THIRD DAY (7th Sunday of Easter)
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.
Sunday within the Octave of Ascension
ST. SIMON STOCK
1 Samuel, Chapter 15, Verse 24
Saul admitted to Samuel: “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the command of the LORD and your instructions. I FEARED the people and obeyed them.
There are three lessons we can learn from the life of King Saul.
First, obey the Lord and seek to do His will. From the very start of his reign, Saul had the perfect opportunity to be the benchmark by which all future kings could be measured. All he had to do was to seek the Lord wholeheartedly, obey His commandments and align his will with that of God’s, and his rule would have been a God-honoring one. However, like so many others, Saul chose a different path and strayed away from God. We find a perfect example of his disobedience in the incident where God commanded him to kill all the Amalekites, but Saul kept the king and some of the spoils of war. Saul compounded his troubles by lying to Samuel over the incident. He claimed that it was the people that saved all of the animals (1 Samuel 15). This act, plus many others over the course of his rule, emphasized the fact that he could not be trusted to be an instrument of God’s will.
The second lesson we learn is not to misuse the power given to us. There is no question that King Saul abused the power God had entrusted to him. The over-riding reason for this is the pride often creeps into our hearts when people are serving and honoring us. In time, this type of “star treatment” can make us believe that we really are something special and worthy of praise. When this happens, we forget that God is the one who is really in control and that He alone rules over all. God may have chosen Saul because he was humble, but over time that humility was replaced by a self-serving and destructive pride that destroyed his rule.
The third lesson for us is to lead the way God wants us to lead. First Peter 5:2-10 is the ultimate guide for leading the people that God has placed in our charge: “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” How much different Saul’s life would have turned out had he obeyed these principles. King Saul would have had no shortage of wise counsel available to him. By ignoring God and His wise counsel, Saul allowed the spiritual health of his people to deteriorate further, alienating them from God.
ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY
The Day of the Risen Lord
and of the Gift of the Holy Spirit
The day of the gift of the Spirit
28. Sunday, the day of light, could also be called the day of "fire", in reference to the Holy Spirit. The light of Christ is intimately linked to the "fire" of the Spirit, and the two images together reveal the meaning of the Christian Sunday. When he appeared to the Apostles on the evening of Easter, Jesus breathed upon them and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained". The outpouring of the Spirit was the great gift of the Risen Lord to his disciples on Easter Sunday. It was again Sunday when, fifty days after the Resurrection, the Spirit descended in power, as "a mighty wind" and "fire" (Acts 2:2-3), upon the Apostles gathered with Mary. Pentecost is not only the founding event of the Church, but is also the mystery which forever gives life to the Church. Such an event has its own powerful liturgical moment in the annual celebration which concludes "the great Sunday", but it also remains a part of the deep meaning of every Sunday, because of its intimate bond with the Paschal Mystery. The "weekly Easter" thus becomes, in a sense, the "weekly Pentecost", when Christians relive the Apostles' joyful encounter with the Risen Lord and receive the life-giving breath of his Spirit.
The Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension
This Sunday is a joyous preparation for Pentecost. Because this Sunday eagerly awaits the coming of the Holy Spirit (see the Mass proper’s), it is not surprising that there was once a special papal ceremony to foreshadow the Pentecost event. On this day the Pope would celebrate Mass in the church of Santa Maria Rotonda, the former Pantheon in Rome with its large opening in the ceiling. After his sermon, roses were thrown from the opening as a symbol of the Paraclete's imminent arrival. From this custom comes the original name of the Sunday: Dominica de Rosa.
Sunday within the Octave of Ascension
"When. . .the Spirit of truth. . .has come, He will bear witness concerning Me. And you also bear witness. . .The hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering worship to God" (Gospel).
The Apostles make the first Novena, recommended by Christ Himself, in preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Introit presents their Novena prayer, and ours, too.
In the background St. Stephen is shown being stoned to death. The cross upside down, indicates how St. Peter was crucified. We are to "bear witness" to Christ and His Church against a world that will condemn us to death. thinking that they are "offering worship to God" (Gospel).
A witness! Yes, interiorly, to "be watchful in prayers;" exteriorly, by "mutual charity among yourselves" (Epistle). For this we now offer "this. . .sacrifice" (Secret), to "purify us' from past disloyalties and to "strengthen" us for future testimony.
Excerpted from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood
At the Introit of the Mass, the Church sings: " Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to Thee, alleluia. My heart hath said to Thee, I have sought Thy face; Thy face, Lord, will I seek; turn not away Thy face from me, alleluia, alleluia. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall, I fear?"
O almighty and everlasting God grant us ever to entertain a devout affection towards Thee, and to serve Thy majesty with a sincere heart.
EPISTLE, i. Peter iv. 7-11.
Dearly Beloved: Be prudent, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves; for charity covereth a multitude of sins. Using hospitality one towards another without murmuring. As every man hath received grace, ministering the same to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speaks, let him speak as the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the power which God administereth: that in all things God may be honored through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The virtues here recommended are excellent preparatives for receiving the Holy Ghost, for nothing makes us more worthy of His grace than temperance, prayer, charity, unity, and hospitality towards our neighbors. Endeavor, therefore, to exercise these virtues, and every day during the following week pray fervently to the Holy Ghost for help in your endeavors.
GOSPEL. John xv. 26, 27; xvi. 1-4.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: When the Paraclete cometh Whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you.
What kind of sin is scandal?
It is a frightful sin. By it countless sins are occasioned, thousands of souls are carried to perdition, while the loving design of God for the salvation of men is frustrated.
How, in general, is scandal given?
When do parents give scandal?
When they set a bad example to their children. When they do not correct them for doing wrong, or neglect to keep them from what is bad and to teach them that which is good.
How do employers give scandal?
In much the same way that parents
give scandal to their children: when, by bad example or by command, they keep
their servants or other employees from divine service, or neglect to make them
attend it. When they themselves use, or give to others, flesh-meat on days of
abstinence. When they order the commission of sin.
Parting Words of Christ
A custom has survived in some parts of this country of opening the New Testament at random on this day, considering that in the page chosen there may be, as it were, some final message from Jesus as he makes his way back into heaven. Each one in turn opens the New Testament and reads the whole chapter he has lighted on, while the rest of the family or group help him to make that chapter practical for himself.
St. Simon Stock
Saint Simon Stock was born to a very illustrious family in Kent County, England (c. 1165), of which his father was governor. His mother was devoted to the Virgin Mary, and Simon was not yet one year old when he was heard clearly articulating the Angelic salutation several times. When he was twelve, Simon began to live as a hermit in the hollow of a trunk of an oak, where he got the nickname “stock” or “trunk”. Within this wilderness retreat, his continual prayers ascended to heaven and he spent twenty years in the most complete solitude, feeding his soul with the celestial delights of contemplation.
Having voluntarily chosen to deprive himself of human conversation, he was favored with that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the angels who urged him to persevere in his life of sacrifice and love. The Queen of Heaven told him that some hermits from Palestine would soon land in England, adding that he should join those men whom she considered as her servants.
Indeed, Lord John Vesoy and Lord Richard Gray of Codnor returned from the Holy Land, bringing with them several hermits from Mount Carmel. Simon Stock joined them in 1212 and was elected Vicar General of the Carmelite Order in 1215. He begged the Virgin Mary by fervent prayers and tears to defend this Order, which was devoted to her, and she appeared in a dream to Pope Honorius III, so the pope finally confirmed the Rule of Carmelites in 1226.
Another time the Mother of God appeared to Simon, surrounded by a dazzling light and accompanied by a large number of blessed spirits, with the scapular of the order in her hand. This scapular she gave him with the words: “Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hoc habitu moriens salvabitur” – This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone wearing this habit shall be saved.
Through Saint Simon Stock the devotion of the scapular spread throughout the world, not only among the people, but also among kings and princes who found themselves very honored to wear the sign of the servants of the Blessed Virgin. Stock breathed his last in the city of Bordeaux while visiting monasteries, in the 20th year of his office as Vicar General. The Church added his last words to the Angelic salutation: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”
Mary’s Promise to Those Who Wear the Scapular
Our Lady gave St. Simon a scapular for the Carmelites with the following promise, saying: Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy order: this shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire …. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace.
Another important aspect of wearing the Scapular is the Sabbatine Privilege. This concerns a promise made by Our Lady to Pope John XXII. In a papal letter he issued, he recounted a vision that he had had. He stated that the Blessed Virgin had said to him in this vision, concerning those who wear the Brown Scapular: “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”
Conditions and Rituals Attached to The Scapular
According to Church tradition, there are three conditions necessary to participate in this Privilege and share in the other spiritual benefits of the Scapular: wear the Brown Scapular, observe chastity according to your state in life, and pray the Rosary. In addition to the Sabbatine Privilege, enrollment in the Brown Scapular also makes a person part of the Carmelite family throughout the world. They therefore share in all of the prayers and good works of the Carmelite Orders. Participation in the Carmelite family also, of course, places you in a special relationship with the Carmelite saints, especially St. Elijah, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, and, most importantly, Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
In order to receive the spiritual blessings associated with the Scapular, it is necessary to be formally enrolled in the Brown Scapular by either a priest or a lay person who has been given this faculty. Once enrolled, the enrollment is for life and need not be repeated. Anyone, adult or infant, who has not previously been enrolled may be enrolled in the Brown Scapular.
Value and Meaning of The Scapular
Many popes and saints have strongly recommended wearing, the Brown Scapular to the Catholic Faithful, including St. Robert Bellarmine, Pope John XXII, Pope Pius Xl, and Pope Benedict XV. For example, St. Alphonsus said: “Just as men take pride in having others wear their livery, so the Most Holy Mary is pleased when Her servants wear Her Scapular as a mark that they have dedicated themselves to Her service, and are members of the Family of the Mother of God.”
Pope Pius XII went so far as to say: “The Scapular is a practice of piety which by its very simplicity is suited to everyone, and has spread widely among the faithful of Christ to their spiritual profit.” In our own times, Pope Paul VI said: “Let the faithful hold in high esteem the practices and devotions to the Blessed Virgin … the Rosary and the Scapular of Carmel” and in another place referred to the Scapular as: “so highly recommended by our illustrious predecessors.”
Joan of Arc,
Patron Saint of Soldiers
Joan sets us an example of a laywoman who refuses to be cowed by threats and intimidations from 'authority,' even legitimate authority abusing its powers. May 14, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — On May 16, 1920, in a ceremony attended by over 30,000 people — including over a hundred descendants of her family — Pope Benedict XV canonized St. Joan of Arc (c. 1412–1431), the Maid of Orléans.
St. Joan of Arc is remarkable in so many ways. I would like to draw attention to a few aspects of her life and character that hold pointed lessons for us today.
First, as a young woman, Joan practiced a deep, humble, and serious piety. The age-old practices of the Catholic faith were enough to take her to the heights of sanctity and the gift of herself for her country and her Lord. She listened to the Lord’s voice as He spoke to her through the saints and through circumstances, and she obeyed His will unflinchingly. St. Michael the Archangel addressed her as “Jehanne the Maid, Child of God,” for this is what she was and always remained. Instead of allowing herself to be distracted by worldly motivations, she followed the path God set for her, in spite of its difficulty. She is, in other words, the exact antithesis of churchmen today who would water down the demands of God’s law, the necessity of self-denial in adhering to it, and the supernatural motives that should sustain us.
Second, Joan boldly stepped into a public role at God’s behest, but without losing her femininity. She did not wage war with the soldiers, but simply led them in formation. She would not, in principle, kill or wound anyone. There is not the remotest chance that she would ever condone women fighting in the military and being trained to kill — the absurdity of actual or potential nurturers of life taking it voluntarily. In this, she is an example of true Christian womanhood: strong and courageous, willing to stick her neck out, willing to lead (as she herself was willing to be led by her Master), but not stupidly trying to be a man. She did not think equality with maleness as something to be grasped, but emptied herself and became a servant. In this way she provided an example of being true to her identity and vocation that is resoundingly necessary for both women and men to heed in a world that has become confused about how many sexes there are and who belongs to which “division” of the human race. (And it is indeed a division — but it need not be an opposition or antagonism, in the way that both male chauvinism and feminism imagine it to be, each feeding off the other. Real difference makes possible a deeper communion and cooperation than uniformity and replaceability, even as, in the Church, the priest’s role as mediator is seen to be essentially different from that of the laity, since he acts on their behalf in persona Christi capitis, in the person of Christ the Head of the Church. In a similar way, the husband in a family has the calling to imitate and represent the headship of Christ. As St. Paul explained so well, one cannot have a functional organic body if it’s made up only of arms or hands or eyes or, for that matter, heads. Real difference and distinction, when embraced in a spirit of servanthood, confer a mutual benefit that far exceeds what one could obtain independently. Hierarchy and unity are correlative, not opposed, as democracy falsely assumes.)
Third, Joan is a model of the virtues of chastity and purity. Feminists like to point out that she donned a man’s clothing at a time when this was considered immoral. Yet all historians are agreed that the reason Joan wore a man’s clothing during her public service, and later in prison, was to protect herself against the danger of rape from the soldiers and enemies among whom she had to dwell. The ordinary women’s clothing of the time offered no such defense, and she would not have had the leisure or the talent to create a new and better fashion de novo. She complained to the tribunal that an English lord had attempted to violate her in prison. Like St. Maria Goretti, St. Joan prized the gift of her virginity and defended it. She knew her worth and her dignity as a woman and a human being.
Fourth, Joan was condemned by an ecclesiastical kangaroo court presided over by a corrupt bishop, Pierre Cauchon, with the complicity of corrupt clergy. As everyone knows who has read Joan’s life, she was falsely charged with heresy and condemned to be burnt at the stake. The trial was later re-evaluated by the Church and found to be gravely defective and irregular on numerous counts — indeed, not to mince words, it was a wicked sham, an excuse for murdering an inconvenient and too popular figure who could not be readily controlled by those in power. We live today in a world in which most of episcopacy is corrupt on several levels — doctrinally, through failing to teach the Catholic Faith in its integrity, if not positively adhering to modernist views, or morally, due to practicing sexual abuse, or covering it up, or tolerating its existence, or liturgically, by refusing to model right worship or to correct impious deviations, or, indeed, all three at once. Joan sets us an example of a laywoman who refuses to be cowed by threats and intimidations from “authority,” even legitimate authority abusing its powers, and who would rather die for a right conscience than falsely admit to wrongdoing. She ought to be recognized as the patron saint of those who have been victimized by the Church’s hierarchy.
St. Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans,
patroness of France,
pray for us.
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
· Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
· Make reparations to the Holy Face
· Drops of Christ’s Blood
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