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  OCTOBER 24 Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost UNITED NATIONS/BOLOGNA/TRIPE DAY   Psalm 53, Verse 6 They are going to FEAR his n...

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 Monday

FEAST DIVINE MATERNITY-COLUMBUS DAY (Observed) 


Psalm 5, Verse 8

But I, through the abundance of your mercy[1], will enter into your house. I will bow down toward your holy sanctuary out of FEAR of you.

Psalm five is a lament contrasting the security of the house of God with the danger of the company of evildoers. The psalmist therefore prays that God will hear and grant the protection and joy of the Temple. We as Catholics have more than a temple, we have our Lord present to us in the tabernacle. His mercy is never ending.

Purgatory[2]

A widow, desperate because her husband had committed suicide by throwing himself into a river, came to Ars and met the Curé upon leaving the church. He bent toward her and told her, “He is saved.” As she made a gesture of incredulity, the saint repeated emphatically, “I tell you that he is saved. He is in Purgatory, and you must pray for him. Between the parapet of the bridge and the water he had time to make an act of repentance. It is the Blessed Virgin who obtained this grace for him. Remember the shrine to Mary in your room? Sometimes your husband, although irreligious, united himself to your prayer. That merited repentance and the supreme pardon for him.” Before leaving, she confided to M. Guillaumet, superior of the College of St. Dizier, a witness to the scene, “I was in a dreadful state of despair, imagining the tragic end of my husband. He was an unbeliever, and I lived only for the thought of leading him back to God. Then he drowned himself by a voluntary suicide! I could only believe he was damned! Oh! never to see him again! Yet you heard what the Curé of Ars told me repeatedly: ‘He is saved!’ I shall see him again in Heaven after all!” See the delicacy of Jesus and of the Blessed Virgin! A person did some good which he had forgotten, but they had not forgotten, and at the right moment they made use of it, if I may put it that way. Jesus makes use of everything to save us. How astonished we will be in Heaven when we see that! Some make Him a judge who strikes men down and seeks revenge, whereas in fact He seeks to save us by all possible means.

Nothing is irreparable for Jesus and for Mary

According to the New York Times, suicide rates are at their highest level in 30 years.  I have rarely come across a person these days who has not been touched by a friend or a family member who has committed suicide. How are we as Catholics to deal with these tragedies?  Many of us wonder where the soul of our loved one ends up.   Is there hope for our loved ones who took their own lives?

Lessons from the Catechism

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states;

·         Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God. ccc 2281

But the Catechism goes on to say.

·         Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.  ccc 2282

·         We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives.  By ways known to him alone, God can provide salutary repentance.  The church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.  ccc 2283

This means there is hope.  If God can provide salutary repentance, then there is definitely hope.

Suicide Hits Home

I was 17 when my friend Patrick took his own life.  I was devastated.  I wondered about his soul since I knew suicide was a grave matter.  It wasn’t long after his death that I began to dream about him.  My mother told me if I was dreaming about him that he was probably in purgatory, and I needed to pray for him.  I have had dreams of him on and off into adulthood.  As an adult I got very serious about praying for him.

Additionally, earlier this year my friends and my community were touched by four suicides of people of varying ages.   It was no coincidence then that I had come across Divine Mercy 101 with Father Chris Alar.  As I sat and pondered these suicides, feeling helpless and worried for souls, I remembered that Fr. Alar had said (paraphrasing), 

if you say a Divine Mercy Chaplet today for someone who has died in the past, the graces from your prayer today, because God is outside of time, are taken to your loved one at the time of their judgement.  In other words, God could for see that you would say the prayer for the loved one and then apply that grace for them when they die. 

Our God is that merciful. Unfathomable mercy. Pray the chaplet, our prayers do have power.

Gregorian Masses

It was around this time that my cousin had also introduced me to Gregorian Masses. This is a series of 30 Masses that is said for a soul in purgatory.  Tradition tells us that Pope St. Gregory the Great offered these Masses for the soul of one of his monks that visited him from purgatory.  When Pope Gregory had finished the Masses, the monk appeared to thank him for releasing him.   The Masses are offered for one deceased soul (not multiple people) for 30 consecutive days.  Now, please understand, we offer a stipend for a Mass.  These stipends are to take care of the Priest who says the Mass, and in poorer countries, in particular, this means a lot.  Plus, the stipend is also a sacrificial offering made by us.  Canon 946 tells us how the stipend is for the good of the Church.  Typically in today’s day and age, a Mass stipend is about $10, although I have found some for $5 a Mass.   So Gregorian Masses aren’t always in the realm of what someone can afford, but they are very efficacious if you are able to, especially in a case of suicide. If 30 Masses isn’t a possibility, then one Mass is also a good thing.  The Mass is heaven on earth, and our prayers help souls in purgatory. So, if you are suffering the loss of someone to suicide, do not despair.  Our God is a God of Mercy.  Pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet for them and perhaps have Gregorian Masses said for them, or a single Mass.  Our prayers mean something, and you may be able to help your loved one get to heaven.

Feast of the Divine Maternity[3]

“On this occasion the heavenly Lady was full of the Holy Ghost and moreover bore within Her, as His Mother, the Divine Word, who proceeds from the Father and the Holy Ghost. Saint Joseph received special enlightenment and the plenitude of divine graces, and altogether renewed in fervor of spirit he said:

“Blessed art Thou, Lady, among all women, fortunate and preferred before all nations and generations. May the Creator of heaven and earth be extolled with eternal praise, since from his exalted kingly throne He has looked upon Thee and chosen Thee for his dwelling place and in Thee alone has fulfilled the ancient promises made to the Patriarchs and Prophets. Let all generations bless Him: for in no one has He magnified his name as He has done in thy humility; and me, the most insignificant of the living, He has in his divine condescension selected for thy servant.” In these words of praise and benediction Saint Joseph was enlightened by the Holy Ghost, in the same manner as Saint Elizabeth, when she responded to the salutation of Our Queen and Mistress. The light and inspiration received by the most holy spouse was wonderfully adapted to his dignity and office. The heavenly Lady, upon hearing the words of the holy man, answered in the words of the Magnificat, as She had done on her visit to Saint Elizabeth, and She added other canticles. She was all aflame in ecstasy and was raised from the earth in a globe of light, which surrounded Her and transfigured Her with the gifts of glory. At this heavenly vision Saint Joseph was filled with admiration and unspeakable delight; for never had he seen his most blessed Spouse in such eminence of glory and perfection. Now he beheld Her with a full and clear understanding, since all the integrity and purity of the Princess of heaven and mystery of her dignity manifested themselves to him. He saw and recognized in her virginal womb the humanity of the infant God and the union of the two natures of the Word. With profound humility and reverence, he adored Him and recognized Him as his Redeemer, offering himself to his majesty. The Lord looked upon him in benevolence and kindness as upon no other man, for He accepted him as his foster-father and conferred upon him that title. In accordance with this dignity, He gifted him with that plenitude of science and heavenly gifts which Christian piety can and must acknowledge. 

Columbus Day[4]

Columbus Day is the celebration of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Christopher Columbus was an Italian-born explorer who discovered the Americas for the Spanish King Ferdinand of Spain. Columbus set off into the Atlantic with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Two months later he would set foot on the Bahamas and establish settlements on Hispanola Island (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Upon his return to Spain, he spoke of gold in the New World and thus the Americas were opened up for European colonization. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared October 12th every year as Columbus Day. In the US, Columbus Day is celebrated by all US states except for Hawaii, South Dakota and Alaska.  Columbus Day now occurs on the second Monday in October each year.  

Columbus Day Facts & Quotes

·         Colorado was the first state to officially recognize and celebrate Columbus Day in 1906.

·         Christopher Columbus' first settlement on Hispaniola Island was called Villa de Navidad (Christmas Town)

·         In 1971, the official holiday was moved to the second Monday in October in order to give workers in the US a long weekend. This was part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

·         Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. - Robert F. Kennedy

·         You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. - Christopher Columbus

Columbus Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Attend a Columbus Day Parade.  The parade in New York City is one of the largest.

·         Eat some good Italian food.

·         Watch a parade.

·         Visit the Library of Congress's online exhibit 1492: An Ongoing Voyage.

·         Host a scavenger hunt for the neighborhood kids and let them become Explorers for the afternoon.

Knights of Columbus[5] 

Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity. The Knights was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works. The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world's foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. The Order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities. The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to  15,342 councils and 1.9 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam, Saipan, Lithuania, Ukraine, and South Korea

International Day of the Girl

International Day of the Girl aims to recognize girls' rights and the unique challenges that they face around the world.  Every day, young girls everywhere face challenges involving their rights, access to education, inequality, discrimination, domestic violence and child marriage. Gender inequality is so prevalent in the world that the United Nations introduced a Gender Inequality Index (GII) to measure gender disparity in countries.

Day of the Girl Facts & Quotes

·         It is estimated that over 100 million women from the world are missing. Female infanticide and selective abortion are still commonly practiced in Asia and have led to uneven ratios of men and women all over Asia.

·         In India, there are laws that prevent expecting mothers from finding out the sex of the baby due to selective abortions and discrimination against baby girls.

·         One-third of girls in the developing world are married before the age of 18, increasing the risk of HIV, unwanted pregnancy and discontinued education.

·         To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman? - Mahatma Ghandi

Day of the Girl Top Events and Things to Do

·         Get active for girls on social media. Use one of UNICEF's recommended social networking hashtags: #dayofthe girl, #mylifeat15, #girl4president and #girlhero!

·         Take out a girl in your life (your daughter, niece, granddaughter, family friend). Take her out to do her favorite activity on her special day.

·         Watch movies that empower young girls and portray strong female characters.
1) Brave (2012)
2) Bend it like Beckham (2002)
3) Anne of Green Gables (1985)
4) Mulan (1998)

·         Attend one of many events held nationally and internationally. Look for an event organized in your local community by schools and girl clubs, if not attend the online event. The online event involves sharing baby photos of yourself (if you're a girl), or daughters, sisters and other girl family members and discuss your/their dreams while growing up.

Words of Wisdom from a Superman[6]

Although he never planned it that way, Christopher Reeve[7] became a hero for our time. His legacy of determination, commitment, compassion and courage continues to inspire men and women across the globe. Playing the role of Superman in the movies he became, to many of us, “The Man of Steel.” When a riding accident changed his life forever, we cried, and we worried… but somehow knew the super man within would prevail. And he did. The way he lived, and the amazing way he spoke about living, became a powerful source of motivation and inspiration for people living with paralysis and disabilities. His words have touched all our hearts. We share some of our favorite Christopher Reeve quotes.

·         What is a Hero? "I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."

·         Once you choose hope anything is possible.

·         "Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool, or you go out in the ocean."

·         "If I can laugh, I can live."

·         "You've got to give more than you take."

Daily Devotions

 

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: End Sex Trafficking, Slavery

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Iceman’s Total Consecration to Mary-Day 31

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 13

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Go to Mass

·         Rosary




[1]Mercy: used to translate the Hebrew word, hesed. This term speaks to a relationship between persons. It is manifested in concrete actions to persons with some need or desire. The one who offers hesed has the ability to respond to that need of the other person. Other possible ways to translate hesed include “steadfast love” and “loving kindness.”

[2][1]d'Elbée, Jean C.J.. I Believe in Love

[7]Actor died on this date 2004



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