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Friday, December 3, 2021

 First Friday

SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER


 

Proverbs, Chapter 24, Verse 21-22

21 My son, FEAR the Lord and the king; have nothing to do with those who hate them; 22 for disaster will issue suddenly, and calamity from them both, who knows when?

 

Proverbs chapter 24 comments on the fates of the wicked and foolish—it begins with a warning not to take the foolish as role models. The faithful are encouraged “to be jealous, zealous; to emulate.” Christ; for—the wicked have no future.[1] If Christ is real to you every day of your life, then rendering to God what is God's is not a sacrifice. No, we are compelled by the Holy Spirit, and we must give ourselves up entirely to Him.

 

First Friday[2]


 

Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Order of the Visitation, at Parayle-Monial, France; one day, when, according to her custom during the octave of Corpus Christi, she was deeply engaged in devotions before the Blessed Sacrament, the divine Savior appeared to her, showed her His Heart burning with love, and said: “Behold this Heart, which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrilege, and by the coldness and contempt they have for Me in this sacrament of love. And what is most painful to Me is that they are hearts consecrated to Me. It is for this reason I ask thee that the first Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi be appropriated to a special feast to honor My Heart by communicating on that day and making reparation for the indignity that it has received. And I promise that My Heart shall dilate to pour out abundantly the influences of its love on all that will render it this honor or procure its being rendered.”

The Supreme Lover[3]

The Goodness of God means that God gives us what we need for our perfection, not what we want for our pleasure and sometimes for our destruction. As a sculptor, He sometimes applies the chisel to the marble of our imperfect selves and knocks off huge chunks of selfishness that His image may better stand revealed. Like a musician, whenever He finds the strings too loose on the violin of our personality, He tightens them even though it hurts, that we may better reveal our hidden harmonies. As the Supreme Lover of our soul, He does care how we act and think and speak. What father does not want to be proud of his son?

If the father speaks with authority now and then to his son, it is not because he is a dictator, but because he wants him to be a worthy son. Not even progressive parents, who deny discipline and restraint, are indifferent to the progress of their children. So long as there is love, there is necessarily a desire for the perfecting of the beloved. That is precisely the way God's goodness manifests itself to us. God really loves us and, because He loves us, He is not disinterested. He no more wants you to be unhappy than your own parents want you to be unhappy. God made you not for His happiness, but for yours, and to ask God to be satisfied with most of us as we really are, is to ask that God cease to love. — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

St. Francis Xavier[4] 


FANCIS XAVIER, surnamed the apostle of the indies, was born of noble parents April 7, 1506, at Xavier, a castle near Pamplona, in Spain. In his eighteenth year he became one of the first members of the society of Jesus, at Paris, and from that moment gave himself up so earnestly and perseveringly to meditation, self-denial, and the practice of Christian virtues that by no desire was he so much animated as by that of laboring and suffering for the glory of god and the salvation of men, wherever and however it might please god. In the year 1541 he was sent as missionary to India. Of his labors and sufferings there his works bear witness. He preached the gospel in fifty-two kingdoms, great and small, of India and Japan, and baptized about a hundred thousand pagans and Mahametan’s. Wherever he came, the idols temples were thrown down, and churches built to the true god. He died in 1552, poor and destitute of all bodily comforts, but rejoicing in the lord, with these words, “Lord, in Thee have I hoped; let me never be confounded.” let us learn from St. Francis Xavier to labor, according to our ability, for the glory of god and the salvation of our neighbor. Although we cannot become missionaries, we yet can pray, and we can join the association for the propagation of the faith.
 

The introit of the mass is as follows: “I spoke of thy testimonies before kings and was not ashamed. I meditated also on thy commandments, which I loved exceedingly. Praise the lord, all ye nations; praise him, alive people: for his mercy is confirmed upon us, and the truth of the lord remaineth forever.” 

Gospel. Mark xvi. 16-18. 

At that time Jesus said to his disciples: go ye into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not, shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: in my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues: they shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick and they shall recover. 

Prayer. 

O god, who, by the preaching and miracles of blessed Francis, wast pleased to add unto thy church the nations of the Indies, mercifully grant That we who venerate his glorious merits may also follow the example of his virtues. 

Things to Do:[5]

 

·       What does it mean to be an apostle? Consider how you might imitate St. Francis Xavier in apostolic works in your own situation. Read this letter from St. Francis to St. Ignatius to get an idea of his zeal.

·       Read some more about St. Francis and ideas for Celebrating the Feast of St. Francis Xavier.

·       St. Francis was sent to India and Japan. Pray for the Church in these countries, and learn more about the modern Church in India here and here, read about the history of the Church in Japan.

·       Find out about and support the Holy Childhood Association (St. Francis always started with the children first).

·       Teach your children to pray St. Francis' favorite prayer, "Give me souls" when they have some suffering to offer up.

·       Spend some time meditating on St. Ignatius' response to St. Francis before his conversion, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his soul?"

·       Say the Litany of St. Francis Xavier.

·       Make a big pot of soup for the Feast of St. Francis Xavier.

·       Study some beautiful art depicting St. Francis Xavier at Olga's Gallery.

 

Jesse Tree[6]

Jesse Tree Scriptures (The Symbols Are Only Suggestions)

December 1 Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbols: sun, moon, stars, animals, earth

December 2 Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24 Symbols: tree, man, woman

December 3 Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbols: tree, serpent, apple with bite

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: The Pope

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary



[1]http://www.usccb.org/bible/proverbs/24

[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-02-07

[4]Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896

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