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Friday, July 23, 2021

Saturday, July 24, 2021

 Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Jealously

(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: COMPASSION)

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 Jealously" by Fr. James Altman

Dear family, let us ponder the root cause of jealousy. It's called being human. From the beginning, humanity has always been susceptible to its grip. Humanity is prone to jealousy because - remember this now, it's so basic and fundamental - nothing ever is enough.

Think of what I call The Life Lesson of Adam and Eve. They lived in paradise! They essentially had everything, and they did not have sickness and death, so they could have enjoyed everything forever! I like this part: they had dominion over the animals. They did not have to fear a lion or a shark. If they were trying to take a nap - I'm sleep deprived, so this is a very meaningful example for me - if they were trying to take a nap and the lion was getting all growly making noise, all they had to do was to tell it to get lost. They. Had. Everything. Except one piddly dumb tree. And yet, having everything wasn't enough. Human nature kicked in. Lucifer understood human nature. What did he do? He tempted Adam and Eve not with more of everything, but only with the one thing.

The same goes for us, dear family. The devil does not come in with a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you ever wished for.

Here is a true story about human nature from psychology. Fill a room full of toys...chuck full of toys. Then put one kid in the middle of it. Like the proverbial "kid in a candy store," the kid can pick and choose whatever he wants. He's happy. Couldn't be happier. Then ... introduce another kid. Put another kid in the room, a second kid. He looks around at all the toys and picks one for himself. What happens? The first kid gets jealous. He thinks along the lines of "I must have not chosen the best one for myself because that kid over there chose that one." Even though the first kid was perfectly happy playing all by himself, when that second kid comes in and chooses a different toy, the first kid just has to have it!

Adam and Eve. Two kids in a toy room. Both have a form of jealousy. The Cambridge Dictionary defines jealousy as "a feeling of unhappiness and anger because someone has something or someone that you want." We might readily understand this and apply it to the two kids in the toy room. But what about Adam and Eve? They were jealous of something God had, or at least what Lucifer told them God had.

Remember Lucifer's damnable lie: He asked the woman, "Did God really say, 'You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden?'" The woman answered the snake: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, or else you will die.'" But the snake said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil" (Gen 3:1-5).

How often do such words poison our own thought processes? How often do we turn our eyes away from what we have toward something someone else has? How often do we compare and despair?

Dear family, there is a secret to peace and tranquility. It is easy to say, though perhaps, at times, especially at a time of seeming deprivation, it is hard to do. The secret is this: to be happy, you must be happy for what you do have, and not unhappy for what you do not have.

Our humanity is poisoned by a compulsion to compare and despair. Looking back, at various times I thought I wanted to be a champion tennis player, a very wealthy person, or a rock star, maybe live on some island in the Caribbean. Ultimately the wants came from comparing and despairing over such things as the fact that I was growing up in a snow-belt where the tennis courts were buried for 2/3 of the year. Would I have been happy and content and at peace if I had attained any of those things? No. The Life Lesson of Adam and Eve proves not. Nothing ever is enough. My parents tried to teach this to me, saying such things as "there always will be someone with more ____" - just fill in the blank. Even if we accept this as truth, it still is hard to come to terms with the proposition that someone else has more of something.

There is only one way to overcome jealousy, and that is to discover that God is in love with you. Wholly and completely in love...with you. Yes, yes, we know: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life" (John 3:16). Nowadays, most people do not even believe in God, much less that He loves them personally, much less that He sent His Divine Son to die for us. So instead, let us focus on another Johannine verse: "And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

Dear family, St. John, the beloved apostle saw the glory of Jesus, full of grace and truth. That is why he could write to us: "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life - for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us - what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing this so that our joy may be complete" (1 John 1:1-4).

Notice, St. John did not say his joy would be complete if he had a new car or a house on the beach. He certainly did not say his joy would be complete if he had dominion over the animals. St. John's joy only would be complete if he shared the glory of Jesus, His Grace, His Truth.

Dear family, that is the only way we ever will be happy. If jealousy pangs strike, understand we are not happy for what we have, but unhappy for what we do not have. But God has given us all we need to be happy...Himself. That is why He came in the first place. To give us that only thing. Himself. So, the next time jealousy rears its ugly, Luciferian head - and that is indeed where jealousy originates - turn your eyes upon Jesus. Turn them upon His Holy Cross. Ponder the infinite love poured out in every drop of blood, in every struggling breath ... unto His last drop of blood and His last breath.

Take your eyes off whatever tree Lucifer points you to, whatever forbidden fruit with which he taunts you, and as the hymn goes: "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things, the things of earth, will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace."

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward jealousy. We compare and despair. We have fallen into countless times of sinful dissatisfaction, when all the gifts You have given us - are never enough. We long for so many meaningless things of earth. We spend so much time working so hard for such meaningless things of earth. And then we discover we still are not satisfied; we still are not happy. We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our jealousy - our desire to have those gifts You have given to other children - for our dissatisfaction with the gifts You have given us. We love You, Lord, and we beg for the courage to live out our lives as St. John wrote so perfectly - that we will find our joy in sharing the joy we find in You, and only 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 jealousy. 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 jealousy 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 Immaculate Heart of Mary

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 Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.

Let Us Pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord. 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)



Introduction to Judith[1]

 

Whatever the reasons, the rabbis did not count Judith among their scriptures, and the Reformation adopted that position. The early Church, however, held this book in high honor. The first-century Pope, St. Clement of Rome, proposes Judith as an example of courageous love (1 Corinthians 55). St. Jerome holds her up as an example of a holy widow and a type of the Church and, in another place, describes Mary as a new Judith. The Council of Trent (1546) included Judith in the canon; thus it is one of the seven deuterocanonical books. as God acted through Moses’ hand, so God delivers “by the hand of a female,” Judith. Like Jael, who drove a tent peg through the head of Sisera, Judith kills an enemy general. Like Deborah, Judith “judges” Israel in the time of military crisis. Like Sarah, the mother of Israel’s future, Judith’s beauty deceives foreigners, with the result that blessings rebound to Israel. Her Hebrew name means “Jewish woman.” Her exploits captured the imagination of liturgists, artists, and writers through the centuries.

 

 

JULY 24 Saturday

NATIONAL TEQUILA DAY

 

Judith, Chapter 1, Verse 11

But all the inhabitants of the whole land made light of the summons of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, and would not join him in the war. They were not AFRAID of him, since he was only a single opponent. So, they sent back his envoys empty-handed and disgraced.

 

It seems that Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians is a legend in his own mind! The people did not respect the authority of the king and his power was not taken seriously. This does not look like it will turn out well. Let us examine ourselves; have we made light of God’s grace that has been given us and shunning our duties by refusing to join Him in war with evil? These are troubled times. 

Prayers to Be Said in Time of Trouble[2]

 Look down, O Holy Father, from Thy sanctuary in heaven, Thy dwelling-place, and behold this sacred victim which our great High Priest, Thy holy, innocent, and well-beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, offers to Thee for the sins of us His brethren, and let not Thy wrath be kindled on account of the manifold transgressions of the world. Behold the voice of the blood of our brother, Thy first-born Son, Jesus, cries to Thee from the cross. Give ear, O Lord, be appeased; O Lord, hearken, and do; tarry not for our own sake, O our God, for Thy name is invoked upon this house and city, and upon all Thy people; and deal with us according to Thy infinite mercy, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

V. That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring us to true penance.

R. We beseech Thee, hear us.

 

V. That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to defend this house and city, and all Thy people, to keep them in peace; to guard, preserve, and look down on them with Thy most tender pity.

R. We beseech Thee, hear us.

 

V. Through the holy mysteries of man’s redemption.

 

R. Let Thy mercies quickly prevent us, O Lord, and spare Thy people.

 

V. Through the merits and intercession of Thy blessed Mother, and of all the saints.

 

V. Holy Mary, conceived without original sin, and all angels and saints, intercede for us to Our Lord.

 

R. That the mercies of our Lord may quickly prevent us; and that He may spare His people, that so we may rejoice with Him forever and. ever. Amen.

 

Let us pray.

 

Almighty and merciful God may Thy most holy will be one at all times and in all things, according to Thy infinite and eternal mercy, through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

National Tequila Day[3] 

Another Hedonistic progressive holiday--Note: Humility and its source is where all goodness comes from; the Spirit of God, and not this spirit.

National Tequila Day is dedicated to recognizing Tequila, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the blue agave plant and the main alcohol in a margarita.  Blue agave plants produce sugars such as fructose, which are ideal for preparing tequila.  The plant only grows in the rich and sandy soil of Jalisco, Mexico at altitudes of 1,500 meters.  

To make tequila, the heart or piña of the plant is removed when the plant is approximately 12 years old and weighs around 40-90kg.  The heart is then heated to extract sap which is fermented and distilled into tequila.  According to history, the Aztecs created fermented beverages from the agave plant prior to arrival of Spaniards in 1521.  The origins of National Tequila Day are not well understood; however, it appears that National Tequila Day began to emerge around the late 1990s. This holiday is celebrated every year on July 24.

National Tequila Day Facts & Quotes

·         During prohibition, tequila became more popular because smuggling liquor into the country was easiest from Mexico.

·         Hollywood celebrities have ventured into the tequila industry.  Here are some celebrities who have created their own tequila brands:
Justin Timberlake: 901 Silver Tequila
Carlos Santana: Casa Noble Tequila (Sold ownership in 2014)
Vince Neil: Tres Rios Tequila
Sammy Hagar: Cabo Wabo Tequila
George Clooney: Casamigos Tequila

·         According to Guinness World Records, the most expensive bottle of tequila was worth $225,000 in 2006.  The Platinum & White Gold Tequila bottle was sold by Tequila Ley .925 to a private collector.  The tequila was harvested from 100% blue agave plants that had been aged 6 years.

·         As per the Official Mexican Standard for Tequila (NOM-006-SCFI-2005), the alcohol content of tequila ranges from 35-55%.

·         As per the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (Tequila Regulatory Council), Mexico produced 118.9 million liters of 100% pure agave tequila, of which 77.9 million liters were exported.

·         I wanted to do my part to help preserve that golden age of travel… I step aboard the Patron Tequila Express railcar, and I go back in time to the days when a long journey was something fun and very special. - Billionaire John Paul DeJoria, Owner of the Patron Spirits Company

National Tequila Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Try the World's Best Tequila.  Winner of the World's Best Tequila Award 2015, 1800 Anejo is produced by La Rojena.

·         Attend a tequila festival.  Here are some popular ones to consider:
1) Day of the Dead Tequila Festival
2) South Florida Tequila Festival
3) Northwest Tequila Fest
4) Texas Tequila and Margarita Festival

·         Tour tequila distilleries along the tequila trail in Jalisco, Mexico. The distilleries offer insight into the production process and offer ample opportunity to sample a variety of tequilas.

·         Try different categories of tequila.  These include:
1) Blanco (white) tequila which is unaged or has been aged for less than two months.
2) Joven (gold) tequila which is unaged silver tequila that is flavored with either caramel coloring or sugar-derived syrups, etc.
3) Resposado tequila which has been aged for a minimum of two months but less than 1 year in oak barrels.
4) Anejo tequila which has been aged for at least 1 year, but less than 3 years in oak barrels.
5) Extra Anejo tequila which has been aged for at least 3 years.

·         Try a tequila twist in your favorite recipes.  Many recipes can be infused with tequila, for example:
1) Citrus and tequila infused cupcakes.  Add some citrus zest and sprinkles of tequila to the cupcake frosting.
2) Tequila glazed chicken.  Just add a few spoons of tequila to your favorite chicken glaze recipe.
3) Barbecued tequila and lime pork spareribs.  Add lime and tequila to an overnight sparerib marinade.

Today is my millennial daughter Nicole Patience’s (Victorious Patience) birthday; hopefully she is eating cake and not slamming shots! I ask your prayers.

"Vaya con Dios, mi amor"

Marriage: The Gift of Love and Life[4]

C.S. Lewis once wisely observed: “When everyone is rushing headlong towards the precipice, anyone going in the opposite direction would appear to be mad.” In July of 1968, the world at large thought Pope Paul VI had lost his mind. For in that month, he issued his long-awaited encyclical Humanae Vitae, which reiterated the Church’s age-old ban on every form of contraception. A tidal wave of angry dissent erupted over the pope’s decision. Catholic and non-Catholic alike berated “the celibate old man in the Vatican” for hindering the Church’s full entry into the modern era. As we approach the fortieth anniversary of that historic document, I wish to emphasize its importance for our times.  As a backdrop for my remarks, I would like to place it in the context of its time. In the same year that Pope Paul issued Humanae Vitae, another Paul—Paul Ehrlich— published a book entitled, The Population Bomb. In that 1968 bestseller, Ehrlich made some stark predictions. For example: 

·         “The battle to feed humanity is over.  In the 1970s the world will undergo famines …hundreds of millions of people (including Americans) are going to starve to death…”  Fact: Food production worldwide is well ahead of population growth, and obesity now kills 300,000 Americans a year.

·         “India couldn’t possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980.”  Fact: Since 1968 India has doubled its population by half a billion and is still self-sufficient in food.

·         Comparing population explosion to a cancerous tumor, Ehrlich prescribed “cutting out the cancer [too many people]” as the only remedy to save humanity. Fact: Today Europe is dying, with most countries fluctuating around the 60% replacement level.    

Against this foreboding background, the reaction to Pope Paul’s encyclical came as no surprise, even though it only restated what the Church has taught for 2,000 years. Namely:

“There is an inseparable link between the two meanings of the marriage act: the unitive meaning [making love] and the procreative meaning [making babies].  This connection was established by God himself, and man is not permitted to break it on his own initiative.” (H.V, no. 12)      In Deuteronomy 18:21 we learn how to tell an authentic prophet from a false one: Has the prophecy materialized or not? Judged by that benchmark, Paul Ehrlich is a false prophet.  What about Paul VI?

Pope Paul predicted four dire consequences if the use of contraception escalated:

1) increased marital infidelity.

2) a general lowering of morality, especially among the young.

3) husbands viewing their wives as mere sex objects; and

4) governments forcing massive birth control programs on their people.

Forty years later the moral landscape is strewn with the following stark reality:

1) The divorce rate has more than tripled. 

2) Sexually transmitted diseases have increased from six to fifty.

3) Pornography—especially on the Internet—is a plague, addicting millions annually. 

4) Sterilization is forced on women in third world countries, with China’s one-child policy in the vanguard.

In the waning years of his life, St. Augustine wrote his mammoth work, The City of God. According to Augustine, the whole world is comprised of two communities: The City of God and the City of Man. Citizens of each city are determined not by one’s birthplace or residence, but rather by the object of one’s love: placing the love of God above self, or the love of self above God. The two cities are still with us. Paul Ehrlich and Paul VI could well serve as icons of each city. In one case, death and darkness prevail—in the other, life and light. Death or life? The choice is ours!  

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.

 

EIGHTH DAY

 

Hail, St. Ann! I rejoice at your exalted glory. You gave birth to Mary, whose divine Son brought salvation to our lost world by conquering death and restoring life and hope to sinners. Pray to Him who, for love of us, clothed Himself with human flesh in the chaste womb of your daughter.

 

Glorious St. Ann, with your blessed daughter, deliver me from everything that is displeasing in the sight of God. Pray to your gentle and powerful Grandson that He may cleanse my soul in His precious blood, that He may send His Holy Spirit to enlighten and direct me in all that I do, always obedient to His holy inspirations.

 

Good mother keep a watchful eye on me. Help me bear all my crosses. Give me the fullness of your bounty and sustain me with courage. 

Daily Devotions

·         It is traditional in Spain to make a yearly pilgrimage to St. James of Compostela on July 24. Read more about this custom. From Catholic Culture's Library: Pilgrimage To The Stars and Cycling through time on the Camino de Santiago.

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

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary



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