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 Life First[1] 9 Days for Life 

9 Days for Life is a "digital pilgrimage" of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person's life. A multi-faceted novena highlighting a different intention each day provides reflections, bonus information, and suggested actions. Join to receive the novena through the 9 Days for Life app, daily emails, or daily texts. See below for information on how else you can get involved! #9DaysforLife #OurPrayersMatter


Day Seven

Intercession: May those who long to welcome a child into their family be filled with trust in God’s loving plan. 

Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be 

Reflection: It can be very difficult and painful when the Lord doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we hope. A couple that finds themselves unable to bring a child into the world through their loving union can experience this disappointment very deeply. During such times of trial, we may wonder why we face the particular challenges that we do. Yet even though suffering is often shrouded in a sense of mystery, we believe that the Lord loves us with great tenderness and compassion that is beyond our imagination. Knowing this, we can trust that “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

 

·        Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and share Christ’s love with those who need encouragement the most today.
 

·        Offer the Prayer for Those Hoping to Conceive or Adopt a Child, and spend some time reflecting on the accompanying excerpt from Psalm 145.
 

·        Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.



[1]http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/nine-days-of-prayer-penance-and-pilgrimage.cfm



Conversion of St. Paul 

Sirach, Chapter 22, Verse 16

A wooden beam firmly bonded into a building is not loosened by an earthquake; So the mind firmly resolved after careful deliberation will not be AFRAID at any time.

 

A prudent mind firmly resolved is undisturbed by violent and conflicting thoughts. Sometimes we all have senseless thoughts and feelings which shake us, but faith is a firm anchor for our thoughts. We indeed do have the power within ourselves to choose not to react to impulsive thoughts.

 

Holiness consists in friendship with God. If we would be in any sense the friends of God, we must have at least that desire for holiness without which such friendship would be impossible; growth in the knowledge of God is the deepening of this friendship. To know God is to know self and if we know ourselves well, we know have one or two prominent sins that have dogged our life’s path for years, and against these we struggle bravely and are conscious that God is helping us. Sin and sanctity reveal us to ourselves; therefore, if there is to be any spiritual growth, there must be a growth in self-knowledge. We cannot make any serious attempt to conquer our sins until we know what who we are and who’s we are. Therefore, the greatest advancement we make is when we learn to examine ourselves in the light of Christ.[1]

 

To examine ourselves in the light of Christ a good place to begin is with the seven heavenly virtues: Humility, Charity, Chastity, Patience, Temperance, Diligence, and kindness.[2]

 

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, all of them just. (Ps. 19:10)

 

Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favor before you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (Ps. 19:15)

 

Feast of the conversion of St. Paul[3]

St. Paul was born at Tarsus, Cilicia, of Jewish parents who were descended from the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Roman citizen from birth. To complete his schooling, St. Paul was sent to Jerusalem, where he sat at the feet of the learned Gamaliel and was educated in the strict observance of the ancestral Law. As a convinced and zealous Pharisee, he returned to Tarsus before the public life of Christ in Palestine.

Sometime after the death of Our Lord, St. Paul returned to Palestine. His profound conviction made his zeal develop to a religious fanaticism against the infant Church. He took part in the stoning of the first martyr, St. Stephen, and in the fierce persecution of the Christians that followed. Entrusted with a formal mission from the high priest, he departed for Damascus to arrest the Christians there and bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was nearing Damascus, about noon, a light from heaven suddenly blazed round him. Jesus with His glorified body appeared to him and addressed him, turning him away from his apparently successful career. An immediate transformation was wrought in the soul of St. Paul. He was suddenly converted to the Christian Faith. He was baptized, changed his name from Saul to Paul, and began travelling and preaching the Faith. He was martyred as an Apostle in Rome around 65 AD.

Feast of St. Paul the Apostle[4]

THE history of this conversion is fully given in the epistle taken from the Acts. The Introit of the Mass is as follows: "I know Whom I have believed, and I am certain that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day, being a just judge. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me, Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up."

Prayer.

O God, "Who didst teach the whole world by the preaching of blessed Paul the apostle, grant us, we beseech Thee, that we, who this day celebrate his conversion, may advance towards Thee by his example. Amen.

EPISTLE. Acts ix. 1-22.

In those days: Saul as yet breathing out threatening’s and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus: and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? Who said: Who art Thou, Lord? And He said: I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad. And he trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now the men who went in company with him stood amazed, hearing indeed a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. But they leading him by the hands, brought him to Damascus. And he was there three days without sight, and he did neither eat nor drink. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias: and the Lord said to him in a vision: Ananias. And he said: Behold I am here, Lord. And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the street that is called Strait, and seek in the house of Judas, one named Saul of Tarsus. For behold he prayeth. (And he saw a man named Ananias, coming in and putting his hands upon him, that he might receive his sight.) But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints in Jerusalem. And here he hath authority from the chief priests, to bind all that invoke Thy name. And the Lord said to him: Go thy way, for this man is to Me a vessel of election, to carry My name before the gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake. And Ananias went his way and entered into the house: and laying his hands upon him, he said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, He that appeared to thee in the way as thou earnest: that thou mayst receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and rising up he was baptized. And when he had taken meat, he was strengthened. And he was with the disciples that were at Damascus for some days. And immediately he preached Jesus in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. And all that heard him were astonished, and said: Is not this he who persecuted in Jerusalem those that called upon this name; and came hither for that intent, that he might carry them bound to the chief priests? But Saul increased much more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt at Damascus, affirming that this is the Christ. What do we learn from this history? Not to despise any sinner, nor to despair of his salvation: for, like Paul on the road to Damascus, the greatest sinner may, by the grace of God, be suddenly converted, and become a saint. At the command of God, he accepted Ananias as his leader in the way of salvation and became as zealous for the honor of Christ as he had previously been intent on persecuting Him. In like manner, a convert must shut his eyes to all by which he has heretofore been led astray and must give heed to that only which God commands.

What do we learn from this history?

 

Not to despise any sinner, nor to despair of his salvation: for, like Paul on the road to Damascus, the greatest sinner may, by the grace of God, be suddenly converted, and become a saint. At the command of God, he accepted Ananias as his leader in the way of salvation and became as zealous for the honor of Christ as he had previously been intent on persecuting Him. In like manner, a convert must shut his eyes to all by which he has heretofore been led astray and must give heed to that only which God commands.

 

Today try and be 100% for God.

 

As iron, cast into the fire, loses its rust and becomes bright with the flame, so too a man who turns his whole heart to Me is purified and all sluggishness and changed into a new man.[5]

 

Who am I, Lord, that I should be considered by You: I AM WHO AM.

 

Like Paul we must be fearless in proclaiming the gospel.

 

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mk. 16:15-16)

GOSPEL. Matt. xix. 27-29.

At that time Peter said to Jesus: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed Thee: what, therefore, shall we have? And Jesus said to them: Amen I say to you, that you, who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of His majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting. This gospel teaches that he who renounces the world, its pleasures, and its riches, shall receive the grace of God, virtues, interior consolation, and eternal happiness, which are a hundred-fold, that is, infinitely, more precious than worldly goods. Prayer. O St. Paul, great apostle, who, from being an enemy, became the most zealous friend and preacher of Christ, procure for me from Him, I beseech thee, grace at last truly to know Him, Whom I have heretofore so often denied, offended, and, by my sins, crucified anew; to follow Him, and, after thy ex ample 5 to be henceforth as diligent in doing justice as I have formerly been in practicing evil; that I may one day attain to that happiness which thou hast gained. Amen.

Irish Coffee Day[6]

1942 proved a fortuitous year for transatlantic travelers wearied by the cold and damp conditions of an Irish winter. Thanks to the innovative imagination of bartender Joe Sheridan, they were soon to have their cockles delightfully warmed by an almost decadent blend of fine Irish whiskey with the irresistible taste and aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Combined with the subtle sweetness of brown sugar and sipped through the luxurious density of whipped cream, it was a recipe that would become a global hit that needed no specific weather conditions to be enjoyed.

Get Creative with Irish Coffee

While the two most important ingredients are listed in the name, it is also possible to make things much more interesting with some unique ingredients added to the basic recipe. Try out one of these modernized Irish Coffee ideas in celebration of the day:

·        The Blind Abbott. Start with cold brew coffee and 1 shot of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. Then intensify the coffee flavor even more by adding a half shot of Galliano Ristretto, an espresso-based liqueur. Finish it off with some cinnamon syrup and a few dashes of bitters, pour over ice and shake until frosty. Serve topped with fresh, sweet whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

·        Vintage Coffee Cocktail. Named after the Vintage Cocktail Club located in Dublin, Ireland, this one is Dublin-ified with a bit of the city’s signature beer: Guinness. Start by infusing Guinness with some malt extract and a vanilla bean pod over heat. This combination is then whisked together with whipping cream and stirred in with a shot of Paddy Old Irish Whiskey, a few shots of espresso, and a teaspoon of light molasses. Top with a garnish of nutmeg sprinkling.

·        Gort’s Reprieve Irish Coffee. Featured at the Drink.Well Bar in Austin, Texas, this unique version of the drink is a fun departure from the original. Start with coffee that has been freshly brewed in a French Press, then add in a shot of Irish Whiskey and a half shot of amaro (Italian herbal bitters), a bit of simple syrup and a few dashes of New Orleans coffee bitters. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle on some spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice. Make it extra special by adding chocolate covered espresso beans on top!

·        Bailey’s Irish Cream Coffee. This recipe builds a sweeter, creamier, stronger drink (reminiscent of a dessert!) by starting with coffee and whiskey, then adding a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur and finishing it off with a dollop of sweet whipped cream.

Daily Devotions/Activities

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

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·       Pray Day 8 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

·       Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Plan winter fun:

o   Soak in hot springs

o   Hit the snow slopes

o   Ride a snowmobile

o   Go for a dog sled ride

o   Ride a hot air balloon

·       FEAST DAY go to Mass

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·        Pray for our nation.

·       Rosary.




[1] Maturin, Basil W.  Christian Self-Sophia Institute Press.

[4] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[5] Paone, Anthony J., Our Daily Bread, 1954.

[6]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/irish-coffee-day/



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