Monday in the First Week of Lent
SAINTS FILICITY AND PERPETUA-CLEAN MONDAY
You shall not insult the deaf, or
put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but you shall FEAR your God. I am the Lord.
like your Heavenly Father; God is not a bully. Christ was often confronted by
the bullies of his time. When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the
Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them [a scholar
of the law] tested him by asking, “Teacher,
which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love
the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your
mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The
second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The
whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Mt. 22:34-40)
modern world attempts to bully the faithful in abandoning their relationship
with the Lord. Saint Pope Pius X was a pope, who resisted the bullying of the
modern world by establishing an oath against modernism. The crux of this oath has five
profess that God is the origin and end of all things.
accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts
and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin
of the Christian religion.
believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of
the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ.
sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the
apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in
the same purport.
hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment
of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of
the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine
assent of the intellect to truth.
Salt of the Earth
Christ himself calls his true
followers the "salt of the earth." and the "light of the
world." These are titles of honor, surely, and of the greatest
distinction. Christ is putting his true follower on almost a level with himself.
He was the light of the world; he was the salt of the earth. He it was who gave
men the knowledge of the true nature of God, as shown by the Incarnation. He it
was who gave this life its flavor, who gave this life its meaning, its
preservation. By his death and resurrection, he took away the sting of death,
and removed its eternal corruption, by the guarantee and promise of a
resurrection to an eternal life. This every Christian knows, and this knowledge
every Christian helps to bring to those who are ignorant of it, if he lives his
life daily and sincerely. The Christian, who does this, is really another
Christ; he is continuing his work of salvation during his years on earth. He is
the salt, of the earth and the light of the world. How many of us, can truly
say that these honorable titles, which Christ gives to his followers, are given
to us? In true humility, we can all say that we are far from worthy of any such
honorable titles. Yet in all sincerity too, many if not the majority among us,
are doing their little bit of Christ's work, in cultivating their own small
comer of his vineyard. Those parents, who teach the Christian way of life to
their children by word, and especially by example, are spreading the Christian
faith. The workmen, whether in office or factory, which shows that they are Christians
by their honesty, charity for their fellowmen, their respect for God, and the
things of God, in their speech, are spreading their Christian faith. All those
who show moderation in their personal expenditures and donate some of their
savings to help their brothers, their fellow men who are in need, these are
true disciples of Christ and are cooperating with him in bringing God's
children back to their Father who is in heaven. Unlike the salt that has lost
its flavor, and the light that is kept under the bushel, the Christian who has
thus behaved can change his attitude, provided he is aided by God's grace which
is never refused. He can become once more what he ought to be--a life-preserver
for his neighbor. Life on earth is short. The demands of our Christian life may
not always be easy, but we know that if we live up to them, we are other Christs.
We are continuing his great work by our own good example to our neighbor, and
we are giving glory to God, and are earning for ourselves the eternal light of
from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
Monday in the First Week of Lent
EPISTLE. Ezech. xxxiv. 11-16.
saith the Lord God: Behold I Myself will seek My sheep and will visit them. As
the shepherd visiteth his flock in the day when he shall be in the midst of his
sheep that were scattered, so will I visit My sheep, and will deliver them out
of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
And I will bring them out from the peoples, and will gather them out of the
countries, and will bring them to their own land: and I will feed them in the
mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the habitations of the land. I
will feed them in the most fruitful pastures, and their pastures shall be in
the high mountains of Israel: there shall they rest on the green grass and be
fed in fat pastures upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed My sheep: and I
will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was
lost: and that which was driven away I will bring again: and I will bind up
that which was broken, and I will strengthen that which was weak, and that
which was fat and strong I will preserve: and I will feed them in judgment,
saith the Lord Almighty.
GOSPEL. Matt. xxv. 31-46.
time Jesus said to His disciples: When the Son of man
shall come in His majesty, and all the angels with Him, then shall He sit upon
the seat of His majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before Him,
and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the
sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the
goats on His left. Then shall the King say to them that shall be on His right
hand: Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me to eat I
was thirsty, and you gave Me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took Me in
naked, and you covered Me: sick, and you visited Me: I was in prison, and you
came to Me. Then shall the just answer Him, saying: Lord, when did we see Thee
hungry, and fed Thee; thirsty, and gave Thee drink? and when did we see Thee a
stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and covered Thee? or when did we see Thee
sick or in prison, and came to Thee? And the King answering, shall say to them:
Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these My least brethren, you
did it to Me. Then He shall say to them also that shall be on His left hand:
Depart from Me, yon cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the
devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave Me not to eat I was
thirsty, and you gave Me not to drink I was a stranger, and you took Me not in
naked, and you covered Me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit Me.
Then they also shall answer Him, saying: Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or
thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister
to Thee? Then He shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you
did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to Me. And these shall
go into everlasting punishment, but the just into life everlasting.
Convert us, O God, our salvation;
and, that the fast of Lent may benefit us, instruct our minds with heavenly
Read: Lent is a special time for those
preparing to be baptized through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
RCIA is a period of learning and discernment for those seeking to become
Reflect; Take time to reflect on your own
decision to become a member of the Church.
On February 22, 1931, Jesus appeared to Faustina as the King of Divine Mercy.
He asked her to have a picture painted of him as she saw him — clothed in
white, with red and white rays of light streaming from his heart. The rays
represent the blood and water that flowed from the side of Jesus on the cross.
Under the image are the words, "Jesus, I trust in you." Many people
did not believe Faustina at first. The sisters in her own convent thought that
Jesus could not possibly have selected her for this great favor. After all, she
was an uneducated peasant girl. Her superiors often refused to give her
permission to carry out Jesus' requests. Church theologians, too, doubted her
word. Jesus told Faustina that he loved her obedience and that his will would
be done in the end.
Pray: Keep the elect, candidates, and
their sponsors in your prayers this Lent.
Act: Download the CRS Rice Bowl App. . . today and try a new way of
tracking your Lenten journey, while also receiving daily reflections and
Preparing for Battle
Know Your Weapons
weapon of Sacred Scripture
time the Devil attacked with the temptation to doubt or disobey God, Jesus
quoted Scripture to throw him back.
is our sword against Satan!
must listen carefully to the scriptural readings in Mass and meditate on them
must read Scripture on our own.
must also memorize scriptural texts that we can use against temptation. Then,
when the Enemy assaults us, we can imitate Our Lord by the effective
counterassault of quoting the word of God.
Martyrdom of Felicity
Perpetua was twenty-two, well born, married and the mother of a tiny son still at her breast. Felicitas, an expectant mother, was a slave. They were among five catechumens whose arrest and imprisonment were meant as a warning to the other Christians in Carthage in the year 203. Tormented by her father who was a pagan and wanted her to apostatize, terrified by the darkness and stifling heat of the dungeon where they were imprisoned, Perpetua's greatest suffering nevertheless was for her baby who was with her.
Baptism, however, drove away her fears and with the coming of the Holy
Spirit she was at peace and the prison became to her as a palace; in visions
she learned the manner of their martyrdom and caught glimpses of what awaits
souls in the life after death. Among these was a vision of Purgatory where she
saw her little brother Dinocratus suffering.
Dinocratus had died when he was
only seven, painfully ulcerated about the face. Perpetua saw him "coming
out of a dark place where there were many others," dirtily clad, pale,
with the wound still on his face, and he was very hot and thirsty. Near him was
a fountain but its brim was higher than he could reach and, though he stood on
tiptoe, he could not drink. By this vision she knew he needed her prayers, and
she prayed for him night and day. On the day the Christians were put in stocks,
she had another vision and saw Dinocratus freed. This time he was clean and
finely clothed, on his face was a clean scar and beside him a low fountain
reaching only to his waist. On the edge of the fountain was a golden cup ever
full of water, and Dinocratus drank. "And when he had drunk, he came away
— pleased to play, as children will."
In the meantime, Felicitas was
worried for fear her baby would not
be born in time for her to die for Christ with her companions. There was a law
which forbade throwing even a Christian woman to the wild beasts if she was
with child. Three days before they were to go to the arena, they prayed God
would permit the birth of her child, and as soon as their prayers were done,
her labor began. She gave birth to a little girl who was afterward adopted by
At last, the scene of their
martyrdom and in its Perpetua and Felicity were told to put on the garments of
pagan priestesses, the two refused and so were stripped naked, covered with
nets, and sent to face assault by a maddened cow said to have been used in
insult to their womanhood and their maternity. Strangely enough the audience —
screaming for blood though it was — yet was touched by the sight of these two
so young and so valiant, and the people shuddered.
Perpetua and Felicitas were called
back and clothed in loose robes. Now Perpetua was thrown, her garment rent, and
her thigh gored. Regaining her feet, she gathered her tunic over her thigh so
in suffering she would not appear immodest and looking about found her fallen
hair ornament and repinned her hair least one soon to be a martyr seem to
grieve in her glory. Looking for Felicitas, she gave assistance to her and
standing together they awaited another attack. But the mob cried,
"Enough," and the two were led off to the headsman's block. Catching
sight of her brother, Perpetua cried out: "Stand fast in the faith and
love one another; and do not let our sufferings be a stumbling block to
you." Felicitas was struck down first then Perpetua — but only after the
nervous swordsman had struck her once and failed to sever her head. The second
time she guided his sword with her own hands. So brave, and so full of love;
perhaps if she were dying now, she would exhort us to be brave and full of love
in slightly different words. Perhaps she would cry out, "Stand fast in the
faith and love one another; and do not let our color be a stumbling block to
you." Perpetua was white, and Felicitas was black.
Clean Monday-Traditional time for going to confession
Monday, also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday,
is the first day of Great Lent
in the Eastern Orthodox Christian,
Saint Thomas Christians
of India and Eastern Catholic
churches. It is a moveable feast
that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.
The common term for this day, "Clean Monday", refers to the leaving
behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods. It is sometimes called
"Ash Monday", by analogy with Ash Wednesday
(the day when the Western Churches begin Lent). The term is often a misnomer,
as only a small subset of Eastern Catholic Churches practices the Imposition of
Ashes. The Maronite Catholic Church
and The Mar Thoma Nasranis of India-Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
are notable amongst the Eastern rite that employs the use of ashes on this day.
Liturgically, Clean Monday—and thus Lent itself—begins on the preceding
(Sunday) night, at a special service called Forgiveness Vespers, which culminates with the
Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness, at which all present will bow down before one
another and ask forgiveness. In this way, the faithful begin Lent with a clean
conscience, with forgiveness, and with renewed Christian love. The entire first
week of Great Lent is often referred to as "Clean Week", and it is
customary to go to Confession during this week,
and to clean the house
thoroughly. The theme of Clean Monday is set by the Old Testament
reading appointed to be read at the Sixth Hour (noon) on this day
which says, in part:
Wash yourselves and ye shall be
clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before Mine eyes; cease to do
evil; learn to do well. Seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the
fatherless, and plead for the widow. Come then, and let us reason together,
saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow;
and though they be red like crimson, I will make them white as wool (vv.
Monday is a public holiday in Greece
and Cyprus, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish
and other fasting food, a special
kind of azyme
bread, baked only on that day, named "lagana" (Greek:
and the widespread custom of flying kites.
Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Orthodox
Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days,
but shellfish is permitted in European denominations. This has created the
tradition of eating elaborate dishes based on seafood (shellfish, molluscs,
fish roe etc.). Traditionally, it is considered to mark the beginning of the spring season,
a notion which was used symbolically in Ivan Bunin's
critically acclaimed story, Pure Monday. The happy, springtime atmosphere of
Clean Monday may seem at odds with the Lenten spirit of repentance and
self-control, but this seeming contradiction is a marked aspect of the Orthodox
approach to fasting, in accordance with the Gospel
lesson (Matthew 6:14–21)
read on the morning before, which admonishes:
ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure
their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They
have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy
face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in
secret... (v. 16–18).
this manner, the Orthodox celebrate the fact that "The springtime of the
Fast has dawned, the flower of repentance has begun to open..."
Catechism of the Catholic Church
11. The purpose of this catechism is to
present an organic and synthetic exposition of the essential and fundamental
contents of Catholic doctrine, both on faith and on morals, in the light of the
Second Vatican Council and of the Tradition of the Church as a whole. Its
main sources are Sacred Scripture, the Holy Fathers, the Liturgy and the
Magisterium of the Church. It is intended to serve "as a point of
reference for the catechisms or compendiums that are composed in the various
countries" (Synod of Bishops 1985, Relacion final II, B, a, 4).
to St. Joseph Day 20
Monday: Litany of Humility
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual
Warfare. TAN Books.