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Friday, July 30, 2021

Saturday, July 31, 3031

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Wrath

(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: MERCY)


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 Wrath" by Fr. Bill Peckman

In the medieval classic, The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Dante places the wrathful in the 5th circle of Hell. The wrathful spend eternity forever fighting each other on the surface of the River Styx while the sullen and resentful gurgle beneath the surface of the river. These are fitting punishments for the wrathful. For the warlike wrathful (those who actively engage in harm to those who harmed them) it is fitting that they spend eternity forever inflicting the eternal cycle that revenge begets. It is appropriate as well that the embittered and resentful drown in a river of their passive-aggressiveness and resentment. In either case, wrath is unable to produce any positive in a person's life.

As a connoisseur of social media, on more than one occasion I have seen memes saying that moments of righteous indignation are okay because Jesus toppled tables of moneychangers and livestock sellers in the temple as if what we are witnessing is a divine temper tantrum. Is Jesus really indulging in a deadly sin? No. More on that in a bit.

Wrath has become quite dominant in our culture right now. Real and perceived injustices are both met with a carte blanche to seek retribution through violent means. Real perpetrators, or even innocent bystanders, are punished in a wave of violence that can only beget a backlash that perpetuates more violence. For the wrathful, any slight, real or perceived, is just grounds for vicious retribution and despoiling of reputation through gossip, detraction, and calumny. The devil himself is full of wrath. His anger with God at creating humanity, and seeing that as a slight against him and the other fallen angels, has become cause for him to wage an eternal battle with not just God but with His creation. All temptation in generated by the devil's eternal resentment and rebellion against God. The devil in his pride loves nothing more than for us to engage in his same behavior of wrath. Misery loves company.

Jesus places a premium on mercy and forgiveness in the Gospels...even from the Cross. He tells us, "But I say to you, love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: Then you will prove yourselves sons of Your heavenly Father" (Matthew 5:44-45). Similar lines are repeated in the Gospels multiple times. What then of flipping tables? We are told Jesus is full of zeal and not wrath. These things did not belong in the temple area. His expulsion of these things was not a divine hissy fit, but a sign that He came to restore what was needed and cast out what was not. He is not avenging Himself on these sellers; He is exorcising from the Temple what is foreign to it.

The antidote for wrath is, as we see above, mercy and forgiveness. There are two things to understand in this. First, to forgive means to no longer hold against (as in a loan) a person their debt/trespass/sin for future reference. It does not mean to condone or rationalize evil done to you. Mercy is to render to another person what is needed, whether they deserve it or not. In many homilies, I have referred to mercy and forgiveness as the ultimate acts of self-preservation. Wrath can ruin us on every level of our being. Mercy frees us from such a cross of iron.

It is incredibly important that we forgive. Our eternal life in heaven hinges on our ability to do so. In the Our Father we pray, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us!" In other words: "God, forgive me as I forgive others." That little prayer tucked into the Our Father can either be a blessing or an eternal curse depending upon our ability to forgive and our ability to stem wrath in our lives. After giving us the Our Father, Jesus warns us, "For if you will forgive men their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offenses. But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offenses" (Matthew 6:14-15). We entertain wrath and revenge at our own peril. We run the risk of the wicked servant in Matthew 18:23-35 who, because he was unwilling to forgive the much lesser debt of a fellow servant after he himself had a huge debt forgiven by the master, was now thrown into prison. It ends with the rather ominous "So my Father will do to you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart." Wrath can have no hold in the life of a follower of Christ.
 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to wrath and vengeance against those who have harmed us. We have engaged in active revenge or in the passive-aggressiveness of gossip. We have been too self-involved to notice the damage our sins have wreaked on our neighbor and broken faith with You. We have expected You to turn a blind eye to our wrath and forgive us without condition. We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to 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 wrath and lack of mercy and forgiveness. 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 wrath. 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 wrath 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)
 


ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA


 

Judith, Chapter 11, Verse 17

Your servant is, indeed, a GOD-FEARING woman, serving the God of heaven night and day. Now I will remain with you, my lord; but each night your servant will go out into the valley and pray to God. He will tell me when they have committed their offenses.

Holofernes and his servants respond to Judith by marveling at her beauty and at her wisdom. Judith is calm and posed while confronting evil in its lair. She was fearless.

Feast of St. Ignatius[1]

Ignatius, by nation a Spaniard, was born of a noble family at Loyola, in Cantabria. At first, he attended the court of the Catholic king, and later on embraced a military career. Having been wounded at the siege of Pampeluna, he chanced in his illness to read some pious books, which kindled in his soul a wonderful eagerness to follow in the footsteps of Christ and the saints. He went to Montserrat and hung up his arms before the altar of the Blessed Virgin; he then watched the whole night in prayer, and thus entered upon his knighthood in the army of Christ. St. Ignatius strongly recommends making a daily examination of conscience.

Examination of Conscience

Prayer before Examination:

I am perfectly sensible, O my God, that I have in many ways offended Thy divine majesty and provoked Thy wrath by my sins; and that if I obtain not pardon, I shall be cast out of thy sight forever. I desire, therefore, at present to call myself to an account, and look into all the sins whereby I have displeased Thee; but O my God, how miserably shall I deceive myself if Thou assist me not in this work by Thy heavenly light. Grant me, therefore, at present, thy grace, whereby I may discover all my imperfections, see all my failings, and duly call to mind all my sins: for I know that nothing is hidden from Thy sight. But I confess myself in the dark as to my own failings: my passions blind me, self-love flatters me, presumption deludes me, and though I have many sins which stare me in the face, and cannot be hidden, yet how many, too, are there quite concealed from me! But discover even those to me, O Lord! enlighten my darkness, cure my blindness, and remove every veil that hides my sins from me, that I may be no longer a secret to myself, nor a stranger to my own failings, not ever flatter myself with the thoughts of having repented, an at the same time nourish folly and vice within my breast. Come, Holy Ghost, and by a beam of Thy divine light illumine my understanding, that I may have a perfect view of all my sins and iniquities, and that, sincerely repenting of them, I may know Thee, and be again received into Thy favor.

A Method of Examination of Conscience, according to the threefold Duty we owe: (I) To God (II) To our Neighbor (III) To ourselves.

I-In Relation to God:

·         Have you omitted morning or evening prayer, or neglected to make your daily examination of conscience?

·         Have you prayed negligently, and with willful distraction?

·         Have you spent your time, especially on Sundays and holidays, not in sluggishly lying abed, or in any sort of idle entertainment, but in reading, praying, or other pious exercises; and taken care that those under your charge have done the like, and not wanted the instructions necessary for their condition, nor time for prayer, or to prepare for the sacraments?

·         Have you spoken irreverently of God and holy things?

·         Have you taken his name in vain, or told untruths?

·         Have you omitted your duty through human respect, interest, compliance, etc.?

·         Have you been zealous for God's honor, for justice, virtue and truth, and reproved such as act otherwise?

·         Have you resigned your will to God in troubles necessities, sickness, etc.?

·         Have you faithfully resisted thoughts of infidelity, distrust, presumption, impurity, etc.?

II-In Relation to Your Neighbor

·         Have you disobeyed your superiors, murmured against their commands, or spoken of them contemptuously?

·         Have you been troubled, peevish, or impatient, when told of your faults, and not corrected them?

·         Have you scorned the good advice of others, or censured their proceedings?

·         Have you offended any one by injurious threatening words or actions? Or lessened their reputation by any sort of detractions, or in any matter of importance?

·         Or spread any report, true or false, that exposed your neighbor to contempt, or made him undervalued?

·         Have you been carrying stories backward and forward, created discord and misunderstanding between neighbors?

·         Have you been forward or peevish towards any one in your carriage, speech, or conversation?

·         Or taken pleasure to vex, mortify, or provoke them to swear, curse, or any ways offend God?.

·         Have you mocked or reproached them for their corporal or spiritual imperfections?

·         Have you been excessive in reprehending those under your care, or been wanting in giving them just reproof?

·         Have you borne with their oversights and imperfections, and given them good counsel?

·         Have you been solicitous for such as are under your charge, and provided for their souls and bodies?

III-In Relation to Yourself

·         Have you been obstinate in following your own will, or in defending your own opinion, in things either indifferent, dangerous or scandalous?

·         Have you taken pleasure in hearing yourself praised, or yielded to thoughts of vanity?

·         Have you indulged yourself in overmuch ease, or any ways yielded to sensuality?

·         Has your conversation been edifying and moderate; or have you been forward, proud, or troublesome to others?

·         Have you spent too much time in play, or useless employments, and thereby omitted, or put off your devotions to unseasonable times? If such as confess often fall into any of the more grievous sins not here mentioned, their own memory will easily suggest them, since it is impossible for a tender soul to forget any mortal offense, which must of necessity afflict her; and therefore, it may not be necessary for them to turn over the following table of sins, which is chiefly intended for general confessions.

An Examination for Confession

The First Commandment is Broken

First, by Sins against Faith

·         To be ignorant of the principal mysteries of Christianity; of the Creed, of the Commandments of God and his Church, or of the Sacraments.

·         To give God's honor to any created being or thing whatsoever; to pay divine worship, or to ascribe God's exclusive powers or attributes, to any being except God himself.

·         Willfully to doubt, or obstinately to err, in any point of faith, or of human respect, interest, fear etc.

·         To favor heretics or wicked men, in supporting or approving their opinions or actions.

·         To endanger our faith by reading their books with pleasure.

·         To examine divine mysteries with curiosity, and secrets of Providence by pure human reason.

·         To disrespect or deride holy things.

·         To abuse the words of the Holy Scripture, by perverting them to a wicked or profane sense, making them subservient to jests, or other ill purposes.

·         To desire to know things to come, which belong to God alone, or things past or present, which are hid from us, and for this end to employ unlawful means, as fortune tellers, or other superstitious inventions.

·         To give credit to dreams, or make superstitious observations; to employ prayers or sacred names to ill uses; to use charms etc.

Secondly, by Sins against Hope

·         By distrusting the mercies of God and despairing of the pardon of our sins.

·         By presuming on God's goodness, without the least concern of amendment.

·         By deferring our conversion or repentance till the end of life.

·         By exposing ourselves to the danger of offending God either by company, reading, or otherwise, which is called tempting God.

·         By exposing ourselves, without necessity, to some corporal danger; as sickness, wounds or death.

·         By neglecting the remedies which God has appointed in these dangers, as physic for the body, or prayer and the sacraments for the soul.

Thirdly, by Sins against Charity

·         By not loving God above all things, but rather choosing willfully to offend him, than suffer any loss of honor, riches, etc.

·         By preferring the love of man before the love of God; or offending him through fear of being jeered or slighted.

·         By omitting our duty through shame, or human respect.

·         By thinking seldom of God or being ashamed to speak of him; or by not hearkening to his inspirations, by forgetting his benefits, or neglecting to give him thanks.

Fourthly, by Sin against Religion

·         By not adoring God or praying to him but seldom.

·         By praying without attention, and with willful distractions.

·         By a want of respect to God in time of prayer; or by talking or being present in holy places without a becoming modesty and gravity in our looks, words and actions.

Fifthly, by Sins against the Care we ought to have of our Salvation.

·         By a love of idleness.

·         By being too solicitous in temporal concerns and neglecting the means of salvation.

·         By deferring amendment of life, or immediately desisting, after having begun it.

·         By neglecting the means of salvation; as the sacraments, prayer, good works, or performing them without devotion.

The Second Commandment is Broken

·         By taking the name of God in vain.

·         By swearing to what one knows or doubts to be false.

·         By swearing to what is unjust, or prejudicial to others.

·         By swearing without necessity, though the thing itself be true and just.

·         By blaspheming God or holy things.

·         By cursing one's self or others or taking pleasure in hearing others swear or curse; or by provoking them to it.

·         By not reprehending them when one could and ought.

·         By making a vow to do what is impossible to fulfill; or to do what is evil and displeasing to God; or to do what one never intends to perform.

·         By breaking lawful vows or deferring to fulfill them without just cause.

The Third Commandment is Broken.

·         By doing servile works on Sunday or causing others to do the like without necessity.

·         By employing a considerable part of Sundays or holidays in temporal affairs, as is often the case with merchants, advocates, solicitors, etc.

·         By omitting to hear Mass, or not hearing it with due attention and reverence.

·         By spending Sundays and holidays in idleness, gaming, dancing, feasting, and other recreations.

·         By not dedicating a considerable part of those days to reading and praying, and by not taking care that those under your charge to the like.

The Fourth Commandment is Broken

I. By children:

·         Not paying due respect to their parents, or by despising them either in their hearts or actions.

·         By not loving them, but wishing their death, or some misfortune; or by forsaking them in their necessities.

·         By not cheerfully obeying them; or by obeying them in things unlawful.

·         By slighting their representations and resisting their corrections.

·         By putting them into a passion, and not taking care to pacify them.

·         By not executing their last will and testament, or by delaying doing so.

II. By parents not discharging their duty towards their children.

·         In not loving them and supplying their corporal necessities.

·         In not being careful of their salvation.

·         In not correcting them when it is necessary; in flattering their passions or indulging their evil inclinations.

·         In treating them with too much severity.

·         In not setting them good example.

·         In forcing them in the choice of their state in life.

The Fifth Commandment is Broken

·         By anger, quarreling, or threatening, or by injurious or reproachful words, or actions against our neighbors.

·         By revenge, or deliberate thoughts or desires of revenge.

·         By provoking, striking, challenging, wounding, or being the cause of another's death.

·         By bearing malice, refusing to salute or speak to any neighbor out of hatred or aversion, or refusing to be reconciled to him.

The Sixth Commandment is Broken

I. By the hearing.

·         In willingly giving ear to immodest words, discourses, songs, etc.

II. By the sight.

·         In looking on immodest objects,

·         In reading or keeping immodest books; lending them to others; or neglecting to suppress them when we may.

III. By the tongue.

·         In speaking immodest words.

·         In relating improper stories or wicked actions of ourselves or others.

IV. By the touch.

·         In using indecent actions.

V. By thoughts.

·         By entertaining impure thoughts willfully and with delight.

VI. By immodest actions.

·         In committing the sin of impurity, and whether effected by soliciting, seducing with promises, or forcing, whether it be fornication, adultery, or incest.

·         In sins against nature.

The Seventh Commandment is Broken.

·         By taking another's goods, and to what value.

·         By retaining what we know belongs to another.

·         By denying our debts, or willfully delaying payment, to the prejudice of our neighbors.

·         By making unjust bargains or contracts, into which every trade or profession ought to make a strict inquiry.

·         By causing any damage to our neighbors.

·         By putting off false and counterfeit money.

·         By desiring another's property.

·         By not giving alms when necessity requires.

·         By not paying dues to our pastors, or by not contributing to the decent support of religious worship.

·         By simony.

The Eighth Commandment is Broken

·         By witnessing what is false, or defending a false accusation, as in lawyers and solicitors; or condemning the innocent, or discharging the guilty, as judges and arbitrators.

·         By detraction, either in laying something false to another's charge, or reporting for truth what is merely doubtful; or in revealing something as yet secret and unknown, though true, to the prejudice of some third person; with a declaration, whether it be done out of levity and indiscretion, or out of malice or ill-will; whether in the presence of many, or in a matter of importance.

·         By lying or speaking what we judge to be otherwise than we say, whether out of custom, or to the considerable prejudice of others.

·         By hypocrisy, which is a lie in action.

The Ninth and Tenth are Broken

·         By all unlawful and willful desires of impurity and theft, which have been already mentioned in the sixth and seventh commandment.

The Precepts of the Church

I. To keep certain appointed days holy, with the obligation of hearing Mass, and resting from servile works.

II. To observe the days of abstinence and fasting.

III. To confess our sins to our pastors, at least once a year.

IV. To receive the Blessed Sacrament at Easter, or thereabouts.

V. To contribute to the support of our pastors.

VI. To obey the laws of the Church concerning Matrimony.

VII. To participate in the Church's mission of Evangelization of Souls.

The Seven Deadly Sins

(The sins of covetousness, luxury, and sloth have been already examined in the first, sixth, and seventh commandments.)

The Sin of Pride consists:

·         In entertaining too great and opinion of ourselves, or in valuing others less than ourselves and maintaining a just and noble self-love.

·         In publishing what we think good in ourselves, that we may be esteemed by others.

·         In arrogance, by attributing to ourselves the good we have not.

·         In presumption and ambition, by confiding too much in our own strength, conceiving ourselves capable of accomplishing things above our abilities, and in rashly attempting them.

·         In contempt of others, on account of the good opinions we have of ourselves, and when this contempt is manifested by words or actions or by being severe and exacting on inferiors.

·         In want of submission to our superiors, by disobeying them, blaming their conduct, or murmuring against them.

·         In not acknowledging our faults, or when, in confessing the facts, we maintain we have done well, or at least allege false excuses.

·         In contempt of admonitions and corrections.

·         In discord.

·         In hypocrisy.

·         In curiosity, which inclines us to know things prejudicial to our salvation.

·         By ingratitude for God's benefits.

The Sin of Gluttony

 

·         In eating or drinking to excess, as far as they are prejudicial, either to our health or our reason, or any ways scandalous, or of ill example to others.

The Sin of Envy

 

·         Trouble at the good success of our neighbor, or when we endeavor to do him an unkindness, or speak often against him, or create an ill opinion of him in the mind of another.

·         When we rejoice at our neighbor's harm.

 

The Sin of Anger

 

·         Not to endure anything contrary to our inclinations.

·         To suffer ourselves to be hurried away by the emotions of wrath against those that give us any trouble.

·         To proceed to quarrels, injurious language, oaths, curses, threats; to take revenge, or to desire and wish to be in a capacity of exercising it.

·         To refuse to pardon injuries, or to be reconciled to our enemies, or to such of our neighbors with whom we have had some misunderstanding or falling out.

A Prayer for Obtaining Contrition

 

I have now here before me, O Lord, a sad prospect of the manifold offenses whereby I have displeased thy divine Majesty, and which I am assured will appear in judgment against me if, by repentance and a hearty sorrow, my soul be not prepared to receive thy pardon. But this sorrow and this repentance, O Lord, must be the free gift of thy mercy, without which all my endeavors will be in vain, and I shall be forever miserable. Have pity, therefore, on me, O merciful Father, and pour forth into my heart thy grace, whereby I may sincerely repent of all my sins; grant me true contrition, that I may bewail my base ingratitude, and grieve from my heart for having offended so good a God. Permit me not to be deluded by a false sorrow, as I fear I have been too often, through my own weakness and neglect; but let it now be thy gift, descending from thee, the Father of Lights, that so my repentance may be accompanied by an amendment and a change of life, that being thus acquitted from the guilt of my sins, I may once more be received into the number of thy servants. Amen.

Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney

Confessor of Souls

O Holy Priest of Ars, you knew how important was a good confession for the Christian life. It was to procure the happy fruits of millions of souls that you agreed to be in an uncomfortable confessional, which was like a prison, up to 15 to 16 hours on certain days. I will try to develop the habit of frequent confession, to prepare properly each time and to have always regret for my sins, so that the grace of final perseverance but also the sanctification of my soul will be assured. Ask this grace for me. Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Daily Devotions

·         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



[1]https://www.ecatholic2000.com/sacraments/exam.shtml



Overview of August[1] 

The month of August is dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.

 

August is often considered the transitional month in our seasonal calendar. It is the time of the year we begin to wind-down from our summer travels and vacations and prepare for Autumn — back to school, fall festivals, harvest time, etc. The Church in her holy wisdom has provided a cycle of events in its liturgical year which allow the faithful to celebrate the major feasts in the life of Christ and Mary. Most notably, during August, we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration (August 6) and the feast of the Assumption (August 15).

 

The days of summer have provided a welcome change of pace. However, while vacations afford us the time to relax and refresh, the change of habits and routines can also have a negative impact on our spiritual lives. As if to re-ignite us, the Church offers us in the plethora of August feasts vivid examples of the virtue of perseverance: six martyrs — two who are named in Canon I of the Mass and two who were martyred during World War II; seven founders of religious congregations, as well as three popes and two kings; the apostle, St. Bartholomew; the great Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine and St. Monica, his mother; the humble patron saint of parish priests, St. John Vianney, and the patron of deacons, St. Lawrence, who joked with his executioners while being roasted alive.

 

It is never too late to begin — as the life of the reformed sinner, St. Augustine teaches us — nor too difficult to begin again, as demonstrated by the conversion of the martyr, St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein). We present-day members of the Mystical Body are certain of the reward to which we are called, for Christ's Transfigured body (August 6) is a preview of that glory. Moreover, in the Assumption of his Mother (August 15), Our Lord has demonstrated his fidelity to his promise. Her privilege is "the highest fruit of the Redemption" and "our consoling assurance of the coming of our final hope — the glorification which is Christ's" (Enchiridion on Indulgences).

 

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the most perfect example of Christian perseverance, but she is also our advocate in heaven where she is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth (August 22). Mary is the "Mother of Perpetual Help", the patroness of the Congregation founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori (August 1). "No one who has fled to her protection is left unaided" is the claim of the Memorare of St. Bernard (August 20). Heretics have returned to the faith by the prayers of her Rosary, first preached by St. Dominic (August 8) in the twelfth Century, and hearts have been converted by the graces received while wearing her Miraculous Medal, promoted by St. Maximillian Kolbe (August 14) and adopted as the "badge" for the Pious Union he founded. Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope!

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