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Holy Saturday

SAINT BERNADETTE-full pink moon 

Isaiah, Chapter 12, Verse 2-4
2God indeed is my salvation; I am confident and UNAFRAID. For the LORD is my strength and my might, and he has been my salvation. 3With joy you will draw water from the fountains of salvation, 4And you will say on that day: give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name; Among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. 

Indeed, the birth of Christ is the beginning of the salvation of his people, when on Christmas morning the virgin gave him birth and he is born the angels proclaim His victory over death.  Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us. He has torn down the barricades of hell and overthrown the power of Satan. Today our Savior has shattered the bars and burst the gates of death. 

Holy Saturday[1]

Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord's rest; it has been called the "Second Sabbath" after creation. The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function. Christ lies in the grave; the Church sits near and mourns. After the great battle He is resting in peace, but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering...The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible...Jesus' enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander.

Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, while the Church must mournfully admit that too many of her children return home from Calvary cold and hard of heart. When Mother Church reflects upon all of this, it seems as if the wounds of her dearly Beloved were again beginning to bleed.

According to tradition, the entire body of the Church is represented in Mary: she is the "credentium collectio universa" (Congregation for Divine Worship, Lettera circolare sulla preparazione e celebrazione delle feste pasquali, 73). Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord's tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of his resurrection.

The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church: while the body of her Son lays in the tomb and his soul has descended to the dead to announce liberation from the shadow of darkness to his ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

Although we are still in mourning, there is much preparation during this day to prepare for Easter. Out of the kitchen comes the smells of Easter pastries and bread, the lamb or hams and of course, the Easter eggs.

There are no liturgies celebrated this day, unless the local parish priest blesses the food baskets. In Slavic countries there is a blessing of the traditional Easter foods, prepared in baskets: eggs, ham, lamb and sausages, butter and cheeses, horseradish and salt and the Easter breads. The Easter blessings of food owe their origin to the fact that these particular foods, namely, fleshmeat and milk products, including eggs, were forbidden in the Middle Ages during the Lenten fast and abstinence. When the feast of Easter brought the rigorous fast to an end, and these foods were again allowed at table, the people showed their joy and gratitude by first taking the food to church for a blessing. Moreover, they hoped that the Church's blessing on such edibles would prove a remedy for whatever harmful effects the body might have suffered from the long period of self-denial. Today the Easter blessings of food are still held in many churches in the United States, especially in Slavic parishes.

If there is no blessing for the Easter foods in the parish, the father of the family can pray the Blessing over the Easter foods.

It is during the night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday that the Easter Vigil is celebrated. The service begins around ten o'clock, in order that the solemn vigil Mass may start at midnight.

Activities

·       Today we remember Christ in the tomb. It is not Easter yet, so it's not time for celebration. The day is usually spent working on the final preparations for the biggest feast of the Church year. The list of suggested activities is long, but highlights are decorating Easter eggs and attending a special Easter food blessing.

·       For families with smaller children, you could create a miniature Easter garden, with a tomb. The figure of the risen Christ will be placed in the garden on Easter morning.

·       Another activity for families is creation of a paschal candle to use at home.

·       The Directory on Popular Piety discusses some of the various devotions related to Easter, including the Blessing of the Family Table, Annual Blessing of Family Home, the Via Lucis and the Visit to the Mother of the Risen Christ.

Holy Saturday Vigil [2] We should have during the morning and afternoon, a mournful remembrance of our Lord in the tomb.

 

Prayer. GOD! Who makest this most sacred night illustrious by the glory of the resurrection of Our Lord, preserve in the new offspring of Thy family the spirit of adoption which Thou hast given them; that, being renewed in body and soul, they may serve Thee with purity of heart. 

EPISTLE. Colons, iii. 1-4. 

Brethren: If you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God: mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ shall appear, Who is your life, then you also shall appear with Him in glory. 

GOSPEL. Matt, xxviii. 1-7. 

In the end of the Sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulcher. And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven: and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow. And for fear of him the guards were struck with terror and became as dead men. And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you: for I know that you seek Jesus Who was crucified. He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. And going quickly, tell ye His disciples that He is risen and behold He will go before you into Galilee: there you shall see Him. Lo, I have foretold it to you. 

Why is this day called Holy Saturday? 

Because Jesus Christ, the Holy of holies, on this day rested in the grave, and because on this day the new fire and the baptismal water are blessed. 

What is the new fire? 

It is the fire caught from the sparks of a flint, and then blessed by the priest, from which afterwards the candles and lamps in the church are lighted. 

Why is this done, and what does it signify? 

 The fire is first caught from a flint to indicate that Christ, the light of the world, though rejected by the Jews, is the real corner-stone, and, though seemingly extinguished in the grave, arose gloriously and sheds the beams of His blessed light on the world. 

What is signified by the three candles, or triple candlestick? 

The Most Holy Trinity, one in the divine nature, but three in person. 

Why are all the candles of the church lighted from the triple candle? 

To signify that all enlightening comes from the Most Holy Trinity. 

What does the paschal or Easter candle signify? 

It represents Jesus Christ, Who died, but rose again, and now lives forever, the light of the world, giving light to all, and delivering us from the darkness of sin. The wax signifies His body, the wick His soul, the light His divinity. The five holes in the Easter candle, in the form of a cross, represent the five holy wounds which Christ retains for our consolation. The five grains of incense inserted therein signify the spices used in embalming the corpse of Our Savior. 

What is the signification of the ceremonies used in blessing the baptismal water? 

They signify the different effects of Baptism. 

Why does the priest pour out the baptismal water towards each of the four quarters of the globe? 

To indicate that as the four streams went forth from paradise to water the earth, so also, according to the command of Christ, shall the stream of grace, through holy Baptism, flow to all parts of the world for the washing away of sin. 

What does it mean when the priest breathes three times upon the water? 

The breathing upon the water denotes the communication of the Holy Ghost. 

What does it mean when the priest dips the Easter candle thrice into the baptismal water? 

The immersion and withdrawal of the candle from the water denote that it is sanctified by Christ to be a means through which the baptized are drawn out of the abyss of sin. 

What is the meaning of the mixing of the holy oils with the consecrated water? 

The holy oils are mixed with the consecrated water partly to indicate the union of Christ with His people, and partly also to denote that the grace of the Holy Ghost, of which the holy oil and chrism are figures, together with faith, hope, and charity, is infused into the heart of the catechumen.

 

·       ~No Christian should forget to-day to revisit the holy sepulcher, to thank Jesus for His passion and death, and to venerate the sorrowful Mother Mary.

 

Holy Water[3] 

We begin in water; our human form in the amniotic sac, “bag of waters”, in the womb. In the order of nature birth begins when a mothers “water breaks.” So, with water we begin our visits to church and we dip a hand into the holy water font and bless ourselves. When the world was lost to sin and needed cleansing and rebirth, God sent a great flood, and from the flood the family of Noah found new life. When Israel emerged from slavery as a unified nation, it first had to pass through the waters of the Red Sea. Though babies had always been born through “water,” now grown men and women could be “born of water and the Holy Spirit.” The Church Fathers taught that Jesus, by descending into the waters of the River Jordan, had sanctified the waters of the world, He made them living and life-giving, He made them a source of supernatural regeneration, refreshment and cleansing. St. Teresa of Avila wrote that “there is nothing the devils flee from more—without returning—than holy water.”

 

Priesthood[4]

 

In the bible a priest is a father—and even more of a father than our own earthly father. In the Old Testament the history of the priesthood had two periods: the patriarchal and the Levitical. The patriarchal was based on the family order that place authority down from father to first born son in the form of a “blessing” and the leadership of the building of altars and for the presenting of sacrifice for the family. Fathers are empowered as priests by nature. Fatherhood is the original basis of priesthood. The firstborn is the father’s heir apparent, the one groomed to succeed one day to paternal authority and priesthood within the family. Imagine the blow to the Egyptian with the last plague which killed the firstborn. The pattern continued into the Exodus. There God declared to Moses, “Israel is my firstborn son”—that is, among the many peoples of the earth, Israel was God’s heir and his priest. God in His mercy made all heirs through Christ and with Christ came a restoration of the natural priesthood of fathers and the establishment of a fatherly order of New Covenant Priests. To Christ, we are “the children God has given me”, the “Many sons”, “his bretheren”, the new “seed of Abraham” who together form God’s “family/household” which Jesus builds and rules as a son. As all Christians are identified with Christ, the Church becomes the “assembly of the firstborn.” (Heb. 2, 3, 12) In the truest sense priests are so much more than managers, they are fathers. True fatherhood involves the communication of life. Natural fathers communicate human life but in the sacraments of baptism and Eucharist, a priest communicates divine life and the divine humanity of Jesus Christ. Every Priest therefore requires our respect in spite of their weaknesses or sins and we should pray for them. This is why our Holy Father asks us to pray for him.

St. Bernadette[5]

Marie Bernarde ('Bernadette') Soubirous was the eldest child of an impoverished miller. At the age of fourteen she was ailing and undersized, sensitive and of pleasant disposition but accounted backward and slow. Between 11 February and 16 July 1858, in a shallow cave on the bank of the river Gave, she had a series of remarkable experiences. On eighteen occasions she saw a very young and beautiful lady, who made various requests and communications to her, pointing out a forgotten spring of water and enjoining prayer and penitence. The lady eventually identified herself as the Virgin Mary, under the title of 'the Immaculate Conception'. Some of these happenings took place in the presence of many people, but no one besides Bernadette claimed to see or hear 'the Lady', and there was no disorder or emotional extravagance. After the appearances ceased, however, there was an epidemic of false visionaries and morbid religiosity in the district, which increased the reserved attitude of the church authorities towards Bernadette's experiences. For some years she suffered greatly from the suspicious disbelief of some and the tactless enthusiasm and insensitive attentions of others; these trials she bore with impressive patience and dignity. In 1866 she was admitted to the convent of the Sisters of Charity at Nevers. Here she was more sheltered from trying publicity, but not from the 'stuffiness' of the convent superiors nor from the tightening grip of asthma. 'I am getting on with my job,' she would say. 'What is that?' someone asked. 'Being ill,' was the reply. Thus, she lived out her self-effacing life, dying at the age of thirty-five. The events of 1858 resulted in Lourdes becoming one of the greatest pilgrim shrines in the history of Christendom. But St Bernadette took no part in these developments; nor was it for her visions that she was canonized, but for the humble simplicity and religious trustingness that characterized her whole life.

Patron: Bodily ills; illness; Lourdes, France; people ridiculed for their piety; poverty; shepherdesses; shepherds; sick people; sickness

Divine Mercy Novena[6]Day 2

Second Day - Today Bring Me the Souls of Priests and Religious.

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy, and that all who see us may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father turn Your merciful gaze upon the company [of chosen souls] in Your vineyard - upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation, and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

Novena for the Poor Souls[7]

O Mother most merciful, pray for the souls in Purgatory!

PRAYER OF ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT O Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory and for sinners everywhere— for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and for those within my family. Amen.

PRAYER FOR THE DYING O Most Merciful Jesus, lover of souls, I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother, to wash in Thy Most Precious Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony and who will die today. Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the dying! Amen.

ON EVERY DAY OF THE NOVENA V. O Lord, hear my prayer, R. And let my cry come unto Thee. O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired, Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

SATURDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sacred side of Thy divine Son Jesus in the presence of and to the great sorrow of His most holy Mother, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and among them all, especially that soul which has been most devout to this noble Lady, that it may come quickly into Thy glory, there to praise Thee in her, and her in Thee, through all the ages. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART ONE:

THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION ONE

"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"

CHAPTER THREE 

MAN'S RESPONSE TO GOD 

Article 1 

I BELIEVE

III. The Characteristics of Faith

Faith is a grace

153 When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come "from flesh and blood", but from "my Father who is in heaven". Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. "Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and 'makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.'"

Faith is a human act

154 Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act. Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths he has revealed is contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason. Even in human relations it is not contrary to our dignity to believe what other persons tell us about themselves and their intentions, or to trust their promises (for example, when a man and a woman marry) to share a communion of life with one another. If this is so, still less is it contrary to our dignity to "yield by faith the full submission of... intellect and will to God who reveals", and to share in an interior communion with him.

155 In faith, the human intellect and will co-operate with divine grace: "Believing is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace."

Faith and understanding

156 What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe "because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived". So "that the submission of our faith might nevertheless be in accordance with reason, God willed that external proofs of his Revelation should be joined to the internal helps of the Holy Spirit." Thus the miracles of Christ and the saints, prophecies, the Church's growth and holiness, and her fruitfulness and stability "are the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to the intelligence of all"; they are "motives of credibility" (motiva credibilitatis), which show that the assent of faith is "by no means a blind impulse of the mind".

157 Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie. To be sure, revealed truths can seem obscure to human reason and experience, but "the certainty that the divine light gives is greater than that which the light of natural reason gives." "Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt."

158 "Faith seeks understanding": it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love. the grace of faith opens "the eyes of your hearts" to a lively understanding of the contents of Revelation: that is, of the totality of God's plan and the mysteries of faith, of their connection with each other and with Christ, the centre of the revealed mystery. "The same Holy Spirit constantly perfects faith by his gifts, so that Revelation may be more and more profoundly understood." In the words of St. Augustine, "I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe."

159 Faith and science: "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth." "Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. the humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."

The freedom of faith

160 To be human, "man's response to God by faith must be free, and... therefore nobody is to be forced to embrace the faith against his will. the act of faith is of its very nature a free act." "God calls men to serve him in spirit and in truth. Consequently, they are bound to him in conscience, but not coerced. . . This fact received its fullest manifestation in Christ Jesus." Indeed, Christ invited people to faith and conversion, but never coerced them. "For he bore witness to the truth but refused to use force to impose it on those who spoke against it. His kingdom... grows by the love with which Christ, lifted up on the cross, draws men to himself."

The necessity of faith

161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. "Since "without faith it is impossible to please (God) " and to attain to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life 'But he who endures to the end.'"]

Perseverance in faith

162 Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: "Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith." To live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; it must be "working through charity," abounding in hope, and rooted in the faith of the Church.

Faith - the beginning of eternal life

163 Faith makes us taste in advance the light of the beatific vision, the goal of our journey here below. Then we shall see God "face to face", "as he is". So faith is already the beginning of eternal life:


When we contemplate the blessings of faith even now, as if gazing at a reflection in a mirror, it is as if we already possessed the wonderful things which our faith assures us, we shall one day enjoy.

164 Now, however, "we walk by faith, not by sight"; we perceive God as "in a mirror, dimly" and only "in part". Even though enlightened by him in whom it believes, faith is often lived in darkness and can be put to the test. the world we live in often seems very far from the one promised us by faith. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice and death, seem to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation against it.

165 It is then we must turn to the witnesses of faith: to Abraham, who "in hope... believed against hope"; to the Virgin Mary, who, in "her pilgrimage of faith", walked into the "night of faith" in sharing the darkness of her son's suffering and death; and to so many others: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith."

Full Pink Moon

 

According to the almanac today we are having a Full Pink Moon; plan to spend some with the women in your life and develop a true friendship. 

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: For the Poor and Suffering



·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Manhood of the Master-week 8 day 7

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       30Days with St. Joseph Day 29



·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Nineveh 90-Day 2




[1]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2020-04-11

[2] Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896.

[3] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 1. Holy Water.

[4] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 21. Priesthood.

[6]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=1032

[7]Schouppe S.J., Rev. Fr. F. X.. Purgatory Explained



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