Monday, November 1, 2021

 

NOVEMBER 

The Thanksgiving meal is a ritual. Whether we are from rural or urban backgrounds, we know the harvest time passes and the year draws to an end. Giving thanks to God is Eucharist, a heavenly banquet and the foretaste of things to come. We are not worthy receivers of this sacrament without the haunting knowledge of the poor nutrition for many in our country and famine in other countries. How can we respond to homelessness and hunger here in our own land and share our bounty with those who are poor in other countries (lands)? 

Highlights of November[1] 

The month of November is dedicated to the Souls in Purgatory, whose feast is celebrated on November 2. With the exception of the last two days, the entire month of November 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. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward. The last Sunday, which marks the beginning of Advent, the liturgical color changes to purple, representing a time of penance. 

The national holiday (USA) of Thanksgiving also falls on the last Thursday of November. The tradition of eating goose as part of the Martin's Day celebration was kept in Holland even after the Reformation. It was there that the Pilgrims who sailed to the New World in 1620 became familiar with this ancient harvest festival. When, after one year in America, they decided to celebrate a three days' thanksgiving in the autumn of 1621, they went in search of geese for their feast. We know that they also had deer (a present from the Indians), lobsters, oysters, and fish. But Edward Winslow, in his account of the feast, only mentions that "Governor Bradford sent four men on fowling that so we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labours." They actually did find some wild geese, and a number of wild turkeys and ducks as well. The Pilgrim Fathers, therefore, in serving wild turkeys with the geese, inaugurated one of the most cherished American traditions: the turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. They also drank, according to the ancient European tradition, the first wine of their wild-grape harvest. Pumpkin pie and cranberries were not part of the first Thanksgiving dinner in America but were introduced many years afterward. The second Thanksgiving Day in the New World was held by the Pilgrims two years later, on July 30, 1623. It was formally proclaimed by the governor as a day of prayer to thank God for their deliverance from drought and starvation, and for the safe arrival from Holland of the ship Anne. In 1665 Connecticut proclaimed a solemn day of thanksgiving to be kept annually on the last Wednesday in October. Other New England colonies held occasional and local Thanksgivings at various times. In 1789 the federal Congress authorized and requested President George Washington to proclaim a day of thanksgiving for the whole nation. Washington did this in a message setting aside November 26, 1789 as National Thanksgiving Day. After 1789 the celebration reverted to local and regional observance for almost a hundred years. There grew, however, a strong desire among the majority of the people for a national Thanksgiving Day that would unite all Americans in a festival of gratitude and public acknowledgment for all the blessings God had conferred upon the nation. It was not until October 3, 1863, that this was accomplished, when President Abraham Lincoln issued, in the midst of the Civil War, a Thanksgiving Proclamation. In it the last Thursday of November was set apart for that purpose and made a national holiday. 

Since then, every president has followed Lincoln's example, and annually proclaims as a "Day of Thanksgiving" the fourth Thursday in November. Only President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the date, in 1939, from the fourth to the third Thursday of November (to extend the time of Christmas sales). This caused so much consternation and protest that in 1941 the traditional date was restored." 

calendar list of events in November[2]:

 

·       Deer Hunting Season

·       Nov. 2…The Day of the Dead

·       Nov. 5-6 Breeders' Cup

·       Nov 7 NYC Marathon

·       Nov 11-14 San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

·       Nov. 25 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

·       Nov. 26 Black Friday

 

 

NOVEMBER 1 Monday

ALL SAINTS

 

Psalm 76, Verse 12-13

12 Make and keep vows to the LORD your God. May all around him bring gifts to the one to be FEARED, 13 who checks the spirit of princes, who is fearful to the kings of earth.

 

Why are the powerful so reluctant to make and keep vows to God? Do they not know that if they humble themselves before Him; He will exalt them. God gives all men gifts and talents of spirit, mind and beauty. Today consider letting a more qualified Other defend your ego.

 

Feast of All Saints[3] 

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."

 

"Also, to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."

 

WHY has the Church appointed this feast?

 

1. To honor God in His saints, in whom He has shown Himself so wonderful, and to thank Him, as the author of all sanctity, for the benefits He has bestowed upon them.

 

2. To put us in lively remembrance of the communion of saints; that is, of all true children of the Church, whether they belong to the Church militant on earth, to the Church suffering in purgatory, or to the Church triumphant in heaven; but more particularly to cause us to consider, with earnestness, the communion of the saints in heaven with us, who are yet combating on earth.

 

3. To encourage us to strive for the like sanctity with them, and to teach us that it is by no means impossible; for if thousands of men could become saints, why should not we, who can do all things through Him Who strengthens us, and has sent the Holy Ghost for our sanctification?

 

4. To pay honor to those saints to whom no particular day in the year is dedicated.

 

5. That, in consideration of so many intercessors, God may grant us perfect reconciliation, may give us a share in their merits, and may grant us the grace of one day sharing in their joy in heaven.

 

By whom was this feast instituted?

 

By Pope Boniface IV., who, in the year 610, appropriated the Pantheon (that is, the temple of all gods) to the divine ser vice of Christians, dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin and all saints, and commanded this feast in honor of all saints to be celebrated at Rome every year. Gregory IV., in the year 840, extended this feast to the whole Church, and transferred it to the 1st of November.

 

Prayer.

 

O Almighty God, Who hast granted us to venerate in one solemnity the merits of all Thy saints, we beseech Thee that, as our intercessors are multiplied, Thou wouldst bestow upon us the desired abundance of mercy. Amen.

 

EPISTLE. Apoc. vii. 2-12.

 

In those days: Behold I John saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God : and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying : Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed, an hundred forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda, were twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Ruben, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Aser, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Nephthali, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Manasses, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Zabulon, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand signed. After this, I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues : standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands : and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God, Who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures: and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honor, and power, and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen.

 

GOSPEL. Matt. v. 1-12.


 

At that time: Jesus seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain, and when He was set down, His disciples came unto Him. And opening His mouth, He taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for My sake; be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. This gospel is read to-day because it is by practicing what it contains that the saints have gained the eternal kingdom. 

Explanation of the Eight Beatitudes 

I. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Deadly sin to avoid: Gluttony) The poor in spirit are: 

o   those who, like the apostles, readily forsake all earthly things, and for Christ’s sake become poor. 

o   Those who, happening to lose their property by misfortune or injustice, suffer the loss patiently, in resignation to the will of God. 

o   Those who, like Jesus, are content with their poor and humble position, seek no higher or happier one, and would rather suffer want than enrich themselves by unlawful acts, by fraud or theft. 

o   The rich and noble who set not their hearts upon the riches and greatness of the world; but who use their riches and influence to relieve the misery of the needy and oppressed. 

o   Finally, the truly humble, who, convinced of their weakness, their helplessness and misery, think lowly of themselves, and regard themselves but as beggars, who are always in need of the grace of God. To all these, therefore, in whose hearts the world has no place, there is assured, as their inheritance, the kingdom of heaven; here the kingdom of grace there the kingdom of glory. 

II. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.” (Deadly sin to avoid: Pride) That man is meek who does not murmur against God for sending afflictions upon him, who is not angry at men who do him injury, but who rather suppresses impatience, anger, envy, and revenge, nay, who seeks to recompense the evil done him by his neighbor with good. Such a one is greater than he who takes by storm fortified cities; he possesses an unfailing fountain of peace, quiet, and cheerfulness; by his meekness prevails over the most hostile minds, is by such means truly a ruler upon earth, and will one day, for his portion, obtain heaven, the land of the living, there to enjoy eternal peace. 

III. “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted,” (Deadly sin to avoid: Envy) By them that mourn we are not to understand such as grieve and lament over a death, a misfortune, a loss of worldly goods, or the like; but those who are grieved that God should be in so many ways offended by themselves and by others that His Church should be so heavily oppressed, and thereby so many souls lost that have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. The only evil really to be grieved for is sin, and the tears shed on account of sin are the only tears that are profitable, for they shall be recompensed with everlasting joy. 

IV. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill.” (Deadly sin to avoid: Sloth) Hunger and thirst denote the most ardent longing after those virtues which constitute Christian perfection, such as humility, meekness, the love of God and of our neighbor, penance. Whoever longs for these virtues as the hungry man does for food and drink and prays to God for them with perseverance and earnestness, shall have his fill; that is, he shall be enriched with them, and one day shall be satisfied with eternal happiness. 

V. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Deadly sin to avoid: Greed) The merciful here spoken of are: 

o   Those who willingly for give the injuries done to them.

o   Those who have compassion on their poor neighbors, and, according to their ability, sustain them by alms. These shall obtain mercy; that is, God will forgive them their sins and endow them abundantly with the goods of this world and of the world to come. Thus, God deals with us as we deal with others. 

VI. “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.” (Deadly sin to avoid: Lust) The clean of heart are those who preserve with care the innocence with which they are invested at holy Baptism, or seek to regain it, when lost, by penance; those who keep their hearts and consciences unspotted from all sinful thoughts, particularly from all unchaste thoughts, desires, words, and acts, and who endeavor in all things to have a pure intention directed to God alone. They shall see God, that is, they shall know Him even here upon earth, for as the eye that is to see must be clean, so only souls that are pure and unstained can behold God. But further, our knowledge is like our hearts; the purer the heart the clearer and greater is the knowledge of God. But in the world above they shall see, know, and possess Him as He is. What blessedness! Strive, therefore, to keep your heart clean. 

VII. “Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.” (Deadly sin to avoid: Anger) By peacemakers we are to understand those who have peace with themselves, that is, a quiet conscience, and who endeavor to maintain peace among others, or to restore it when broken. Such are called the children of God, because they follow God, Who is a God of peace, and who even gave His only Son to reconcile the world with Him, and to bring down upon earth that peace which the world itself could not give. 

VIII. “Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Deadly sin to avoid: Worldly Fear) Hereby all those are declared blessed who, on account of the true faith, of virtue, of the fear of God, of purity, are persecuted, calumniated, and even put to death, and who bear all this with Christian patience and constancy, nay, with joy. Thus, have the saints done, and thereby they have gained the heavenly crown. Do we desire to be crowned with them; we must also suffer with them. And in truth, if we would apply ourselves zealously to virtue, occasions will not be wanting to us, for all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 

Prayer. 

How lovely, O God, are Thy tabernacles! My soul longeth and fainteth for Thy courts, O living God, Who art the crown and reward of the saints, and repayest their sufferings and sorrows in this world with eternal joy. How blessed are all they who, in this life, have served Thee faithfully! They behold Thee and the Lamb of God face to face; they bear Thy name on their foreheads, and reign with Thee forever. We therefore beseech Thee, O God, through their intercession, to grant us Thy grace to serve Thee after their example, in sanctity and justice; to follow them in poverty, humility, meekness, repentance, in ardent longing for all virtues, in peace-making and patience, and one day, like them, to share in the joys of heaven. Amen.

THE VENERATION OF THE SAINTS.

WHAT is it to venerate the saints?

To venerate the saints is to show veneration, love, and confidence towards these friends of God and coheirs with Christ who, out of love for Him, have gone through the fight, are now honored by Him (Ps. cxxxviii. 17), and reign with Him in eternal happiness.

Does not the veneration of the saints infringe upon the honor due to God?

No; it is rather a confirmation of it, since it refers only to God, and, in the saints, honors only Him.

Are we permitted, then, to venerate the saints?

Yes, and not only permitted, but it is good and useful to do so if we would honor God.

Is it also lawful to venerate the relics of the saints that is, their bones, and articles that belonged to them?

Without doubt it is. This, indeed, has been the unbroken practice, both under the Old Law and the New, from the earliest times; and God has sanctioned it by the most remark able miracles. Thus, He brought a dead man to life by the bones of Eliseus (iv. Kings xiii. 21). The woman troubled with an issue of blood was made whole by barely touching the garments of Christ (Matt. ix. 22; Mark v. 29; Luke viii. 47). By the shadow of St. Peter (Acts v. 15), and the handkerchiefs and aprons of St. Paul (Acts xix. 12), different diseases were cured, and evil spirits expelled.

Why ought we to venerate the relics of the saints?

The reason is well given by the Council of Trent (Sess. xvi.). They are precious remains of those bodies which, in their lifetime, were members of Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost, and which shall one day be raised up and glorified.

THE INVOCATION OF THE SAINTS.

Is it lawful to call upon the saints for their intercession?

If a man may call upon his brothers and sisters for help, and upon pious people yet living for their prayers to God in his behalf, as God advised the friends of Job to do (Job xlii. 8), as St. Paul did (i. Thess. v. 25), as non-Catholics themselves do, why should not a man invoke the intercession of the saints in the presence of God, who are our brethren?

But is not the invocation of the saints opposed to trust in God, and to the mediatorship of Christ?

No; for we do not address ourselves to the saints in any such sense as we would address ourselves to God; but, confessing ourselves to be sinners, and unworthy to appear before God, we betake ourselves to these friends of God and glorified brethren of ours, that through their intercession, which prevails much before Him, He may be gracious to us, and bestow upon us His favors. Christ is and remains our only mediator through Whom we have access to the Father (Eph. ii. 18); the saints are only intercessors who must pray to God for us through Jesus Christ.

Do the saints know of our prayers?

If the holy angels rejoice over the conversion of the sinner (Luke xv. 10) and offer up the prayers of the saints as pleasing incense before the face of God (Apoc. viii. 3), ought not the same privilege be allowed to the saints, as being the friends of God and of Jesus Christ, and as being partakers of the same glory as the angels? (John xv. 14, 15.) Did not Onias and Jeremias, after their death, know of the sad condition of the Jewish people, and zealously pray for them? (n. Mach. xv. 12, et seq.) God has a thousand ways of making known to them our prayers.

Praying for the Dead[4]All Souls Eve

In the Roman liturgical books, the celebration of All Saints' Day ends in the afternoon. When it is time for evening Vespers, the office for the Dead is recited in preparation for All Souls' Day. Those who do not use the breviary have followed the same pattern as well. Beginning at sunset on All Saints' Day, families gather in one room, extinguish all lights except the blessed candle that had been saved since Candlemas Day, and pray for the souls of their departed loved ones. In Brittany a group of men would actually go from farm to farm at night, shouting: "Christians awake; pray to God for the souls of the dead and say the Pater and Ave for them." The household would reply "Amen" and rise in prayer.

Things to Do[5]

·        Visiting a cemetery and praying for the dead during the Octave of All Saints' Day (November 1 through November 8) will gain a plenary indulgence that can be applied only to the souls in purgatory. On other days, this work gains a partial indulgence.

·        Spend a little time after Mass thanking God for all the unnamed saints, some of whom could be our own relatives.

·        Have a special meal and if you have young children have them dress up like saints and play games.

·        Pray the Litany of the Saints -- you could make it really special by chanting it ("he who sings prays twice") and you could read an explanation of this litany, which is considered the model of all other litanies.

·        From the Catholic Culture library:

o   The Church's Thanksgiving Day by Fr. Joseph Minihan,

o   Ideas for Sanctifying All Saints' Day by Jennifer Gregory Miller,

o   Halloween and All Saints Day by Fr. William Saunders.

Indulgences for All Souls Week

·        An indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed. The indulgence is plenary each day from the first to the eighth of November; on other days of the year it is partial.

·        A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, is granted to the faithful, who on the day dedicated to the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed [November 2 {as well as on the Sunday preceding or following, and on All Saints' Day}] piously visit a church. In visiting the church, it is required that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

·        To acquire a plenary indulgence, it is necessary also to fulfill the following three conditions: sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the intention of the Holy Father. The three conditions may be fulfilled several days before or after the performance of the visit; it is, however, fitting that communion be received and the prayer for the intention of the Holy Father be said on the same day as the visit.

·        The condition of praying for the intention of the Holy Father is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary. A plenary indulgence can be acquired only once in the course of the day.

More things to do[6]

·        Visit the cemetery where your loved ones are buried and light a candle. This is exactly what the holiday is meant to celebrate, and it is also very common for people to do on All Souls’ Day.

·        Watch a movie about All Souls’ Day or Christianity. Some of our favorites are: All Soul’s Day (2005), Passion of the Christ (2004), and Raising the Undead (2006).

·        Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtag #AllSoulsDay, #HonourTheDead and #HeavenAwaits.

·        Create an alter in memory of a loved one. This can be done within your home and typically uses pictures of the person, candles, flowers and any other sentimental pieces.

·        Prepare a meal in memory of a deceased family member. In many countries, it is customary to prepare this meal and it is believed that the dead return to consume the food.

Purgatory[7]

Pope Gregory speaks of a priest of Centumcell√¶, now Civita Vecchia, who also went to the warm baths. A man presented himself to serve him in the most menial offices, and for several days waited upon him with the most extreme kindness, and even eagerness. The good priest, thinking that he ought to reward so much attention, came the next day with two loaves of blessed bread, and, after having received the usual assistance of his kind servant, offered him the loaves. The servant, with a sad countenance, replied, “Why, Father, do you offer me this bread? I cannot eat it. I, whom you see, was formerly the master of this place, and, after my death, I was sent back to the condition in which you see me for the expiation of my faults. If you wish to do me good, ah! Offer up for me the Bread of the Eucharist.” At these words he suddenly disappeared, and he, whom the priest had thought to be a man, showed by vanishing that he was but a spirit. For a whole week the good priest devoted himself to works of penance, and each day offered up the Sacred Host in favor of the departed one; then, having returned to the same baths, he no longer found his faithful servant, and concluded that he had been delivered. It seems that Divine Justice sometimes condemns souls to undergo their punishment in the same place where they have committed their sins.

Daily Devotions

 

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: End to Abortion

·       Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·       What? Fasting on a Feast Day?

·       Monday: Litany of Humility

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Go to Mass

·       Rosary




[1]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/months/11.cfm

[3]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[7]Schouppe S.J., Rev. Fr. F. X.. Purgatory Explained (with Supplemental Reading: What Will Hell Be Like?)

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