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Monday, August 2, 2021

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Racism

(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: TOLERANCE)


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 Racism" by Fr. Bill Peckman

As dominant a topic as racism is today, the word is only 140 years old in usage. I have been reading the book The Guarded Gate by Daniel Okrent. He traces how both nativism and eugenics in 19th Century America and Northern Europe led to the closing of the U.S.A.'s doors to immigrants in the 1920's from groups deemed to be lesser races. Race didn't exclusively refer to the color of one's skin as it does today. Races were divided by religion and nationality as well. The likes of Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge would have been indignant at the idea that a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) such as himself, would have been put in the same race as Poles, Russians, Slavs, Italians, Spaniards, Irish Catholics, Catholics, or Jews. This type of racism found its most deadly form in the Third Reich in Nazi Germany. Hitler, being a northern European, also sent Slavs, Poles, Roma (aka Gypsies), Russians, Catholics (especially clergy and seminarians), as well as Jews to the concentration/death camps.

The notion of racism these days fully arises out of eugenics. For those who do not know what eugenics is, it is a belief that humanity can become a super race by eliminating what are considered lesser strains, or human "weeds". English scientist Thomas Galton began this controversial study based on the extension of the work of his cousin, Charles Darwin. The Nativist movement in the U.S. and the U.K. picked up on this and found a particular champion in America with Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger. It was she who designated the entirety of those with black skin to be among the lesser of humanity, taking a view of them akin to the slave traders and owners who 50 years prior sought to keep them enslaved.

Racism is another way that Satan sets us against each other. It is another potent dividing line. Although he doesn't address race in his epistles (mainly because the concept is non-existent), St. Paul writes many times how these manmade divisions are inappropriate to the Body of Christ. He says that in Christ, there is no male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or freeman (Galatians 3:28). It takes little effort to imagine he would extend this to the idea that in Christ there are no races, but that all in Christ are one despite manmade differentiations and the superior/inferior delegations we put to them.

Racism is tearing apart our country right now. It is a tool used by people with hopes of tearing down this country and reconstituting it as a communist or socialist nation. Both ideologies require struggles between an oppressed class and oppressor class to justify upending the system. They have simply borrowed the categories from other totalitarian groups, such as the Nazi's, and tweaked them to suit the new narrative. They can do this because we have 150 or so years of fomenting the idea of racism.

There have been incidents of racism within the Church. When one looks at the story of Fr. Augustine Tolton, declared venerable by the Church, we see a black man and former slave who was called by God to the priesthood yet could not find an American seminary to take him. I believe that racism, in a soft form, has largely gutted inner city parishes where the natives refused or failed in evangelizing the new people moving in because they didn't look like them. To be honest, I have heard more than a few times, vile racial slurs from those who claim to be good Catholics. Such things, as St. Paul would remind us, are wholly unacceptable behaviors for a follower of Jesus and have no place within the Body of Christ.

It is our society that likes dividing the population into separate corporate bodies to pit them against each other. Certainly, more nefarious political systems need and thrive upon such divisions. Within the Body of Christ, this is wholly evil. One of the marks of the Church is 'One' -that is, that we are one in Christ. That oneness is not subservient to worldly divisions and political jostling. Consider that the Catholic Church has over 1.4 billion members. Those 1.4 billion come from every conceivable culture, language, and skin color, yet we are called to be one. That oneness starts here and stretches to eternity.

What is needed is wisdom, that gift of the Holy Spirit that enables us to see one another as Christ sees us. First and foremost, He sees each of us as needing God's love and grace. He sees each of us as redeemable and worth the price of the Cross. We need to see each other in such a light. When someone searching comes upon us, they should not see us looking like the world, but they should see us in stark contrast to the world. We don't seek to divide what is called to be one. Over the years, I have thought it asinine to make judgements about the character of a person based on how much melanin happens to be in their skin. Wisdom leads us to truth. Truth leads us to love. God is love. Let us pray for the courage to look at the agent provocateurs who use race (and any other category they can find) to pit us against each other, and instead choose to love each other as God loves 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 allowed false divisions to wreak destruction on our society and Church. We have expected You to be pleased with our divisiveness. 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 racism. 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 racism and entitlement. 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 racism 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 St. Michael the Archangel

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, etc.
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us, etc.
St. Michael, the Archangel,
Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,
Standing at the right of the altar of Incense,
Ambassador of Paradise,
Glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies,
Leader of the Angelic hosts,
The standard-bearer of God's armies,
Defender of Divine glory,
First defender of the Kingship of Christ,
Strength of God,
Invincible Prince and warrior,
Angel of Peace,
Guide of Christ,
Guardian of the Catholic Faith,
Champion of God's people,
Guardian Angel of the Eucharist,
Defender of the Church,
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,
Angel of Catholic action,
Powerful intercessor of Christians,
Bravest defender of those who hope in God,
Guardian of our souls and bodies,
Healer of the sick,
Help of those in their agony,
Consoler of the Souls in Purgatory,
God's messenger for the souls of the just,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Victorious in battle against evil,
Guardian and Patron of the universal Church,

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. Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Sacrament of the Eucharist which we have received may make our souls holy and pleasing to Thee. Through 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)


Matthew, Chapter 14, Verse 22-27

22 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening, he was there alone. 24Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. 25During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in FEAR. 27At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

The disciples, laboring against the turbulent sea are saved by Jesus. Jesus shows his power over the waters by his walking on the sea during the night. This happen during the fourth watch of the night-time: between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. The Romans divided the twelve hours between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. into four equal parts called “watches.”  Christ further demonstrates that he is divine by stating “it is I” or “I am.” This reflects his hidden identity of Jesus as Son of God.

Fear of Ghosts[1]

Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, while acknowledging that the Catholic Church does not teach specifically about “ghosts” or spirits, speculates that there are three different kinds of ghosts:

We can distinguish three kinds of ghosts, I believe.

1.      First, the most familiar kind: the sad ones, the wispy ones. They seem to be working out some unfinished earthly business, or suffering some purgatorial purification until released from their earthly, business. These ghosts would seem to be the ones who just barely made it to Purgatory, who feel little or no joy yet and who need to learn many painful lessons about their past lives on earth.

2.      Second, there are malicious and deceptive spirits and since they are deceptive, they hardly ever appear malicious. These are probably the ones who respond to conjuring’s at séances. They probably come from Hell. Even the chance of that happening should be sufficient to terrify away all temptation to necromancy.

3.      Third, there are the bright, happy spirits of dead friends and family, especially spouses, who appear unbidden, at God’s will, not ours, with messages of hope and love. They seem to come from Heaven. Unlike the purgatorial ghosts who come back primarily for their own sakes, these bright spirits come back for the sake of us the living, to tell us all is well. They are aped by evil spirits who say the same, who speak “peace, peace, when there is no peace”. But deception works only one way: the fake can deceive by appearing genuine, but the genuine never deceives by appearing fake. Heavenly spirits always convince us that they are genuinely good. Even the bright spirits appear ghostlike to us because a ghost of any type is one whose substance does not belong in or come from this world. In Heaven these spirits are not ghosts but real, solid, and substantial because they are at home there. “One can’t be a ghost in one’s own country.”

How to Outwit the Six Ghosts of Fear[2]

BEFORE you can put any portion of this philosophy into successful use, your mind must be prepared to receive it. The preparation is not difficult. It begins with study, analysis, and understanding of three enemies which you shall have to clear out.

These are INDECISION, DOUBT, and FEAR! The members of this unholy trio are closely related; where one is found, the other two are close at hand.

INDECISION is the seedling of FEAR! Remember this, as you read. Indecision crystalizes into DOUBT, the two blend and become FEAR! The “blending” process often is slow. This is one reason why these three enemies are so dangerous. They germinate and grow without their presence being observed.

There are six basic fears, with some combination of which every human suffers at one time or another. Most people are fortunate if they do not suffer from the entire six. Named in the order of their most common appearance, they are:

·         The fear of POVERTY

·         The fear of CRITICISM

·         The fear of ILL HEALTH

·         The fear of LOSS OF LOVE OF SOMEONE

·         The fear of OLD AGE

·         The fear of DEATH

All other fears are of minor importance, they can be grouped under these six headings. The prevalence of these fears, as a curse to the world, runs in cycles.

Breaking the cycle of fear of poverty

 

“Each year you shall tithe all the produce of your seed that grows in the field; then in the place which the LORD, your God, chooses as the dwelling place of his name you shall eat in his presence the tithe of your grain, wine and oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, that you may learn always to fear the LORD, your God.” Deuteronomy 14

 

God wants you to celebrate life; you shall eat in his presence the tithe of your produce. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone did this! If we all took time off with a tenth of the money, we made to celebrate with God and our family and friends together. What a different world it would be. Imagine all the celebrations you would attend. Maybe we should all strive to take a 40-day retreat/celebration. Save your money for this! What is on your bucket list; perhaps the Lord wants you and me to cross off some of those things in His presence. If I were young again this is how I would budget: 10% for His Presence (30 to 40 days’ vacation); 10% for charity/church; 10% savings and live off the 70 percent; that is after the government takes their 50%. Imagine if there was a fair tax……. that bequeathed everyone $5000 above the poverty level for a family of 4 of $25,750 to invest. A good resource for financial advice is a book entitled, “The Richest Man in Babylon”[3]

 

Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney[4]

Desire for Heaven

O Holy Priest of Ars, your precious remains are contained in a magnificent reliquary, the donation from the priests of France. But this earthly glory is only a very pale image of the unspeakable glory which you are enjoying with God. During the time you were on earth, you used to repeat in your dejected hours, 'one will rest in the other life." It is done, you are in eternal peace, and eternal happiness. I desire to follow you one day. Until then, I hear you saying to me:

"You should work and fight as long as you are in the world."

Teach me then to work for the salvation of my soul, to spread the good news and good example and to do good towards those around me in order that I will receive the happiness of the Elect with you. 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.

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!

Daily Devotions

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·         Pray Day 4 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

·         Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Pray for our nation.

·         Rosary.



[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Richest_Man_in_Babylon_%28book%29

[4]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1129



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