Thursday After Ash Wednesday
that day the Egyptians shall be like women, trembling with FEAR, because
of the Lord of hosts shaking his fist at them.
To shake your fist at someone is a way of showing a person you are angry with them. Sometimes God permits the stubbornly evil and impenitent to suffer the inevitable destructive effects upon their bodies and souls that their sinfulness has triggered. We may see these often as giants in our life. What are the giants in your life? Murder, arrogance, envy, blasphemy, malice, deceit, adultery, theft, greed, extravagance, lust, and recklessness all comes from within. These giants are not out there; there in here; in the heart. The hearts fears make giants. Love is the cure. Love endures Love hopes. Love does small tasks. Love is like a water drop that outlasts the mountain, wearing it away. Love stands defiant before the giants in your life. In and through love we come to discover the giants in our life were shadows all along.
Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s light shining somewhere nearby. (Ruth Renkle)
Live each day as if it were your last. Death brings an end to all, and man’s life suddenly passes away like a fleeting shadow.
Lord, for those in mortal sin, death is the gateway to hell, but for those in sanctifying grace, it is the pathway to Heaven. Let my greatest desire in life be to live in such a way that I can die fearlessly at any moment. Let me fear sin more than death or any other earthly harm. Amen.
Yet, if we insist on going our own way, following the "I did it my way" philosophy (made famous in Frank Sinatra's hit song!), then God's anger means that He will respect the freedom He gave to us, and say to us, in effect: "OK, do it your way, if you insist. I will not compel you to turn away from your sins and be sanctified. But if you do decide to 'do it your way,' you will have to experience the rotten fruits — the self-destructive effects — of the path you have chosen, both in this life and the life to come."
For those cruel and cold-hearted souls who remain stubbornly impenitent and who resist God's grace to the end of their lives, God's anger takes the form of the "eternal punishment" of sinners, which simply means that He allows them to turn their backs on Him and live forever in their self-chosen exile from the light of His countenance. That is why the catechism defines "hell" as essentially "a state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed".
As Father Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, explained in the book Pillars of Fire in My Soul: The Spirituality of St. Faustina (Marian Press, 2003): God is totally opposed to all evil, and sends His lightning bolts to oppose it (so to speak), yet we cling by our sins to the lightning rod of evil, and then complain that He is a God of wrath! Clearly, God does not want us to suffer His wrath and indignation. As Jesus said, to St. Faustina, (Diary entry 1588) "I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice." Another time He said to her (entry 1728) that when sinful souls "bring all My graces to naught, I begin to be angry with them, leaving them alone and giving them what they want." Thanks be to God, that His mercy is so much greater than our sins! We do not need to be afraid at all, for as He said to St. Faustina (entry 1485): "Do not be afraid of your Savior, O sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to come to Me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish His graces on you. ... My Mercy is greater than your sins, and those of the entire world."
Thursday After Ash Wednesday
EPISTLE. Isaias xxxviii. 1-6
IN those days Ezechias was sick even to death, and the prophet Isaias, the son of Amos, came unto him, and said to him: Thus, saith the Lord: Take order with thy house, for thou shalt die and not live. And Ezechias turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, and said I beseech Thee, O Lord, remember how I have walked before Thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight. And Ezechias wept with great weeping. And the word of the Lord came to Isaias, saying: Go and say to Ezechias: Thus, saith the Lord the God of David thy father: I have heard thy prayer, and I have seen thy tears: behold I will add to thy days fifteen years: and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of the Assyrians, and I will protect it, saith the Lord Almighty.
Matt. viii. 5-13.
At that time: When Jesus had entered into Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion, making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doth it. And Jesus, hearing this, marveled, and said to them that followed Him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the East and the West, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion, Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.
O God, Who by sin art offended, and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people, making supplications to Thee, and turn away the scourges of Thy anger, which we deserve for our sins.
Prayer for Help against Spiritual Enemies
Glorious Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly hosts, who stands always ready to give assistance to the people of God, who fought with the dragon, the old serpent, and cast him out of heaven, and now valiantly defends the Church of God that the gates of hell may never prevail against her, I earnestly entreat you to assist me also, in the painful and dangerous conflict which I sustain against the same formidable foe. Be with me, O mighty Prince! That I may courageously fight and vanquish that proud spirit, whom you, by the Divine Power, gloriously overthrew, and whom our powerful King, Jesus Christ, has, in our nature, completely overcome; so having triumphed over the enemy of my salvation, I may with you and the holy angels, praise the clemency of God who, having refused mercy to the rebellious angels after their fall, has granted repentance and forgiveness to fallen man. Amen.
Meditation of The Sacred Heart for the Eve of the First Friday
AMONG those who make profession of piety, but few know Jesus Christ and the treasures of His mercy; for this cause they give themselves up imperfectly to His love. Nothing can be more pleasing to the loving heart of Jesus than the childlike and unlimited confidence which we testify towards Him. It is related in the life of St. Gertrude that one day, as she reflected on the extraordinary graces which she had received, she asked herself how the revelations with which she had been favored could be made known to mankind with the greatest profit to their souls. Our Lord vouchsafed her this reply:
It would be good for men to know, and never to forget, that I, their God and Savior, am always present in their behalf before My heavenly Father. This should never be forgotten, that when through human frailty their hearts incline to sin I offer for them my merciful heart; and when they offend God by their works, I present to Him My pierced hands and feet in order to appease the anger of divine justice.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, says the great Apostle, is the mediator between God and man. He is now ascended into heaven in order to aid our prayers by His powerful mediation. Fail not, says the devout Blosius, to offer your good works and pious exercises to the most sweet heart of Jesus, in order that He may purify and perfect them; for His heart, so full of tenderness, takes delight in so divine a work. He is always ready to perfect in you whatever He sees imperfect or defective. Confidence is a key to the heart of Jesus. What may we not obtain from our fellow-creatures by the confidence we place in them? How much more, then, will it not obtain from God? How marvelous will be its effects if united with an absolute dependence on Him!
Thus, when animated by faith, Peter walked on the waters as on dry land; but from the moment that fear entered his mind the waters lost their sustaining power, and his compassionate Master, extending His hand, said to him,
“O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?”
On another occasion also the tempest threatened to ingulf the apostles; but Jesus said to them, having commanded the winds and the sea:
Where is your faith? why are you fearful? have you, then, no faith?
In order to inspire us with a more lively confidence Our Lord Jesus Christ vouchsafed Himself to teach us the prayer which we address to God; so that our heavenly Father, touched by the words of His own Son, might refuse us nothing which we ask in His name; for this He would have us call Him by the sweet name of Father. But as this is not enough, in order to dispel all our diffidence, He carries His condescension even so far as to promise by a solemn oath to be always ready to listen to us.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever ye shall ask I will do.
Timid souls, He would say, I swear to you by Myself, Who am the Way and the eternal Truth; by Myself, Who hate falsehood, and Who will punish perjury with eternal damnation; by Myself, Who can no more lie or deceive than I can cease to be that which I am, I swear promises, to you that I will grant what you ask of Me. These are Thy O my God, says St. Augustine; and who can fear being deceived when he relies on the promises made by uncreated Truth? When an upright man pledges you his word, you would believe that you erred if you showed after this any doubt or fear but if we receive the testimony of man, says St. John, the testimony of God, is it not greater? Our divine Savior holds Himself so honored by this confidence that in a thousand passages in the Gospel He attributes more to the miraculous efficacy of prayer than to His own mercy. Not saying to those who have recourse to Him, it is My goodness and My power; but It is thy faith, thy confidence, which has saved thee. Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to St. Gertrude that he who prayed to Him with confidence was sure to obtain his request that He could not do otherwise than listen to his prayers. Whatever may be the grace you request, says Our Lord, be sure of obtaining it, and it will be granted you. This it is which St. John Climachus expresses in a like manner when he says, every prayer offered up with confidence exercises over the heart of God a kind of violence, but a violence which is sweet and pleasing to Him. St. Bernard compares the divine mercy to an abundant spring, and our confidence to the vessel which we make use of in order to draw these saving waters. The larger the vessel the greater the abundance of the grace we shall bring away. Moreover, this is conformable to the prayer of the psalmist, who sues for mercy in proportion to His confidence: Let Thy mercy be upon us, O Lord, according to the hopes we have placed in Thee. God has declared that He will protect and save all those who put their trust in Him. Let them be glad, then, exclaims David; let all those rejoice who hope in Thee, O my God; for they shall be happy for all eternity, and Thou wilt never cease to dwell in them. He elsewhere says, He who places his trust in the Lord shall dwell under the protection of the God of heaven. Yes, Lord, says St. Bernard, it is hope alone which opens to us the treasure of Thy mercies. The efficacy of prayer, says St. Thomas, is drawn from faith which believes in the promises of God, and confidence in the holy promises which He has made to us. We see, in short, in the sacred writings that the Son of God seems to take the faith of those who address themselves to Him as the rule for the help and the graces which He grants them, not only doing what they wish, but in the manner in which they ask it. Grace is attached to confidence; it is a kind of axiom that he who puts his trust in God shall never be confounded. And the wise man defies a contrary example to be cited amongst all the nations of the world. Our souls should be filled with consolations, says St. Ambrose, when we remember that the graces which God grants us are always more abundant than those which we ask; also, that the fulfilment of His promises always exceeds our hopes, as says Ecclesiastes. Let us have, then, a firm confidence, as St. Paul recommends us, since the Lord has promised to protect whosoever hopes in Him; and when obstacles present themselves which seem very difficult to overcome let us say with the Apostle, I can do all things in Him Who strengtheneth me. Who, indeed, was ever lost after having placed his trust in God? But we need not always seek a sensible confidence it will suffice if we earnestly desire it, for true confidence is an utter dependence on God, because He is good, and wishes to help us; because He is powerful, and able to help us; because He is faithful and has promised to help us.
Example. The venerable Mary of the Incarnation relates that it was revealed to her on a certain occasion that the Eternal Father was insensible to her prayer. She sought to know the cause, and an interior voice said to her: Petition Me through the heart of My Son, through which I will hear thee. Address yourselves to the heart of Jesus, the ocean of love and mercy, and He will obtain for you, pious soul, and also for all poor sinners, the most signal graces. Sometime before her death St. Mechtilde earnestly asked of Our Lord an important grace in behalf of a person who had asked her to pray for her. Seized with fear at the sight of the terrible judgments with which the justice of God would visit this soul, she was weeping bitterly, when Our Lord addressed to her these consoling words,
my daughter, teach the person for whom you pray that she must seek all she desires through My heart. There is no heart so hard as not to be softened by the heart of Jesus, nor any soul so disfigured by the leprosy of sin that His love cannot purify, console, and heal.
Thursdays are Sacred
Thursdays are next to Sundays the holiest day of the week. Pope John Paul knew this when he created the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. It was also on Thursday that our Lord instituted the Mass and last celebrated with the apostles. In a week also our Lord Ascended into heaven to intercede for us with the Father. It would be a pious practice to make Thursdays a little special by being in the Lord’s presence and celebrate Mass.
Irish Whiskey Day
Irish Whiskey Day was created by international whiskey writer Stuart McNamara. Although Stuart writes about whiskey (sometimes spelled “whisky”) from all over the world, his Irish upbringing means that he has a special love and respect for Irish Whiskey in particular. This led to him becoming the editor of IrishWhiskey.Com, the Irish Whiskey Trail and the Dublin Whiskey Trail.
Stuart became concerned at the way that Irish Whiskey was being marketed outside Ireland by irresponsible marketers as a shots type drink. It bothered him that people partook of the precious drink without any recognition of the amazing degree of science, art, history, heritage, nature and culture which is the backbone of every single glass of Irish Whiskey or Uisce Beatha in Irish Gaelic.
Of particular worry to Stuart was the lack of respect for Irish Whiskey outside of Ireland on that most Irish of days that occurs each year – St Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated on the 17th of March.
So, Stuart created the special day and the very first International Irish Whiskey Day was celebrated more than ten years ago. And the date chosen was particularly significant in relation to many factors.
History of International Irish Whiskey Day
The numeral 3 has always been of special importance in Ireland, for a variety of reasons. The symbol of Ireland (the Shamrock) has three leaves. The Irish flag contains three colors (green, white and orange). And there are three types of Irish Whiskey – Single Malt, Single Grain and the uniquely Irish Single Pot Still.
In keeping with the lucky number 3, Irish Whiskey is also unique in that by tradition, it is triple distilled. Plus, this spirit must be matured for 3 years in order to be considered “whiskey”, adding to the fortuitous nature of the number three.
And so, the 3rd of March or 3/3 became the obvious choice of date for our annual Irish Whiskey Day. It also is exactly two weeks to the day before St Patrick’s Day which is always on 17 March, making it a perfect time to raise awareness.
How to Celebrate International Irish Whiskey Day
Sure, this day is a great time to raise a dram, but there’s much more to it than just drinking! More options for celebrating this momentous day include:
Join an Online or Live Event
Today, Irish Pubs and Whiskey Clubs located all over the world host global online and in-person Irish Whiskey tastings, lectures, talks, visits and other fun and educational Irish Whiskey activities each year on March 3rd.
The idea of these events is to educate and inform their patrons and members from all over the world on the wonder and joy of Irish Whiskey, just in time to share their newfound Irish Whiskey knowledge and appreciation with their own friends two weeks later on 17 March St. Patrick’s Day.
In fact, any Pub, Restaurant or Irish Whiskey friendly venue can create a free event and map listing for their March 3rd Irish Whiskey Day Event, no matter where in the world they are located.
Irish Whiskey Tasting Party
Grab a few friends with discerning tastes (five to seven is perfect) and invite them to an Irish Whiskey tasting.
Provide 4-5 varieties of Irish whiskey. Choose from:
- Tullamore D.E.W. Original
- Jameson Irish Whiskey
- Bushmills Original
- Redbreast 15 year
- Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey
- Knappogue Castle Single Malt 16 Year
It will be necessary to have enough tulip-shaped tasting glasses for each guest to try each type of whiskey. Have a friend bring some along or borrow from a neighbor if there might not be enough on hand.
Make sure there’s enough room temperature bottled water on hand to dilute the drinks as well as for people to drink between tastings. Also provide a few snacks as a palate cleanser, such as oatcakes or crackers.
Make sure each guest has a notepad so they can keep track of their findings when tasting. Aficionados will know to use the terms Nose, Taste and Finish. People who are newer to whiskey tasting can simply write down what they think.
Irish Whiskey in Entertainment
While Scotch whiskey shows up in many films, Irish Whiskey may be just a bit more discerning. Still, for the person who is paying attention, Irish spirits can often be found making Cameo appearances in various films and shows, which are perfect for watching when celebrating International Irish Whiskey Day, such as:
- Mad Men, American drama series (2007-2015). Jameson Irish Whiskey makes an appearance with Don Draper (played by John Hamm), set in the 1960s.
- Kill the Irishman, a 2011 biographical crime film. Bushmills Irish Whiskey is shown passing through the lips of the main character, Danny Greene (played by Ray Stevenson), a few times throughout the film.
- Out of Africa, an epic romantic film (1985). Jameson Irish Whiskey makes a cameo appearance in this film depicting the 1937 autobiographical novel of the same name, by Isak Dinesen.
- Blown Away, a 1994 action thriller where Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones are shown tipping back a few drams of Bushmills Irish Whiskey.
growing online audience each year, International Irish Whiskey Day is playing
it’s own small part in building a sustainable lifelong tribe of new Irish
Whiskey drinkers and aficionados. Join in the celebration!
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 16
 Paone, Anthony J., S.J. My Daily Bread, Confraternity of the Precious Blood.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896