and to many, theres no doubt that Manoppello is the historic sudarium, also called the Veil of Veronica. It was kept in Rome and often venerated until 1527. It is, in fact, the very veil that had been laid on the face of the dead Lord when he was laid to rest in the sepulcher. So, it contains the first breath of the resurrected Christ. No wonder that nobody can explain how the image without any colors! got into the sacred veil. Now, the Easterly sudarium of Christ is coming back into history, at the beginning of an enormous iconic turn caused by the digital revolution not to the eyes of a chosen few anymore, but to the eyes of all men. And it doesnt come back to tell the Gospel anew with more words, but to reveal the Resurrection of the Lord from the dead with one true and unique image.

MEDITATIONS ON THE LITURGY FROM THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM FOR EACH OF THE EMBER DAYS AFTER PENTECOST.

Written by Monsignor Martin B. Hellriegel, originally published in the journal Orate Fratres Vol. XVIII, May 14, 1944, No. 7, pp. 299-305, later reprinted in Vine and Branches, Pio Decimo Press, 1948.

These meditations are attached to the 1962 Extraordinary Form liturgy. The current lectionary has different readings and prayers not specific to the Ember Days.

Prayer:

EMBER SATURDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Station "With St. Peter

The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, alleluia (introit)

"At the end of holy Mass Paschaltide comes to a close," so reads a little rubric after today's post communion. Needless to say, this little note reminds us not only of the fact that this blessed season is over but also of the duty of gratitude for the inexpressibly precious gifts we have received during this most sacred period of the Church's year.

The merciful Father so loved us as to give us His only-begotten Son. The obedient Son died and rose that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. And the charity of God is poured forth into our hearts by His Spirit dwelling in us, alleluia! "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless His holy name!" (em>introit). We are the Father's adopted children; we are the Son's redeemed members; we are the living temples of the Holy Spirit, bound to Christ our Head, and bound to one another by the charity of God, which is the Paraclete Himself. Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro!

The prophecy of Joel (first lesson), quoted by our station saint, Peter, on the day of Pentecost, is fulfilled: God's Spirit is poured out upon us. Aided by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit we call upon the name of the Lord and we shall be saved. "Alleluia, it is the Spirit that quickened, but the flesh profiteth nothing.

The seven weeks, that is to say, the fifty days, have expired. The victorious Lord led us into the land flowing with the milk and honey of His eucharistic sweetness. Let us never forget the loving kindness of our Lord! Gladly shall we offer Him the first fruits of our love and gratitude and shall leave them int he sight of the Lord, adoring the Lord our God (second and third lessons).

And now that the Lord has set up His tabernacle in the midst of us, we shall faithfully walk in His precepts and keep His commandments, so that He may remain our God and we His people (fourth lesson). May the divine fire which our Lord Jesus Christ sent into our hearts never be extinguished but burn mightily by the power of His Holy Spirit (collect).

Like the three Babylonian youths we were wondrously saved from the fire of the eternal furnace (fifth lesson); we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access through faith into this grace wherein we (now) stand, possessing the hope that we are God's glorious sons...because the charity of God is poured forth into our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us (epistles).

We celebrate this closing day "in the house of Peter: (station: St. Peter). Jesus will enter this house this morning and will lay His healing hands upon us. May He in His infinite love remove the last traces of our weakness and give us full health. At the same time we will ask Him in all humility: Stay with us, Lord, do not depart form us (gospel), and grant that "Thy holy mysteries which we have celebrated (in this paschal season) may inspire us with divine fervor, that we may delight not only in their celebration but also in their fruits" (postcommunion).

And so we conclude this blessed paschal season, grateful to the most Holy Trinity for all that we have received but determined also to preserve in our souls the divine life of our victoriously reigning Lord to whom be thanksgiving and glory for everlasting ages. Amen. Alleluia.

Prayer Source: Orate Fratres/Worship: A Review Devoted to the Liturgical Apostolate , The Liturgical Press

Mountaineering[8]

Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to summit Mt. Everest on May 29, 1953.

 

Climbing a summit is deeply spiritual. Christ climbed tabor, Moses Sinai and even St. Patrick had a favorite climb today call Patrick’s Croagh. We even have Saints that were mountaineers. Today we will look at Pier Giorgio.

 

Pier Giorgio Michelangelo Frassati was born in Turin, Italy on April 6, 1901. His mother, Adelaide Ametis, was a painter. His father Alfredo was the founder and director of the newspaper, La Stampa," and was influential in Italian politics, holding positions as an Italian Senator and Ambassador to Germany.

 

At an early age, Pier Giorgio joined the Marian Sodality and the Apostleship of Prayer, and obtained permission to receive daily Communion (which was rare at that time). He developed a deep spiritual life which he never hesitated to share with his friends. The Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin were the two poles of his world of prayer. At the age of 17, he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society and dedicated much of his spare time to serving the sick and the needy, caring for orphans, and assisting the demobilized servicemen returning from World War I.

He decided to become a mining engineer, studying at the Royal Polytechnic University of Turin, so he could
serve Christ better among the miners," as he told a friend. Although he considered his studies his first duty, they did not keep him from social and political activism. In 1919, he joined the Catholic Student Foundation and the organization known as Catholic Action. He became a very active member of the Peoples Party, which promoted the Catholic Churchs social teaching based on the principles of Pope Leo XIIIs encyclical letter, Rerum Novarum.   

What little he did have, Pier Giorgio gave to help the poor, even using his bus fare for charity and then running home to be on time for meals. The poor and the suffering were his masters, and he was literally their servant, which he considered a privilege. His charity did not simply involve giving something to others, but giving completely of himself. This was fed by daily communion with Christ in the Holy Eucharist and by frequent nocturnal adoration, by meditation on St. Paul’s “Hymn of Charity” (I Corinthians 13), and by the writings of St. Catherine of Siena. He often sacrificed vacations at the Frassati summer home in Pollone (outside of Turin) because, as he said, “If everybody leaves Turin, who will take care of the poor?” 

In 1921, he was a central figure in Ravenna, enthusiastically helping to organize the first convention of Pax Romana, an association which had as its purpose the unification of all Catholic students throughout the world for the purpose of working together for universal peace. 

Mountain climbing was one of his favorite sports. Outings in the mountains, which he organized with his friends, also served as opportunities for his apostolic work. He never lost the chance to lead his friends to Mass, to the reading of Scripture, and to praying the rosary. 

He often went to the theater, to the opera, and to museums. He loved art and music, and could quote whole passages of the poet Dante. 

Fondness for the epistles of St. Paul sparked his zeal for fraternal charity, and the fiery sermons of the Renaissance preacher and reformer Girolamo Savonarola and the writings of St. Catherine impelled him in 1922 to join the Lay Dominicans (Third Order of St. Dominic). He chose the name Girolamo after his personal hero, Savonarola. “I am a fervent admirer of this friar, who died as a saint at the stake," he wrote to a friend. Like his father, he was strongly anti-Fascist and did nothing to hide his political views. He physically defended the faith at times involved in fights, first with anticlerical Communists and later with Fascists. Participating in a Church-organized demonstration in Rome on one occasion, he stood up to police violence and rallied the other young people by grabbing the group’s banner, which the royal guards had knocked out of another student’s hands. Pier Giorgio held it even higher, while using the banner’s pole to fend off the blows of the guards. 

Just before receiving his university degree, Pier Giorgio contracted poliomyelitis, which doctors later speculated he caught from the sick whom he tended. Neglecting his own health because his grandmother was dying, after six days of terrible suffering Pier Giorgio died at the age of 24 on July 4, 1925. His last preoccupation was for the poor. On the eve of his death, with a paralyzed hand he scribbled a message to a friend, asking him to take the medicine needed for injections to be given to Converso, a poor sick man he had been visiting. 

Pier Giorgio’s funeral was a triumph. The streets of the city were lined with a multitude of mourners who were unknown to his family -- the poor and the needy whom he had served so unselfishly for seven years. Many of these people, in turn, were surprised to learn that the saintly young man they knew had actually been the heir of the influential Frassati family. Pope John Paul II, after visiting his original tomb in the family plot in Pollone, said in 1989: “I wanted to pay homage to a young man who was able to witness to Christ with singular effectiveness in this century of ours. When I was a young man, I, too, felt the beneficial influence of his example and, as a student, I was impressed by the force of his testimony." 

On May 20, 1990, in St. Peter’s Square which was filled with thousands of people, the Pope beatified Pier Giorgio Frassati, calling him the “Man of the Eight Beatitudes.”

 

His mortal remains, found completely intact and incorrupt upon their exhumation on March 31, 1981, were transferred from the family tomb in Pollone to the cathedral in Turin. Many pilgrims, especially students and the young, come to the tomb of Blessed Frassati to seek favors and the courage to follow his example

 

Memorial Day Build Up

 

Every day from now to Memorial Day I ask your prayers for each service and all of our defenders to include police and fire on Memorial Day.

 

US Public Health Service[9]


 

The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC), also referred to as the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service, is the federal uniformed service of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. The commissioned corps' primary mission is to the protection, promotion, and advancement of health and safety of the general public. Along with the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is one of two uniformed services that consist only of commissioned officers and has no enlisted or warrant officer ranks, although warrant officers have been authorized for use within the service. Officers of the commissioned corps are classified as noncombatants, unless directed to serve as part of the military by the President or detailed to a service branch of the military. Members of the commissioned corps wear the same uniforms as the United States Navy, or the United States Coast Guard (when assigned to the Coast Guard), with special PHS Commissioned Corps insignia, and hold naval ranks equivalent to officers of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. Commissioned corps officers typically receive their commissions through the commissioned corps’ direct commissioning program. As with its parent division, the Public Health Service, the commissioned corps is under the direction of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The commissioned corps is led by the Surgeon General, who holds the grade of vice admiral. The Surgeon General reports directly to the Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Health; the Assistant Secretary of Health may be appointed to the rank of admiral if he or she is also a serving uniformed officer of the commissioned corps 


Daily Devotions

·         Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[1]https://www.shmoop.com/1-samuel/

[3]http://www.shmoop.com/2-samuel/chapter-1-summary.html

[5] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[6] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[7]http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/liturgy-of-the-cloth-how-the-early-church-incorporated-the-shroud-and-sudar

[8] https://frassatiusa.org/frassati-biography

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