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Tuesday In the Second Week of Lent

St. Longinus-Napping Day-Ides of march 

Isaiah, Chapter 43, verse 5

FEAR not, for I am with you; from the east I will bring back your offspring, from the west I will gather you.

 

This chapter of Isaiah is about the redemption and restoration of Israel which appears to have been fulfilled in the creation of the State of Israel. Yet in a deeper sense it includes us Catholic and Christians. As we celebrate this day let us also contemplate the deep love and sacrifice our God made to get us here and remember He is with us. 

Reverence for the Tabernacle[1] 

So, let us worship God in His tabernacle for His goodness, truth and beauty. When we talk about the tabernacle of the Lord, we are talking about the Bless Sacrament where Jesus is really present—body, blood, soul and divinity. Yet, there is another tabernacle which we do not recognize easily. That is our very bodies and those of others when we receive the Eucharist. We need to acknowledge Christ is in others just as we genuflect before the tabernacle. He must be worshipped! According to Church law, the tabernacle, which keeps the consecrated Eucharistic hosts, should be “immoveable, made of solid or opaque material, locked so that the danger of profanation may be entirely avoided.” We also as a tabernacle should be immoveable in our faith, give others solid support and lock our hearts from the love of the world. We should, apart from making our regular attendance at Mass, drop by the church and make a short “visit” to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The visit needn’t be long, just a few minutes to greet Jesus and offer a silent prayer.

 

Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent[2]

Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that Thy family, who, afflicting their flesh, abstain from food, by following justice may fast from sin.

EPISTLE. Daniel ix. 15-19.

In those days Daniel prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, Who hast brought forth Thy people out of the land of Egypt with a strong hand, and hast made Thee a name as at this day: we have sinned, we have committed iniquity, Lord, against all Thy justice: let Thy wrath and Thy indignation be turned away, I beseech Thee, from Thy city Jerusalem, and from Thy holy mountain. For by reason of our sins, and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem, and Thy people are a reproach to all that are round about us. Now, therefore, O our God, hear the supplication of Thy servant, and his prayers: and show Thy face upon Thy sanctuary which is desolate, for Thy own sake. Incline, O my God, Thy ear and hear: open Thy eyes, and see our desolation, and the city upon which Thy name is called: for it is not for our justifications that we present our prayers before Thy face, but for the multitude of Thy tender mercies. O Lord hear: O Lord, be appeased: hearken and do: delay not for Thy own sake, O my God: because Thy name is invoked upon Thy city, and upon Thy people.

GOSPEL. John viii. 21-29.

At that time Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews: I go, and you shall seek Me, and you shall die in your sin. Whither I go, you cannot come. The Jews therefore said: Will He kill Himself, because He said: Whither I go, you cannot come? And He said to them: You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore, I said to you, that you shall die in your sins. For if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sin. They said therefore to Him: Who art Thou? Jesus said to them: The beginning, Who also speak unto you. Many things I have to speak and to judge of you. But He that sent Me is true: and the things I have heard of Him, these same I speak in the world. And they understood not that He called God His Father. Jesus therefore said to them: When you shall have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as the Father hath taught Me, these things I speak: and He that sent Me is with Me, and He hath not left Me alone: for I do always the things that please Him.

St. Longinus[3]

St. Longinus was the Roman centurion who pierced the side of Christ with a lance. He is said to have converted to Christianity after experiencing the darkness after Christ's death.

St. Luke tells us that the centurion "gave praise to God", and exclaimed, "Truly this was an upright man." (Luke 23:47)

What was believed to be the Holy Lance of Longinus, was given to Innocent VIII in 1492.

Things to Do:

·       Read more about the statue of St. Longinus at St. Peter's Basilica.

·       Read the Life of Saint Longinus from the Golden Legend.

Napping Day[4]

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap. Barbara Jordan`

You got up early and got a great start to the day, you’ve been trucking along being a productive adult, getting your work completed and attending the meetings you have to attend. Throughout it all you’ve been a trooper, you even made it through lunch without much trouble. But now it’s creeping into the late afternoon, and you’re just out of go. What do you do? You take a nap! Napping Day encourages you to remember these benefits of youth and take a little time out of the day for you! Napping Day’s history is simply the history of napping, and it used to be something we all did in the middle of the afternoon. In fact, the siesta is still a time-honored tradition in Spain that happens right after the afternoon meal and has been a practice since time out of mind. In fact, if you’re in the Mediterranean, it’s pretty much standard everywhere you go. In Italy they call it the riposo, pisolini, and even old Charlamagne (yes that Charlamagne) has been recorded as having taken 2-3-hour naps in the middle of the afternoon. So, is it just laziness? Well, no. You see in part it’s because the hottest hours of the day occur in the middle of the afternoon, and it makes sense to take a brief break at that point. It also has to do with the circadian rhythms and the change-over point between the wake cycle and sleep cycle, there’s a time that’s essentially perfect for a nap. There are even notable benefits to taking a nap in the afternoon, including evidence pointing to a 37% reduction in occurrences of coronary mortality in those who take an afternoon nap regularly.

How to Celebrate Napping Day zzzzzzzzzzzz

·       Well, the way to celebrate Napping Day is pretty simple isn’t it? You just take a little time in the afternoon (whenever your afternoon is, some of us are day sleepers) to rest. After the afternoon meal is perfect, and in the long run it can help you actually feel better and more energized for the day ahead. It may be tricky if you have a regular work schedule, but whenever you can… Take a nap!

Ides of March

In modern times, the Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. Caesar was stabbed to death at a meeting of the Senate. As many as 60 conspirators, led by Brutus and Cassius, were involved.[5]

Caesar could garner so much power, but in the end, he was assassinated. No matter how powerful a person or corporation may be, there will be an end to their reign and their influence. By way of contrast, the Lord is the everlasting God. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who has the power of an endless life. Remembering the frailty and fallenness of all men is a crucial part of gaining wisdom. Solomon captured this so well when he wrote “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10) but “the fear of man is a snare” (29:25). Remembering the fact that no matter how powerful a position a man or woman may hold, God “holds their breath in His hands and owns all their ways” (Dan. 5:23) and that “death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart” (Eccl. 7:2).[6]

Preparing for Battle[7] Keeping the Enemy Out of Your Camp

Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to save you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy.  DEUTERONOMY 23: 14. This principle of spiritual warfare must be emphasized: Don’t invite the Enemy into your camp. Look out for Trojan Horses, poisonous reptiles and be prepared to fight.

·       Trojan Horses. Sin is always wrapped in attractive packages. The simple pleasure of satisfying curiosity could be a Pandora’s Box. Stay away from all things of the occult, such as Ouija boards and fortunetelling; séances, channeling, and other forms of necromancy (attempts to contact the dead); substance abuse; sexual sin; and abortion. Seeking the attractive “gift” of pleasure, power, secret knowledge, or (in the case of abortion) even escape from responsibility. In addition, forgiveness is crucial to deliverance from the Evil One, because a bitter heart gives him a foothold in our lives. “Take heed lest anyone be lacking in the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it, many be defiled” (Heb 12: 15). Those especially who have suffered a grave injustice must seek the grace to let go of the offense and pray for the offender, so that resentment doesn’t ferment into malicious bitterness. If we’re ever tempted to invite the Enemy into our “camp” in any of these ways, we must recognize the Adversary’s deception and reject his offer firmly and immediately.

·       “Poisonous Reptiles” are the “little” sins that find their way into our hearts. We may ignore them or think them of no consequence as we try to stand guard over the carefully constructed fortifications of our spiritual life. To resist the temptations of ordinary demonic activity, we must guard our thoughts closely and reject immediately any thought that leads to sin. We must also carefully examine our thoughts to seek out assumptions or conclusions that may be false and contrary to faith, so that they lead us astray. Above all, we must engage in a frequent examination of conscience and then go regularly to Confession.

The Devil Will Use Covid-19 (or Putin/Joe Biden)

Fears to Get to You…

Here’s How You Can Beat Him![8]

The world will never be the same again after the Covid-19 pandemic finally ends (whenever that may be!).

Every generation faces at least one mega-crisis that forever changes the way the world operates. In my lifetime so far, it had been the events on 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. Each of these events shocked us and had global ramifications we are still dealing with today.

From what we have seen to date, the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic will have lasting effects. We just have to wait and see how they unfold.

In the meanwhile, let’s try to live in the present. And by the present, I don’t mean what’s the latest with the Covid-19 pandemic, I mean, you: “How are you doing today?”

Unfortunately, for most of us, our answer to that question will in some way relate to the coronavirus pandemic. There is a tremendous weight of fear and anxiety that has overwhelmed many of us. Some of it is legitimate – we are after all rightly concerned for our loved ones and ourselves because we simply don’t know what tomorrow may bring. Some of our distress is also fueled by the news media and social media, currently flooded with coronavirus-related news and information.

But we need to ask ourselves:

What is the state of our relationship with God amid all the Covid-19 stuff that’s going on?

Have I allowed the devil to maximize my sense of fear and hopelessness?

Do I remember that this is still the season of Lent?

Lent is a season of purification. During this time, we adopt penitential practices to rid ourselves of unhealthy attachments and strive to grow closer to God, in preparation for the great feast of Easter that marks the resurrection of Christ and the triumph of Jesus over sin and death.

This year, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a unique set of challenges in all our lives, making for a unique Lenten experience. With all the current craziness, there will be a temptation to give up some of our Lenten penitential practices. Whether or not we do so, will depend on individual circumstances and responsibilities. 

For instance, if you committed to spending an hour in Eucharistic Adoration every day, you probably had to stop doing that as your church has likely been closed by now. Moreover, if you now have kids at home with classes having been canceled, you may need to make yourself more available to them. Similarly, if you pledged to skip a meal regularly during Lent, that may not be the most prudent thing to continue doing right now, at a time when it is essential to keep our bodies and immune systems strong to minimize any risk of infection – both for our own sake, but also for the sake of those around us. On the other hand, if you planned to limit your use of TV or social media this Lent, there may not be a sufficient reason to give up that penance just yet.

Either way, never forget that the devil is subtle, cunning, powerful, and very smart. He will try every tactic he has to distract us from God during this ongoing pandemic, especially to try to make us forget the significance of observing the Lenten season in anticipation of the glory of Easter. He will especially play on the pandemic-related fears and worries already on our minds to meet this objective.

Here are three ways to beat the devil and continue to stay true to the season of Lent during these difficult times:

Faith: Through the virtue of faith, we believe in God and all that he has said to us. The saints stand as giants of faith that we can strive to imitate during this time. If you’re stuck at home these days, read the life of any saint (online or through a book) and you will see what I mean. It is abundantly clear how their faith kept them strong in the most challenging of situations. 

If we are living in undue fear right now, then we are not living in faith. Our faith starts with us trusting God in prayer and surrendering ourselves completely to him. If we trust that we have a father in heaven who knows our needs, before we even ask for them (Matthew 6:8), then we can trust that God will be with us during this tumultuous time and see us through it – even if the particular trials in our lives become especially burdensome. 

Hope: Hope keeps us from discouragement and is the quality by which we anchor our souls in Christ. We should certainly be prudent and careful during this time. After all, there is a real possibility of catching the virus that is going around. But we should also place our hope in our all-powerful God. 

Throughout history, there have been countless natural and man-made disasters, but God has never forsaken his people. As the psalmist tells us:

“God is our refuge and our strength,

an ever-present help in distress.

Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken

and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.”

(Psalm 46:2-3)

In addition, never forget that we are not made for this world – we are made for heaven. And while we should certainly live in the hope of a better tomorrow in this world, we should also pray for a greater outpouring of the virtue of hope in our lives, so that we may even more ardently desire to one day enjoy the kingdom of heaven and eternal life.

Love: Among countless lessons that Jesus taught us through his Cross, two are particularly of value during this pandemic. The first is that Jesus showed us that love is expressed in action. There are people all around us right now who are alone or who may need help in various ways. Love them in action. This may involve helping your elderly neighbor get groceries. Or it may require you to give your spouse a night off as he/she deals with the new reality of working from home (including possibly a home filled with screaming kids). It may also be a good idea to reflect on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy to see how else you can love others in action.

The second lesson I wish to highlight from the Cross is its sacrificial dimension. Jesus showed us his love through sacrifice – dying to himself – by dying on the Cross. Everyone’s nerves are a bit frayed as we continue to grapple with the unknowns and ever-changing situations related to this current pandemic. Seize every opportunity you get to make sacrifices – big or small – for someone else in these days. 

Love is at the heart of the Christian faith and in these difficult times, we can witness to our faith in the way we love God and those around us. The greatest benefit of acting through the virtue of love is that the fruits of love are joy, peace and mercy (CCC 1829) – all of which are much-needed right now.

Living our lives rooted in faith, hope and love, especially during this pandemic, will root us more deeply in God, not just for the Lenten season, but for beyond it too. We don’t know how this pandemic will unfold and how it will continue to affect us. But we know God. We can trust and hope in God.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation. whom shall, I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life.

of whom shall I be afraid?”

(Psalm 27:1)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

V. Practical indications for the use of this Catechism

19 Frequently, the texts of Sacred Scripture are not quoted literally, but only indicating the reference (by means of cf.). For a deeper understanding of these passages, it is necessary to turn to the texts themselves. These biblical references are a working tool for catechesis. 

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: The Families of St. Joseph Porters

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·       54 Day Rosary for Priest’s and Religious Day 24



·       Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·       Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 28



·       Manhood of the Master-week 4 day 3



·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Nine Choirs of Angels Devotion

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan



[1] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 38. Reverence for the Tabernacle.

[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2021-03-15

[7]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

[8]https://catholic-link.org/the-devil-will-use-covid-19-fears-to-get-to-you/

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