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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Monday, July 26, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Lack of Trust in Divine Providence


(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: CONFIDENCE)


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 Lack of Trust in Divine Providence" by Fr. Rick Heilman

Recently, in the past few years, I lost four priests who were near and dear to me: my uncle and Godfather (the inspiration for my priesthood), my spiritual director, my bishop, and my best friend. These four priests were more than just brothers in Christ, they were my lifeblood. During the many challenges of life, especially those unique to priesthood, these men were kindred spirits to me. Not only did we recognize together, the M.O. (Method of Operation) of Satan in today's world, but we were all in agreement as to the ways God was calling all of us, especially priests, to engage in a counter-offensive against the tactics of the devil.

By and large, we all knew it was incumbent upon us to do all we could to speak the truth, open and honestly, but to do so in the most loving way possible. The devil is trying to devour the faithful with his lies, and we all knew it, and we were all passionate about calling the devil out and leading the faithful to truth. More than anything, as shepherds, we all knew we were called, especially during the time we now live, to do all we could to assist the flock in coming to the place where they cry out, "My Lord and my God!"

Of course, the devil hates, more than anything, truth and reverence. Therefore, Satan works especially hard to destroy anyone who dares to thwart the devil's plan to mislead and confuse souls, as he works diligently to deaden the hearts of the faithful. If we get in his way, he will get busy to take us out. In many respects, this is the reason religious leaders recoil in their call to administer truth and reverence. They have come to understand just how vicious the devil can be, if we dare "go there."

I recall when Bishop Morlino first arrived in our diocese with his passion for "truth and reverence." The assaults on him, especially from those who held the levers of power and influence, were ferociously vicious. This did not deter this courageous bishop in any way. During this time, or whenever the attacks were turned on me, we stuck together in brotherly love.

So many times, I have been tempted to lose trust in God's providence. I mean, here I am, alone on the battlefield, I felt. My four closest "battle buddies" are no longer here. Not only do I miss them, but I feel like I could now be "easy pickins" for the devil to swoop in and take me out, without the security of knowing my battle buddies are right there, ready to in essence, call out, "I got your six" (I got your back).

I share this just to say that I can relate to all those who face devastating challenges in their lives. Yes, I can relate to those who are tempted to lose their trust in God's providence. Sometimes, we want to just say, "What the heck, God?!"

But I didn't say that. Instead, by God's grace, my hope has deepened during this challenging time. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1817).

In my case, having lost my battle buddies, I'm thinking about the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness more than ever before. While my battle buddies are no longer here to support me in the flesh, my relationship with them has only deepened as I know they've "got my six" in an even more powerful way. They are my prayer warriors now! For example, I know we received an amazing new bishop, when it seemed inevitable we would not, only because Bishop Morlino interceded for us.

As we all know, we are facing challenges that are historic. How easy, and seemingly justifiable, it would be for all of us to despair as we lose our trust in God's providence. I choose not to, and I pray it is the same with you. Instead, my prayer has become even more fervent, my resolve to enter the fray against the devil's schemes has become more intensified, and my confidence in the power of God, versus my own power, has become stronger than ever.

I've come to understand that sticking with God and believing and trusting in His providence in challenging times is a lot like resistance training (lifting weights). With the power of God's grace, we "press against" these challenges, and our faith, hope, and love become even stronger. We must trust in God's providence during these storms of our lives and know He will carry us safely to shore. And know that, ultimately, heaven is going to be amazing!

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness. We have stilled our tongues in the face of evil. We have been too weak to stand against the temptation to lose our trust in Your providence. We have expected You to remove the challenges in our life, and so we have readily doubted You when difficulties enter in. We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and lack of trust in You. In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our lack of trust in Your providence. We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest-tossed boat. 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. 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 lack of trust in Your providence. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of doubt 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 Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

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 go 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 may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

 
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)



FEAST OF SAINT ANN

 

Judith, Chapter 4, Verse 1-2

1 When the Israelites who lived in Judea heard of all that Holofernes, the ranking general of Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians, had done to the nations, and how he had looted all their shrines and utterly destroyed them, 2 they were in very great FEAR of him, and greatly alarmed for Jerusalem and the temple of the Lord, their God.

 

Join the resistance! No not the fake news one but the resistance to all that is evil. Godly resistance is much different than the guttural take no prisoners of modern time’s resistance with our pink devil horned hats.

 

Holy Resistance[1]


 

·         The Israelites’ reaction to invasion differs from their neighbors in two respects: The nature of their fear and their response.

·         Their fear is not only for themselves but primarily for Jerusalem and the temple of the Lord.

·         Most secularists surrender to evil with joy; but the holy prepare to defend its most precious possession: faith and trust in He who is.

·         We must prepare to defend the mountain passes by defending our faith

·         However the most important preparation for siege is spiritual through prayer and fasting.

·         Note Mary the Mother of Christ via Fatima apparitions tell us that we like the Israelites must continue in prayer, making reparation and consecration to God.

·         The key is cry unto the Lord.

 

The Book of Judith symbolic of the Virgin Mary[2]

 

Judith was a holy widow.  She wore haircloth and fasted almost every day. She spent most of her time in a chamber of her home, praying. The land of Israel was in distress, being under siege by Holofernes. It is when Israel is in its greatest need that she comes forth from the chamber to save them by her intercession. This is symbolic of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her victory over Satan in the very last days to come. What is most interesting and noteworthy is the talk she gave to the leaders of the people. Her words apply to us in the latter days of this great apostasy from the Catholic faith. We should pay heed and learn from her as they are words Our Lady would no doubt address to each of us:

 

Have patience, be humble, pray to God for mercy, it was our fathers that drew down this chastisement upon us: Our part is to suffer these tribulations as penance for our sins. It is for our sanctification. 

Judith was symbolic of the Virgin Mary 


And they came to her, and she said to them: What is this word, by which Ozias hath consented to give up the city to the Assyrians, if within five days there come no aid to us?  And who are you that tempt the Lord?  This is not a word that may draw down mercy, but rather that may stir up wrath, and enkindle indignation. You have set a time for the mercy of the Lord, and you have appointed him a day, according to your pleasure.  But forasmuch as the Lord is patient, let us be penitent for this same thing, and with many tears let us beg his pardon: For God will not threaten like man, nor be inflamed to anger like the son of man. And therefore, let us humble our souls before him, and continuing in an humble spirit, in his service: Let us ask the Lord with tears, that according to his will so he would shew his mercy to us: that as our heart is troubled by their pride, so also we may glorify in our humility.  For we have not followed the sins of our fathers, who forsook their God, and worshiped strange gods. For which crime they were given up to their enemies, to the sword, and to pillage, and to confusion: but we know no other God but him.  Let us humbly wait for his consolation, and the Lord our God will require our blood of the afflictions of our enemies, and he will humble all the nations that shall rise up against us, and bring them to disgrace. And now, brethren, as you are the ancients among the people of God, and their very soul resteth upon you: comfort their hearts by your speech, that they may be mindful how our fathers were tempted that they might be proved, whether they worshiped their God truly.  They must remember how our father Abraham was tempted, and being proved by many tribulations, was made the friend of God.  So Isaac, so Jacob, so Moses, and all that have pleased God, passed through many tribulations, remaining faithful.  But they that did not receive the trials with the fear of the Lord, but uttered their impatience and the reproach of their murmuring against the Lord, Were destroyed by the destroyer, and perished by serpents. As for us therefore let us not revenge ourselves for these things which we suffer.  But esteeming these very punishments to be less than our sins deserve, let us believe that these scourges of the Lord, with which like servants we are chastised, have happened for our amendment, and not for our destruction. And Ozias and the ancients said to her: All things which thou hast spoken are true, and there is nothing to be reprehended in thy words.  Now therefore pray for us, for thou art a holy woman, and one fearing God.    JUDITH 8, 10-34 

Feast of Saint Ann, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary[3]

ALL that we know of St. Ann is that she was married to St. Joachim of the tribe of David, and lived with him in all virtue and piety, but for a long time was childless. This she bore with all patience, till at last the Lord heard her supplications, and made her the mother of the most blessed Virgin. This distinction on the part of God is praise enough for her. On this account the faithful have always shown great veneration for her, and continually invoke her intercession. “Let us all rejoice in the Lord, keeping festival in honor of St. Ann, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and with one voice praise the Son of God. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King.”

Prayer.

O God, Who wast pleased to confer upon St. Ann the grace whereby she became the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we, who keep her festival, may, through her intercession, find help with Thee.

Aspiration to St. Ann.

Hail, O blessed mother Ann! Blessed art thou, who, for our consolation, didst bear the Mother of our Redeemer. With the greatest veneration, therefore, and full of confidence, we approach thee, beseeching thee that thou wouldst supplicate our divine Savior to bestow upon us the graces which we need to follow thy ardent devotion, thy fear of God, and to render us worthy one day to behold in heaven the blessed fruit of thy virgin daughter’s womb, Jesus, and to rejoice forever in the contemplation of Him.

The Mysterious Relics of Saint Anne[4]

On Easter AD 792, Charlemagne discovered the relics of Saint Anne. Below is the account, preserved in the correspondence of Pope Saint Leo III, concerning the mysterious discovery of the relics of Saint Anne.

Fourteen years after Our Lord’s death, Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Martha, Saint Lazarus, and the others of the little band of Christians who were piled into a boat without sails or oars and pushed out to sea to perish — in the persecution of the Christians by the Jews of Jerusalem — were careful to carry with them the tenderly loved body of Our Lady’s mother. They feared lest it be profaned in the destruction, which Jesus had told them was to come upon Jerusalem. When, by the power of God, their boat survived and finally drifted to the shores of France, the little company of saints buried Saint Anne’s body in a cave, in a place called Apt, in the south of France. The church, which was later built over the spot, fell into decay because of wars and religious persecutions, and as the centuries passed, the place of Saint Anne’s tomb was forgotten. The long years of peace, which Charlemagne’s wise rule gave to southern France, enabled the people to build a magnificent new church on the site of the old chapel at Apt. Extraordinary and painstaking labor went into the building of the great structure, and when the day of its consecration arrived, the beloved Charlemagne, little suspecting what was in store for him, declared himself happy indeed to have journeyed so many miles to be present for the holy occasion. At the most solemn part of the ceremonies, a boy of fourteen, blind, deaf and dumb from birth — and usually quiet and impassive — to the amazement of those who knew him, completely distracted the attention of the entire congregation by becoming suddenly tremendously excited. He rose from his seat, walked up the aisle to the altar steps, and to the consternation of the whole church, struck his stick resoundingly again and again upon a single step. His embarrassed family tried to lead him out, but he would not budge. He continued frantically to pound the step, straining with his poor muted senses to impart a knowledge sealed hopelessly within him. The eyes of the people turned upon the emperor, and he, apparently inspired by God, took the matter into his own hands. He called for workmen to remove the steps. A subterranean passage was revealed directly below the spot, which the boy’s stick had indicated. Into this passage the blind lad jumped, to be followed by the emperor, the priests, and the workmen. They made their way in the dim light of candles, and when, farther along the passage, they came upon a wall that blocked further advance, the boy signed that this also should be removed. When the wall fell, there was brought to view still another long, dark corridor. At the end of this, the searchers found a crypt, upon which, to their profound wonderment, a vigil lamp, alight and burning in a little walled recess, cast a heavenly radiance. As Charlemagne and his afflicted small guide, with their companions, stood before the lamp, its light went out. And at the same moment, the boy, blind and deaf and dumb from birth, felt sight and hearing and speech flood into his young eyes, his ears, and his tongue. “It is she! It is she!” he cried out. The great emperor, not knowing what he meant, nevertheless repeated the words after him. The call was taken up by the crowds in the church above, as the people sank to their knees, bowed in the realization of the presence of something celestial and holy. The crypt at last was opened, and a casket was found within it. In the casket was a winding sheet, and in the sheet were relics, and upon the relics was an inscription that read, “Here lies the body of Saint Anne, mother of the glorious Virgin Mary.” The winding sheet, it was noted, was of eastern design and texture. Charlemagne, overwhelmed, venerated with profound gratitude the relics of the mother of Heaven’s Queen.

Things to Do[5]

·         See more about the Shrine of Sainte Anne de Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. Several relics of St. Anne are also located in this shrine. Take a video tour of the Shrine here accompanied by beautiful Gregorian chant.

·         Foods related to St. Ann and Joachim: It seems shellfish, particularly lobster, is one traditional type of food served in France for this feast day.

The Modern Church Also Honors Saint Joachim on this day.[6]

St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Nazareth, a little town in Galilee. His parents, though occupying a humble position in the world, were descendants of the holy king David. It was not without inspiration that, at his circumcision, the name of Joachim was given him; it means “Preparation for the Lord,” or, as others translate it, a preparation for the arrival of the Lord. It has been understood by many to signify that he would have a daughter whom he would prepare, by a holy education, to be the mother of Our Lord. Arriving at the years of manhood, he married Anna, a virtuous and chaste maiden of Bethlehem, whom, without doubt, God gave special graces, as she was chosen by Him to be the mother of the Queen of Heaven. Joachim and Anna continued, after their union, to serve God with the greatest fidelity. The most perfect charity and harmony reigned in their dwelling. They had divided their possessions into three parts.

The first they devoted exclusively to the honor of God and to the adornment of the Temple; the second, to the poor; and the third they kept for themselves. One thing saddened the lives of Joachim and Anna. They had been married many years without being blessed with a child, and their advancing age made them despair of ever having one. Barrenness was considered a great disgrace and Joachim lived under that cross for many years. He never ceased to implore God with tears, prayers, and fasts to remove it from him; but it seemed that he was not heard, which gave him great grief. He, however, never murmured against the Almighty, but, submitting to His will, continued his prayer. It is also believed that he and his spouse made a vow that, if they were blessed with a child, they would consecrate it to His service. St. Epiphanius relates that, one day, while St. Joachim was praying, an angel appeared to him and assured him that God had heard his prayer, and that a daughter should be given him, who would become the mother of the promised Messiah. The angel informed him also of the name which God had destined for her. When he heard this, the joy of St. Joachim was beyond all description. He went immediately to tell his spouse of it, who, according to some authors, had received the same revelation. Both gave fervent thanks to the Almighty and praised His mercy. The angel’s prophecy was fulfilled, and St. Anna gave birth to a daughter, who was born free from the stain of original sin, full of the Holy Spirit, blessed above all women, and destined by heaven to be the mother of the only begotten Son of God. St. Joachim, renewing his thanks to the Almighty, redoubled his zeal in His service. As soon as the lawful time arrived, St. Joachim and his holy spouse carried their new-born child into the temple and offered her with great devotion to God, redeemed her again according to the custom, and returned with her to their home. Three years they kept their daughter with them, after which they brought the tender child, who was, however, gifted with the full use of mind, into the Temple of Jerusalem, and having consecrated her, with the usual ceremonies, to the service of the Almighty, gave her in charge of the priests for education and instruction. In this manner, St. Joachim fulfilled his vow and showed how truly he loved God. For although his love for his daughter, no doubt, surpassed the love of most parents for their children, yet he deprived himself of that which was most dear to him on earth and consecrated it to the Most High. It cannot be doubted that God rewarded his self-sacrificing love with great graces and favors. After having made this sacrifice to the Almighty, Joachim and Anna lived for many years in great sanctity. It is believed that St. Joachim expired in the eightieth year of his age.

Parents' Day[7]

Parents’ Day celebrates and recognizes the important role of responsible parenting in everyday family life. Families are a fundamental human institution; they are bonded by unconditional love and commitment. Parents' Day was established in 1994 and the National Parents’ Day Coalition was developed to support Parents’ Day by annually selecting ‘Parents’ of the Year’ at local, national and state levels.  The Coalition also provides educational programs for parents and aims to promote the stability of family by encouraging fidelity between husbands and wives, as well as abstinence in young people prior to marriage.  In addition to The National Parents’ Day Coalition, other organizations use Parents’ Day to promote the traditional two parent nuclear family model. Parents' Day is held annually on the fourth Sunday in July.

Parents' Day Facts & Quotes

·         In 2015, 3.3 million unmarried or cohabiting couples in America had children under the age of 18.  This is in comparison to 1.2 million cohabiting couples with children in 1996. In 1960, 73% of U.S. children lived in a traditional home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage.  By 1980, this figure had dropped to 61%.  By 2013, 46% of children lived in a traditional home.

·         All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. — Abraham Lincoln.

·         By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong. — Charles Wadsworth, Classical Pianist

Daily Devotions

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary



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