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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Friday, August 6, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Materialism

(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: IDEALISM)


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 Materialism" by Fr. Bill Peckman

Back in 1985, Madonna nearly topped the Billboard 100 singing how she was "a material girl living in a material world." It seemed apropos for the eighties where herds of free-range yuppies thundered across the fruited plains alerting anyone who could hear them that too much stuff was never enough. Certainly, the USA is one of the wealthiest countries the world has ever seen. Even the bottom 20% of the economic strata in our country consumes more than the bottom 60% of the rest of the developed world. Our suburbs are full of McMansions stuffed with goods. At my worst, I had clothes in my closet that I owned for a couple years and never removed the price tags from. It used to be that the American Dream was about the ability to make something of yourself despite your economic class. Now, the American Dream is the house, the car, the possessions and so on. It can become a garish display.

Materialism comes from a very dark place. It is a godless place. Philosophically, materialism holds that all that is true is made up of material or comes from material interactions. Even the mind is subservient to the material world. In essence, all we have is what is measurable. No god. No heaven. No hell. No devil. Our life ends when we die. There is nothing beyond the grave. Hence, our only true happiness can be found in the accumulation of wealth, power, pleasure, and honor. Life becomes a mad dash of consumption and manipulation. Materialism is like a creeping vine; if not pulled up right away, it will insinuate itself into your life and choke off any fruit a relationship with God might have born.

Many people who consider themselves good Catholics can be functional materialists. A canary in the mineshaft is our attitude to the Day of the Lord, our attitude towards Sundays. If there is anywhere where the effects of materialism (and its twin serpent, secularism) are more greatly felt, it is in how we treat Sunday. In the last forty years Sunday has gone from the Day of the Lord to the hour of the Lord, that is, unless there is something more fun or important to do. Even for one day we cannot put down our material interests to address our spiritual need for prayer, communion, and rest. Apart from school, every other secular enterprise has gobbled up Sunday like a quickly eaten trifle. *ALERT* You are entering the slaughtering of sacred cows' zone!

Let's use the following conversation that I have had multiple times with parishioners: "My kid can't serve because he has a ball tournament this weekend." "And this tournament is both on Saturday night and SUNDAY MORNING?" "I know, Father, but he did make a commitment to the team. We will try to get to Mass at some time." Thinking to myself: Hmm. I am sure what God meant by first fruits was really leftovers, but that's another discussion. Maybe we should talk about their commitment to God being of greater value. "So why is going to this game so important?" "Because he needs extracurriculars to get into a good college?" "Why is that important?" "So he can get a good job." "Why is that important?" "So he can be successful and make a good salary." "Why is that important?" "So he can raise a family and live without financial worry." Me thinking to myself: Hmm, no wonder my homilies on priestly vocations fall on deaf ears; but again, another time. "May I quote Mark 8:6? 'What does it profit for man to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul?' The third commandment is to keep holy the Sabbath, no? Is teaching your son that a ball game holds greater importance than the Day of the Lord a lesson you wish teach to him?"

Teaching others, especially those placed in our care, that the material world and its prizes are of greater value than one's relationship with God and His people is a dangerous lesson. It is a contributory factor to the ever-plummeting attendance at Mass. If we will abandon Mass for worldly gain, will we not abandon anything of God to get ahead? The devil will grab his pom-poms and cheer you on that drive!

What Jesus calls for, instead of such an attachment to the material world, is a detachment from the material world. In the Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." If this is the attitude Jesus tells us to have about the necessities of life, how much more does this apply to things like ballgames and other non-essential activities? I am not against sports. I am for right priorities. Faith helps us discern right priorities, considering that which is material, and hence passing, to be of lesser importance to the spiritual.

It is telling that in such a culture abstinence and fasting are seen as little more than misery-making exercises consigned to Lent. Are you aware that we are still not supposed to eat meat on any Friday? Outside of Lent, we can substitute something else. But Friday...all Fridays are days of abstinence. Fasting and abstinence are incredibly good ways of breaking ourselves from materialism.
I challenge you, dear reader, to start breaking apart from materialism with one simple step: make the Day of the Lord a day of rest and worship again. Maybe pick up some fasting and abstinence. We need to find ways to shout boldly our faith, "We need God before anything this world has to offer."

 
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 chased after earthly goals and trinkets as if they were more important. We have allowed material goals to supplant our relationship with You. We have expected You to be pleased with our neglect and half-heartedness. 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 materialism. 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 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 materialism. 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 materialism have planted in Your Church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in Your goodness Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done, in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

 
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ graciously hear us

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

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

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

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

 
Daily Checklist

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


First Friday

FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION

 

Ester, Chapter 4D, Verse 5

She glowed with perfect beauty and her face was as joyous as it was lovely, though her heart was pounding with FEAR.

 

Ester after making a total and complete commitment to save the people and fasting for 3 days approached her husband the King. She was at peace. This verse reflects the joy of the woman in Mark’s chapter 5 whom Christ healed:

 

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.

 

26She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. 28 She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” 29Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” 31But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32And he looked around to see who had done it. 33The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.

 

An unclean person in general had to avoid that which was holy and take steps to return to a state of cleanliness. Uncleanliness placed a person in a "dangerous" condition under threat of divine retribution, even death, if the person approached the sanctuary. Uncleanness could lead to expulsion of the land's inhabitants and its peril lingered upon those who did not undergo purification. Bodily discharges (blood for women, semen for men) represented a temporary loss of strength and life and movement toward death. Because decaying corpses discharged, so natural bodily discharges were reminders of sin and death. Physical imperfections representing a movement from "life" toward "death" moved a person ritually away from God who was associated with life. Purification rituals symbolized movement from death toward life and accordingly involved blood, the color red, and spring (lit. "living") water, all symbols of life.[1] Christ also being clean took this woman’s uncleanliness and gave her his Holiness. Indeed, she was filled with wonder and awe.

 

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9).

First Friday[2]

“I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment.”  Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

How to complete the First Friday’s Devotion

1.      Receive Holy Communion on each First Friday.

2.      The nine Fridays must be consecutive.

3.      They must be made in honor and in reparation to His Sacred Heart.

ACT OF REPARATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

Sacred Heart of Jesus, animated with a desire to repair the outrages unceasingly offered to Thee, we prostrate before Thy throne of mercy, and in the name of all mankind, pledge our love and fidelity to Thee!

·         The more Thy mysteries are blasphemed, the more firmly we shall believe them, O Sacred Heart of Jesus!

·         The more impiety endeavors to extinguish our hopes of immortality, the more we shall trust in Thy Heart, sole hope of mankind!

·         The more hearts resist Thy Divine attractions, the more we shall love Thee, O infinitely amiable Heart of Jesus!

·         The more unbelief attacks Thy Divinity, the more humbly and profoundly we shall adore It, O Divine Heart of Jesus!

·         The more Thy holy laws are transgressed and ignored, the more we shall delight to observe them, O most holy Heart of Jesus!

·         The more Thy Sacraments are despised and abandoned, the more frequently we shall receive them with love and reverence, O most liberal Heart of Jesus!

·         The more the imitation of Thy virtues is neglected and forgotten, the more we shall endeavor to practice them, O Heart of Jesus, model of every virtue!

·         The more the devil labors to destroy souls, the more we shall be inflamed with desire to save them, O Heart of Jesus, zealous Lover of souls!

·         The more sin and impurity destroy the image of God in man, the more we shall try by purity of life to be a living temple of the Holy Spirit, O Heart of Jesus!

·         The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!

·         The more Thy Vicar on earth is persecuted, the more we will honor him as the infallible head of Thy Holy Church, show our fidelity and pray for him, O kingly Heart of Jesus!

O Sacred Heart, through Thy powerful grace, may we become Thy apostles in the midst of a corrupted world, and be Thy crown in the kingdom of heaven.  Amen.

12 Promises of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary

1.  I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.

2.  I will give peace in their families.

3.  I will console them in all their troubles.

4.  I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.

5.  I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.

6.  Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

7.  Tepid souls shall become fervent.

8.  Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.

9.  I will bless those places wherein the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.

10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.

11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.

12. In the excess of the mercy of my heart, I promise you that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.

Feast of the Transfiguration[3]

 

This is the second commemoration during the liturgical year of the miracle of the Transfiguration. (The first, on the second Sunday in Lent, recalls Christ's divinity, while today emphasizes His triumph and glory. 

GOSPEL Matt xvii 1-9 

At that time: Jesus taketh unto Him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and He was transfigured before them. And His face did shine as the sun: and His garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with Him. And Peter, answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo a voice out of the cloud saying: This is My beloved Son, in Whom I arn well pleased: hear ye Him. And the disciple’s hearing, fell upon their face: and were very much afraid. And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them: Arise, and fear not. And they lifting up their eyes saw no one, but only Jesus. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead. 

Why was Jesus transfigured before His disciples on Mount Thabor?

1. To give them a manifest proof of His divinity.

2. To prevent all doubt on their part when they should see Him on Mount Calvary.

3. To encourage all the faithful to patience under agony and suffering.

4. To show us how our glorified bodies shall rise from the dead (i. Cor. xv. 52). 

Why did Moses and Elias appear with Our Lord? To testify that Jesus, was the Savior of the world, spoken of by the law and the prophets. 

Night Operations[4]

This vision happened in the night. As they went down the mountain early the next morning, Jesus bade them not to tell anyone what they had seen till he should be risen from the dead. In the Transfiguration Christ enjoyed for a short while that glorified state which was to be permanently His after His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. The splendor of His inward Divinity and of the Beatific Vision of His soul overflowed on His body and permeated His garments so that Christ stood before Peter, James, and John in a snow-white brightness. The purpose of the Transfiguration was to encourage and strengthen the Apostles who were depressed by their master’s prediction of His own Passion and Death. The Apostles were made to understand that His redeeming work has two phases: The Cross, and glory—that we shall be glorified with Him only if we first suffer with Him.

Transfiguration-Things to do:[5]

  • In the Russian Orthodox church, honey, pears, apples, plums and other fruits are brought to the church for blessing. This feast is also referred to as "Metamorphosis" in the Eastern church.
  • The Transfiguration was another "first fruits" harvest feast particularly of grapes and wheat. The Roman Ritual has a blessing of grapes and blessing of the harvest for this feast.
  • Playing up on the brilliant white of the garments, decorating with white (tablecloth, candles, etc.) and serving some white foods (mashed potatoes, vanilla ice cream, Mexican wedding cookies, meringues, etc.) can bring to mind that dazzling white.
  • Having Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration is a reminder of the Old Testament. Bring in some Jewish recipes or foods to highlight this aspect of the feast day.

Root Beer Float Day[6]

Root Beer Float Day is celebrated on August 6th every year. Between the luxurious vanilla ice-cream and the sumptuous root beer foam, how can any individual resist this delightful beverage? This amazingly refreshing summer treat has its own special day to celebrate its undeniable brilliance. Towards the end of the 19th century, a gentleman named Frank Wisner created the first root beer float. Strangely, this float was nicknamed the “black cow.” If you are wondering how to make one of these superb drinks, then simply add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to a cold glass of root beer. The taste of root beer float makes the taste buds tingle with utter excitement. To celebrate Root Beer Float Day why not create your own float? Make the float colorful and presentable so that other people can see you have really made an effort for this special occasion!

Daily Devotions

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary



[2]https://americaneedsfatima.org/Our-Lord-Jesus-Christ/the-nine-first-fridays-devotion.html

[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions

[5]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-08-06

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