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Monday, August 2, 2021


Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Gluttony
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.

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 Gluttony" by Fr. James Altman

Dear family, we all have heard of the Seven Deadly Sins, even if we cannot remember all seven on the spot. By the time you get done with the Let Freedom Ring training, all three of us will have written on every one, so you likely could "get" seven out of seven. In a random poll, however, while most would remember pride, greed, and lust, and probably most would remember gluttony - as for sloth, wrath, and envy, not so much. As a confessor, it must be said that most people do not seem to do an adequate and sufficient examination of conscience; they don't often discuss those times when they have fallen into these deadly sins. When they are confessed, sometimes it's pride, many, many times it's lust, and occasionally it's envy and gluttony. Again, as to the others, not so much. Maybe the deadliest part of any of these is that we do not pay enough attention to them, and that may be because we have not taken the time to meditate upon the fullness of the sin.

Gluttony usually is defined in relation to food, but really could be defined as the overindulgence and overconsumption of anything to the point of waste. The "food" aspect is derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow.

St. Thomas Aquinas took a more expansive view of gluttony, arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals. Aquinas prepared a list of five ways to commit gluttony, one of which was eating too much. Another "ardenter" - was eating too eagerly. Of these, ardenter was often considered the most serious, since it is extreme attachment to the pleasure of mere eating (I'm not sure if my attachment to Flaming Hot Cheetos falls into this category, but when I use it as a breakfast comfort food, I'm probably skating on thin ice!) Aquinas said ardenter can make the committer eat impulsively; absolutely and without qualification live merely to eat and drink; lose attachment to health-related, social, intellectual, and spiritual pleasures; and lose proper judgement. (Pretty sure I'm not there yet, on those Flaming Hot Cheetos.)

The great Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary defines gluttony thusly:  "Inordinate desire for the pleasure connected with food or drink. This desire may become sinful in various ways: by eating or drinking far more than a person needs to maintain bodily strength; by glutting one's taste for certain kinds of food with known detriment to health; by indulging the appetite for exquisite food or drink, especially when these are beyond one's ability to afford a luxurious diet; by eating or drinking too avidly, i.e., ravenously; by consuming alcoholic beverages to the point of losing full control of one's reasoning powers. Intoxication that ends in complete loss of reason is a mortal sin ...."

Donald Attwater's A Catholic Dictionary also points out that this rising to the level of mortal sin occurs when food consumption is excessive to the point of causing health issues, or drinking is excessive to the point of intoxication.

The point of all this - which may border on TMI (too much information) - is that if we do not know what we are talking about, how will we ever know if we are, as mentioned, possibly skating on that thin ice?

The bottom line - gluttony easily can be understood as eating and drinking too much. It is fair to say that Americans fall much more into the category of Rich Man Dives: "There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day" (Luke 16:19), than we fall into the category of Poor Man Lazarus: "And lying at [Dives'] door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores" (Luke 16:20-21). And that will be a problem one day, because we all know where Dives ended up - yes, the eternal tormenting fires of hell! How much better to aspire to the example of St. Teresa of Calcutta who served the poorest of the poor, who served all the "Poor Man Lazaruses" of Calcutta.

We are well off in America. In fact, it has been said that the poorest Americans are richer than the richest third-world-citizens. Are we so gluttonous, has gluttony become so much a part of our day-to-day, that we do not even recognize it for what it is? Are we just like Dives? He seemed clueless, didn't he? And yet, remember in Jesus' parable, it was not like Dives did not know Poor Man Lazarus. In the reality to which Jesus spoke, Dives practically would have had to trip over Lazarus every time he went in and out of the front gate. We actually know that Dives knew exactly who Lazarus was, because Dives called him by name when Dives appealed to Abraham: "Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames" (Luke 16:24).

Dear family, let us take time to realize just how much we have, how much we consume (especially food and alcohol), and then ponder whether we genuinely have fasted from either.  Have we freed up and offered some of our wealth for the benefit of the Lazaruses who might be sitting outside our own front gate?
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward gluttony. Countless times we have sat down to a feast, unconcerned about our own health and welfare, and even more condemnably, unconcerned about those who would long to eat the scraps from our tables. We are so immersed in the pleasures of eating and drinking, that we hardly recognize when we eat or drink to excess. We think this excess really is no big deal. We so often do not attribute sin to this excess and fail to confess the very thing which the bathroom scales and the hangovers make so evident. We spend so much time and effort and money on feasting, and so little time and effort on fasting, even though we know, for we have been told, some things only may be attained through prayer and fasting. We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our gluttony - for our selfish and excessive self-indulgence in food and drink. We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more. 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 gluttony. 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 gluttony have planted in Your Church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in Your goodness Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done, in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Litany of Humility

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

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Daily Checklist

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

FEAST OF OUR LADY OF ANGELS International Beer Day 

Judith, Chapter 16, Verse 15-16

15 For the mountains to their bases are tossed with the waters; the rocks, like wax, melt before your glance. “But to those who FEAR you, you will show mercy. 16 Though the sweet fragrance of every sacrifice is a trifle, and the fat of all burnt offerings but little in your sight, one who FEARS the Lord is forever great.


With victory come the spoils of war and Judith as Heroin of the people get the spoils from Holofernes tent. She is rich indeed but because she is truly a servant of God; all of the booty she receives she keeps none sending it all to the temple in Jerusalem.


“Only those that see the invisible can do the impossible.” Tyrese




·         Material gains from victory are turned back to God.

·         People’s joy and exultation are also returned to God in celebration.

·         The Lord is God; he crushes warfare.

·         The Lord shatters the enemy by a women’s hand.

·         Yahweh sends heroes to deliver the people when they cry out for help. The victory of Judith confirms that premise.

·         Judith’s victory is symbolic of God’s victory over evil, preservation of the sanctuary, and the deliverance of the people.

·         The beheading of Holofernes is the symbolic defeat of the devil. Judith is a precursor of Mary the Lord’s mother who will defeat the devil as he defeated Eve our first mother.

·         God’s message in Judith is when you face evil beyond your strength; persevere in hope.


Judith gave all her wealth to the temple of Jerusalem; Mary, Queen of heaven gave us her Son to complete the work of God making our bodies and soul the true temple of the Lord.

 Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula[2], the Virgin under whose mantle Saint Francis of Assisi was wrapped; Mary's maternal protection made it possible for blessed Francis to experience an intense Presence of the Lord and to receive his vocation to rebuild the Church. Likewise, his intimate devotion to the Blessed Mother, under whose protection did he place himself to do the Lord's work did this place become holy for the members of the Franciscan family and for the Church universal. Without meeting Christ, little makes sense. 

The Portiuncula is an ancient church dedicated to Mary under the title Our Lady of the Angels and is located in Assisi, Italy. It was a spot very dear to the heart of Saint Francis. 

The Portiuncula is the place where Franciscanism developed, and where Saint Francis lived and died. Here he began and grew in his religious life; here he founded the Franciscan Order; here he manifested his love and great devotion to the Mother of God. When Francis knew he was dying, he requested to be brought to the Portiuncula to end his earthly life. 

Saint Bonaventure had this to say about this devotion: 

The Portiuncula was an old church dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God which was abandoned. Francis had great devotion to the Queen of the world and when he saw that the church was deserted, he began to live there constantly in order to repair it. He heard that the Angels often visited it, so that it was called Saint Mary of the Angels, and he decided to stay there permanently out of reverence for the angels and love for the Mother of Christ. This is also the place where St Clare took her vows and where Saint Francis died. 

He loved this spot more than any other in the world. It was here he began his religious life in a very small way; it is here he came to a happy end. When he was dying, he commended this spot above all others to the friars, because it was most dear to the Blessed Virgin. 

This was the place where Saint Francis founded his Order by divine inspiration, and it was divine providence which led him to repair three churches before he founded the Order and began to preach the Gospel. 

This meant that he progressed from material things to more spiritual achievements, from lesser to greater, in due order, and it gave a prophetic indication of what he would accomplish later. 

As he was living there by the church of Our Lady, Francis prayed to her who had conceived the Word, full of grace and truth, begging her insistently and with tears to become his advocate. Then he was granted the true spirit of the Gospel by the intercession of the Mother of mercy and he brought it to fruition.
He embraced the Mother of Our Lord Jesus with indescribable love because, as he said, it was she who made the Lord of majesty our brother, and through her we found mercy. After Christ, he put all his trust in her and took her as his patroness for himself and his friars.

Consider the words of an early biographer of Saint Francis of Assisi: 

From there he moved to another place, which is called the "Portiuncula," where there stood a church of the Blessed Virgin Mother of God built in ancient times. At that time, it was deserted, and no one was taking care of it. When the holy man of God saw it so ruined, he was moved by piety because he had a warm devotion to the Mother of all good and he began to stay there continually. The restoration of that church took place in the third year of his conversion. At this time, he wore a sort of hermit's habit with a leather belt. He carried a staff in his hand and wore shoes. One day the gospel was being read in that church about how the Lord sent out his disciples to preach. The holy man of God, who was attending there, in order to understand better the words of the gospel, humbly begged the priest after celebrating the solemnities of the Mass to explain the gospel to him. The priest explained it all to him thoroughly line by line. When he heard that Christ's disciples should not possess gold or silver or money, or carry on their journey a wallet or a sack, nor bread nor a staff, not to have shoes nor two tunics, but that they should preach the kingdom of God and penance, the holy man, Francis immediately exulted in the spirit of God. "This is what I want," he said, "this is what I seek, this is what I desire with all my heart." The holy father, overflowing with joy, hastened to implement the words of salvation, and did not delay before he devoutly began to put into effect what he heard. (From The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano) 


August Queen of Heaven, sovereign queen of Angels, you who at the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we beseech you humbly, send your holy legions so that, on your orders and by your power, they will track down demons, fight them everywhere, curb their audacity and plunge them into the hell.

Who can be compared to God? Oh, good and tender Mother, you will always be our love and our hope. Oh, divine Mother, send the Holy Angels and Archangels to defend me and to keep the cruel enemy far from me. Holy Angels and Archangels defend us, protect us. Amen.

The Pardon of Assisi Or the Portiuncula Indulgence  

The Holy Father made reference to this in his Sunday Angelus address:

... today is the feast of the "Pardon of Assisi," which St. Francis obtained from Pope Honorious III in the year 1216, after having a vision while he was praying in the little church of the Portiuncula. Jesus appeared to him in his glory, with the Virgin Mary on his right and surrounded by many Angels. They asked him to express a wish and Francis implored a "full and generous pardon" for all those who would visit that church who "repented and confessed their sins". Having received papal approval, the Saint did not wait for any written document but hastened to Assisi and when he reached the Portiuncula announced the good news: "Friends, the Lord wants to have us all in Heaven!". Since then, from noon on 1 August to midnight on the second, it has been possible to obtain, on the usual conditions, a Plenary Indulgence, also for the dead, on visiting a parish church or a Franciscan one.


St. Francis Asked and Obtained the Indulgence Of Forgiveness


He awoke one night in 1216 at the Porziuncola and an inspiration stronger than usual prompted him to arise and go into the little chapel. He knelt in prayer and, as he prayed, our Lord, accompanied by His Mother, appeared to him and bade him ask for that which he desired most. "O God," he said, "although I m a great sinner, I beseech You to grant a full pardon of all sins to all who, having repented and confessed their sins, shall visit this church." And Jesus said to him: "Francis, you ask much, but you are worthy of greater things, and greater things you shall have."


Our Lord then granted Francis' request and told him to go to His Vicar for ratification of the indulgence. Honorius III, who was just beginning his Pontificate, was holding court at Perugia, and it was to him that Francis presented his petition.

Honorius was a spiritual, unworldly man, yet at such a request he hesitated. "Holy Father," Francis said urgently, "a little while ago I restored a chapel for you in honor of the Virgin Mother of Christ (the Portiuncula), and I beseech you to bestow on it an indulgence."

"For how many years do you want this indulgence?" the Pontiff inquired. "Holy Father," said Francis, "I ask not for years but for souls." "Just what do you want?" Honorius asked. "Holy Father," replied Francis, "the Lord has commanded me to ask you that all those who after confession shall visit the Portiuncula with contrite hearts may obtain full remission of the punishment due to the sins of their whole lives from the day of Baptism to the day they enter this church." Honorius pondered the extraordinary request, and said slowly three times: "I also, in the name of God, grant you the indulgence." 

Honorius wanted to give Francis the document of the indulgence, but Francis saw no need for it. "What have you to show that this indulgence has been granted you?" the Pope asked in amazement as Francis prepared to depart for Assisi without any written confirmation of the great permission. "Holy Father," he replied, "Your word is enough for me. If this is the work of God, it is for Him to make His work manifest. I desire no other document. The Blessed Virgin Mary shall be the charter, Christ the notary, and the angels the witnesses." Some days later, before the Bishops of Umbria, Francis said: "Brethren, I want to send you all to Heaven!"


Conditions to Obtain the Plenary Indulgence Of The Forgiveness (for oneself or for a departed soul)


1. Sacramental Confession to be in God's grace (during the eight days before or after); 

2. Participation in the Holy Mass and Eucharist;

3. Visit to a Catholic Church (especially a Franciscan Church), followed by PROFESSION OF FAITH, in order to reaffirm one's own Christian identity; 

4. Say the OUR FATHER, in order to reaffirm the dignity as child of God that one received in Baptism; 

5. A prayer for the Pope's intention, in order to reaffirm one's membership in the Church, of which the Roman Pontiff is the foundation and sign of visible unity.

International Beer Day[3] another hedonistic holiday but even the saint enjoyed a beer-check out “Pints with Aquinas”. International Beer Day celebrates the taste of beer and the achievement of beer brewers. Beer is an ancient alcoholic drink brewed mainly from malted barley, hops, yeast and water although it is possible to brew it from other grains such as maize, wheat and rice. Records of beer date back to 4000 BC, making it one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world. The three stated goals of the International Beer Day are to: appreciate brewers and servers, enjoy the taste of all beers from around the world, and to unite the world under the banner of beer.  Founded in 2007 by the Association of California Brewers, International Beer Day has become an international event that is observed in more than 50 countries worldwide.  It is held annually on the first Friday of August.


International Beer Day Facts & Quotes


·         International Beer Day began in Santa Cruz, California, 2007.  It was founded by beer enthusiasts, Jesse Avshalomov and Evan Hamilton.

·         As far back as ancient Egypt, beer was a staple food.  Known as Hqt, heqet or heket, beer was a thick and sweet source of nutrition including vitamins, minerals and protein that was consumed daily by adults and children.

·         On average, a can of beer contains 100-150 calories and 10-15g carbohydrates.

·         I work until beer o'clock - Stephen King


International Beer Day Top Events and Things to Do


·         Visit your local watering hole and try a new beer that you have never had.

·         Attend a beer festival to taste beer from around the world and learn more about brewing and craft beers.  

·         Visit a local craft brewery in your state.

·         Try a Orval beer or a Chimay. 

Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney[4]

Exquisite Purity

O Holy Priest of Ars, a witness of your life made this magnificent praise of you:

'We would have taken him for an angel in a mortal body."

You so edified others: the modesty and the exquisite purity radiated from your body. With such charm and with such enthusiasm you preached to others about these beautiful virtues which you said resembled the perfume of a vineyard in bloom.

Please I beg you to join your entreaties to those of Mary Immaculate and Saint Philomena in order that I guard always, as God asks me, the purity of my heart. You, who have directed so many souls towards the heights of virtue, defend me in temptations and obtain for me the strength to conquer them.

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

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary