September--Our buildings need to be winterized. Now is the time to think of energy conservation measures, adding caulking and painting, completing needed repairs, composting yard wastes, and protecting garden plants for late fall and winter. Do we regard our abodes as God's dwelling space, a sacred trust and healthy place? Do we cherish the abundance of space and use it properly as good stewards?
Overview of September
The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, whose memorial the Church celebrates on September 15. September falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
September is Harvest Time
Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.
Explanation of Ember Days—Three days set apart for fasting, abstinence, and prayer during each of the four seasons of the year. They were the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday after St. Lucy (or Lucia, d. 304) (December 13), the First Sunday of Lent, Pentecost, and the feast of the Holy Cross (September 14). Since the revision of the Roman calendar in 1969, Ember Days are to be observed at the discretion of the National Conference of Bishops. Moreover, their observance may be extended beyond three days and even repeated during the year. Possibly occasioned by the agricultural feasts of ancient Rome, they came to be observed by Christians for the sanctification of the different seasons of the year, and for obtaining God's blessing on the clergy to be ordained during the Embertides. (Etym. Anglo-Saxon oemerge, ashes.) — Modern Catholic Dictionary by John A. Hardon, SJ, Doubleday, 1980.
So, during these times the Church had a threefold focus:
(1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
(2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and
(3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Since the reorganization of the Roman calendar in 1969 after the Second Vatican Council, Ember Days are still retained in principle, but how and when they are to be observed is at the discretion of each country's Episcopal Conference. There is no longer set Mass readings for the Ember Days in the Ordinary Rite. Another harvest feast is September 29, the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Before the revision of the calendar, this used to be only the feast of St. Michael. In many countries this day was referred to as "Michaelmas" and is celebrated with traditional foods and customs.
September Devotion: Our Lady of Sorrows
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to her feast day on September 15, the month of September has traditionally been set aside to honor Our Lady of Sorrows. All the sorrows of Mary (the prophecy of Simeon, the three days' loss, etc.) are merged in the supreme suffering at the Passion. In the Passion, Mary suffered a martyrdom of the heart because of Our Lord's torments and the greatness of her love for Him. "She it was," says Pope Pius XII, "who immune from all sin, personal or inherited, and ever more closely united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love. As a new Eve, she made this offering for all the children of Adam contaminated through his unhappy fall. Thus she, who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh, became by a new title of sorrow and glory the spiritual mother of all His members."
Daily Prayers for September
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen. --Saint Bonaventure
Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace, and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy glories. Amen.
Most holy Virgin. and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never-ending joy at His triumph; obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
O most holy and afflicted Virgin! Queen of Martyrs! thou who didst stand motionless beneath the Cross, witnessing the agony of thy expiring Son--through the unceasing sufferings of thy life of sorrow, and the bliss which now more than amply repays thee for thy past trials, look down with a mother's tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before thee to venerate thy dolors, and place my requests, with filial confidence, in the sanctuary of thy wounded heart; present them, I beseech thee, on my behalf, to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred death and passion, together with thy sufferings at the foot of the cross, and through the united efficacy of both obtain the grant of my present petition. To whom shall I resort in my wants and miseries if not to thee, O Mother of Mercy, who, having so deeply drunk of the chalice of thy Son, canst compassionate the woes of those who still sigh in the land of exile? Offer for me to my Savior one drop of the Blood which flowed from His sacred veins, one of the tears which trickled from His divine eyes, one of the sighs which rent His adorable Heart. O refuge of the universe and hope of the whole world, do not reject my humble prayer, but graciously obtain the grant of my petition.
Mary most sorrowful, Mother of Christians, pray for us. Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us.
Devotion to the Angels is a mark of Predestination
The Church has always practiced and encouraged devotion to the holy angels. All ancient liturgies make mentions of them and the protection they provide to men. It is their greatest desire to aid us in all our acts of religion by uniting their supplications to ours. We should honor and love angels as well as our fellow mankind for it is though the Precious Blood of Christ, we are all united. Christ is the head of angels as well as men, and it is as Man that He is Head of the angels. To honor them and love them we must first know them and earnestly strive to cultivate their friendship.
September is the month of Angels and Mary is the Queen of Angels
The church traditionally honors angels during the month of September. Paul in Colossians states of Christ, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.”
“St. Michael and the Angels” is a beautiful and inspiring book telling all about the angels. Filled with stories from the lives and writings of the saints, it tells of the role which the good angels play in the divine economy of saving souls. Led by St. Michael, the Prince of the heavenly host, the angels act as our guardians, serve as messengers from God to us and from us to God, surround the altar during Mass, and bear the graces of the Mass like incense to the altar of God on high. Here is explained the relationship of the angels to the Blessed Virgin Mary and how, if she is to send them to our aid, we must request her to do so. Included too is the prayer to our guardian angel asking him to go in our place to attend Mass when we cannot, plus the way the good angels protect us against the evil spirits. The book also discusses in detail the pre-eminent role of St. Michael as "Champion of the Church," "Defender of Christians," "Guardian of Purgatory," and "Helper of the Sick and Dying."
It is also a good practice to ask for angelic help throughout our day. There are nine choirs of angels and three hierarchies three within three. Remember to ask their assistance about every two hours throughout your day
Upon rising (7 am) address the first choir of angels, the Seraphim. Their chief characteristic is great and ardent love. They were made for one thing alone-----to love the God of Love. Without ceasing they honor, praise, and love the most Blessed Trinity-----they can do nothing else-----this is their happiness. Practice upon rising to try to become a Seraph of love: let this be your habitual disposition. Love and do what God wills. Ask this great gift feverently. Aspiration: "Oh! Blessed Seraphim! Make us love." Say the Shema Yisrael.
At the fourth hour (11 am) of the day address the third choir is the choir of Thrones. They are called Angels of Peace, calm, tranquility, and stability. Ask them for that peace of soul which is the fruit of a good conscience. Invoke their aid for such as are prone to hatred, passion and impatience; and after their example, practice being meek, calm, and peaceful with all. Practice: Dispose yourself to great sweetness and patience. Aspiration: "O Holy Thrones! Obtain that Divine peace, which surpasses all understanding, may keep our hearts and minds in Jesus Christ, Our Lord."
At the sixth hour (1 pm) of the day address the fourth choir of angels which is the choir of Dominations. They are consumed by their yearning for the interests of God: their principal office is to manifest His will. We should also beg of God to manifest His will to us by these Blessed "Intelligences" and then take care to fulfill it scrupulously, as being the shortest way to perfection and sanctity. We should ask these Angels to help us to spread God's kingdom upon earth, for the conversion of heretics and infidels, and for the return of lukewarm and fallen away Catholics to the practice of the faith. Practice: Give practical proof of your zeal for the glory of God; do something for His reign in souls, as instructing the ignorant. Aspiration: "Holy Dominations! Animate us with thy zeal."
At the eighth hour (3 pm) of the day address the fifth choir of angels which is the choir of Principalities. The Principalities watch over Empires, Provinces, and Dioceses. Purity of intention is the virtue ascribed to them, for in their high functions they never seek but the honor and interest of God alone. Let us imitate them. It is the intention which stamps the action with merit or demerit. Practice: In all you do and say, seek the greater glory of God. Aspiration: "O Holy Spirits! May we, like thee, seek God, for God alone." Now would be a good time to also pray a divine mercy prayer
At the 10th hour (5 pm) of the day address the sixth choir of angels the Powers. These Angels have unlimited mastery over the wicked Spirits; they are endowed with great intelligence and are able to discover their schemes and plans for our destruction. Their power is so incredible that one alone of them would be able to destroy the entire infernal host. It is well to invoke them in temptation: but to merit their assistance we must take care to avoid the occasions of sin. Practice: Resist the attacks of vice and passion; frequently make acts of diffidence in self and confidence in God; combat your evil inclinations. Aspiration: "Lord! Send Thy Angels to assist us."
At the 12th hour (7 pm) of the day address the seventh choir of angels the Virtues. Energy and strength are attributed to the Virtues. They have dominion over the elements; all nature is subjected to their control. Hence, they can raise or appease the tempest. We may profitably invoke them in unforeseen accidents, sickness, etc. We may also have recourse to them for that strength necessary to lead a penitential life and root out the inclinations of depraved nature. All persons inclined to the contemplative life should call on this choir of Angels for help, for good thoughts alone do not make holy, one needs also strength to persevere and to accomplish this great task. Practice: Visit the Blessed Sacrament to obtain grace to overcome your evil dispositions. Aspiration: "Holy Virtues! Strengthen and fortify us."
At the 14th hour (9 pm) of the day address the eighth choir of angels the Archangels. The Archangels are distinguished from the Angels by the greater importance of their functions: the Guardians of those invested with authority in the Church and State and are remarkable for their love and care of men. Let us imitate them, doing our neighbor all the good we can and invoking in his behalf these Blessed Spirits. Members of this choir are the holy spirits who stand before the throne of God, ever ready to announce His commands. St. Michael is the warrior leader of God’s angels. St. Gabriel is the special messenger of The Holy Spirit. St. Raphael is the angel of Joy. Practice-----Two Acts of Charity, with great affection. Aspiration: "Holy Archangels! Pray for us, and for our priests."
At the 16th hour (11 pm) of the day address the Ninth choir of the angels. They are charged with the execution of the Divine ordinances and are appointed the Guardians of men. Humility is the virtue particularly ascribed to them-----for though the least among the Choirs, yet they see their celestial companions without desiring their greater, more excellent endowments. The Guardian Angels exercise continual watchfulness over the souls committed to their care. Their number is exceedingly great, and it is not necessary when an Angel has accompanied his charge into Heaven, that he be again assigned to a soul in any future generation. Our Guardian, who is our companion in life, will also be forever at our side in Heaven. The joy of these Angels is immeasurably increased when souls entrusted to their care enter Heaven. The Guardian Angels of the lost souls are not deprived of their share of joy. God in His justice increases also theirs with the others, and then assigns them to the special guard of the Queen of Angels, where they with great joy praise the Infinite Justice of God. Let us, like the humble Guardian Angels, love the lowest place, especially when placed therein by Divine Providence, and to behold with joy the preference given to others. Practice: Three Acts of Humility, interior and exterior. Aspiration: "Who is like God!"
Information was obtained from: http://www.catholictradition.org/Angels/angels.htm
 St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.
SEPTEMBER 1 First Wednesday
2 Maccabees, Chapter 7, Verse 29
People of virtue are often a stumbling block for the rich and the powerful yet know that they, the rich and the powerful, are only the physical workers of the devil and his cohort, while we are the children of God. Take courage therefore and wrap yourself in the virtues our Lord may give you. For some are martyrs and some are priests and religious and some are holy hermits, and some are holy spouses and parents. In Maccabees the progressives now push for the abolition of Judaism. Today we also realize the same push from the progressive tools of the devil. Will there ever come a time when in our society where virtuous people are treated like the mother with her seven martyred sons. We report—you decide!
Martyrdom of a mother and Her Seven Sons
HANNAH AND HER SEVEN SONS, a story told in II Maccabees,
Chapter 7, of seven brothers who were seized along with their mother by
Antiochus IV Epiphanes, presumably shortly after the beginning of the religious
persecutions in 167/166 B.C.E., and commanded to prove their obedience to the
king by partaking of swine's flesh. The brothers defiantly refused to do so.
Encouraged in their resolve by their mother, they were executed after being put
to frightful tortures. When the mother was appealed to by the king to spare the
youngest child's life by prevailing upon him to comply, she urged the child
instead to follow in the path of his brothers, and she herself died shortly
Our Heavenly Father desires all three hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph to be honored. And so along with devotion to Jesus on First Fridays, and to Mary on First Saturdays, Our Father longs for us to add devotion to St. Joseph on each First Wednesday of the month.
"The Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have been chosen by the Most Holy Trinity to bring peace to the world." It is at God's request that "special love and honor be given to them" to help us "imitate" their love and their lives, as well as "offer reparation" for the sins committed against them and their love.
The St. Joseph First Wednesday devotion is:
1. Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary - remembering St. Joseph's love, his life, his role and his sufferings
2. Receive Holy Communion - in union with the love St. Joseph had for Jesus the first time and each time he held him - his son, his God and Savior - in his arms.
In the approved apparitions of Our Lady of America, St. Joseph revealed:
· "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.
· 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.
· 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."
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.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus