Overview of April
The first fifteen days of the month fall during the season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color violet or purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. The remainder of April falls during the Easter season which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). The month of April is dedicated to The Holy Spirit. The first three days of the month fall during the season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. The remainder of April falls during the Easter season which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).
As our Lenten journey comes to a close, we prepare to follow Christ all the way to the cross and to witness His glorious Resurrection. Hopefully we have sacrificed and prayed so that we are now able to more fully reap the fruits of a well spent Lent. After our solemn commemoration of the last days and death of Our Lord we will spend the remainder of the month of April celebrating. As Spring breaks forth even nature will join us as buds and blooms begin to surface and we spend this month basking in the joy of the Resurrection. We continue throughout the entire month our cry, "Christ is risen, Christ is truly risen."
The Feast of Divine Mercy offers us the opportunity to begin again as though we were newly baptized. The unfathomable mercy of God is made manifest today if we but accept His most gracious offer. Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians. This truly is "the day that the Lord has made." From Sunday to Sunday, from year to year, the Easters of this earth will lead us to that blessed day on which Christ has promised that He will come again with glory to take us with Him into the kingdom of His Father.
A Time of New Life
April boasts the most solemn and sublime events of human history: the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – the Paschal mystery. Though the way to the Resurrection was the Via Crucis, the Sacrificial Lamb of God is now and forever Christ our Light, the Eternal high priest of the New Covenant. And his sorrowful mother, the Stabat Mater of Good Friday, is now the jubilant Mother of the Regina Caeli.
We the members of Christ’s Mystical Body exalt in the mystery by which we were redeemed. If in Baptism we were buried with Christ, so also will we share in his resurrection. By his death we were reborn; “by his stripes we were healed.” (Is 53:5) Easter, the epicenter of time, is the event that links time and eternity. It is indeed “the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Ps 118:24)
April is also:
· Jazz Appreciation Month
· Month of the Military Child
· Masters Golf Tournament--April 7-10--Tee up for the granddaddy of all golf tournaments. The 86th Masters Tournament kicks off the first of 4 major championships, with plenty of betting odds. Head to Augusta, GA!
· Scarborough Renaissance Festival--April 9-May 1st--Travel back to the 16th century at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. This annual fest in Waxahachie, TX, kicks off the first weekend in April, drawing crowds upwards of 200,000 to view some 200 performances.
· --April 18--Show your Boston pride and find something for everyone to enjoy. The annual Boston Marathon kicks off with a fitness expo featuring more than 200 exhibitors, followed by a 5K set to draw an estimated 10,000 participants as well as a relay challenge -- all topped by the grand celebration of city spirit.
· Earth Day at Yosemite--April 22--Celebrate Earth Day in one of America’s most treasured national parks. Timed in conjunction with National Park Week, Yosemite celebrates the planet’s big day with bike rides, junior ranger day walks, and even an Earth Day cake and lemonade, yum!
· King’s Day in Amsterdam--April 27--Enjoy a ride along Amsterdam’s canals, and don your brightest orange, for the Netherlands’ annual King’s Day. The national holiday celebrates the Dutch royal house (and current King Willem-Alexander) with plenty of “orange madness,” in keeping with the Dutch national colors.
· New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival--April 29-May 8--Love jazz? Join fellow music lovers at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Held every year since 1970, the annual Jazz Fest, as it’s called, showcases nearly every music genre, from blues to R&B, and everything else in between. It’s all performed across 12 stages during the last weekend in April.
· Apr. 1st-MASS First Friday
· Apr. 2nd-MASS First Saturday
· Apr. 6th MASS First Wednesday
· Apr. 8th MASS Friday of Sorrows
· Apr 11th Monday of Holy Week
· Apr 13th Spy Wednesday
· Apr 14th Maundy Thursday
· Apr 15th Good Friday
· Apr 16th Easter Vigil
· Apr 18th Easter Monday
· Apr 24th Divine Mercy Sunday
· Apr 25th Feast of St. Mark
APRIL 1 Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
FIRST FRIDAY-ALL FOOLS DAY
Isaiah, Chapter 66, Verse 4-5
4 I in turn will choose affliction for them and bring upon them what they FEAR. Because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, no one listened. Because they did what was evil in my sight, and things I do not delight in they chose, 5 hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word! Your kin who hate you and cast you out because of my name say, “May the LORD show his glory, that we may see your joy”; but they shall be put to shame.
We are in a battle with the forces of darkness. St. Pope John Paul II told us “Do not be afraid”. He was reminding us that the love of God is like a pebble that is dropped on the smooth surface of a pond. When God’s love truly pierces our hearts, as the pebble on the pond, our own love will ripple outward perfectly in symmetry with the universe, embracing everything in its path with His reflected glory.
When God’s love truly pierces our hearts, we ponder with sorrow on our sins and transgressions. We as Lord Tennyson acclaimed must develop the mantra “To Strive, To Seek, To Find and not to Yield.” We seek to develop within ourselves genuine compunction of heart.
Compunction is a deep and lasting sorrow for our sins. It is not a gloomy or depressing sorrow, but an intelligent admission of your sins and a sincere determination to do something about them. It is a realization of how you have failed such a loving God and brings with it a readiness to accept anything that He wills. Compunction opens the way too many blessings and precious graces. Compunction will cause the world to lose its magic attraction. Compunction will help you realize how quickly earthly joys pass away, while eternity goes on forever. By compunction a man begins to attack his faults and to practice the opposite virtues. 
Let us develop within ourselves the virtues of Mary Most Holy: Humility, Generosity, Chastity, Patience, Self-Control, and Love.
of the Fourth Week of Lent
O God, Who renewest the world by unspeakable mysteries, grant, we beseech Thee, that Thy Church may profit by Thy eternal institutions, and not be deprived of Thy temporal assistance. Amen
EPISTLE, Kings xvii. 17-24.
In those days the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick, and the sickness was very grievous, so that there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elias: What have I to do with thee, thou man of God? art thou come to me that my iniquities should be remembered, and that thou shouldst kill my son? And Elias said to her: Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom and carried him into the upper chamber where he abode and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord my God, hast Thou afflicted also the widow, with whom I am after a sort maintained, so as to kill her son? And he stretched, and measured himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord my God, let the soul of this child, I beseech Thee, return into his body. And the Lord heard the voice of Elias: and the soul of the child returned into him, and he revived. And Elias took the child and brought him down from the upper chamber to the house below, and delivered him to his mother, and said to her: Behold thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elias: Now, by this I know that thou art a man of God, and the word of the Lord in thy mouth is true.
GOSPEL. John xi. 1-45.
At that time: There was a certain man sick named Lazarus, of Bethania, of the town of Mary and of Martha her sister. (And Mary was she that anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped His feet with her hair: whose brother Lazarus was sick.) His sisters therefore sent to Him, saying: Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick. And Jesus hearing it, said to them: This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God: that the Son of God may be glorified by it. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. "When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He still remained in the same place two days: then after that He said to His disciples: Let us go into Judea again. The disciples say to Him: Rabbi, the Jews but now sought to stone Thee: and goest Thou thither again? Jesus answered: Are there not twelve hours of the day? If a man walks in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world: but if he walks in the night, he stumbleth, because the light is not in him. These things He said, and after that He said to them: Lazarus our friend sleepeth: but I go that I may awake him out of sleep. His disciples therefore said: Lord, if he sleeps, he shall do well. But Jesus spoke of his death; and they thought that He spoke of the repose of sleep. Then therefore Jesus said to them plainly: Lazarus is dead; and I am glad for your sakes, that I was not there, that you may believe but let us go to him. Thomas, therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples: Let us also go, that we may die with Him. Jesus therefore came and found that he had been four days already in the grave. (Now Bethania was near Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off.) And many of the Jews were come to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Martha, therefore, as soon as she heard that Jesus was come, went to meet Him; but Mary sat at home. Martha therefore said to Jesus: Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But now also I know that whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee. Jesus saith to her: Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith to Him: I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me although he be dead, shall live and everyone that liveth and believeth in Me, shall not die forever. Believest thou this? She saith to Him: Yea, Lord, I have believed that Thou art Christ the Son of the living God, Who art come into this world. And when she had said these things, she went, and called her sister Mary secretly, saying: The Master is come and calleth for thee. She, as soon as she heard this, riseth quickly and cometh to Him. For Jesus was not yet come into the town: but He was still in that place where Martha had met Him. The Jews, therefore, who were with her in the house and comforted her, when they saw Mary that she rose up speedily and went out, followed her, saying: She goeth to the grave, to weep there. When Mary therefore was come where Jesus was, seeing Him, she fell down at His feet, and saith to Him: Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Jesus, therefore, when He saw her weeping, and the Jews that were come with her, weeping, groaned in the spirit, and troubled Himself, and said: Where have you laid him? They said to Him: Lord, come and see. And Jesus wept. The Jews therefore said: Behold how He loved him. Biit some of them said: Could not He that opened the eyes of the man born blind, have caused that this man should not die? Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself cometh to the sepulcher: now it was a cave; and a stone was laid over it. Jesus saith: Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith to Him: Lord, by this time he stinketh. for he is now of four days. Jesus saith to her: Did not I say to thee, that if thou believe, thou shalt see the glory of God? They took therefore the stone away. And Jesus lifting up His eyes said: Father, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast heard Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always, but because of the people who stand about have I said it: that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me. When He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth. And presently he that had been dead came forth, bound feet and hands with winding-bands, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said to them: Loose him and let him go. Many therefore of the Jews who were come to Mary and Martha, and had seen the things that Jesus did, believed in Him.
The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus . . . which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins."
To those who show him love and who make reparation for sins, however, our Lord made a great pledge: "I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor, or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life."
To gain this grace, we must:
· Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays.
· Have the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching final perseverance.
· Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offenses against the Blessed Sacrament.
The fullness of God is revealed and given to us in Christ, in the love of Christ, in Christ's heart. For it is the heart of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Were one to lose sight of this great plan of God-the overflow of love in the world through the Incarnation, the Redemption and Pentecost-he could not understand the refinement with which our Lord deals with us. So, when we talk about the heart of Jesus, we stress the certainty of God's love and the truth of his commitment to us. When we recommend devotion to the Sacred Heart, we are recommending that we should give our whole selves to Jesus, to the whole Jesus-our souls, our feelings and thoughts, our words and actions, our joys. That is what true devotion to the heart of Jesus means. It is knowing God and ourselves. It is looking at Jesus and turning to him, letting him encourage and teach and guide us. The only difficulty that could beset this devotion would be our own failure to understand the reality of an incarnate God. But note that God does not say: "In exchange for your own heart, I will give you a will of pure spirit." No, he gives us a heart, a human heart, like Christ's. I don't have one heart for loving God and another for loving people. I love Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit and our Lady with the same heart with which I love my parents and my friends. I shall never tire of repeating this. We must be very human, for otherwise we cannot be divine. . ..
If we don't learn from Jesus, we will never love. If, like some people, we were to think that to keep a clean heart, a heart worthy of God, means "not mixing it up, not contaminating it" with human affection, we would become insensitive to other people's pain and sorrow. We would be capable of only an "official charity," something dry and soulless. But ours would not be the true charity of Jesus Christ, which involves affection and human warmth. In saying this, I am not supporting the mistaken theories-pitiful excuses-that misdirect hearts away from God and lead them into occasions of sin and perdition. . ..
But I have still a further consideration to put before you. We have to fight vigorously to do good, precisely because it is difficult for us to resolve seriously to be just, and there is a long way to go before human relations are inspired by love and not hatred or indifference. We should also be aware that, even if we achieve a reasonable distribution of wealth and a harmonious organization of society, there will still be the suffering of illness, of misunderstanding, of loneliness, of the death of loved ones, of the experience of our own limitations.
Faced with the weight of all this, a Christian can find only one genuine answer, a definitive answer: Christ on the cross, a God who suffers and dies, a God who gives us his heart opened by a lance for the love of us all. Our Lord abominates injustice and condemns those who commit it. But he respects the freedom of each individual. He permits injustice to happen because, as a result of original sin, it is part and parcel of the human condition. Yet his heart is full of love for men. Our suffering, our sadness, our anguish, our hunger and thirst for justice . . . he took all these tortures on himself by means of the cross. . ..
Suffering is part of God's plans. This is the truth; however difficult it may be for us to understand it. It was difficult for Jesus Christ the man to undergo his passion: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." In this tension of pleading and acceptance of the Father's will, Jesus goes calmly to his death, pardoning those who crucify him.
This supernatural acceptance of suffering was, precisely, the greatest of all conquests. By dying on the cross, Jesus overcame death. God brings life from death. The attitude of a child of God is not one of resignation to a possibly tragic fate; it is the sense of achievement of someone who has a foretaste of victory. In the name of this victorious love of Christ, we Christians should go out into the world to be sowers of peace and joy through everything we say and do. We have to fight-a fight of peace-against evil, against injustice, against sin. Thus, do we serve notice that the present condition of mankind is not definitive. Only the love of God, shown in the heart of Christ, will attain our glorious spiritual triumph.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1675, within the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi, our Lord appeared to her and said: "Behold this heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service."
The great promise of the Sacred Heart is most consoling: the grace of final perseverance and the joy of having Jesus' heart as our sure refuge and Infinite Ocean of mercy in our last hour.
All fool’s Day-One Fool makes a hundred: Farmer’s Almanac-
Note: The truth of this strikes home when you consider the impact of the news and social medias.
April Fools' Day is a light-hearted comedic day of cheer, practical jokes and hoaxes. April Fools' Day has been observed for centuries although its origins remain unclear. It has been suggested that in ancient Roman and Hindu cultures, the day originally marked ‘New Year’s Day’. Although in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued the Gregorian calendar which moved New Year’s Day from April 1st to January 1st. It is believed that those who continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st were referred to as fools, leading to the concept of April 1st representing All Fools’ Day. It has also been suggested that April Fools' Day is related to the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring, when Mother Nature plays sudden weather tricks on people. The custom of April Fools' was brought from Britain to the US centuries ago. Both kids and adults in North America and many European countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Finland, Iceland, and North American countries have developed traditional customs to celebrate the day. These typically include fooling another person and yelling April fools. Note: Today is the start of ASSyrian New Year.
Aids in Battle Know that God has punked the Devil
Hell, and the Devil have been pillaged, stripped of their ancient armor, robbed of their special power. And just as the giant Goliath had his head cut off with his own sword, so also has the Devil, the father of death, been put to rout through the death of Christ. He finds that the very same weapon he used to wield as the ready tool of his deceit has now become the mighty instrument of his own destruction. We might put it this way: The Devil went fishing and cast his line and hook to catch yet another man in death. But the Man he caught this time was Christ, whose divine nature was hidden within His human nature. For this reason, the martyrs leap upon the head of that dragon the Devil and look with disdain on every kind of torment. ST. GREGORY THAUMATURGUS
Fitness Friday-Sleeping Workout
Recognizing that God, the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength, mind, soul and heart.
Having trouble sleeping? Try some light catholic reading.
“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries.” This quote is by the famous philosopher Descartes. Although I am not a fan of everything Descartes has to say, I don’t think he’s too far off here. Reading a good book by a good author is indeed like having a conversation with them. By reading their book you’re looking into their mind, experiencing their world, and learning their wisdom. In my opinion there are no greater people to have “conversations” with through their writing than Catholic saints. Catholic saints have written some of the most beautiful literature which inspires, educates, encourages, and informs us how to live a holy and happy life. Here is a list of ten classic Catholic books which any and every Catholic should read at some point in their life.
*If you’re not much of a reader, or if you don’t have much free time to pick up a book, many of these classic Catholic books have audio book versions.
· The Imitation of Christ by St. Thomas a Kempis
· Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska
· Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross
· The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila
· The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
· An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
· City of God by St. Augustine
· Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas
· The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila
· The Confessions by St. Augustine
As you can tell, this list of great Catholic books by wonderful Catholic saints is in no particular order. These are just 10 of the many Catholic books written by wonderful saints who have so much timeless wisdom to share. Who wouldn’t want to have a conversation with any of these wonderful saints? What books would you add to this list of classic Catholic books? What does your favorite classic Catholic books list look like?
Catechism of the Catholic Church
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
CHAPTER TWO-GOD COMES TO MEET MAN
Article 2-THE TRANSMISSION OF DIVINE REVELATION
74 God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth": that is, of Christ Jesus. Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth:
God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Paone, Anthony J., S.J. My Daily Bread, Confraternity of the Precious Blood.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.