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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Thursday, August 12, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Gossip

(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: AUTHENTICITY)



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 Gossip" by Fr. Bill Peckman

On the old TV show Bewitched, there was a character named Mrs. Cravitz. Mrs. Cravitz sat by her blinds, watching outside for anything that didn't look normal. and would yell for her husband, Abner, every time she had something to report. If I were to pick a character that dominates the media now, it would be Mrs. Cravitz. We seemingly can't get enough gossip. The more famous the person, the more gossip. We have TV shows dedicated to celebrity gossip. We have websites dedicated to gossip. We have collectively taken the attitude that, "if you have nothing nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me."

The type of gossip I am talking about is what we call calumny and detraction. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, one who commits detraction is one who "without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them" and one who commits calumny is one who, "by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them" (CCC 2477).

Gossip is an act in which we seek to destroy the reputation of another person for whatever reason. Many times, gossip is a passive-aggressive form of vengeance. Sometimes gossip is done for pure blood-sport. This is especially true in politics. Gossip is done as a way of distracting people from the problems the gossiper has. Sometimes it is done to position oneself as better in the eyes of others, to get some worldly prize. Whatever reason it is done, it is a sin against charity.

Both calumny and detraction rely on a third leg for this dismal and demonic trifecta: rash judgement. The Catechism refers to one who commits rash judgement as one "who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor" (CCC 2477). To engage in gossip is to act as if we expect the absolute worst, in motivations and actions, from the person being gossiped about. Furthermore, it is a sin against Jesus' teaching.  In Matthew 18:15-20, gossiping about one who has sinned, or appears to have sinned, is NOT one of the steps of fraternal correction. As followers of Christ, we are to seek the conversion of those who have sinned, not their public ridicule. It is most difficult to inspire conversion through destroying another person's good name.

This becomes mortally sinful with lies, when either through unwarranted speculation or outright maleficence, the gossip is not true. One then sins against the 8th Commandment: "Thou shall not bear false witness".

We see this in the Church with great regularity. Many times, in Catholic social media and in the blogosphere, we see stories that are little more than exercises in rash judgement, detraction, and calumny. As a priest, I would say that gossip is all too often an occupational hazard among clerics. I know I can justify it from time to time. I can sound like a not-to-be-named nineties TV character who said, "I don't gossip. Maybe sometimes I find out things or hear something and I pass that information on... You know...kind of like a public service." We can make all kinds of excuses for our gossip. It is sinful.

People come to me and ask, "When is it considered gossip?" My first question is, "Have you talked to that person about this?" That would be the first step in the scriptural method for fraternal correction. Second, I ask if you are seeking that person's conversion or humiliation. If it is the former, then you need to talk to that person per the teachings of Christ. If it is the latter, then sin is incurred. In short, we should cultivate charity within our own heart. Jesus warns us that the "measure you use against others will be the same measure that will be used on you" (Matthew 7:2). If we spent the time we waste on gossip, praying for the good of the person we gossip about, we would find ourselves in a much holier and peaceful place.

Now, please excuse me as I contemplate all possible meanings of "Physician heal thyself."

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts against our brothers and sisters. We have gossiped about our brothers and sisters instead of seeking their conversion and good. We have allowed rash judgement to harden our hearts. We have expected You to be pleased with or blind to our sin. 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 gossip in all its forms. 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 gossip. 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 gossip, detraction, calumny, and rash judgement 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 Precious Blood 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,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son
of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, etc.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of Eternal Life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,

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.

V. Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
R. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. 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)


INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY

 

1 Maccabees, Chapter 3, Verse 6-7

6The lawless were cowed by FEAR of him, and all evildoers were dismayed. By his hand deliverance was happily achieved, 7and he afflicted many kings. He gave joy to Jacob by his deeds, and his memory is blessed forever.

 

Judas Maccabees was a defender of the weak that were oppressed by renegades and by the kings of the region. To understand this better let’s look at the words meaning.

 

renegades[1] a person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles.


1.      A person who behaves in a rebelliously unconventional manner.

2.      Archaic a person who abandons religion, an apostate.

How many of us have at times been cowed by the fleshes weakness or the world as professed by the media and given in to false prophets that spout the culture of death. We must stand with the Church and not be cowed and show ourselves as people trusting in God in the midst of troubles.

Trusting in God in the Midst of Troubles[2]



Saint Augustine, 354 –430 A.D. had something to say about the private storms in our lives. St. Augustine was a philosopher and theologian who tells us, “Don't forget the presence of Christ. When you have to listen to abuse, that means you are being buffeted by the wind; when your anger is roused, you are being tossed by the waves. So when the winds blow and the waves mount high, the boat is in danger, your heart is imperiled, your heart is taking a battering. On hearing yourself insulted, you long to retaliate; but the joy of revenge brings with it another kind of misfortune—shipwreck. Why is this? Because Christ is asleep in you. What do I mean? I mean you have forgotten His presence. Rouse him, then; remember Him, let Him keep watch within you, pay heed to Him. Now what was your desire? You wanted to get your own back. You have forgotten that when Christ was being crucified, He said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Christ, the sleeper in your heart, had no desire for vengeance in his. Rouse Him, then, call him to mind.”

There will be encounters we cannot envision; cannot see for they lie around the bend in the roads of our life. Sometimes it takes only the ringing of the telephone to change an entire well-made plan, bringing us to truths we hope we never hear such as the death of a beloved relative or the news that someone we care deeply for has an incurable illness. There might be a knock on the door that brings life-changing news that will break our hearts.  But it is in the midst of uncertainty and trials, as we teeter on the brim of a chasm wondering what to do, imploring God with weakening hope to come forth for us, that we can see we are stronger than we thought.  Through faith, we are able to pull ourselves up from the edge of unspeakable hardship to keep ploughing forward on our heaven bound journey. It is a time when we can understand and measure our capacity to endure, to assess our strength and continue through life’s fiercest turbulence. We look at those who are surviving terrible calamities and adversities and we cannot understand how they persevere, how they can put one foot in front of the other and move on, running toward a goal that others cannot see. These are the people with great faith, who are willing to "let go of the branch" and depend on Jesus Christ and His promises. “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!” -Psalm 46: 1-3.

Do not let your faith be swallowed up by fear.  Do not wallow in self-pity, for Almighty God knows your circumstances and what you are going through.  Take your supplications to God, and find the solace and comfort you need to overcome.  Be always mindful that in the middle of the violent storms that steal away your joy, batter your dreams, and flatten your hopes, you will find the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ Who says "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” -Hebrews 13:5.

International Youth Day[3]

 

International Youth Day seeks to raise awareness to the cultural and legal issues faced by youth throughout the world.  The United Nations defines youth as people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, although locally, youth can be interpreted in a more flexible manner. In 1995, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the World Program of Action for Youth with the intention of establishing guidelines and policies for action and support that would lead to a brighter future for tomorrow's youth. The World Program of Action for Youth, which consists of 15 priority areas, including education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment and drug abuse, paved the way for the UN's declaration of International Youth Day in 1999. Since its inception on August 12, 2000, International Youth Day has served to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to the youth to actively participate in society. In 2009, the UN Economic and Social Council further expanded each of the 15 youth priority areas by developing goals and targets for monitoring youth progress, an expansion that now serves as the basis for International Youth Day's annual theme.  Each year, the theme is selected based upon immediate and relevant issues that youth are facing today.

 

International Youth Day Facts & Quotes

 

·         Of the 1.8 billion youth in the world today, half survive on less than $2 per day.  

·         Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies. - Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations.


 

Check out the United States Congresses program for youth: www.congressionalaward.org

 

Tomorrow is Filet Mignon Day[4] Do it today FAST tomorrow

 

” When you’re a failure in Hollywood, that’s like starving to death outside a banquet hall, with smells of Filet Mignon driving you crazy.”
~ Marilyn Monroe

There is a cut of meat that is the very definition of luxury and decadence, one that falls from the lips of the common people and the rich debutante royalty of Hollywood in equal measure. Filet Mignon is French for “dainty fillet” and first found its way into the world in the 1906 book,” The Four Million”. Filet Minion Day celebrates the history of this steak and the delicious role it has played in exquisite meals. Tenderloin. The very word implies a rich and succulent meal that absolutely melts on the tongue, but even in this most perfect cut of meat, there is a portion that is unquestionably the best. This portion is the fabled Filet Mignon. This delicious cut is served in 4 to 8oz portions and comes prepared in one of three varieties, seared in a pan, grilled over coals or the most famous, wrapped in bacon. The bacon is typically added to enrich the piece with fat, as Filet Mignon tends to leanness. Even though it comes from the tenderloin, there are still multiple cuts of Filet Mignon one can choose to indulge in. The prime cut is the most popular and is available from any form of cattle, the Angus Cut, however, comes specifically from vegetarian fed beef and is far and away one of the best forms of beef available. If you’re truly feeling decadent, you can purchase a 32oz whole Filet Mignon Roast. It may set you back about $65 a pound (That’s $130) but it’ll be worth every succulent bite.


                                            

 

How to Celebrate Filet Mignon Day

If you don’t have a talent with cooking, you can head out to your local steakhouse and enjoy an expertly prepared cut of Filet Mignon. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can head down to your local butcher and get an excellent cut of meat that you can prepare yourself! Marinate it in a wonderful sauce while you get the coals ready, wrap it in bacon, and set it upon the grill to cook. Gently though! Filet Mignon is best-served medium rare so that the soft tender nature of the meat will be preserved. This is just the first step on enjoying Filet Mignon Day, but it doesn’t have to be the last!

Carpetbag Steak[5]

Australia’s carpetbag steak combines two of the country’s most celebrated products: fresh, sea-bright oysters and (ideally) free-range, grass-fed beef. The name of this specialty derives from the shape of the finished dish. Although many recipes call for broiling the steaks or grilling them over charcoal, those methods tend to dry out the meat and prevent its beefy juices from mingling into the oozy lushness of the salty oysters. Better to sauté the steaks for a moistly tender result with maximum flavor contrast. Carpetbag Steaks

Serves 4

Necessary equipment: Kitchen string and a trussing needle or small satay-type skewers 4 filet mignon steaks, each about 2 inches thick or 7 to 8 ounces Salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 medium-size oysters, as freshly shucked as possible 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 2 to 3 anchovy fillets (optional), finely mashed

1. Using a very sharp knife with a thin blade, cut a 2-inch-long horizontal slit on the edge of each steak to make a pocket about 2 inches deep.

2. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto both sides of each oyster. Slip 2 oysters, side by side, into the pocket of each steak.

3. Close the opening of each pocket, either by sewing it shut using kitchen string and a trussing needle, or by fastening it with a small skewer. Pat the steaks dry on both sides with paper towels.

4. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron or copper, over moderate heat. When the bubbling subsides, arrange the oyster-stuffed steaks in the skillet, making sure that they do not touch one another.

5. Cook the steaks on one side until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn them over and lightly brown them on the second side, about 3 to 4 minutes time. Reduce the heat to low and cook the steaks, turning them frequently, 7 minutes longer for very rare steak, or 9 to 10 minutes for medium-rare. Anything more cooked than that will hardly be worth eating. Transfer the steaks to individual serving plates.

6. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet and stir in the parsley. Spoon some of the parsley butter over each steak before serving. If you like the edgy sophistication that anchovies can impart, stir the mashed fillets into the parsley butter before spooning it over the steaks.

Daily Devotions

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Cultivate intelligent foresight in yourself

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         "Faith cannot save without virtue"

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary



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