Today imagine that God came to you and said you can move back time for two hours for any moment in your life. What would you change? Think of that before going to confession.
Isaiah, Chapter 29, verse 13-14
13 The Lord said: Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, and FEAR of me has become mere precept of human teaching, 14 Therefore I will again deal with this people in surprising and wondrous fashion: The wisdom of the wise shall perish, the prudence of the prudent shall vanish.
This verse deals with spiritual blindness and perversity of the Israeli Leaders. The Israelis failed to apply the standards of God’s covenant in their military and political plans. They failed to pray and offer to God their concerns and because of their unbelief they merely made a show of their piety. They rejected the advice of their prophet’s.
Nothing ever changes. The key to living a life fearlessly is to have our hearts close to God’s. When we do this, we will soon discover that the mind is designed to implement your heart’s desire. Is your heart at peace?
What are the desires of your heart? What should the desires of our hearts be? The old Baltimore catechism states that our purpose and our desires should be to know, love and serve the Lord.
According to paragraph 1718 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it: We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated. How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God, I seek a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you. God alone satisfies.
When our desires are not on God, we become spiritually ill. Christ implemented the sacrament of reconciliation to heal our hearts.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis recently commented that without daily prayer, regular participation in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, daily contact with God’s Word, and a “spirituality translated into charity,” we may die spiritually.
Pope Francis went on to list 15 spiritual “sicknesses” that are “more usual” in “our life”.
The 15 include not being self-critical and thinking oneself indispensable, “Martha-ism” (excessive Martha-like busyness), hardheartedness, excessive planning, failing to work with others, “spiritual Alzheimer’s” (forgetting one’s spiritual journey), and rivalry and vainglory.
Other spiritual sicknesses, the Pope added, include existential “schizophrenia” (living a double life that is “often dissolute”), gossip, careerism and flattering superiors, indifference to others, a severe “funeral face” (rather than self-deprecating good humor), the “disease of closed circles,” and “worldly profit, exhibitionism” (through “calumniating, defaming, and discrediting others,” even in the media “in the name of justice and transparency”).
These temptations, he continued, are a danger to every Christian and every community.
First Saturday Devotion
The practice of the First Saturday devotion was requested by Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, multiple times starting in 1917. She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three children: “I shall come to ask . . . that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.” Years later she repeated her request to Sr. Lucia, the only one still living of the three young Fatima seers, while she was a postulant sister living in a convent in Spain: “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Conditions to Fulfill the First Saturday Devotion
There are five requirements to obtain this promise from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, one should:
1. Have the intention of consoling the Immaculate Heart in a spirit of reparation.
2. Go to confession (within eight days before or after the first Saturday).
3. Receive Holy Communion.
4. Say five decades of the Holy Rosary.
5. Meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the goal of keeping Our Lady company (for example, while in church or before an image or statue of Our Lady).
Why Five Saturdays?
Our Lord appeared to Sr. Lucia on May 29, 1930 and gave her the reason behind the five Saturdays devotion. It is because there are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
2. Blasphemies against Our Lady’s perpetual virginity
3. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize her as the Mother of men
4. Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of their Immaculate Mother
5. Offenses of those who outrage Our Lady directly in her holy images
Never think that Jesus is indifferent to whether or not His mother is honored!
Saturday after Ash Wednesday
EPISTLE. Isaias Iviii. 9-14.
THUS, saith the Lord God: If thou wilt take away the chain out of the midst of thee, and cease to stretch out the finger, and to speak that which is good for nothing. When thou shalt pour out thy soul to the hungry, and shalt satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise up in darkness, and thy darkness shall be as the noonday. And the Lord will give thee rest continually, and will fill thy soul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of water whose waters shall not fail. And the places that have been desolate for ages shall be built in thee: thou shalt raise up the foundations of generation and generation: and thou shalt be called the repairer of the fences, turning the paths into rest. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy own will in My holy day, and call the Sabbath delightful, and the holy of the Lord glorious, and glorify Him, while thou dost not thy own ways, and thy own will is not found, to speak a word : then shalt thou be delighted in the Lord, and I will lift thee up above the high places of the earth, and will feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father. For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
GOSPEL. Mark vi. 47-56.
At that time: When it was late, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and Jesus alone on the land. And seeing them laboring in rowing (for the wind was against them), and about the fourth watch of the night He cometh to them walking upon the sea, and He would have passed by them. But they seeing Him walking upon the sea, thought it was an apparition, and they cried out. For they all saw Him, and were troubled. And immediately He spoke with them, and said to them: Have a good heart, it is I, fear ye not. And He went up to them into the ship, and the wind ceased: and they were far more astonished within themselves: for they understood not concerning the loaves; for their heart was blinded. And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Genesareth, and set to the shore. And when they were gone out of the ship, immediately they knew Him: and running through that whole country, they began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard He was. And whithersoever He entered, into towns or into villages or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought Him that they might touch but the hem of His garment: and as many as touched Him were made whole.
May Thy faithful, O Lord, be confirmed by Thy gifts, that, receiving them, they may seek them, and seeking may receive them forever. Through Christ,
Doing Small Things Well
First, while it is true that fasting is not the most important thing in the world, this does not make fasting irrelevant or unimportant. There are, certainly, more urgent things to abstain from than food or drink, such as maliciousness, backbiting, grumbling, etc. But a person is mistaken to conclude that he therefore does not need to fast. He should not believe that he can ignore fasting and instead abstain in more important matters. Rather, fasting and avoiding those other vices go hand in hand. Fasting must accompany efforts to abstain in greater matters. For one thing, fasting teaches a person how to abstain in the first place.
Moreover, it is presumptuous for a person to try to practice the greater virtues without first paying attention to the smaller ones. As Our Lord says, "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much"1 and so can be trusted with greater things. Therefore, if a person wants to be able to abstain in greater matters he must not neglect to abstain in smaller matters, such as through fasting.
Finally, there is a subtle form of pride present in the person who says that because something is not very important, he does not need to do it. Whoever makes such a claim implies that he does only important things. But the average person is rarely called to do very important things. Accordingly, each person is more likely to be judged on how he did the little, everyday things. Even when, rarely, a person is called to do a great work, how often does he fall short? All the more reason, then, for a person to make sure that he at least does the small things well. Furthermore, if he truly loves the Lord, he will gladly do anything—big or small—for him. So, in the end, saying that fasting is not the most important thing is not a good excuse for avoiding it.
What, then, is the reason for fasting? To answer this let us first clarify what fasting entails. It involves more than the occasional fast, such as on Good Friday. To be effective, fasting requires disciplined eating habits all the time. There are certainly days when a person should make a greater effort at abstaining from food and drink. These are what we usually consider days of fasting and they must be practiced regularly. But, still, there are never days when a person is allowed to abandon all restraint. A person must always practice some restraint over his appetites, or those periodic days of fasting are valueless. Always keeping a check on his desires, a person develops good habits, which foster constancy in his interior life. So, in addition to practicing days of fasting on a regular basis, a person should continuously restrain his desires, such as those that incline him to eat too much, to be too concerned with what he eats, or to eat too often.
We might, then speak of the discipline of fasting in order to avoid the impression that fasting is sporadic. The operative principle behind the discipline of fasting is simple: to limit yourself to only what is necessary for your physical and psychological health—no more, no less. St. Augustine puts it concisely when he teaches: "As far as your health allows, keep your bodily appetites in check by fasting and abstinence from food and drink." So, fasting is meant only to keep a person's unnecessary wants in check. A person is not— nor is he permitted—to deny himself what is necessary for his health. The discipline of fasting instead asks a person to check his desires for what is superfluous and not necessary.
The First Seabees Naval Engineers
The name Seabees is derived from these first construction units, or construction battalions (CBS) as they were called. Officially, permission to use the name "Seabee" was granted on 5 March 1942. Each year March 5th is observed as the anniversary of the Seabees.
Because of the urgent need for these men, the first Seabees had no time for military training. They were given medical shots, handed equipment, and sent off to pick up where the civilian contractors left off. One month after the first units were organized, Seabees were at work constructing roads on Bora Bora, one of the Society Islands, thousands of miles out in the Pacific Ocean.
Throughout World War II the Seabees were without construction ratings as we know them now. They were given the most appropriate existing Regular Navy rating on the basis of their civilian vocation and experience; for example, an experienced steelworker or plumber who had achieved a position of responsibility-perhaps as a foreman or owner of a small business-was rated first class or chief Shipfitter. Seabees who held this and other ratings, such as Boatswain's Mate, Machinist's Mate, and Electrician's Mate, were easily distinguished from those who held corresponding shipboard ratings by the Seabee insignia shoulder patch. This now famous insignia consists of a flying bee-fighting mad-with a "white hat" on his head, a spitting "tommy gun" in his front hands, a wrench in his middle hand, and a carpenter's hammer in his rear hand.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
II. Transmit the faith: catechesis
The ministry of
catechesis draws ever new energies from councils. The Council of Trent
constitutes in this respect an example worth highlighting: it gave catechesis a
priority in its constitutions and decrees; from him was born the Roman
Catechism that also bears his name and that constitutes a work of the first
order as a summary of Christian doctrine; this Council gave rise to a
remarkable organization of catechesis in the Church; promoted, thanks to
holy bishops and theologians such as Saint Peter Canisius, Saint Charles
Borromeo, Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo, Saint Robert Bellarmine, the publication
of numerous catechisms
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 18