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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 ...

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Acedia

(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: INDUSTRY)


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 Acedia" by Fr. Rick Heilman

Recently, I wrote a reflection on pride. I said, "Pride is the Biggie," because it's "the sin that is most at work to divide and destroy our culture." Although I believe that to be true, I would say the most dominant sin that characterizes our culture today is acedia. Acedia has been referred to as the "noonday devil."

"Acedia" originates from the Greek, akèdia, meaning "lack of care." It's a kind of indifference or a "lack of spiritual energy," which is a phrase from the book by Jean-Charles Nault, O.S.B., The Noonday devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times. Nault, the abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Wandrille in France, is one of the world's experts on acedia. I recall the acclaim this book had in 2015, and I ordered it right away. I highly recommend it.

Nault references how it came to be called, "the noonday devil." In the writings of Evagrius of Pontus (345-399, one of the Desert Fathers), he explained that acedia manifests itself as a temptation for the monk to depart his cell. This temptation is often worst around midday, hence the "noonday devil."

The reasons for abandoning his cell could all be reasonable or even noble: He may want to work on his health, or he is just seeking a change of scenery, or maybe he wants to visit family, or he believes he could help more people outside his cell. Therefore, acedia doesn't necessarily always have to do with laziness. It could be manifested in activism.

Acedia can often be associated with "spiritual instability," a kind of restlessness. So, the soul may find itself horrified by its commitments, even abhor the spiritual life. The soul finds itself stuck in a kind of spiritual malaise which prevents it from advancing in the spiritual life.

St. Thomas Aquinas said of acedia that it is a "sadness about spiritual good." It's a sadness of even the ultimate good of union with God. How can that be? St. Thomas says that man can become sad at the prospect of union with God because it requires him to give up goods to which he is attached.

Once someone detaches from their call to advance in the spiritual life, they can become satisfied with what St. Thomas calls a mere "animal beatitude." In other words, we demote ourselves to mere animals, aimlessly feeding the flesh with all its lust and wants. Once this fails, and it usually does, we are left to fall into a nihilism, or even a hatred of being.

For a soul adrift in acedia, and therefore unstable with loss of meaning and purpose in life, he is left to vacillate between reducing himself to just another animal species, or worse, a blight on an otherwise perfect natural world. Is this sounding familiar yet? It should be; it is pervasive thought in a world becoming more and more disconnected from God.

How did we get here, and how do we get out of this epidemic of acedia in our culture, and even in our Church? I continue to believe we Catholics deserve much of the blame. Why? This is where I point to a previous reflection I gave on lukewarmness. Recall it was Pope St. Pius V who went so far as to say, "All the evil in the world is due to lukewarm Catholics."

If we are the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ - and we are - then we were called to lift the world out of the emptiness of acedia that leads to believing we are mere animals. Yet, for more than 50 years, we have been peddling a weak and watered-down religion; a religion that denies the power of God; a religion of "activism" that seems to abhor the call to advance in the spiritual life. It almost seems like the proponents of this modern-day Catholic religion were (and are), themselves, plagued with acedia. Some even militate against a restoration of sacred beauty and sacred worship. "It's too much," they proclaim. "People won't like our Church if we promote all the 'sacred stuff.'" In essence, they are saying, "We need to be a 'Church of Acedia' in order to reach those caught in acedia." And so, the acedia is left to spread like a virus.

In Paul's letter to Timothy, he warned about just such a time as ours: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people" (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Thank God, many are talking about the need for us to repent. But repent from what? We must repent from creating a Church that has the "form of godliness but denies its power."  This renewed faith and trust in the power of God, and worshiping as though we actually believe in it, is the antidote for our global pandemic: acedia.

 
Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward fearfully allowing the spread of acedia throughout our nation and the Catholic Church. We have fallen into this widespread acedia when we have not lived up to the call of our baptism to, day-by-day, deepen our love and faith in You. We have been too easily swayed by the poor example of the Catholic acedia, in churches everywhere, and have not encouraged a deeper sense of supernatural faith. In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for any of our own acedia or our lack of resolve to lift souls out of this spiritual malaise. We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance to be this visible light of fervent faith in You. 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 acedia. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to do Your will. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of acedia 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. Joseph

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.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy 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.

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. 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)
 

LifeSite will be hosting a townhall conference with The Truth For Health Foundation, “Stop the Shot… The Rest of the Story.” This online meeting will feature Dr. Peter McCullough, Attorney Thomas Renz, Dr. Michael Yeadon, Sister Deidre Byrne, Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, Dr. Jose Trasancos, and other prominent physicians, scientists, attorneys, and religious leaders who will be discussing vital information related to the COVID jab, clinical trials, and more.

Scheduled for Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 12pm Eastern. To watch the presentation, simply come back to this page on August 4. To have the opportunity to ask the presenters a question following the presentation, please RSVP to the email below.

Here’s a brief look at what will be shared at this online meeting:

  • Breaking information will be shard by the lead attorney in U.S. suit against the Biden regime’s HHS regarding VAERS, adverse events, under-reporting deaths, and injuries. This presentation will also include an update on the CDC Whistleblower affidavit, which indicates more than 45,000 actual deaths have taken place following the COVID shot, verses the VAERS reports of only 11,000.
  • Previously undisclosed data from both Pharma-clinical trials and subsequent additional studies on the COVID jab related to specific, serious, immediate, and long-term impacts on fertility in both men and women.
  • Updates on international medical studies regarding actual vaccine immunity verses what has been reported to the public by the media.
  • Breaking information regarding international lawsuits and theological implications related to the latest COVID news around the world.

**In order to have the opportunity to ask questions after the conference, please email Info@TruthforHealth.org to receive the conference call link. We ask that only serious individuals RSVP as space is limited on the post presentation Q&A conference call.

Learn more about the truth about COVID, the jab, and masks here.


Introduction to the Book of Ester[1]



How do you deal with someone's insidious plot to murder you and everybody like you?

The Book of Esther provides one possible answer to that question, tough cookie though it is. Today, that query may not loom quite as large in America, but it definitely does in many other places throughout the world (the Middle East, Burma, the Congo—and about a dozen or more other places). It happened to loom really large in the ancient Middle East too. In Esther's case, though, no one seems to know if there really was a wicked counselor named Haman who attempted to manipulate the emperor (probably Xerxes I, though here he's called "Ahasuerus") into having all the Jews in the Persian Empire murdered during the fifth century BCE. Nevertheless, you don't have to look too deeply into Jewish history to find highly similar attempts at genocide and persecution against the Jews. The story (which was probably written during the third or fourth Century BCE) may have helped people who were living under later rulers and needed to reckon with threats from above (regardless of how historically accurate the story is—or isn't).

Good Girl, Mad World

Esther is one of the first in a long line of stories about how a good and clever woman helps a powerful, evil, and monstrous (or maybe just confused) villain switch towards making the right decisions (in this case, it's King Ahasuerus). In a way, it's a little like Beauty and the Beast—except the Beast never sat around tacitly supporting a genocide, Belle never sought vengeance against the people who were trying to kill her, and Lumiere never walked around weeping and wearing sack-cloth. But despite all that, Esther's a good example of this type of story. To give a non-Disney version, you could think of The Arabian Nights, where the heroine gets her husband to stop murdering his wives every night by telling him a series of entertaining tales (come to think of it, actually that is a Disney example, because Aladdin's part of The Arabian Nights). It's also a bit of an unusual fit. It isn't one of the major books of the Tanakh or the prophets or anything. It's wedged in with the "Writings," next to a miscellany of texts, like The Book of Daniel and The Song of Songs. It's also particularly odd because it doesn't really mention God, doesn't really fit into that whole spiritual narrative which occupies the Torah and the Prophets. It's a suspense and adventure story on the one hand, but it's also a more serious tale about how the Jewish people manage to preserve themselves and their culture when faced with a threat from hostile authorities. Additionally, one of Esther's greatest contributions to culture—the holiday of Purim—is a time for fun and merriment (and also an opportunity to look for spiritual meanings hidden within the tale).

Why Should I Care?

The Book of Esther has a James Bond-ish, ticking-time-bomb plot. It's also heavy on action, drama, and Game of Thrones-style intrigue, while being notably lacking in legal codes, commandments, theology—all that kind of thing. This is one book of the Bible you could easily read while marinating in a bubble bath, without feeling particularly sacrilegious. Our point is that the book is compact and smooth—a straightforward, streamlined example of an ancient Hebrew short story. We're not suggesting that whoever wrote the book of Esther was exactly the Alice Munro of his or her time, but the author was indeed another master storyteller. A closer comparison would be a story that's a classic, but more focused on action than on character. Maybe F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" would work as an example of the style (if not of the substance).

Darker Dimensions

But Esther is more than an entertaining yarn. To be sure, it is more of a "tale" than an epic investigation into the relationship between God and humanity. (In fact, considering that it doesn't really mention God, it might be the Bible's most secular book.) Overall, though, it's a story about how a pair of scrappy underdogs—Esther and Mordecai—face seemingly insurmountable odds and end up putting it all together in the end. The author suggests that, while living in exile the Jewish people can—with tough work and intelligence—secure a decent place for themselves within the kingdoms ruled by Gentile conquerors. (So, maybe it's more like The Little Giants or The Mighty Ducks than all that high-art literary Munro and Fitzgerald stuff.) Yet, there are darker dimensions to the story, going beyond the basic theme of preventing a genocide. Esther, Mordecai, and their allies seek vengeance against the supporters of the evil counselor Haman, racking up a considerable death toll, for one thing. As well, the king Ahasuerus is a bit of a cipher. You can't really figure out what the dude's psychology is, or what he's "on about" (to borrow a U.K.-ism). So, that's all disquieting food for thought. But despite these violent and confusing undertones and the somewhat confusing, momentary disappearance of God from the Biblical storyline, the reader will undoubtedly be moved to repeat an immortal line from The Royal Tennenbaums: "Go, Mordecai!"

 


AUGUST 4 First Wednesday

SAINT JOHN VIANNEY

 

Ester, Chapter 1, Verse 8

The whole nation of the just was shaken with FEAR at the evils to come upon them, and they expected to perish.

 

There are many temptations and sins that can harm, or even destroy, our communion with God. There are obvious things, such as pride, lust, and jealousy. There is one, however, that is perhaps not so obvious: fear.[2]

Feast of Saint John Vianney[3]

During the French Revolution a small band of Ursuline nuns was imprisoned in the Bastille. To cheer her disconsolate companions, one of the group passed wheaten discs of bread, cut from the loaf of the daily rations, to memorialize the happy days when they were free and could receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. At that time all religious schools and churches were closed, and those who harbored priests were imprisoned. At the Vianney farmhouse near Dardilly, France, fugitive priests were offered a refuge. Here their son was prepared in his tenth year for the reception of Holy Communion by a hunted priest. While tending his father's sheep, John Vianney fashioned a small statue of Our Lady out of clay. He hid it in the hollow of an old tree with this petition: "Dear Lady Mary, I love you very much; you must bring Jesus back to His tabernacles very soon!" On a visit to his aunt at Ecully, John listened to her praises of Father Balley, the parish priest, and he sought the Father's advice regarding his vocation to the priesthood. The pastor appraised the overgrown, awkward youth of faltering speech and devoid of general education. Though John was unable to answer the questions pertaining to earthly science which Father asked him, yet, when the priest put to him the questions of the catechism, his face became luminous with lively interest. He answered every question correctly, and in a manner beyond his years. The amazed pastor took this evidence as a sign from heaven, prophesying, "You will become a priest!" The ensuing years brought many trials to John. He was conscripted; his mother died; he failed often in his studies. Ordained as a Mass priest, August 12, 1815, he remarked to Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy: "Here is your priest, O Blessed Mother! Stay close to me. Help me to be a good priest!" As a curate and as a pastor, St. John Vianney's daily instruction on the catechism found an inspired audience, among whom were noted orators such as Père Lacordaire, O.P., the famed preacher of Notre Dame. The saintly pastor performed many miracles, but the greatest was his own manner of Eucharistic living. It was his Lord, living in Father Vianney, who made him "spend and be spent" in ceaseless service for both sinner and saint in the sacred tribunal of penance.

Things to Do[4]

·The Collect praises St. John Vianney's zeal for souls and his spirit of prayer and penance. Say a special prayer today that by his example and intercession we too may win the souls of our brothers for Christ.

·Say a prayer for priests that they may persevere in their vocation. If you haven't been to confession for a while resolve to do so right away and be sure that you remember to say an extra prayer for your confessor.

·From the Catholic Culture library: Pope John XXIII holds St. John Vianney as a model for the priesthood in this Encyclical.

·June 19, 2009--June 19, 2010 was The Year for Priests declared by Pope Benedict XVI, which held St. John Vianney in particular prominence and example, and he was proclaimed as patron saint of all the priests of the world. Although some links are no longer present, see Catholic Culture's special section for the Year for Priests.

·Read this longer life of the Curé of Ars and also these excerpts from his sermons.

 

Saint Obama


 

Today has also been recognized as “Obama Day” and it seems the left has already begun his canonization.

 

Obama’s frequent appeals to history’s judgment reflect his confidence that history will be kind to him. In the short run, it will: liberals will canonize Obama. Like the faithful Catholics chanting “santo subito” after the death of Pope John Paul II, Obama’s liberal boosters will turn him into Saint Barack, savior of health care and slayer of bin Laden. You might see hints of this already in your liberal friends’ wistful Facebook posts: “I’m really going to miss this guy.” If liberals are calling the shots, Obama’s name will shortly be inscribed on statues and state buildings, and his face will someday appear on coins and currency, while the divisions he sowed and exploited in pursuit of personal glory will be papered over. Generations of schoolchildren will learn about the beloved, barrier-shattering college professor with the megawatt smile who could tell a joke and make a jump shot—not the ambitious, polarizing ideologue whose disdain for half the country was palpable. No mention will be made of his habit of insulting supposedly lazy, ignorant Americans who cling bitterly to their religion, guns, and “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them,” and who fall prey to “anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”[5]

 

First Wednesday-St. Joseph

These words were spoken to Sister on the eve of St. Joseph’s feast day, March 18, 1958:

·         My child, I desire a day to be set aside to honor my fatherhood.

·         The privilege of being chosen by God to be the Virgin-Father of His Son was mine alone, and no honor, excluding that bestowed upon my Holy Spouse, was ever, or will ever, be as sublime or as high as this.

·         The Holy Trinity desires thus to honor me that in my unique fatherhood all fatherhood might be blessed.

·         Dear child, I was king in the little home of Nazareth, for I sheltered within it the Prince of Peace and the Queen of Heaven. To me they looked for protection and sustenance, and I did not fail them.

·         I received from them the deepest love and reverence, for in me they saw Him Whose place I took over them.

·         So, the head of the family must be loved, obeyed, and respected, and in return be a true father and protector to those under his care.

·         In honoring in a special way my fatherhood, you also honor Jesus and Mary. The Divine Trinity has placed into our keeping the peace of the world.

·         The imitation of the Holy Family, my child, of the virtues we practiced in our little home at Nazareth is the way for all souls to that peace which comes from God alone and which none other can give.

St. Joseph appeared to Sister again to explain the First Wednesday devotion God wishes to establish in his honor. Sister states:

His requests were similar to those of Our Lady and the First Saturday. The Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have been chosen by the Most Holy Trinity to bring peace to the world; hence, their request for special love and honor, also, in particular, reparation and imitation.

These are the words of St. Joseph as recorded on March 30, 1958:

“I am the protector of the Church and the home, as I was the protector of Christ and His Mother while I lived upon earth. Jesus and Mary desire that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored in a special way.

1.      Let my children honor my most pure heart in a special manner on the First Wednesday of the month by reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary in memory of my life with Jesus and Mary and the love I bore them, the sorrow I suffered with them.

2.      Let them receive Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received the Savior for the first time and each time I held Him in my arms.

Those who honor me in this way will be consoled by my presence at their death, and I myself will conduct them safely into the presence of Jesus and Mary.

I will come again, little child of my most pure heart. Until then, continue in patience and humility, which is so pleasing to God.”

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

·         The Year of St. Joseph

 

Daily Devotions

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 14

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




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