Fifth Sunday of Lent-Passiontide
Your own wickedness chastises you; your own infidelities punish you. Know then, and see, how evil and bitter is your forsaking the LORD, your God, and you’re showing no FEAR of me, oracle of the Lord, the GOD of hosts.
Fear begets fear and Faith begets faith.
Do not fear and continue in faith with our fathers knowing that St. Michael, the archangel, is the guardian angel and protector of the Catholic Church. Some people believe we are on the cusp of the end times. Pope Leo XIII by divine enlightenment was revealed the struggles of the Church against the powers of hell and it was opened to him that hell would be conquered by the intervention of God led by St. Michael the warrior angel. Pope Leo instituted the prayer of St. Michael after Mass.
Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who prowl throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen
Yet, do not fear the end times or the devil and his cohorts for each time you receive communion you are empowered more then they!
Napoleon Hill uses an imaginary conversation with the devil in his manuscript “Outwitting the devil” to enlighten us on the tactics that he uses to enslave us to sin:
Q. Tell me of the most common habits by which you control the minds of people.
A. That is one of my cleverest tricks: I enter the minds of people through thoughts which they believe to be their own. Those most useful to me are fear, superstition, avarice, greed, lust, revenge, anger, vanity, and plain laziness. Through one or more of these I can enter any mind, at any age, but I get my best results when I take charge of a mind while it is young, before its owner has learned how to close any of these nine doors. Then I can set up habits which keep the doors ajar forever.
Examination of Conscience (Daily)
We should along with our morning offering to God and reception of the sacraments of confession and Holy Communion do some daily accounting if we are going to make improvements. We should try to see ourselves and ask God to help us see our day as He sees it by examining our conscience. Spiritual writers usually divide the daily examination into two parts general and particular. The general exam is an overall review of the day and should be done in the evening and the particular exam is done throughout the day on how we are doing in those areas where our rebellion is the greatest or in acquiring a certain virtue. The general examination is a weapon of defense. The particular exam is of attack. The first is the shield. The second is the sword (St. Josemaria Escriva). Most people make their general exam near bedtime (This should cure any sleeping problems). Some people make their particular exam at noon so they can redouble efforts for the rest of the day. In the evening when we do the general exam we should consider the whole day both the big things and the little. I always ask our Lord, what Have I done NOT SO well today; and listen? Next comes the question, “Lord, what have I done well? Finally, I ask, Lord, what are your concerns? One aspiration we should have in our arsenal that we can use at the end is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” One thing not to do is give up. Ask Him for help. Gaining a virtue or losing a habit of sin might take time; but we will WIN.
ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY
The Day of the Risen Lord
and of the Gift
of the Holy Spirit
The day of rest
67. Through Sunday rest, daily concerns and tasks can find their proper perspective: the material things about which we worry give way to spiritual values; in a moment of encounter and less pressured exchange, we see the true face of the people with whom we live. Even the beauties of nature — too often marred by the desire to exploit, which turns against man himself — can be rediscovered and enjoyed to the full. As the day on which man is at peace with God, with himself and with others, Sunday becomes a moment when people can look anew upon the wonders of nature, allowing themselves to be caught up in that marvellous and mysterious harmony which, in the words of Saint Ambrose, weds the many elements of the cosmos in a "bond of communion and peace" by "an inviolable law of concord and love". Men and women then come to a deeper sense, as the Apostle says, that "everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer" (1 Tim 4:4-5). If after six days of work — reduced in fact to five for many people — people look for time to relax and to pay more attention to other aspects of their lives, this corresponds to an authentic need which is in full harmony with the vision of the Gospel message. Believers are therefore called to satisfy this need in a way consistent with the manifestation of their personal and community faith, as expressed in the celebration and sanctification of the Lord's Day.
Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy. In any case, they are obliged in conscience to arrange their Sunday rest in a way which allows them to take part in the Eucharist, refraining from work and activities which are incompatible with the sanctification of the Lord's Day, with its characteristic joy and necessary rest for spirit and body.
Fifth Sunday of Lent-First Passion Sunday
The focus of Passiontide is to meditate on the Jews' growing hatred of Christ recorded in the Gospel and makes plain His imminent death.
FROM this day, called Passion Sunday, until Easter the Church--gives herself up entirely to meditation on the passion of Jesus. Today the crucifixes are covered, in remembrance that from this time until His entrance into Jerusalem Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews. From to-day the Glory Be to the Father is omitted in the Mass, because in the person of Jesus Christ the Most Holy Trinity was dishonored. As on this day the high priests held council about Our Lord, the Church says, at the Introit of the Mass, in the name of the suffering Jesus, the words of the psalmist: Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy; deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man, for Thou art God, my strength. Send forth Thy light and Thy truth, they have conducted me and brought me unto Thy holy hill, and into Thy tabernacles (Ps. xlii. 1-3).
Prayer. We beseech Thee, Almighty God, mercifully look upon Thy family, that by Thy bounty it may be governed in body, and by Thy preservation be kept in mind.
EPISTLE. Heb. ix. 11-15.
Brethren: Christ, being come a high priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation: neither by the blood of goats, nor of calves, but by His own blood, entered once into the holies, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and of oxen, and the ashes of a heifer being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleansing of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, Who by the Holy Ghost offered Himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?
And therefore, He is the mediator of the New Testament: that by means of His death, for the redemption of those transgressions, which were under the former testament, they that are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Explanation. St. Paul here teaches that Jesus Christ has given full satisfaction for the sins of men and opened to all the entrance into the sanctuary. The Church proposes this epistle to us in order that we may thank God for the great mercy of the redemption, love and praise Him, and be encouraged to share in His sufferings by fasting, prayer, and penitential works.
Aspiration. Give us Thy grace, O meekest Jesus, that by true sorrow for our sins, and by the practice of good works, we may become partakers of Thy bitter sufferings, and obtain the promised in heritance of eternal life. Amen.
GOSPEL. John viii. 46-59.
At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: Which of you shall convince Me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe Me?
He that is of God heareth the words of God. Therefore, you hear them not because you are not of God. The Jews therefore answered, and said to Him: Do not we say well that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
Jesus answered: I have not a devil: but I honor My Father, and you have dishonored Me. But I seek not My own glory: there is One that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you: if any man keep My word, he shall not see death forever. The Jews therefore said: Now we know that Thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and Thou sayest: If any man keep My word, he shall not taste death forever. Art Thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost Thou make Thyself?
Jesus answered: If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. It is My Father that glorifieth Me, of Whom you say that He is your God. And you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I shall say that I know Him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know Him, and do keep His word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day. He saw it, and was glad. The Jews therefore said to Him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?
Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. They took up stones therefore to cast at Him. But Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.
Explanation. When Our Savior said: He that is of God heareth God’s words, He meant to point out to the Jews the cause of their stubborn unbelief. He that is of God hears and loves that which is Godlike. When, therefore, we gladly hear the word of God and strive to do what we have heard, we testify that we are the children of God. Instead of reflecting on Our Savior’s words the Jews poured out their offended pride and abuse, and called Him a Samaritan, and one having a devil. The same thing happens to-day. Instead of listening to the truth; the proud man answers with calumny and contempt. Our Savior hid Himself from the Jews to teach us to forgive and avoid our enemies rather than to oppose them and take revenge on them.
Ponder: Have we advanced any since Christ’s time? Reflect on our news, social media, and politics. Do they speak the truth-or say Truth! What is truth.
Consolation under Insults
O friend, what insult can be given to you which your Savior has not suffered?
He was called a glutton and a drunkard, a heretic and a rebel, a friend and associate of sinners, and one who had a devil; He was even told that He cast out devils by the prince of devils (Matt. ix. 34). He, therefore, comforts His disciples with the words, “If they have called the good man of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household? (Matt. x. 25)
There is no sorrow so bitter that He has not borne it, for what was more painful and grievous than the death of the cross? Christians, “think diligently upon Him that endured such opposition from sinners against Himself, that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds, at contempt and insult.” (Heb. xii. 3)
The main custom for Passiontide is the veiling of all sacred images in home and church with purple cloth. This custom originated in ancient times, when the images in the papal chapel of the Vatican were covered after the words of the Passion Sunday Gospel, "Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple" (Jn 8.59), were pronounced.
- (First) Passion Sunday. The Jews' growing hatred of Christ recorded in today's Gospel makes plain His imminent death.
- Friday after Passion Sunday: Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A special commemoration, one week before Good Friday, of Mary's compassion for (literally, "suffering with") Her innocent son.
- (Second Passion or) Palm Sunday. Christ's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem and the account of His Passion according to St. Matthew.
Akin to the asceticism of Lent is its mournful tone. The Church is traditionally draped in purple or black, its organ silenced, and its altar bereft of any flowers. At home medieval Catholics would avoid frivolity or hilarity and would wear black during either Holy Week or Good Friday.
There is a special mourning custom that also begins on Passion Sunday (Fifth Sunday of Lent (Passion Sunday) and ends when the Gloria is sung during the Easter Vigil Mass: covering all sacred images (crucifixes, statues, etc) with purple cloth in both church and home. This might seem counterintuitive, since one would expect to gaze at a crucifix more during the season when the Passion is being considered. Yet the Roman rite teaches by absence as well as by presence. In an odd way, being denied access to the sacred images alerts you to their presence all the more, in the same way that not having the sacrifice of the Mass on the one day you would expect it the most, i.e., Good Friday, makes one all the more aware of the Sacrifice that took place on that day. Covering sacred images also adds immensely to the sense of sorrow and compunction that should naturally accompany this somber period.
Aids in Battle The Enemy’s Strategies
· The adversary of our human nature examines from every side all our virtues: theological, cardinal, and moral. Wherever he discovers the defenses of eternal salvation to be the weakest and most lacking, there he attacks and tries to take us by storm. ST. IGNATIUS LOYOLA
· [St. Catherine of Siena reports that Our Lord said to her:] I have told you that the Devil invites men to the water of death— that is, to the things he has. Then, blinding them with the pleasures and circumstances of the world, he catches them with the hook of pleasure through the lure of something good. He could catch them in no other way; they would not allow themselves to be caught if they saw that no good or pleasure for themselves could be obtained in this manner. For the soul, by her very nature, always relishes good. Yet it is true that the soul, blinded by self-love, does not know and discern what is truly good and profitable to the soul and to the body. So, the Devil, seeing them blinded by self-love, wickedly places before these souls diverse and various delights, colored so as to have the appearance of some benefit or good. He tempts each one, according to his condition, to those principal vices to which that soul seems to be most disposed.
· When the sly demon, after using many devices, fails to hinder the prayer of the diligent, he desists for a little while. But when the man has finished his prayers, the demon takes his revenge. He either fires the man’s anger and thus destroys the good condition produced by prayer, or he excites an impulse toward some animal pleasure and thus mocks the man’s mind. ST. NILUS OF SINAI
Catechism of the Catholic Church
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
CHAPTER TWO-GOD COMES TO MEET MAN
Article 2-THE TRANSMISSION OF DIVINE REVELATION
I. The Apostolic Tradition
75 "Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline."
In the apostolic preaching. . .
76 In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways:
- orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit”.
- in writing "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing".
. . . continued in apostolic succession
77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles’ left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority." Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."
78 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes." "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."
79 The Father's self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: "God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son. and the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."
Plan Some spring camping
Overnight Backpacking- Not to be confused with backpacking for traveling purposes, overnight backpacking describes a multi-day hike that involves camping. Aside from the health benefits, backpacking allows adventurers to enjoy remote.
· Masters Golf Tournament--April 7-10--Tee up for the granddaddy of all golf tournaments. The 86th Masters Tournament kicks off the first of 4 major championships, with plenty of betting odds. Head to Augusta, GA!
· Scarborough Renaissance Festival--April 9-May 1st--Travel back to the 16th century at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. This annual fest in Waxahachie, TX, kicks off the first weekend in April, drawing crowds upwards of 200,000 to view some 200 performances.
The Week ahead
· Apr. 6th MASS First Wednesday
· Apr. 8th MASS Friday of Sorrows
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896.
 Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.