Sunday, May 23, 2021

 Pentecost (Whit) Sunday

ST. JULIA OF CORSICA

 1 Samuel, Chapter 23, Verse 1-4

1 David was informed that the Philistines were attacking Keilah and plundering the threshing floors. 2 So he consulted the LORD, asking, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered, Go, attack them, and free Keilah. 3 But David’s men said to him: “Even in Judah we have reason to FEAR. How much more so if we go to Keilah against the forces of the Philistines!” 4 Again David consulted the LORD, who answered: Go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into your power.

 

Again, we see David protecting the people; even the people who are the friends of Saul. The same Saul who; out of his envy, is seeking David and his follower’s deaths. David’s faith makes his actions beyond those of rational fairness; and David’s action show the very mercy of God.

Apostolic Exhortation[1]

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 I

I. The Mass as the new Exodus from Slavery of Sin

16. Remember the First Passover was offered at the climax of the deliverance of Israel from slavery to the Egyptians (c.f. Exodus 12). Each household was to take a male lamb in the prime age of its life, free of defects, and sacrifice it to God. The blood of the lamb was to be spread on the entrances of their homes while its flesh was to be eaten. Every home that followed the rites commanded by God for this sacred meal were spared from the death of their firstborn sons. The first Passover saved the Israelites from death and led to their liberation from slavery. At the annual Passover, the head of the household was to recount the story of how the Lord delivered them from the oppression of Egypt and spared their lives. Then they were to eat the flesh of the lamb that they sacrificed.

17. Jesus brought this first Passover to its ultimate fulfillment at the Last Supper. At this Passover, Jesus took the position at the head of the household, the father of the family. Instead of recounting the story of the first exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, He spoke of His own suffering and death about to take place. Instead of explaining the significance of the Passover Lamb to be consumed, Jesus identified His body and blood with the bread and wine and commanded that it be consumed.

18. Just as the Hebrews had no alternative means of liberation other than the Passover lamb, there is no other means to salvation than through the grace of Jesus’ own self-sacrifice. Because Jesus is God, the second Person of the Trinity, His offering of His Blood is in a real sense an act of God, transcending time and place. Thus, in every Mass, we feast on the flesh of the Lamb of God offered once for all in expiation for our sins. To be continued…

Pentecost[2]

Fifty days after Easter, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles is one of the three great feasts of the liturgical year.

What is Pentecost? The solemn anniversary of the day on which the Holy Ghost came down, under the appearance of fiery tongues, upon Mary the Mother of Jesus, and His apostles and disciples, who were assembled in prayer at Jerusalem. To express her joy at the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Church sings, at the Introit of the Mass, The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole earth, alleluia, and that which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice, alleluia, alleluia. Let God arise, and His enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Him fly before His face.

Prayer. O God, Who on this day didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that we may be truly wise in the same Spirit, and ever rejoice in His consolation.

EPISTLE. Acts ii. 1-11.

When the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers’ tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans? And how have we heard every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and in habitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphilia, Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Gyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

Why does the Church celebrate this day so solemnly? To praise and thank God for sending the Holy Ghost, Who gave so many spiritual graces and fruits to men.

Why did the Holy Ghost appear under visible signs? It was done to attract attention, and to indicate outwardly what took place inwardly. The roar of the mighty wind, according to the language of the prophets, pointed to the approaching Godhead, and was intended to announce something extraordinary. The appearance of tongues signified the gift of languages, and the division of them the difference of gifts imparted by the Holy Ghost. The fire which lightens, warms, and quickly spreads, denoted the love of God, the power and joy with which the apostles, and mankind through them, should be filled, and indicated the rapid extension of Christianity.

What were the effects of the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the apostles? Being enlightened and made acquainted with all truth, freed from all fear and faint-heartedness, and undaunted, the apostles preached everywhere Christ crucified, and for love of Him endured with joy all sufferings. Their discourses were understood by all present, as if they had carefully learned each particular language. From that time Christianity spread with wonderful rapidity throughout the whole world. Pray the Holy Ghost to-day to enlighten you also, to inflame you with holy love, and to give you strength daily to increase in all goodness.

GOSPEL. John xiv. 23-31.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, arid We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him. He that loveth Me not, keepeth not My words. And the word which you have heard is not Mine: but the Father s Who sent Me. These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come to you. If you loved Me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it came to pass that when it shall come to pass, you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and in Me he hath not anything. But that the world may know that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given Me commandment, so do I.

Why is the Holy Ghost called a spirit, and the Holy Spirit? Because He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and is as it were, the Spirit of the Father and the Son.

What does the Holy Ghost effect in men? He renews their hearts, by cleansing them from sin, by imparting to them the sanctification and likeness to God gained through Christ, together with all these supernatural gifts and graces by which they can become holy and happy, and brings forth in them wonderful fruits of sanctity.

Which are these gifts of the Holy Ghost? The seven following:

1. The gift of wisdom, which teaches us to value the heavenly more than the earthly, infuses into us a longing for the same, and points out to us the right means to salvation.

2. The gift of understanding, which enlightens us to rightly understand the mysteries and doctrines of our holy religion.

3. The gift of counsel in doubtful cases, which enables us to know what to do or omit, and what to advise others. This gift is particularly necessary for superiors, for those who are changing their state of life, and for those who are entangled in perplexing and unfortunate marriage relations.

4. The gift of fortitude, which banishes all timidity and human respect, strengthens a man to hate sin, and steadfastly to practice virtue; preferring contempt, temporal loss, persecution, and even death, to denying Christ by word or deed.

5. The gift of knowledge, by which the Holy Ghost enlightens us with an inner light, that we may know ourselves, the snares of self-love, of our passions, of the devil, and of the world, and may choose the fittest means to overcome them.

6. The gift of piety and devotion, which infuses into us veneration for God and divine things, and joy in conversing with Him.

7. The gift of the fear of God, that childlike fear, which dreads no other misfortune than that of displeasing God, and which, accordingly, flees sin as the greatest evil.

The gift of Wisdom[3]

Wisdom empowers a person to judge and order all things in accordance with divine norms and with a connaturality that flows from a loving union with God. So, while knowledge and understanding enable a person to know and to penetrate the divine truths, wisdom moves us to fall in love with them. The Holy Spirit aids the contemplation of divine things, enabling the person to grow in union with God. This gift unites us to the heart of Jesus. Father Adolphe Tanquerey taught, This, then, is the difference between the gift of wisdom and that of understanding, the latter is a view taken by the mind, while the former is an experience undergone by the heart; one is light, the other love, and so they united and complete one another. Wisdom, withal, remains the more perfect gift; for the heart outranges the intellect, it sounds greater depths, and grasps or divines what reason fails to reach. This is particularly the case with the saints, in whom love often surpasses knowledge (The Spiritual Life, p. 630). For example, St. Therese of Lisieux (declared a doctor of the church), had no formal education in theology, and yet was wise to the ways of the Lord, a wisdom gained through prayer and simple acts of love offered to God. While this gift contemplates the divine, it also is a practical wisdom. It applies Gods ideas to judge both created and divine matter, thereby directing human acts according to divine wisdom.

Therefore, a person will see and evaluate all things both joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, success and failure from Gods point of view, and accept them with equanimity. With wisdom, all things, even the worst, are seen as having a supernatural value for example, giving value to martyrdom. Here a person arises above the wisdom of this world and lives in the love of God. St. Paul captured well this gift of wisdom: What we utter is Gods wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom. God planned it before all ages for our glory. Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit. The Spirit we have received is not the worlds spirit but Gods Spirit, helping us to recognize the gifts He has given us. We speak of these, not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, thus interpreting spiritual things in spiritual terms.

The natural man does not accept what is taught by the spirit of God. For him, that is absurdity. He cannot come to know such teaching because it must be appraised in a spiritual way. The spiritual man, on the other hand, can appraise everything. We have the mind of Christ (I Cor 2:6ff). Or consider St. Johns first epistle: God is love. Everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God. He who abides in love, abides in God, and God in him. Our love is brought to perfection in this, that we should have confidence on the Day of Judgment; for our relation to this world is just like His. Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear (I Jn 4:7, 17-18).

Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost? They are the twelve following:

1. Charity.

2. Joy.

3. Peace.

4. Patience.

5. Benignity.

6. Goodness.

7. Longsuffering.

8. Mildness.

9. Faith.

10. Modesty.

11. Continency.

12. Chastity.

These fruits should be visible in the Christian, for thereby men shall know that the Holy Ghost dwells in him, as the tree is known by its fruit.

Whit Sunday[4]

What is Whitsunday or White Sunday? The liturgical color of this Sunday is red in order to recall the tongues of flame that descended on the Apostles. The old English name for Pentecost, Whitsunday, originated from the custom of the newly baptized redonning their white robes for the services of the day. By extension this could also apply to the new Easter clothes worn by the faithful fifty days earlier.

The Dove

 Like Ascension Thursday, Whitsunday was once the occasion for several liturgical eccentricities. Many medieval churches, for example, had a Holy Ghost Hole in the ceiling of the church from which a large blue disk bearing the figure of a white dove would swing slowly down to the congregation during the Mass sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus. Midway through the sequence, the disk would stop and from the Holy Ghost hole would rain symbols of the Spirit: flowers, water, even burning pieces of straw. A practice far less susceptible to excess, on the other hand, is the use of beautifully carved and painted wooden doves in the home. These figures would usually be suspended over the dinner table, and would sometimes be encased in glass, having been assembled entirely from within (much like the wooden ships assembled in bottles). The painstaking effort that went into making these doves serves as a reminder to cherish the adoration of the Holy Spirit.

The Blessed Dew

Though the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is often described in dramatic terms (a mighty wind, tongues of fire, etc.), it is also portrayed in soothing, comforting ways. The Whitsunday sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus, for example, calls the Spirit our "sweet refreshment" (dulcis refrigerium), while the postcommunion prayer, in an allusion to Isaiah 45.8, refers to the "inward sprinkling of His heavenly dew." Hence there arose the charming superstition that the morning dew of Whitsunday is especially good luck. To obtain a blessing, people would walk barefoot through the meadows before Mass and would even feed their animals with bread wiped by the dew.

Age of the Holy Spirit

Where we are is the age of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church because even though the Apostles were transformed by earlier events such as the institution of the Eucharist and priesthood on Maundy Thursday or their acquiring the power to forgive sins on Easter afternoon, they - and by extension, the Church - did not really come into their own until the Paraclete inspired them to burst out of their closed quarters and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. And just as Pentecost marks the birthday of the Church in the Holy Spirit, so too does the Time after Pentecost mark the life of the Church moving through the vicissitudes of history under the protection and guidance of that same Spirit. It is for this reason that the epistle readings from this season emphasize the Apostles' advice to the burgeoning churches of the day while its Gospel readings focus on the kingdom of heaven and its justice. It is also the reason why the corresponding lessons from the breviary draw heavily from the history of the Israelite monarchy in the Old Testament. All are somehow meant to teach us how to comport ourselves as citizens of the city of God as we pass through the kingdoms of this world.

 

Octave?

Pentecost Monday remains an official festival in many Protestant churches, such as the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and others. In the Byzantine Catholic Rite Pentecost Monday is no longer a Holy Day of Obligation, but rather a simple holiday. In the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church, as at Easter, the liturgical rank of Monday and Tuesday of Pentecost week is a Double of the First Class and across many Western denominations, Pentecost is celebrated with an octave culminating on Trinity Sunday. However, in the modern Roman Rite (Ordinary Form), Pentecost ends after Evening Prayer on the feast day itself, with Ordinary Time resuming the next day.

·         My advice: Go to Mass for the 8 days.

 

St. Julia of Corsica[5]



St. Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, who, when the city was taken by Genseric in 489, was sold for a slave to a pagan merchant of Syria named Eusebius. Under the most mortifying employments of her station, by cheerfulness and patience she found a happiness and comfort which the world could not have afforded. All the time she was not employed in her master's business was devoted to prayer and reading books of piety. Her master, who was charmed with her fidelity and other virtues, carried her with him on one of his voyages to Gaul. Having reached the northern part of Corsica, he cast anchor, and went on shore to join the pagans of the place in an idolatrous festival. Julia was left at some distance, because she would not be defiled by the superstitious ceremonies which she openly reviled. Felix, the governor of the island, who was a bigoted pagan, asked who this woman was who dared to insult the gods. Eusebius informed him that she was a Christian, and that all his authority over her was too weak to prevail with her to renounce her religion, but that he found her so diligent and faithful he could not part with her. The governor offered him four of his best female slaves in exchange for her. But the merchant replied, "No; all you are worth will not purchase her; for I would freely lose the most valuable thing I have in the world rather than be deprived of her." However, the governor, while Eusebius was drunk and asleep, took upon him to compel her to sacrifice to his gods. He offered to procure her liberty if she would comply. The Saint made answer that she was as free as she desired to be as long as she was allowed to serve Jesus Christ. Felix, thinking himself derided by her undaunted and resolute air, in a transport of rage caused her to be struck on the face, and the hair of head to be torn off, and lastly, ordered her to be hanged on a cross till she expired. Certain monks of the isle of Gorgon carried off her body; but in 768 Desiderius, King of Lombardy, removed her relics to Breseia, where her memory is celebrated with great devotion. St. Julia, whether free or a slave, whether in prosperity or in adversity, was equally fervent and devout. She adored all the sweet designs of Providence; and far from complaining, she never ceased to praise and thank God under all his holy appointments, making them always the means of her virtue and sanctification. God, by an admirable chain of events, raised her by her fidelity to the honor of the saints, and to the dignity of a virgin and martyr.

 

Excerpted from Butler's Lives of the Saints

 

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 Army[6]

As priest-chaplains of the Archdiocese for the Military Services we invite you to join with us in prayer. In times of joy and difficulty, in times of fear and doubt, in moments of distress and in times of peace, a simple prayer that comes from the heart becomes the place of your encounter with God’s love, mercy and protection.

Prayer for Troops[7]

Let us pray for our brothers and sisters as they go forth with courage and determination to face the forces of violence, weapons of destruction and hearts filled with hate. 

RESPONSE: THROUGH THE DARKNESS BRING US TO THE LIGHT. 

 For our President and Commander-In-Chief, and our political and military leaders that they may tirelessly seek peaceful settlements to international disputes; we pray to the Lord:

Through the Darkness Bring Us to the Light. 

That the Lord may preserve the members of our Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force from all harm; we pray to the Lord:

Through the Darkness Bring Us to the Light. 

That even in war, we may keep clearly before us the defense of all human rights, especially the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; we pray to the Lord:

Through the Darkness Bring Us to the Light. 

That the families, relatives and friends of our military members may be strengthened in this time of concern and anxiety; we pray to the Lord:

Through the Darkness Bring Us to the Light. 

That the Lord may help families with men and women in the armed forces to cope with daily challenges in the absence of their loved ones; we pray to the Lord:

Through the Darkness Bring Us to the Light. 

That our homeland will be preserved from violence and terrorism; we pray to the Lord:

Through the Darkness Bring Us to the Light. 

That the nations of the world will seek to work together in harmony and peace; we pray to the Lord:

Through the Darkness Bring Us to the Light. 

That the hearts of all men and women will be moved to pursue true peace and justice; we pray to the Lord:

Through the Darkness Bring Us to the Light. 

That violence may be overcome by peace; that weapons of destruction be transformed into tools of justice, and hate give way to true charity; we pray to the Lord:

Through the Darkness Bring Us to the Light. 

That we may be grateful for and inspired by those veterans who have given their lives for our country and that we may bravely face the challenges ahead; we pray to the Lord: 

Lord God, Almighty Father, creator of mankind and author of peace, as we are ever mindful of the cost paid for the liberty we possess, we ask you to bless the members of our armed forces. Give them courage, hope and strength. May they ever experience your firm support, gentle love and compassionate healing. Be their power and protector, leading them from darkness to light. To you be all glory, honor and praise, now and forever. Amen.

Real Men ask God what they should do[8]

The special need for more frequent Communion is on the part of the men and the older boys. No man can afford to "keep his religion in his wife's name." The man is by nature the head of the family, and the family usually ends up where he leads. He can't expect his family to continue to live a very vital Catholic life unless he sets the example. As an Army captain can't hole-up in some rear line trench and cry out, "Onward, Christian soldiers!” neither can the husband and father expect his wife and children to do much in the Church Militant if he is a non-combatant, "too proud to fight."

An interesting evidence of the power of example of the adult male in encouraging devout religious practice was had in England during World War II. In a certain Catholic orphanage, the larger boys were refusing to obey the Sisters' directives to approach the Communion rail with folded hands. In the neighborhood of the orphanage was a GI camp whose soldiers soon became heroes to the orphan lads. One day a crowd of the GI's came to Mass in the orphanage and went to Communion, of course with hands devoutly folded as is done in our country. When the orphan boys saw Tex and Bill and Tom properly approaching the Communion rail, the troubles of the Sisters with the boys were over. "Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn in no other way."

Daily Devotions

·         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

·         Rosary



Comments