Tuesday First Week of Lent
Isaiah, chapter 35, verse 3-4
Strengthen hands that are feeble, make firm knees that are weak, 4 Say to the FEARFUL
of heart: Be strong, do not FEAR! Here is your God, he comes with
vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you.
Remember to prepare. Isaiah in this chapter is proclaiming the deliverance of Israel specifically but upon examining the wording in this verse it is referring to the day of our death. On that day our hands will be feeble, but our hearts must remain strong. Will you be vindicated and what recompense will be due you? Honestly few will be due recompense, but our Lords love is such that he wishes to save us at this final hour with the sacrament which was formerly called the “Last Rites”.
1524 In addition to the Anointing of the Sick, the Church offers those who are about to leave this life the Eucharist as viaticum. Communion in the body and blood of Christ, received at this moment of "passing over" to the Father, has a particular significance and importance. It is the seed of eternal life and the power of resurrection, according to the words of the Lord: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." The sacrament of Christ once dead and now risen, the Eucharist is here the sacrament of passing over from death to life, from this world to the Father.
1525 Thus, just as the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist form a unity called "the sacraments of Christian initiation," so too it can be said that Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and the Eucharist as viaticum constitute at the end of Christian life "the sacraments that prepare for our heavenly homeland" or the sacraments that complete the earthly pilgrimage.
Such is the Love of our Lord that we should be delivered. His love is such that by receiving our Lord in the viaticum he delivers us to the Father saying here is blood of my blood and He transfers His recompense; His vindication to us. There is no greater love then this!
The Last Blessing
Let us pray. Most gracious God, Father of mercies and God of all consolation, Thou wish none to perish that believes and hopes in Thee, according to Thy many mercies look down favorably upon Thy servant (handmaid) N.____ whom true faith and Christian hope commend to Thee. Visit him (her) in Thy saving mercy, and by the passion and death of Thy only begotten Son, graciously grant to him (her) forgiveness and pardon of all his (her) sins that his (her) soul in the hour of its leaving the earth may find Thee as a Judge appeased, and being washed from all stain in the Blood of Thy same Son may deserve to pass to everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost…to labor and not to ask for reward, except to know that I am doing your will. (Saint Ignatius, Prayer for Generosity)
Lord, let me not fear death with an empty fear, but with a wise and holy fear. An empty fear does not make men any better, but a wise and holy fear urges them to improve their lives. I will prepare for death by trying today to please you more and more in my thoughts, desires, words and actions. If I live this day as You desire, I shall be ready at any moment, and death will be nothing worse than Your loving call. Amen
EPISTLE. Isaias Iv. 6-11.
IN those days Isaias the prophet spoke, saying: Seek ye the Lord while He may be found call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God: for He is bountiful to forgive. For My thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are My ways exalted above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts. And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My word be, which shall go forth from My mouth : it shall not return to Me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it, saith the Lord Almighty.
GOSPEL. Matt. xxi. 10-17.
At that time: When Jesus was come into Jerusalem, the whole city was moved, saying: Who is this? And the people said: This is Jesus the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves: and He saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves. And there came to Him the blind, and the lame in the temple; and He healed them. And the chief priests and scribes seeing the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying: Hosanna to the son of David; were moved with indignation, and said to Him: Hearest Thou what these say? And Jesus said to them: Yea, have you never read: Out of the mouth of infants and of suckling’s Thou hast perfected praise? And leaving them, He went out of the city into Bethania, and remained there.
Prayer. Look down upon Thy family, O Lord, and grant that our minds, which are
afflicted by the mortifications of the flesh, may shine in Thy light with the
desire of Thee.
Read: Lent is a time many often rededicate themselves to prayer. Check out these 9 ways to pray. . . from USCCB’s We Are Salt and Light for ideas on how to expand your prayer life this season.
Reflect: “Lent is to be lived as a time of conversion, as a time of renewal for individuals and communities, by drawing close to God and by trustfully adhering to the Gospel. In this way, it also allows us to look with new eyes at our brothers and sisters and their needs." (Pope Francis, General Audience, March 5, 2014)
Pray: Try one of the 9 ways to pray from the article that you have never tried before.
Act: If you found you liked one of the 9 ways to pray from above to be helpful to you, share your experience with a loved one.
Preparing for Battle
Know Your Battle
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. EPHESIANS 6: 10– 13
The ordinary activity of demons is subtle and occurs within our thought life. They plant ideas within our minds seeking to influence our reason, memory, and imagination— and ultimately, our will. They use various methods to tempt us.
- First, the demons tempt through deception. (The Devil is the father of lies)
- Second, demons tempt through accusation.
- Third, the Devil tempts us through doubt as he seeks to diminish our faith. (Don’t hesitate in faith)
- Fourth, demons tempt us through enticement. (Don’t take the bait)
- Finally, demons can tempt us through provocation. (Don’t give into vexations)
We should always remember that not all temptations come directly from Satan and his minions. Many of them arise simply from our own weakness and the habits of sin we have developed.
The practice of fasting that pleases God and goes further than going without food. God does not delight in our denying ourselves but in us turning eyes from ourselves to others and begin to loosen the chains that bind others. God is calling us to live from His values and ethics not ours. Fasting is good in that it redirects our focus and helps us to bring the body back under the control of the mind and spirit, but we must not fast while continuing to harbor destructive thoughts, assumptions and attitudes. Consider what God expects from the “Fasted life.”
1. Liberate the oppressed.
2. Share with the needy
3. Shelter the homeless
4. Clothe the naked
5. Stop judging and accusing others
The Practices of a Committed Catholic Man
What practices can help us to take up our cross and follow our King?
If we think of soldiers who do not remain in strong physical and mental shape and who fail to practice the essential combat arts, we know they will not be ready for battle and will be a danger to themselves and their comrades in arms. The same is true for Catholic men; those who do not prepare and strengthen themselves for spiritual combat are incapable of filling the breach for Christ.
While there are many habits and devotions that a Catholic man can form, Bishop Olmstead chargesyou with keeping these seven basic practices* on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. If these practices are not (yet) part of your life, start now!
1. Pray every day. Each Catholic man must start his day with prayer. It is said, “Until you realize that prayer is the most important thing in life, you will never have time for prayer.” Without prayer, a man is like a soldier who lacks food, water, and ammunition. Set aside some time to speak with God first thing each morning. Pray the three prayers essential to the Catholic faith: The Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. Pray also at every meal. Before food or drink touches your lips, make the Sign of the Cross, say the “Bless us, O Lord” prayer, and end with the Sign of the Cross. Do this no matter where you are, with whom or how much you are eating. Never be shy or ashamed about praying over meals. Never deny Christ the gratitude that is due to Him. Praying as a Catholic man before every meal is a simple but powerful way to keep strong and fill the breach.
2. Examine your conscience before going to sleep. Take a few moments to review the day, including both your blessings and sins. Give God thanks for blessings and ask forgiveness for sins. Say an Act of Contrition.
3. Go to Mass. Despite the fact that attending weekly Mass is a Precept of the Church, only about one in three Catholic men attend Sunday Mass. For large numbers of Catholic men, their neglect to attend Mass is a grave sin, a sin that puts them in mortal danger. The Mass is a refuge in the Spiritual Battle, where Catholic men meet their King, hear His commands, and become strengthened with the Bread of Life. Every Mass is a miracle where Jesus Christ is fully present, a miracle that is the high point not only of the week, but of our entire lives on Earth. In the Mass, a man gives thanks to God for his many blessings and hears Christ send him again into the world to build the Kingdom of God. Fathers who lead their children to Mass are helping in a very real way to ensure their eternal salvation.
4. Read the Bible. As St. Jerome so clearly tells us, “Ignorance of the Sacred Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” When we read God’s word, Jesus is present. Married men read with your wife and your children. If a man’s children see him read the Scriptures, they are more likely to remain in the Faith. My brothers in Christ, this I can assure you: men who read the Bible grow in grace, wisdom, and peace.
5. Keep the Sabbath. From the creation of Adam and Eve, God the Father established a weekly cycle ending with the Sabbath. He gave us the Sabbath to ensure that one day out of seven we will give thanks to God, rest, and be refreshed. In the Ten Commandments, God asserts anew the importance of keeping the Sabbath. With today’s constant barrage of buying and selling and the cacophony of noisy media, the Sabbath is God’s respite from the storm. As Catholic men, you must begin, or deepen, keeping the holiness of the Sabbath. If you are married, you must lead your wives and children to do the same. Dedicate the day to rest and true recreation and avoid work that is not necessary. Spend time with family, attend Mass, and enjoy the gift of the day.
6. Go to Confession. At the very start of Christ’s public ministry, Jesus calls on all men to repent. Without repentance from sin, there can be no healing or forgiveness, and there will be no Heaven. Large numbers of Catholic men are in grave mortal danger, particularly given the epidemic levels of pornography consumption and the sin of masturbation. My brothers get to Confession now! Our Lord Jesus Christ is a merciful King who will forgive those who humbly confess their sins. He will not forgive those who refuse. Open your soul to the gift of our Lord’s mercy!
In the beginning God asks Adam, where are you? Adam had sinned and so he hid from God? After Cain killed Able God asked him, “Where is your brother? Yet again according to catholic tradition Saint Peter was fleeing from crucifixion in Rome at the hands of the government, and along the road outside the city he meets the risen Jesus and this time it is Peter who asks the question in Latin "Quo vadis?" “Where are you going?” to which Jesus replies, "Romam eo iterum crucifigi" ("I am going to Rome to be crucified again"). Peter thereby gains the courage to continue his ministry and returns to the city, to eventually be martyred by being crucified upside-down.
fraternity with other Catholic men. Catholic friendship among men has a
dramatic impact on their faith lives. Men who have bonds of brotherhood with
other Catholic men pray more, go to Mass and Confession more frequently, read
the Scriptures more often, and are more active in the Faith. Proverbs tells us:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (27:17). I call on each of
our priests and deacons to draw men together in their parishes and to begin to
rebuild a vibrant and transforming Catholic fraternity. I call on laymen to
form small fellowship groups for mutual support and growth in the faith. There
is no friendship like having a friend in Christ.
Aids in Battle The Word of God useful for our warfare with evil
These biblical passages provide aids in warfare for those who will ponder and act upon the truths they teach us. Recite them as battle cries in the heat of the conflict. Call on Jesus Christ, our Champion when the battle is fierce, turn your eyes to our victorious commander and place your confidence in Him.
· To this end the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the Devil. 1 Jn 3: 8
· Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
· That at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.
· Disarming the Principalities and Powers, He displayed them openly, leading them away in triumph by force of [the Cross]. Col 2: 15
· Now has come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God.
International Women’s Day celebrates women’s achievements throughout the world. Its purpose is to promote women’s equality, encourage support for repressed women and promote appreciation toward women everywhere. Many organizations, including the United Nations, use this day to also celebrate extraordinary achievements of ordinary women. International Women's Day was initially promoted by the Socialist Party of America. In 1909, it designated this day in remembrance of a major strike by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union. The holiday is now recognized internationally and is an Official National Holiday for many countries, including: China, Russia and Ukraine. It is observed annually on March 8th.
Day Facts & Quotes
· On the eve of World War I, women across Europe and Russia celebrated the holiday by protesting the war and campaigning for peace.
· On this day, the US Dept. of State and the First Lady award the International Women of Courage Awards. Ten women are given the award - who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk
· There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable. - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Organize a sporting event for women. Numerous studies have shown many benefits for women that play sports. A recent study by the EY Women Athletes Business Network even found that women that play sports were more likely to excel in business.
· If you're a woman, try learning a task that is typically done by men. Such a chore may be: changing the oil on your car, computer programming, mowing the lawn, painting, and any home improvement project.
· If you’re a man, show appreciation by performing a chore for your special lady that is typically done by her. This may include cooking, cleaning, childcare or anything that the special woman in your life does.
a movie that portrays strong empowered women. Our favorites: Bend
It Like Beckham
(1998), Erin Brockovich (2000), The Help (2011), A
League of Their Own
(1998), My Fair Lady
(1964), Norma Rae
The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine "genius" which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness. -John Paul II, Apostolic Letter
Catechism of the Catholic Church
III. Purpose and recipients of this Catechism
12 This catechism is intended primarily for those responsible for catechesis: in the first place for Bishops, as doctors of the faith and pastors of the Church. It is offered to them as an instrument for carrying out their task of teaching the People of God. Through the Bishops, he addresses the editors of catechisms, priests and catechists. It will also be useful reading for all other faithful Christians.
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
· Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 21
 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.
 Maxwell, John. The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
*Let us be faithful to these practices as Naaman was faithful to wash himself seven times in the Jordan to cleanse himself of leprosy at the instruction of the prophet Elias.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 28. Confession.
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.