Featured Post

Sunday, September 26, 2021

  DAY 43 - MARY, QUEEN OF VIRGINS, PRAY FOR US OIL - OBEDIENCE IN LOVE  How then are we to prepare our restless hearts to receive the power ...

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Sunday, July 25, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Syncretism

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 Syncretism" by Fr. Bill Peckman

"Elijah went before the people and said, 'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is god, follow him.' But the people said nothing" (1 Kings 18:21).

In the Old Testament, both the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah participated in the same sin. It was a form of idolatry in which the people would worship both the God of Israel and the gods of the surrounding regions. This participation in more than one religion is called syncretism. God likens syncretism, in the Scriptures, to an unfaithful spouse who wants the benefits of life with her spouse while acting the harlot with anyone. On Mt. Carmel, Elijah purposes a test to the Kingdom of Israel. He and the prophets of Baal will prepare a sacrifice without lighting it and the God who answers with fire is to be worshipped alone. He poses the above question to them. Notice they do not answer. I can only imagine the awkward silence felt at that moment.

The southern kingdom of Judah also would worship God up on the temple mount and would go into the Valley of Hinnom (known in Jesus' time as Gehenna) and worship idols, even sacrificing their children to these idols. The prophets, particularly Jeremiah, warn the people that God takes note of such infidelity and will not allow the people to benefit from a relationship with Him while they play the harlot in the valley of Hinnom. For both kingdoms, their sin of syncretism led to their downfall and exile. God will not allow us to keep the benefits of a relationship with Him while we push Him away in favor of our idols.

In Matthew 6:24, Jesus reminds us we cannot serve two masters; that we cannot serve both God and mammon. Notice mammon is not capitalized. It is not an idol per se. Mammon is wealth or any other worldly pursuit we allow to take the number one position that rightly belongs to God. Most church going Catholics would say that they do not worship anyone or anything but God. That reminds me of Jeremiah 2:23, ""How can you say, 'I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals'? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done." The people do not acknowledge their idolatry under the pretense that they do go to the temple.

Our society has become godless and exerts much pressure to make sure all are like-minded. The third commandment to keep holy the Sabbath is so forgotten as to be rarely practiced. Even Sunday morning has been taken over by sports, shopping, chores, and other things that turn Mass (if one goes at all) into something that is "fit in" instead of prioritized - as if the day of the Lord is instead the hour of the Lord. We will know if we have idols in our lives by merely looking at our choices when it comes to the day of the Lord. Is Mass the center of the day? It is what everything else is scheduled around? Is there rest? Or is the pursuit of honor, pleasure, money, or power more sought after? Chances are if the day of the Lord has been reduced to the hour of the Lord, and if that hour of the Lord is a lesser choice when given other options, than the rest of the week is likely just as godless.

While I do sympathize with those who became distraught at churches closing because of COVID-19, it greatly saddened me that for 65-70% of self-professed Catholics the closing of churches made no difference on what they did with Sunday. The closing of ball fields and stores had a greater impact. Yet, these same self-proclaimed Catholics will expect God's protecting hand and all the benefits of a relationship with Him, while ignoring God and disdaining His sacramental grace in favor of worldly idols and their promised benefits. Perhaps we would do well to look how that worked out for the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Now is the time of Jeremiah! The call to turn our backs on our idols of wealth, honor, power, and pleasure (and that includes our disproportionate and slavish relationship with sports, entertainment, and leisure) and put God back to being our only God and worshipping Him alone. We need to cultivate that virtue of fidelity to God in our lives. The devil will use every distraction, perceived good, selfish desire, and twisted logic to deter us from seeking such fidelity. The devil wants no better for us than the lot he himself is consigned to for eternity. He wants for us the same eternal broken relationship that he has chosen by his own infidelity. He will not warn us of the price of syncretism. He will encourage us to worship anything and everything as more pertinent to our lives than God; he is all too happy to have us treat God as some here-after insurance policy. We must fight him. Hold fast to the faith and relationship Christ has in store for us.

 
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 fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing the lure of worldly idols to turn our hearts against you. We have expected You to be pleased with our duplicitous hearts. 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 syncretism and infidelity. 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 faithlessness and syncretism. 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 syncretism 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 Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal High Priest of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Divine Victim on the Altar for our salvation, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, dwelling in the tabernacles of the world, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, abiding in Your fulness, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Life, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Angels, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, with us always until the end of the world, R. have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, summit and source of all worship and Christian life, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, sign and cause of the unity of the Church, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, adored by countless angels, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, spiritual food, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Sacrament of love, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, bond of charity, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, greatest aid to holiness, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, gift and glory of the priesthood, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we partake of Christ, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which the soul is filled with grace, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we are given a pledge of future glory, R. have mercy on us.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

For those who do not believe in Your Eucharistic presence, R. have mercy, O Lord.
For those who are indifferent to the Sacrament of Your love, R. have mercy on us.
For those who have offended You in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, R. have mercy on us.

That we may show fitting reverence when entering Your holy temple, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may make suitable preparation before approaching the Altar, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may receive You frequently in Holy Communion with real devotion and true humility, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may never neglect to thank You for so wonderful a blessing, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may cherish time spent in silent prayer before You, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may grow in knowledge of this Sacrament of sacraments, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That all priests may have a profound love of the Holy Eucharist, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That they may celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with its sublime dignity, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may be comforted and sanctified with Holy Viaticum at the hour of our death, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may see You one day face to face in Heaven, R. we beseech You, hear us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Let us pray.
Most merciful Father, You continue to draw us to Yourself through the Eucharistic Mystery. Grant us fervent faith in this Sacrament of love, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received. We make this prayer 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)


Ninth Sunday after Pentecost (17th S. Ord. Time)

FEAST OF ST. JAMES-ST CHRISTOPHER

 

Judith, Chapter 2, Verse 28

FEAR and dread of him fell upon all the inhabitants of the coastland, upon those in Sidon and Tyre, and those who dwelt in Sur and Ocina, and the inhabitants of Jamnia. Those in Azotus and Ascalon also FEARED him greatly.

 

The people of Israel by ignoring the elephant in the room which was Nebuchadnezzar and thus wounding his ego along with all the people West of Syria are now a target and they are afraid; very afraid.

 

·         Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem will succeed.

·         Nebuchadnezzar declares his intention of taking revenge on the whole world.

·         Nebuchadnezzar is represented by his general in chief, Holofernes; Yahwah by the holy woman Judith.

·         Holofernes army is 120,000 troops and 12,000 calalry.

·         Fear extends to the whole earth. 

ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY[1]

CHAPTER III

DIES ECCLESIAE

The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday

The Eucharistic assembly

33. At Sunday Mass, Christians relive with particular intensity the experience of the Apostles on the evening of Easter when the Risen Lord appeared to them as they were gathered together (cf. Jn 20:19). In a sense, the People of God of all times were present in that small nucleus of disciples, the first fruits of the Church. Through their testimony, every generation of believers hears the greeting of Christ, rich with the messianic gift of peace, won by his blood and offered with his Spirit: "Peace be with you!" Christ's return among them "a week later" (Jn 20:26) can be seen as a radical prefiguring of the Christian community's practice of coming together every seven days, on "the Lord's Day" or Sunday, in order to profess faith in his Resurrection and to receive the blessing which he had promised: "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe" (Jn 20:29). This close connection between the appearance of the Risen Lord and the Eucharist is suggested in the Gospel of Luke in the story of the two disciples of Emmaus, whom Christ approached and led to understand the Scriptures and then sat with them at table. They recognized him when he "took the bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them". The gestures of Jesus in this account are his gestures at the Last Supper, with the clear allusion to the "breaking of bread", as the Eucharist was called by the first generation of Christians. 

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost[2]-The necessity of being faithful to the end 

Call upon God for help and assistance against all temptations of your enemies, both visible and invisible, and say with the priest, in the Introit of the Mass, “Behold, God is my helper, and the Lord is the protector of my soul; turn back the evils upon my enemies, and cut them off in Thy truth, O Lord, my protector. Save me, O God, by Thy name, and deliver me in Thy strength” (Ps. liii.). 

Prayer. Let the ears of Thy mercy, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy suppliants, and that Thou mayest grant what Thy petitioners desire, make them ask those things which are pleasing to Thee. 

EPISTLE, i. Cor. x. 6-13. 

Brethren: We should not covet evil things, as they also coveted. Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them: as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents. Neither do you murmur as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human: and God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it. 

Can we sin by thought and desire alone? Certainly, if we desire evil and unlawful things, or of our own free will dwell upon them with pleasure. 

What is it to tempt God? It is presumptuously to expect signs of God s omnipotence, benignity, providence, and justice. Such a sin it would be,

 

1, to desire that matters of faith should be made known and confirmed by new miracles.

 

2, to expose ourselves unnecessarily to danger of body or soul, expecting God to deliver us;

 

3, to reject the ordinary and natural means of deliverance in sickness or other peril, trusting in God s immediate assistance. 

GOSPEL. Luke xix. 41-47. 

At that time, when Jesus drew near Jerusalem, seeing the city, He wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace, but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round: and straiten thee on every side: and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee, and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, He began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: It is written: My house is the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves. And He was teaching daily in the temple. 

Why did the Savior weep over the city of Jerusalem? Because it had not known and profited by its time of visitation and through impenitence was hastening to destruction. 

What was the time of its visitation? The period in which God sent to the Jews one prophet after another, whom they derided and calumniated, stoned and put to death (Matt, xxiii. 34). But especially was it the time of the ministry of Christ, who so often proclaimed His life-giving doctrine; pointed out and demonstrated, by the greatest miracles, that He was the Messias and the Saviour of the world, and yet was despised by this hardened and impenitent city, and even put to death on the cross. 

Does God hide from the wicked the truths of salvation? No; but sinners so blind themselves by their sins that the divine inspirations fail to move them to penance. 

What do we learn by Jesus casting out of the temple those who sold and bought? We learn how severely He will punish those who in church forget where they are; forget that Jesus Christ is present in the tabernacle; who laugh, talk, amuse themselves, cherish sinful thoughts, and give scandal by their improper dress and unbecoming behavior. 

Prayer: O Jesus, who didst weep over the city of Jerusalem because it knew not the time of its visitation, I beseech Thee enlighten my heart, that I may know and profit by the season of grace; and grant that I may always behave with reverence in Thy church, and never turn it into a resort for evil thoughts and desires or for worldly cares. 

LESSONS UPON DEATH-BED REPENTANCE 

Can the sinner rely upon being converted at the end of his life? No for this would be to sin against the mercy of God, which is much the same as the sin against the Holy Ghost. Says St. Augustine, “usually punishes such sinners by allowing them at the last to forget themselves, who in the days of their health and strength have allowed themselves to forget Him. “God Himself also says: They have turned their back to Me and not their face, and in the time of their affliction they will say, Arise and deliver us. Where are thy gods whom thou hast made thee? Let them arise and deliver thee in the time of thy affliction” (Jer. ii. 27, 28). It is true we have a consoling example of conversion at the moment of death in the penitent thief, but, as St. Augustine further says, while this one example is given so that no sinner may despair, it is the only one, so that no sinner may defer repentance through presumption. 

What may we hope of those who are converted at the close of life? Everything that is good, if they be really converted; but this is a most rare thing. (Of the hundreds of thousands whose lives have been wicked,” writes St. Jerome, “hardly one will be converted at the hour of death and obtain forgiveness of his sins.” And St. Vincent Ferrer says it would be a greater miracle for a person who has lived wickedly to die well than for one who is dead to be restored to life. And no wonder; for repentance at the hour of death is generally but an extorted repentance. It is not so much that the sinner forsakes his sins as that his sins forsake him; and the resolution of amendment is one which he would hardly make, were he not driven to it by the agonies of death. 

What is there to expect from such repentance? When, therefore, ought we to do penance? While we are in possession of our reason and strength; for, as St. Augustine says, the repentance of the sick is a sickly repentance. In time of sickness, as experience teaches, the pains of disease, the hope of recovery, the fear of death, the torments of conscience, the temptations of the devil, and the care of all depending on him, so continually distract a man that he can hardly collect his thoughts at all, much less bestow them upon a work of a true repentance. If to many it is so difficult to do penance while they are yet in health and hindered by nothing from raising their thoughts to God, how much more difficult will it be when the body has already become weak! We have heard a number of persons who had been sick admit after their recovery that they had no knowledge of what happened to them during their illness, and even had no recollection of having received the holy sacraments. Accordingly, Isaias admonishes us: “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near (Isaias Iv. 6). And Christ says: You shall seek Me and shall not find Me, and you shall die in your sin” (John vii. 34; viii. 21). If, therefore, you have committed mortal sin, delay not to return to God, by perfect contrition and a good confession. Put it not off from one day to another; for repentance thereby becomes more and more difficult; for, as St. Gregory says, one unrepented sin by its own weight impels a man to still further sins, and all the while makes him the weaker, and his adversary, the devil, the stronger; so that at last he cannot be converted without the extraordinary grace of God. 

But how can the presumptuous sinner expect such grace? God will laugh in his destruction, in like manner as he has despised His instruction, counsel, and reproof (Prov. i. 26-28). “Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good.” (Gal. vi. 10), for who knows whether we may not be suddenly prevented, by severe sickness, from working out our salvation! 

National NFP Awareness Week – JULY 25-31

Life is God’s Gift[3]

Love, Naturally! Is love something natural and part of being human? Of course, it is. Many of us may not be able to find the precise words to define love, but we know what it feels like when love is missing in our lives. We also know how satisfied we feel when we have love. And, even better we know the deep fulfillment we feel when we offer our love to others and they accept it. The natural ability to know, give, and receive love is a gift from God.

 

As Scripture teaches, it is rooted in our nature, being made in Gods image and likeness (Gen 1:27). How often have we heard this building block of our faith but have not thought about it? This basic truth of our humanity has profound implications for all human relationships, especially for those of us who are called to the vocation of marriage. All are called to love God has written the capacity to give and to receive love into the hearts of every man and woman. As St. Paul says, love is the greatest gift (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love is the foundation for other important characteristics such as gratitude, thankfulness, forgiveness, mercy, and selflessness, all of which foster good relationships. One beautiful expression of Gods plan of love is that He created us with sexuality male and female.

 

Being made male or female is the means through which we express love and form relationships. This can take many forms as we relate to neighbors, workmates, friends, and family members. It is precisely through human sexuality that husband and wife can form their family. These small communions of persons mirror the inner love of God as a Trinity of three loving persons. Human sexualitybeing created a man or a womanis woven into our very bodies.

 

This is true despite the many wounds to their sexuality that some people may experience. Human sexuality holds the powers of both love and life. The gift of fertility is a particular awe-inspiring attribute since it enables participation in Gods creation of new life. It is vital to be good stewards of these sacred gifts.

 

Chastity helps us to love well in a world wounded by sin, the virtue of chastity strengthens us to express love in ways that are holy and genuinewhether we are married, single, celibate, or vowed in religious life. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, chastity enables us to maintain the integrity of the powers of life and love therefore helping us to respect ourselves and the personal boundaries of other people (2338).

 

Marriage and parenthood of the various profound forms of human relationships, marriageor more properly, Holy Matrimonywas willed by God as a blessing. If you have forgotten that, look up the second chapter of Genesis (Genesis 2:18-25) of which Jesus Himself quotes in the Gospels when defending marriage to some Pharisees (see Mt 19:1-6). God did not want the man to be alone. God made a suitable partner for him. That partner is woman. She is equal to man in being made in Gods image, and she is also very different. She complements him. Together, they make the one flesh union of marriage which has the potential to give life and create a family. God intended marital love to be total, faithful, permanent, and fruitfulaccepting and nurturing the powers of love and life.

 

The nature of marriage calls husband and wife to sacred responsibilities. Within this vocation, a husband and wife are able to celebrate human sexuality in all its fullness. Their conjugal love is meant to express the full meaning of love, as willed by God, its power to bind a couple and its openness to new life (USCCB, Married Love and the Gift of Life, 4). Being open to life does not mean that married couples have to intend to get pregnant every time they have sexual relations. It means that children are not a mere footnote to marriagethey are a gift from God.

 

It is the responsibility of the married couple to respect Gods design and to be generously open to His call to receive and nurture new life. This is true despite the fact that some couples may not be able to have their own children.

 

How can husband and wife properly exercise their mutual stewardship over Gods gifts of love and life? Some may wonder if married couples are expected to leave their family size entirely to chance. The Church teaches that a couple may generously decide to have a large family, or for serious reasons (e.g., financial, physical, psychological, etc.), choose to postpone attempting a pregnancy temporarily or indefinitely (see Humanae vitae 10). That is where the methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) enter. NFPcooperating with Gods design for married love in marriage, when serious reasons arise, a husband and wife may need to limit the size of their family. The ever-present temptation is to use a form of contraception to limit or avoid having children. But contraception is not the answer since it harms Gods creation and rejects His good gifts. It does this by blocking human fertility.

 

What are the moral methods of authentic family planning that couples can use? Authentic family planning honors Gods design by supporting the love-giving and lifegiving nature of sexual intercourse. It promotes openness to new life and the value of the child. And, it helps to enrich the marital bond between husband and wife. Authentic family planning builds healthy and holy families. Only NFP methods can boast of all these characteristics! NFP methods make use of fertility education. NFP education teaches husband and wife about their fertile time (the time of the wifes ovulation, when an egg is released from the ovary). NFP methods can be used to either attempt a pregnancy or to avoid one. When avoiding, couples simply abstain from conjugal relations during the wifes fertile time. No drugs, devices or surgical procedures are used. Any woman, no matter the variety in her menstrual cycle, can use an NFP method. Thats because NFP methods help the wife to recognize her unique signs of fertility which she can observe on a daily basis. Love, naturally Take the time to learn, reflect, and pray about Gods marvelous plan for men, women, and Holy Matrimony. Answer the call to cooperate with Gods design for married love! Let these divine gifts inform and transform your marriage so that you and your family may flourish!

Celebrate and reverence God's vision of human sexuality[4]

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week is a national educational campaign. The Natural Family Planning Program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops develops a poster each year with basic supportive materials. It is the individual dioceses, however, that offer a variety of educational formats in the local church to focus attention on Natural Family Planning methods and Church teachings that support their use in marriage.

The dates of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love, and responsible parenthood. The dates also mark the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne (July 26), the parents of the Blessed Mother. Pope Francis has designated that feast as World Grandparents Day, a fitting commemoration during National NFP Awareness Week!

 

Feast of St James the Greater, Apostle[5] 

JAMES, by birth a Galilean, a son of Zebedee and Salome, was brother to St. John the apostle, with whom he was called by Jesus to follow Him. He was present at the transfiguration on Mount Tabor, at the raising of the daughter of Jairus from the dead, and other like miracles, and at the bloody sweat in the Garden. After the sending of the Holy Ghost he preached the doctrines of Jesus in Judea, Samaria, and in Jerusalem, where Herod caused him to be beheaded in the year 44. His body was brought to Compostella, in Spain, where it is venerated by vast numbers of the faithful, who make pilgrimages to his grave. St. James was the first of the apostles who shed his blood for Christ. 

Prayer to St. James. 

O heroic apostle, who first of all didst, after the example of Jesus, drink of the chalice of suffering, but now, in the kingdom of His Father, livest upon the holy mountain of Sion, obtain for me, I beseech thee, from Jesus the grace not to shrink from the chalice of suffering and tribulation, but patiently to accept whatever the hand of God may present to me, whether agreeable or disagreeable, and thereby to become worthy one day to be inebriated with the streams of heavenly joy.

The Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela[6]

The history of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela stretches back more than 1000 years to the discovery of the body of St. James during the reign of King Alfonso II (792-842). St. James was already believed to have been the great evangelist of Spain and for many hundreds of years there had been a scholarly and literary tradition supporting this belief. The discovery of the relics of St. James then became a focal point for pilgrims. Though a few pilgrims to Santiago are recorded in the 10th century, and many more in the 11th, it was in the early 12th century, and particularly under the energetic promotion of Archbishop Diego Gelmírez (1100-1140), that Santiago came to rank with Rome and Jerusalem as one of the great destinations of medieval pilgrimage. The first Cathedral was built over the site of the tomb, and gradually houses were established, for example by monks from Cluny in Burgundy and from Aurillac in Cantal, France, along the developing pilgrimage route.

The 12th and 13th centuries are considered to have been the golden age of the pilgrimage to Santiago. Subsequently the years of the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe led to a decrease in the number of pilgrims. However, pilgrims still made their way to Santiago throughout the centuries. In 1884, following academic and medical research, Pope Leon XIII issued the Bull, Deus Omnipotens, which proclaimed that the relics in Santiago were those of St. James. This is recognized as the start of the modern development of the pilgrimage. It was thought that in the 20th Century the growth of mechanized means of transport such as cars and airplanes might lead to a reduction in the number of pilgrims travelling to Santiago on foot or on horseback. This was not to be the case and in the last 30 years in particular there has been a huge growth in interest and in the number of pilgrims travelling on foot, on horseback or by bicycle. Pilgrims were encouraged by the visits by Pope John Paul II in 1982 and in 1989 when World Youth Day was held in Santiago. The number of pilgrims continues to grow. In 1985 1,245 pilgrims arrived in Santiago. In the 2010 Holy Year 272,703 pilgrims qualified for the Compostela.

Things to Do[7]

·         Learn more about St. James.

·         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.

·         Read about Santiago de Compostela, the third largest shrine in all of Christendom.

·         Learn more about the pilgrimage to St. James.

·         Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia and final destination of the famous pilgrimage way is certainly among Spain's most beautiful cities. You can take a virtual tour and learn all about this area of the world here.

·         Watch this Spanish news broadcast of the faithful bringing flowers for Our Lady of the Pillar on October 12 during the celebration of the feast at the cathedral, notice the open devotion and enthusiasm offered to Our Lady. Tradition says that Mary appeared to St. James before her Assumption. Read more about the apparition here.

·         Plan your own pilgrimage to a nearby shrine. Pope John Paul II said, "To go in a spirit of prayer from one place to another, from one city to another, in the area marked especially by God's intervention, helps us not only to live our life as a journey, but also gives us a vivid sense of a God who has gone before us and leads us on, who himself set out on man's path, a God who does not look down on us from on high, but who became our traveling companion." Read this letter and try to incorporate its spirit into your pilgrimage.

Way of St. James[8]

Hikers travel the trail across the Castilian plateau. It’s a long walk to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James), but the Christian faithful have made the pilgrimage since the bones of St. James the Apostle were unearthed here in the 9th century, spreading the cultural rebirth of Europe. The apparition of St. James was said to aid Christian armies in battles with the Moors, so Spaniards adopted Santiago Matamoros (aka St. James, the Moor-slayer) as their patron saint. Modern hikers follow in the footsteps of El Cid, Louis VII of France, and St. Francis of Assisi to this pilgrimage destination that’s on a par with Rome and Jerusalem. Whether their motives are spiritual or not, the experience of the walk lingers. Most travelers follow a variant of the French Route, which begins in the Basque village of Roncesvalles, in the Pyrenees at the French-Spanish border, and trek 500 miles through the Rioja wine country (see here) and the former kingdoms of northern Spain. Hostels, inns, and restaurants along the entire stretch cater to the pilgrims. Those who lack time or stamina for the 4-plus-week journey by foot walk only the final 62 miles, through rugged but green inland Galicia. At Monte de Gozo, 2 miles from Santiago de Compostela, tired but elated travelers typically get their first glimpse of the twin towers of Santiago’s cathedral. Construction of the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela began in 1078, on the site of a 9th-century basilica destroyed by the Moors, and Maestro Mateo’s original designs rank among Europe’s finest Romanesque art. The cathedral’s elaborate, two-towered Baroque façade, added in the 18th century, protects the now restored original Porta de Gloria from weathering. The impact of the cavernous interior—as simple as the façade is ornate—is heightened by the golden-cloaked, bejeweled statue of St. James above the main altar, embraced by arriving pilgrims. The cathedral shares the vast Plaza del Obradoiro (“work of gold”) with the Hotel Reyes Católicos (Catholic Kings), built by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel in 1499 as a hospice for pilgrims. Now one of the most renowned paradors in Spain, it has rooms overlooking the square and the cathedral and many more overlooking four courtyard cloisters. Only a short walk away, the Palacio del Carmen has transformed an 18th-century convent into comfortable if less majestic lodging. Where: Santiago de Compostela is 375 miles/603 km northwest of Madrid. The most popular route of the Camino de Santiago starts in Roncesvalle and runs 500 miles/800 km across the northern regions of Spain, from east to west. How: U.S.-based Saranjan, Inc., offers 1- to 2-week tours by minibus, on foot, or on bicycle. Tel 800-858-9594 or 206-720-0623; www.saranjan.com. Cost: 8-day hiking/biking tours from $3,150; all-inclusive. Originate in León. Hotel Reyes Católicos: Tel 34/981582200; www.parador.es; in the U.S., Palace Tours, 800-724-5120; www.palacetours.com. Cost: from $105 (off-peak), from $225 (peak). Palacio del Carmen: Tel 34/981-552444; www.palaciodelcarmen.com. Cost: from $100 (off-peak), from $115 (peak). Best times: late Feb or early Mar for Antroido (carnival); last 2 weeks of Jul for succession of fiestas; Jul 25 for feast day of Santiago, celebrated with fireworks, music, and processions.

Bearer of Christ[9]

St. Christopher's feast day is still July 25, and the proper of the Mass in his honor is found in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal still authorized for the Tridentine Mass. The confusion over whether St. Christopher is still a saint arose when Pope Paul VI revised the Liturgical Calendar, which includes the feast days of saints that are commemorated at Mass. Due to the proliferation of the number of feast days over the centuries, the Second Vatican Council in its "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy" proposed, "Lest the feasts of the saints should take precedence over the feasts which commemorate the very mysteries of salvation, many of them should be left to be celebrated by a particular Church, or nation, or family of religious. Only those should be extended to the universal Church which commemorate saints who are truly of universal importance" (No. 111). With this in mind, a special commission — Consilium — examined the calendar and removed those saints whose historical base was more grounded on tradition than provable fact, changed the feast days to coincide with the anniversary of a saint's death or martyrdom whenever possible, and added saints that were recently canonized and had universal Church appeal. Moreover, local conferences of bishops could add to the universal calendar those saints important to the faithful in their own country. In no way did the Church "de-canonize" St. Christopher or anyone else, despite the lack of historical evidence surrounding their lives. St. Christopher is still worthy of our devotion and prayers, and each of us should be mindful that he too is called to be a "bearer of Christ."

Novena of St. Ann[10]

 

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.

 

NINTH DAY

 

Good St. Ann, I have reached the end of this novena in your honor. I have asked and ask again. Good mother let not your kind ear grow weary of my prayers, though I repeat them so often.

 

Bounteous Lady implore for me from divine Providence all the help I need through life. May your generous hand bestow on me the material means to satisfy my own needs and to alleviate the plight of the poor.

 

Good St. Ann, fortify me by the sacraments of the Church at the hour of my death. Admit me into the company of the blessed in the kingdom of heaven, where I may praise and thank the adorable Trinity, your grandson Christ Jesus, your glorious daughter Mary, and yourself, dear St. Ann, through endless ages.

 

Daily Devotions

·         Read Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality.

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Go to MASS

·         Rosary




[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[4]https://www.usccb.org/topics/natural-family-planning/national-nfp-awareness-week

[5] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[8]Schultz, Patricia. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: Revised Second Edition (pp. 265-266)

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

 


No comments:

Post a Comment