GRAND CANYON Established
as for all the hills which were hoed with a mattock, for FEAR of briers
and thorns you will not go there; they shall become a place for cattle to roam
and sheep to trample.
In the beginning God cursed Adam with briers and thorns and here Isaiah is pointing out to the rulers of Israel that when we give in to fear and link ourselves with evil men or women the natural result is there will be briers and thorns in our lives.
So rather than linking ourselves with evil men out of fear we should assist and pray for them.” I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.” (Ez 33:11)
Fear is listed by many theologians as the 8th deadly sin. God in making us a Holy people wants us to be free of fear. Is it any wonder that people without faith are plagued by fear?
Fear Dominates Politics, Media and Human Existence in America—And It’s Getting Worse according to Don Hazen.
“Fear is the mind-killer” – Frank Herbert, Dune
People cannot think clearly when they are afraid. As numerous studies have shown, fear is the enemy of reason. It distorts emotions and perceptions, and often leads to poor decisions. For people who have suffered trauma, fear messages can sometimes trigger uncontrollable flight-or-fight responses with dangerous ramifications.
Yet over time, many interlocking aspects of our society have become increasingly sophisticated at communicating messages and information that produce fear responses. Advertising, political ads, news coverage and social media all send the constant message that people should be afraid—very afraid.
In addition, television and film are filled with extreme violence and millions of fictional deaths, far out of proportion to what happens in real life, as researchers have pointed out…All this, despite statistics indicating that in most parts of the country, the crime rate is actually on the decline.
Fear is so pervasive that experts have
made the case we live in a generalized “culture of fear,” also the name of a book by Barry Glassner which underscores
the fact that we often fear the
wrong things, and incredibly out of proportion to reality. Statistics show you
have a much higher chance of being killed by lightning than by a
NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE
DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER
O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Psalm 51, 14-15.
Give me again the joy of your help, with a spirit of fervor sustain me, that I may teach transgressors your ways and sinners may return to you.
Lord Jesus! After contemplating Thy features, disfigured by grief, after meditating upon Thy passion with compunction and love, how can our hearts fail to be inflamed with a holy hatred of sin, which even now outrages Thy Adorable Face! Lord, suffer us not to be content with mere compassion, but give us grace so closely to follow Thee in this Calvary, so that the opprobrium destined for Thee may fall on us, O Jesus, that thus we may have a share, small though it may be, in expiation of sin. Amen. Mary, our Mother, intercede for us, Saint Joseph pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.
Prayer in Honor of Mary
Hail Mary, Daughter of God the Father! Hail Mary, Mother of God the Son! Hail Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit! Hail Mary, Temple of the Most Holy Trinity! Hail Mary, our mistress, our wealth, our mystic rose, Queen of our hearts, our Mother, our life, our sweetness and our dearest hope! We are all Thine, and all we have is Thine. O Virgin blessed above all things; may Thy soul be in us to magnify the Lord; may Thy spirit be in us to rejoice in God. Place Thyself, O faithful Virgin, as a seal upon our hearts, that in Thee and through Thee we may be found faithful to God. Grant, most gracious Virgin, that we may be numbered among those whom Thou art pleased to love, to teach and to guide, to favor and to protect as Thy children. Grant that with the help of Thy love, we may despise all earthly consolation and cling to heavenly things, until through the Holy Spirit, Thy faithful spouse, and through Thee, His faithful spouse, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, be formed within us for the glory of the Father. Amen. (St. Grignon de Montfort)
Pray one (1) Our Father,
(3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)
What the Grand Canyon tells us about God
today in 1919)
Many years ago, I was telling my spiritual director that I found it easiest to pray in a beautiful garden, and I was warming to my sense of myself as a contemplative. The wise Dominican asked with disarming candor: “But are you in the garden, or is the garden in you?” It took a long time even to realize what the question meant. I remember another similarly disarming question at the very beginning of my adult search for God. I was an undergraduate and took myself to a Benedictine monastery for a few days’ retreat in Lent. I was captivated by the silence, prayer and retreat from the world, swept up in the chant and the romance of monastic life. What I did not realize was that I was attracted to it as something that would make it less painful to be what I thought I was – something I needed for my religious amour-propre. Thus, many searches for God begin, but one can only search for God because he has already found you. What must happen is that someone else must put a belt around you and lead you where you would rather not go. It is not the intensity of the search, but of the willingness to be led that is ultimately the measure of vocation. Vocation is not finding the garden in you, it is finding yourself in the garden.
Perhaps the wise abbot sensed this. Anyway, I remember being rather discombobulated by his direct manner. As I emoted about the spiritual life, he looked at me carefully and asked: “Is God real to you?” It was like a torpedo below the waterline of all my high-sounding talk about my attraction to the monastic life versus secular priesthood, the script I was busy constructing of an encounter with the living God in which I remained firmly the star. The best answer I could manage was: “I think so.” In the moment of asking I doubted it, or rather I realized suddenly that so much of what I thought was God wasn’t actually God. It was the paraphernalia of God, of religion. (In fact, the moment wasn’t too confounding, for soon there came another answer from deep inside: “He’s real to me in the Blessed Sacrament.” There – perhaps because, as Aquinas put it, “Sight, touch and taste in thee are each deceived” – I couldn’t confuse feeling for the reality.
I realized that I had been given something to work with.) All of this came to mind when I visited the Grand Canyon at the end of my trip to America. What’s the connection? One may grasp what one might call the paraphernalia of the Grand Canyon. It was formed by billions of years of imperceptibly slow change, of almost every possible kind of geological activity: sediment layering, tectonic plates shifting, glaciers melting and rivers carving a gorge a mile and a half deep into solid rock. These are processes that can be mapped and understood, but the result overwhelms the sum and the mind of man. Its astonishing, ancient beauty can only be contemplated – that is, it must act on you, overwhelm your mind with its four-billion-year-old scale, stillness and silence which is in constant change.
Spontaneously, the words of the psalmist rose from my heart at the breathtaking sight: “Before the mountains or the hills were brought forth, you are God, without beginning or end.” Contemplation always involves knowledge of one’s true scale, of a reality that dwarfs the ego. As if this were not enough, as the sun set, the sky above came alive with stars. I have never seen so many or so clearly. They were like the lights of some vast celestial city calling, a million points of light and security like some distant homeland, like the medieval fantasy that the stars were rents in the sky through which one could see the light of heaven. To count them I must be eternal, like God. The psalmist said: “When I see the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and stars which you have made, what is man, that thou art mindful of him?” And the answer comes back that in Jesus Christ the Father has united himself to the heart of every person in such a way that the vastness of the universe becomes an image not of alienation, but of the vastness of a love that was there before the hills were set in order. This love causes even rocks to exude a soft beauty which seems like the desire of the Eternal Hills for the Heart of their maker.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 11
· Manhood of the Master-week 1 day 7