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Friday, July 23, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Lukewarmness
(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: ENTHUSIASM)



My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord
To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception...pray for us
St. Joseph...pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel...pray for us
(the patron of your parish )... pray for us
(your confirmation saint)...pray for us
 
"Freedom from Lukewarmness" by Fr. Rick Heilman

In the Book of Revelation, we see the Lord has some rather severe words about the lukewarm: "I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth" (Revelation 3:16). Pope St. Pius V went so far as to say, "All the evil in the world is due to lukewarm Catholics." Pope St. Pius X showed no less disdain with, "All the strength of Satan's reign is due to the easygoing weakness of Catholics." Wow! All the evil in the world? All the strength of Satan's reign? Spit you out of My mouth? The level of fury toward the lukewarm is alarming. Why?

Here's why. Let's look at the passage from Revelation. Our Lord, first, wishes we were "hot or cold." It's easy to see why the Lord would wish someone were hot. Someone who is "hot" would be that soul blazing with the "fire of love" for God, with a fiery passion to do His will.

So, why would our Lord wish someone were "cold"? Someone who is cold has completely disconnected from God and can often even be antagonistic toward God. So, why would our Lord wish for that? Because "cold souls," who have outwardly drawn the line in the sand and proclaimed their stance in relation to God, have a greater chance for hitting rock bottom and giving their life over to God; they have a greater chance for conversion. Furthermore, a soul clearly disconnected from God does little to influence souls that are "hot" from straying away from our Lord, as "cold souls" are seen clearly for who they are and where they stand.

So, why the outrage toward the lukewarm? Because the lukewarm do the most damage. They are highly effective in modeling for others how to be a very poor or even a "fake" Catholic. While "cold souls" openly disavow any claim to be a faithful Catholic, lukewarm souls make that claim while they betray the Lord at every turn.

Lukewarm souls are those who have allowed their faith to diminish to little more than what appears to be faith in the eyes of man. Lukewarm souls will often "use" their Catholic faith to build their own personal brand. So, you'll often see politicians make the claim of being a devout Catholic while they advocate for a plethora of evil policies that horrify God. Or there are those lukewarm Catholics who see no problem voting these evil politicians into power. This is a-okay for the lukewarm, as they have convinced themselves that God's mercy extends to allowing every kind of sin. Which is why lukewarm souls may go to a communal penance service once or twice a year "to be seen," but really don't see any reason for this sacrament.

The most horrifying thing about lukewarm souls is that they usually possess the sins against the Holy Spirit that are referred to as "unforgiveable."

The unforgiveness is about unrepentance. Lukewarm souls have convinced themselves, and poorly modeled for others, that "they don't need to prove their love for God." In other words, they think they can commit any sin and avoid prayer and any charitable work beyond basic obligations, and their ticket is punched because of "mercy." And, of course, nobody should "judge" anyone, according to the lukewarm soul. St. Thomas Aquinas said, "mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution; justice without mercy is cruelty. To correct the sinner is a work of mercy."

Lukewarm souls are like a dangerous virus that spreads throughout the Church. On issues of human life, sex, marriage, family, faith, and morality, many within the Catholic Church have absolutely no problem advocating for laws, policies, and politicians that clearly oppose the will of God. This "lukewarm virus" has spread so far that as many as 40% of Catholics favor abortion and 61% of Catholics support gay marriage. Now, you can see why our Lord, Pope St. Pius V, and Pope St. Pius X are so outraged by the lukewarm.

To combat the demonic viral spread of lukewarmness, we must cultivate in ourselves the Holy Spirit gift of fear of the Lord, also known as awe and wonder. Fear of the Lord is the gateway gift to all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. If your local parish is cultivating a watered-down, lukewarm version of Catholicism that avoids Church teaching on any "hot button" issues, "GET OUT!" Or, if possible, work with the pastor to cultivate reverent liturgies, frequent confession, ample opportunities for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the practice of many devotions. And, for heaven's sake, have your pastor's back when he hits hot-button issues. This all assists the faithful in "drawing nearer unto the Lord." This gives the soul immunity to the virus of lukewarmness.
 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward fearfully allowing the spread of lukewarmness throughout our nation and the Catholic Church. We have fallen into this widespread lukewarmness when we have not lived up to the call of our baptism to, day-by-day, deepen our love and faith in You. We have been too easily swayed by the poor example of the Catholic lukewarm and have held our tongue when a few words of correction could lift them out of their unrepentance and nearer unto You. In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for any of our own lukewarmness or our lack of resolve to lift souls out of this darkness. We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance to be this visible light of fervent faith in You. We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done. Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
 
Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of heaven and earth, in Your power and goodness, You created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth, cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to lukewarmness. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to do Your will. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of lukewarmness have planted in Your Church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in Your goodness Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done, in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.
 
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
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, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus,  we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.

 
Daily Checklist

__ Prayer for Freedom from the Devil
__ Daily reflection and prayers
__ Litany of the day
__ Pray a Rosary
__ Divine Mercy Chaplet
__ Spiritual or corporal work of mercy
__ Fast/abstain (according to level)
__ Exercise (according to level/ability)
__ Refrain from conventional media (only 1 hr. of social)
__ Examination of conscience (confession 1x this week)




ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN


 

Tobit, Chapter 14, Verse 1-2

1 So the words of Tobit’s hymn of praise came to an end. Tobit died in peace at the age of a hundred and twelve and was buried with honor in Nineveh. 2 He was fifty-eight years old when he lost his eyesight, and after he recovered it he lived in prosperity, giving alms; he continued to FEAR God and give thanks to the divine Majesty.

 

May God in his grace open your eyes to your blessings! Tobit’s song of praise focuses on giving praise to God who is all powerful and yet has a love for us that grants us freedom and mercy.

 

Tobit[1]

  1. Tobit took the angel’s words seriously.  He prayed out loud and long, proclaiming God’s great mercy to anyone who would listen.  He also prayed for his countrymen.  If God could bring about such healing in Tobit’s life, what more could he do for the people of Israel! 
  2. Tobit, apparently, lived a happy life after that.  He passed on when he was 112.  He was 58 when he became blind and was blind for four years.  He continued to give alms and to praise God.
  3. Before he died, he called Tobias (who now had seven sons) and told him to leave Nineveh and to return to Media.  He predicted the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem as well as its restoration.  When the temple would be rebuilt, people would see and be converted to the one God.
  4. He made Tobias promise that he would leave the day his mother was buried. 

A Grateful Heart[2]


 

Having and retaining a grateful heart is the key to making right judgments and being a person of character. John McCain highlights in his book, “Character is Destiny” the life of the Native American war Chief Tecumseh as an example of a man that never lost his gratitude in life. Tecumseh was a great Indian leader who lost a war but taught even his enemies how to live. Everyone knew that the great Tecumseh, fearless warrior and visionary, steadfast leader, did not tolerate torture or murder, or suffer intentional harm to be done to innocents. He was a man of honor. Even his enemies knew that, especially the man who had fought him the longest, William Henry Harrison. However, as a youth Tecumseh was unnerved in his first encounter with organized bloodletting, and fled the battle. It was the only time in his life his courage failed him. In a later raid near the end of the war, the Shawnees attacked the crew of a flatboat on the Ohio River. All but one of the crew was killed in the encounter. The lone survivor was dragged ashore and burned at the stake. The atrocity left a deep mark on Tecumseh, who, though he was too young to intervene in the victim’s behalf, denounced the murder after it occurred, and swore he would never again remain silent in the face of such an injustice. He would live and die determined to defend Indian land from the insatiable appetites of American settlers. In the course of his crusade, he became the greatest Indian leader of his time. Many would argue, including Americans who fought him, that he was the greatest war chief of all time. Raised by his older brother Chiksika, he took special care of his younger brother Tecumseh. He taught him to hunt and fish, and to learn the fighting skills of a Shawnee brave. He raised him to revere the memory of their courageous father, and the virtues he had exemplified as a warrior who preferred death to dishonor. There was something in his character that repelled despair, finding in life, with all its many tragedies, a reason to be thankful for the very fact that he could remain true to himself. He was the kind of person for whom life was a gift that could not be diminished by suffering, and it gave him a unique strength, a confidence that was superior to most people. Tall and sinewy, with an erect bearing, a superior skill at arms, exuding a sense of command, and possessing a gift for oratory that earned him admirers even among his enemies, he was renowned as a capable provider and protector of his clan, whose leadership had an ever-broadening appeal to neighboring tribes. Tecumseh delivered an address to his people as he prepared them for the coming struggle that has become famous not only as a measure of his own character, but as a code of honor that merits respect and emulation.

 

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.

 

Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.

 

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

 

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

 

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

 

On the day of his final battle never having despaired over the vicissitudes of life, he would not do so now. He arose in the morning and gave thanks for the joy of living. At the Battle of the Thames in Ontario on October 5, 1813, British General Procter and his soldiers fled the field after the first volley was fired. Tecumseh dispensed with his sword and British officer’s jacket, and charged, as always, into the thick of the battle. When a musket ball shattered his right leg, he told his braves to leave him. He kept fighting until a crowd of American soldiers surrounded him. He sang his death song and died like a hero going home.

 

St. Bridget of Sweden[3]

Bridget was born in Sweden of noble and pious parents and led a most holy life. While she was yet unborn, her mother was saved from shipwreck for her sake. At ten years of age, Bridget heard a sermon on the Passion of our Lord; and the next night she saw Jesus on the cross, covered with fresh blood, and speaking to her about his Passion. Thenceforward meditation on that subject affected her to such a degree, that she could never think of our Lord's sufferings without tears. She was given in marriage to Ulfo prince of Nericia; and won him, by example and persuasion, to a life of piety. She devoted herself with maternal love to the education of her children. She was most zealous in serving the poor, especially the sick; and set apart a house for their reception, where she would often wash and kiss their feet. Together with her husband, she went on pilgrimage to Compostela, to visit the tomb of the apostle St. James. On their return journey, Ulfo fell dangerously ill at Arras; but St. Dionysius, appearing to Bridget at night, foretold the restoration of her husband's health, and other future events. Ulfo became a Cistercian monk but died soon afterwards. Whereupon Bridget, having heard the voice of Christ calling her in a dream, embraced a more austere manner of life. Many secrets were then revealed to her by God. She founded the monastery of Vadstena under the rule of our Savior, which was given her by our Lord himself. At his command, she went to Rome, where she kindled the love of God in very many hearts. She made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; but on her return to Rome she was attacked by fever and suffered severely from sickness during a whole year. On the day she had foretold, she passed to heaven, laden with merits. Her body was translated to her monastery of Vadstena; and becoming illustrious for miracles, she was enrolled among the saints by Boniface IX. Excerpted from the Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B

Things to do

 

·         From the Catholic Culture Library, two articles by Pope John Paul II — St. Bridget: A Unique Model of Feminine Holiness, Three Co-Patronesses of Europe and Saint Birgitta.

·         St. Bridget was a member of the Franciscan Third Order. If you have never considered joining one of the Church's order's for lay people today might be a good time to think about it. Learn more about becoming a secular Franciscan.

·         You may want to purchase a copy of which contains excerpts from her revelations.

·         You might like to read about St. Birgitta of Sweden's Influence in Finland.

·         The Birgittine Order now has thirteen monasteries of contemplative nuns and a congregation of contemplative-apostolic sisters whose motherhouse is in Rome, in the actual former dwelling of St. Birgitta. For information about the sisters here are some websites: About the Birgittine Nuns in Vadstena, Birgittine Sisters and About the Brigittine sisters

·         The Brigittine Monks existed from the 14th to the middle of the 19th century, when they were dispersed, largely due to European wars. (In 1970, a Brigittine Monk, Richard Reynolds, martyr, was declared a saint.) This monastery, the 1st in over 100 years, was founded in 1976 and has the Canonical status of a Priory “Sui Juris.” If you want to know about the monks visit Brigittine Monks of the Order of the Most Holy Savior.

·         Read about the saints of the Brigittine order and more about Bl. Elizabeth Hesselblad who refounded the order.

·         The Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say about the Brigittines.

·         You may want to buy some delicious fudge made by the monks or purchase a Brigittine Rosary.

 

Redeemed Sexuality[4]



As Christians we should be grateful beyond words for the gift of our redemption. We believe that Christ’s action on the cross has changed all things, for all time. We should seek to relate every aspect of our lives to how Christ has redeemed us and our world. When we consider the mystery and contemporary confusion of human sexuality, it is even more urgent for Christians to ask, ―How has Christ redeemed human sexuality?

Today our media features topics that not long ago would have been labeled science fiction, or pornography. Cloning, ―casual sex, getting pregnant by means of reproductive technologies, frozen embryos, adultery — the list goes on. Does anyone in the public square relate these issues to the spiritual?

When those of us try to bring God into the equation, we are often told that ―individual morality must not be ―imposed on the public. But that should not deter the Christian. Christ’s work on the cross has restored all of human life, even human sexuality. That means that human sexuality is not tinged with sin, nor is it morally neutral. Although we can misuse even the best of God’s gifts, that does not change the fact that sex is God’s gift of life and love to us. Specifically, sexual intercourse was never meant to be directed to the individual. It’s not a sport or game to be enjoyed on its own. Sexual intercourse is a powerful event of interpersonal communion — it is a sacramental event. This makes more sense when we realize that Christian marriage is a sign of Christ’s presence in the world. As Christians we accept on faith that human sexuality is caught up in Christ, uniting a man and woman in a union which reflects God’s love in the world and is directed to others. With that starting point, it makes excellent sense to keep sex in marriage.

The redeemed nature of marriage was understood by the Church from our earliest history. Following up on Jesus’ own words on the indissolubility of marriage, St. Paul likened Christian marriage to Christ’s relationship with His Church. ―As Christ loved the Church . . . so the husband should love and cherish his wife as he cherishes his own body; for husband and wife are one body, as Christ and the Church are one body. This is a great mystery. St. John Chrysostom (347-407) taught that the ―one flesh of the spouses is ―not an empty symbol. ―They have not become the image of anything on earth, but of God Himself‖ (Homily 12).

The love of spouses, says the Catechism, ―requires of its very nature, the unity and indissolubility of the spouses’ community of persons, which embraces their entire life (#1644). The root of this indissolubility is found in God Himself, who taught us of His fidelity through His covenant with Abraham. It is found finally in Christ, who united Himself with His Church. In this age of continuous assaults on God’s design for life and love, it would do the world good if Christians reclaimed our rich heritage. Before we can do this, we need to return to the mystery of our faith and meditate on who Jesus is, what He did for us, and how this has changed all life for all ages.

Novena of St. Ann[5]

 

Daily Prayer to Saint Ann

 

O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.

Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.

 

Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .

 

O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann, help me now and at the hour of my death. Good St. Ann, intercede for me.

 

SEVENTH DAY

 

Once again, Good St. Ann, I choose you for my advocate before the throne of God. By the power and grace that God has placed in you, extend to me your helping hand. Renew my mind and my heart.

 

Dear St. Ann, I have unbounded confidence in your prayers. To your blessed hands I entrust my soul, my body and all my hopes for this world and the next. Direct my actions according to your goodness and wisdom. I place myself under your motherly care. Receive me, good mother. Cover me with the mantle of your love. Look kindly on me. By your powerful intercession, may I obtain from God grace and mercy. Obtain for me remission for sin and release from the punishment my offenses have deserved. Pray that I may receive grace to lead a devout life on earth and that I may obtain the everlasting reward of heaven.

 

Fitness Friday

 

Recognizing that God the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength; mind, soul and heart.

 

Your Posture says a lot about you-stand tall have an erect bearing

 


Daily Devotions

·         Make your own vanilla ice cream at home. Check out this recipe for help

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary



[1]http://www.biblewise.com/bible_study/characters/tobit-and-tobias.php

[2] Character is Destiny, John McCain.

[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2016-07-23

[5]Blessed Sacrament Fathers, ST. ANN’S SHRINE, Cleveland, Ohio




 

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