Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Thus, is it in no way apparent to us that they are gods; so, do not FEAR them.
What are the gods in your life that you are afraid of? To reflect on this let us examine the angels of God who worship HE that IS: the living God.
The first choir of angels is the Seraphim. Their chief characteristic is great and ardent love. They were made for one thing alone-----to love the God of Love. Without ceasing they honor, praise, and love the most Blessed Trinity-----they can do nothing else-----this is their happiness.
ü Are you afraid of love? Do you fear to commit? Do you avoid being vulnerable? Do not fear to love!
The second choir is the Cherubim who continually are employed in contemplating the beauty and perfections of God. Cherubim are full of zeal for the glory of God and stand ready at all times to defend His honor. Cherubim should be invoked when one is troubled with doubts against faith and those who experience temptations against holy purity.
ü Has the beauty of art, sex, idealism, or science been your god; are you afraid to let go and give a fiat to the will of God in your life? Are you afraid to be a fool for God? Have you given in and worship at the altar of hedonism? Have you been afraid of others opinion of you? Be a temple for the Holy Spirit!
The third choir is the choir of Thrones. They are called Angels of Peace, calm, tranquility, and stability. Ask them for that peace of soul which is the fruit of a good conscience. Invoke their aid for such as are prone to hatred, passion and impatience; and after their example, practice being meek, calm, and peaceful with all.
ü Has competition and fear of being behind been your constant companion? Are you afraid of being last or worse average? Has efficiency been your god? You should rest in God!
The choir of Dominations is consumed by their yearning for the interests of God: their principal office is to manifest His will. We should also beg of God to manifest His will to us by these Blessed "Intelligences" and then take care to fulfill it scrupulously, as being the shortest way to perfection and sanctity. We should ask these Angels to help us to spread God's kingdom upon earth, for the conversion of heretics and infidels, and for the return of lukewarm and fallen away Catholics to the practice of the faith.
ü Has the lack of mastery over the control of others, or the acquisition of needed skills been your constant distress? Has the gaining of the things of the material world and its pursuits left you no time to develop the fear of God in yourself? Have you sought the god of power or dreaded the loss of it? Have you worshiped at the altar of materialism? Your zeal should be for the Kingdom!
The Fifth choir of angels is the Virtues. Energy and strength are attributed to the Virtues. They have dominion over the elements; all nature is subjected to their control. Hence, they can raise or appease the tempest. We may profitably invoke them in unforeseen accidents, sickness, etc. We may also have recourse to them for that strength necessary to lead a penitential life and root out the inclinations of depraved nature. All persons inclined to the contemplative life should call on this choir of Angels for help, for good thoughts alone do not make holy, one needs also strength to persevere and to accomplish this great task.
ü Have you worshipped at the altar of your natural passions and given into fits of anger, lust and envy? Have you been afraid of your own passions? Have you avoided controlling the body and been indulgent? Prayer and exercise make us stronger!
The sixth choir of angels is the Powers. These Angels have unlimited mastery over the wicked Spirits; they are endowed with great intelligence and are able to discover their schemes and plans for our destruction. Their power is so incredible that one alone of them would be able to destroy the entire infernal host. It is well to invoke them in temptation: but to merit their assistance we must take care to avoid the occasions of sin.
ü Have you been frightened of the devil? Have you avoided acting against evil enterprises? Have you contributed to evil by use of the internet? Listened to evil inspired music? Been afraid to look uncool? True power is often uncool!
The seventh choir of angels which is the choir of Principalities. The Principalities watch over Empires, Provinces, and Dioceses. Purity of intention is the virtue ascribed to them, for in their high functions they never seek but the honor and interest of God alone.
ü Have you been anxious about letting all you do and say allow you to seek the greater glory of God? Have you been troubled by allowing evil to exist in the workplace? Have you supported the secular world and been complacent in confronting it? We are all soldiers of Christ!
The eighth choir of angels the Archangels. The Archangels are distinguished from the Angels by the greater importance of their functions: the Guardians of those invested with authority in the Church and State and are remarkable for their love and care of men. Let us imitate them, doing our neighbor all the good we can and invoking in his behalf these Blessed Spirits. Members of this choir are the holy spirits who stand before the throne of God, ever ready to announce His commands. St. Michael is the warrior leader of God’s angels. St. Gabriel is the special messenger of The Holy Spirit. St. Raphael is the angel of Joy.
ü Have you worship others in authority or been fearful of them? Have you been apprehensive of your neighbor? Have you relished quashing others joy? Have you cared less about something you should? Have you feared taking responsibility or worshipped at the altar of doing nothingness? We are all called to service of the Lord!
The Ninth choir is the angels. They are charged with the execution of the Divine ordinances and are appointed the Guardians of men. Humility is the virtue particularly ascribed to them-----for though the least among the Choirs, yet they see their celestial companions without desiring their greater, more excellent endowments. The Guardian Angels exercise continual watchfulness over the souls committed to their care. Their number is exceedingly great, and it is not necessary when an Angel has accompanied his charge into Heaven, that he be again assigned to a soul in any future generation. Our Guardian, who is our companion in life, will also be forever at our side in Heaven. The joy of these Angels is immeasurably increased when souls entrusted to their care enter Heaven. The Guardian Angels of the lost souls are not deprived of their share of joy. God in His justice increases also theirs with the others, and then assigns them to the special guard of the Queen of Angels, where they with great joy praise the Infinite Justice of God. Let us, like the humble Guardian Angels, love the lowest place, especially when placed therein by Divine Providence, and to behold with joy the preference given to others.
ü Have you been full of yourself; had a little egomania? Have you had the opinion that it is my way or the highway? Have you watched yourself in the mirror? Imagined you are the center of every love song? Imitate your guardian angel and be a seraph of love for others and be a guardian of the faith of the church!
Information was obtained from: http://www.catholictradition.org/Angels/angels.htm
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION TWO I. THE CREEDS
CHAPTER TWO-I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF GOD
Article 3 "HE WAS CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND WAS BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY"
Paragraph 2. "CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY"
I. CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. . .
484 The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates "the fullness of time", The time of the fulfilment of God's promises and preparations. Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the "whole fullness of deity" would dwell "bodily". The divine response to her question, "How can this be, since I know not man?", was given by the power of the Spirit: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you."
485 The mission of the Holy Spirit is always conjoined and ordered to that of the Son. The Holy Spirit, "the Lord, the giver of Life", is sent to sanctify the womb of the Virgin Mary and divinely fecundate it, causing her to conceive the eternal Son of the Father in a humanity drawn from her own.
486 The Father's only Son, conceived as man in the womb of the Virgin Mary, is "Christ", that is to say, anointed by the Holy Spirit, from the beginning of his human existence, though the manifestation of this fact takes place only progressively: to the shepherds, to the magi, to John the Baptist, to the disciples. Thus, the whole life of Jesus Christ will make manifest "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power."
II.... BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY
487 What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.
488 "God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him, he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary":
The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.
489 Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that of Mary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives the promise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that she will be the mother of all the living. By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spite of her old age. Against all human expectation God chooses those who were considered powerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother of Samuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women. Mary "stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation from him. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established."
The Immaculate Conception
490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role." The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.
491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:
The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.
492 The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son". The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".
493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature". By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.
"Let it be done to me according to your word. . ."
494 At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word." Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:
As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. . .: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief; Mary loosened by her faith." Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary "the Mother of the living" and frequently claim: "Death through Eve, life through Mary."
Mary's divine motherhood
495 Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus", Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord". In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).
496 From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus was conceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirming also the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived "by the Holy Spirit without human seed". The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son of God who came in a humanity like our own. Thus St. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of the second century says:
You are firmly convinced about our Lord, who is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, Son of God according to the will and power of God, truly born of a virgin,. . . he was truly nailed to a tree for us in his flesh under Pontius Pilate. . . he truly suffered, as he is also truly risen.
497 The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancée. The Church sees here the fulfilment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son."
498 People are sometimes troubled by the silence of St. Mark's Gospel and the New Testament Epistles about Jesus' virginal conception. Some might wonder if we were merely dealing with legends or theological constructs not claiming to be history. To this we must respond: Faith in the virginal conception of Jesus met with the lively opposition, mockery or incomprehension of non-believers, Jews and pagans alike; so it could hardly have been motivated by pagan mythology or by some adaptation to the ideas of the age. the meaning of this event is accessible only to faith, which understands in it the "connection of these mysteries with one another" in the totality of Christ's mysteries, from his Incarnation to his Passover. St. Ignatius of Antioch already bears witness to this connection: "Mary's virginity and giving birth, and even the Lord's death escaped the notice of the prince of this world: these three mysteries worthy of proclamation were accomplished in God's silence."
Mary - "ever-virgin"
499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it." and so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin".
500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact, James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the other Mary". They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.
501 Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: "The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother's love."
Mary's virginal motherhood in God's plan
502 The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.
503 Mary's virginity manifests God's absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father. "He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed. . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures."
504 Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Mary's womb because he is the New Adam, who inaugurates the new creation: "The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven." From his conception, Christ's humanity is filled with the Holy Spirit, for God "gives him the Spirit without measure." From "his fullness" as the head of redeemed humanity "we have all received, grace upon grace."
505 By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of children adopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. "How can this be?" Participation in the divine life arises "not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God". The acceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirit's gift to man. the spousal character of the human vocation in relation to God is fulfilled perfectly in Mary's virginal motherhood.
506 Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith "unadulterated by any doubt", and of her undivided gift of herself to God's will. It is her faith that enables her to become the mother of the Savior: "Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith in Christ than because she conceives the flesh of Christ."
507 At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church: "the Church indeed. . . by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse."
508 From among the descendants of Eve, God chose the Virgin Mary to be the mother of his Son. "Full of grace", Mary is "the most excellent fruit of redemption" (SC 103): from the first instant of her conception, she was totally preserved from the stain of original sin, and she remained pure from all personal sin throughout her life.
509 Mary is truly "Mother of God" since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself.
510 Mary "remained a virgin in conceiving her Son, a virgin in giving birth to him, a virgin in carrying him, a virgin in nursing him at her breast, always a virgin" (St. Augustine, Serm. 186, 1: PL 38, 999): with her whole being she is "the handmaid of the Lord" (Lk 1:38).
511 The Virgin Mary "co-operated through free faith and obedience in human salvation" (LG 56). She uttered her yes "in the name of all human nature" (St. Thomas Aquinas, S Th III, 30, 1). By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Monday: Litany of Humility