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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Rogationtide Wednesday

ST. MARY MAGDALENE DE PAZZI


Daniel, Chapter 6, Verse 27-28

27 I decree that throughout my royal domain the God of Daniel is to be reverenced and FEARED: “For he is the living God, enduring forever, whose kingdom shall not be destroyed, whose dominion shall be without end, 28 A savior and deliverer, working signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, who saved Daniel from the lions’ power.”

 

This is the summation of the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. In this chapter Daniel is a type of Christ like figure. He is falsely accused by those who are jealous of him. They use legal tricks to entrap Daniel and have him condemned to the lion’s den. He is even put inside; the den is sealed over with a giant boulder, thus mirroring Christ’s tomb. In the end Daniel is not eaten by the lions but those who conspired against him are thrown into the lions and eaten. The story reflects the glory of Christ’s victory over Satan and the demons.


 

Decision Making: Choices Confirm or Compromise Values[1]

 

Daniel when presented with a law that opposed the laws of God had to decide whether he would submit or stay true to his convictions. He chose his life principles. He likely followed the principles of:

 

1.     Weighting out the options before you.

2.     Ask if those choses force you to compromise personal values.

3.     Seek wise counsel.

4.     Count the cost.

5.     Decide based on principles.

6.     Act on your decision swiftly and firmly.

 

Daniel maintained a set of values and principles that enabled him to make decisions quickly and confidently. If you take too much time making decisions often it is too late to act. Do not wait to survey the pulse of your people and paralyze your organization. Do the right thing!

Rogationtide Wednesday[2]

Today would be a good day to reflect on what we want to harvest this fall; so, like farmers we must till the soil of our soul reflecting this day on our use of our TREASURE (yes money/tithe) and look at in what ways we may offer our money to Christ to help build a harvest for His Kingdom. It has been said that money is the root of all evil. Yet, this is not exactly true for the real root of all evil is not money but the LOVE of money. Those who fear the Lord know that money is a gift from God. It is not to be buried but sown. This is the correction that God wishes us to accept. We are all sowers, and we are to spread the seeds or gifts that God gives us out. Does God need a tithe from us? Or Does God need our hearts free from the love of money? Do not make my house a marketplace. For love of money or the lust for money is what corrupts men not the money itself. 

Donate a Day Wages to a Charity Day[3]



We all have causes that we care about, problems we want to see erased from society, and issues that have affected us deeply throughout our lives. However, most people are busy and haven’t had the time or opportunity to dedicate as much as they would want to charities and causes of their choice. Donate A Day’s Wages To Charity Day is there to change that. Whether you have trouble keeping up with charitable donations and you want to make a difference or you believe that you should make a pledge that matters once a year, it’s the day to do it.

Your Money or Your Life[4] 

At this tense moment in our history, when external wars and internal violence make us so conscious of death, an affirmation of the sanctity of human life by renewed attention to the family is imperative. Let society always be on the side of life. Let it never dictate, directly or indirectly, recourse to the prevention of life or to its destruction in any of its phases; neither let it require as a condition of economic assistance that any family yield conscientious determination of the number of its children to the decision of persons or agencies outside the family. Stepped-up pressures for moral and legal acceptance of directly procured abortion make necessary pointed reference to this threat to the right to life. Reverence for life demands freedom from direct interruption of life once it is conceived. Conception initiates a process whose purpose is the realization of human personality. A human person, nothing more and nothing less, is always at issue once conception has taken place. We expressly repudiate any contradictory suggestion as contrary to Judeo-Christian traditions inspired by love for life, and Anglo-Saxon legal traditions protective of life and the person. Abortion brings to an end with irreversible finality both the existence and the destiny of the developing human person.

 

·       Conscious of the inviolability of life, the Second Vatican Council teaches: God, the Lord of life, has conferred on man the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life, a ministry which must be fulfilled in a manner that is worthy of man. Therefore, from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes (Gaudium et Spes, 51).

·       The judgment of the Church on the evil of terminating life derives from the Christian awareness that men are not the masters but the ministers of life. Hence, the Council declares: Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person...all these things and others of their like are infamies indeed. They poison human society, but they do more harm to those who practice them than those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator" (Gaudium et Spes, 27)

 

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

 

Are these words just words highlighted by men during the age of enlightenment or are they the inspired will of the creator? America is special in that the founders realized this when they wrote our constitution which was established to ensure that laws are enacted and enforced that support life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Much of our misery in this country is caused by laws that reverse the order ensuring that wealth trumps liberty and liberty trumps life. No, it must be life first.

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.

The protection of Life has primacy.

·       If we are the children of the creator, we know that life must be protected at conception to its natural end.

·       We must seek the dignity of the unborn, the living and the aged in our laws and traditions.

Are you into composting?[5]

When Americans die, most are buried or cremated. Washington could soon become the first state to allow another option: human composting. The novel approach, known as “recomposition,” involves placing bodies in a vessel and hastening their decomposition into a nutrient-dense soil that can then be returned to families. The aim is a less expensive way of dealing with human remains that is better for the environment than burial, which can leach chemicals into the ground, or cremation, which releases earth-warming carbon dioxide.

“People from all over the state who wrote to me are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative for themselves,” said state Sen. Jamie Pedersen, a Democrat, who is sponsoring a bill in Washington’s Legislature to expand the options for disposing of human remains. The recomposition bill would also make Washington the 17th state to allow alkaline hydrolysis, the dissolving of bodies in a pressurized vessel with water and lye until just liquid and bone remains. Pedersen plans to introduce the bill when the new legislative session begins next month.

Well, I guess we wouldn’t have to depend on Russia for fertilizer

This is scary, sounds like the movie “Soylent Green” was prophetic. Maybe if you are over fifty you need to stay healthy as possible for as long as you can.

Senior Health & Fitness Day[6]

For Grandma, Grandpa, Granny, Gramps, Nana, Papa and all our well-loved elders, Senior Health & Fitness Day is a time to explore the many senior-friendly physical activity options, and to understand the importance of exercise and nutrition for ongoing health and illness-prevention. A healthy diet can boost energy and immunity, and regular exercise is necessary to retain bone mass and lower the risk of fractures, and to build muscle strength and reduce the risk of falls. Various community events will be staged on Senior Health & Fitness Day, and seniors are encouraged to attend for health screenings and diet and exercise information sessions. Low-impact, non-competitive exercise program choices may include stretching, walking and swimming, all designed to increase strength and flexibility. And although Grandma is probably an excellent cook, she may be able to pick up a few healthy tips to make her legendary meals even more delicious and nutritious

Apostolic Exhortation[7]

Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling

of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Part I

II. The Mass as the eternal memorial of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross

22. For the title of this Exhortation, I have chosen the words “Veneremur cernui” which comes from the hymn Tantum Ergo that we sing at the end of solemn adoration and benediction. These words composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas can be translated as “may we adore with body prostrated” or “down in adoration falling”. My dear sons and daughters, Jesus our Lord and God is present to us in the Sacrament of the Eucharist in His self-offering to the Father and His merciful outpouring of love for us. Let us adore Him with ever increasing reverence!

23. Whether we may be weak or strong, I encourage you to pray for the grace of faith in God’s presence in the Eucharist as well as the grace to worship as the angels do. This is what the Church prays when she ends the preface and begins the Eucharistic prayer with the words, “May our voices, we pray, join with theirs in humble praise, as we acclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts” (Roman Missal, Preface of Eucharistic Prayer I).

24. It is in the Eucharist where Our Lord meets us and becomes our faithful companion along every instance of our life. After Mass, the remaining consecrated Hosts are reserved in the tabernacle so that Holy Communion can be brought to the sick and throughout the week we can come and pray in His presence. He wants to remain with us so that whenever we need Him, we will find Him there to be our light, strength, comfort, and guidance.

25. “I will be with you always until the end of times.” (Mt 28:20). Since that Last Supper of Holy Thursday until now, Our Lord Jesus has faithfully kept His promise – wherever there is a tabernacle in the world that contains the Eucharist, there is Jesus truly present among us. His presence is not like a memory or a symbol that a person keeps in a photo album. He is truly, really, and substantially present in the Eucharist. The Catechism affirms: “In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really and substantially contained” (CCC 1374). The same Jesus that walked the countryside of Palestine, the same Jesus that preached, cured the sick and raised the dead, the same Jesus who suffered, died, and rose is truly present in the Eucharist. Indeed, our Lord is ever near us, and we might recall with joy the exultant words of Deuteronomy 4:7: “What great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us?”.

26. Immeasurable is the value of every Mass! Unfathomable is the grace made so accessible to us in the Mass, where Jesus Christ is ever present! It is here that a quality and abundance of life beyond this world is given to us.

To be continued

Devotions for Holy Communion[8]

PREPARATION FOR COMMUNION.

St. Francis de Sales says that Our Savior can never be seen more amiable and more tender, in all that He has done for us, than in holy communion, in which He, so to say, annihilates Himself and becomes food, that He may unite Himself to the hearts and bodies of His faithful.

Therefore, the learned Gerson used also to say, that there was no means more efficacious than holy communion whereby to enkindle devotion and the holy love of God in our souls. And, indeed, if we speak of doing something agreeable to God, what can a soul do more agreeable to Him than to receive communion?

St. Denis teaches us that love always tends towards perfect union; but how can a soul be more perfectly united with Jesus than in the manner of which He speaks Himself, saying:  He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him " (John vi. 57) St. Augustine says that if every day you receive this sacrament, Jesus will be always with you, and that you will always advance in divine love.

Again, if there be question of healing our spiritual infirmities, what more certain remedy can we have than holy communion, which is called by the sacred Council of Trent a remedy whereby we may be freed from daily faults, and be preserved from mortal sins? Whence does it come, asks Cardinal Bona, that in so many souls we see so little fruit with such frequent communions, and that they constantly relapse into the same faults?

He replies: The fault is not in the food, but in the disposition of him who receives." "Can a man," says Solomon, "hide fire in his bosom, and his garments not burn?" (Prov. vi. 27.) " God is a consuming fire." He comes Himself in holy communion to enkindle this divine fire; how is it, then, says William of Paris, that we see such a diabolical miracle as that souls should remain cold in divine love, in the midst of such flames?

All comes from the want of proper dispositions, and especially from want of preparation. Fire immediately inflames dry but not green wood; for this latter is not disposed to burn. The saints derived great benefit from their communions because they prepared themselves with great care. St. Aloysius Gonzaga devoted three days to his preparation for holy communion, and three days he spent in thanksgiving to his Lord. To prepare well for holy communion, a soul should be disposed on two main points: it should be detached from creatures and have a great desire to advance in divine love.

In the first place, then, a soul should detach itself from all things, and drive everything from its heart which is not God. He that is washed, saith Jesus, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly" (John xiii. 10); which signifies, as St. Bernard explains it, that in order to receive this sacrament with great fruit, we should not only be cleansed from mortal sins, but that our feet also should be washed, that is, be free from earthly affections; for being in contact with the earth they excite a sort of repugnance in God, and soiling the soul prevent the effects of holy communion. St. Gertrude asked Our Lord what preparation He required of her for holy communion, and He replied:  I only ask that thou shouldst come empty of thyself to receive Me.

In the second place, it is necessary in holy communion to have a great desire to receive Jesus Christ and His holy love. In this sacred banquet, says Gerson, only those who are famishing receive their fill; and the most blessed Virgin Mary had already said the same thing: He hath filled the hungry with good things (Luke i. 53). As Jesus, writes the venerable Father Avila, only came into this world after He had been much and long desired, so does He only enter a soul which desires Him; for it is not becoming that such food should be given him who has a loathing for it. Our Lord one day said to St. Matilda: No bee flies with such impetuosity to flowers, to suck their honey, as I fly to souls in holy communion, driven by the violence of My love.

Since, then, Jesus Christ has so great a desire to come into our souls, it is also right that we also should have a great desire to receive Him and His divine love by holy communion. St. Francis de Sales teaches us that the principal object which a soul should have in view in communicating should be to advance in the love of God; since He Who for love alone gives Himself to us should be received for love.

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi[9] Carmelite mystic from Italy

Baptized Caterina, and affectionately known as "The Passion Flower of the Eucharist," St. Mary Magdalene was taught mental prayer, also known as meditation, at the tender age of nine, at the request of her mother. By age 10 she received her First Holy Communion and began experiencing mystical ecstasies. When one experiences ecstasy, one is so filled with the Divine Presence that the faculties of the soul (intellect, will, etc.) are "suspended" and one is utterly filled with the love of God that you might even fall unconscious.

Saint Mary Magdalene's first ecstasy happened at the sight of a beautiful sunset. She was so struck by the beauty of God's creation that she trembled and became speechless. Have you ever spent time just taking in the beauty of God's creation? Especially now that summer is set to begin, take time to put down the cell phone, shut off the television, and go outside and enjoy a gorgeous summer sunset. Take in the grandeur of God's creation, and find the Creator of Love in the simplest of things, or rather, let Him find you.

Soon after her first ecstasy and intimately encountering her Beloved, Mary Magdalene made a private vow of virginity to the Lord. When her parents wanted her to marry, as she was their only daughter, she revealed to them her vow to the Lord, and she soon entered a Carmelite monastery. Her great love and devotion to the Eucharist is what led her to enter the Carmel of St. Mary's of the Angels, who had a special dispensation to daily receive Communion, which was almost unheard of at the time. In her first ecstatic experience after entering, her sisters found her weeping before a crucifix and crying out, "O Love, you are neither known nor loved." She experienced within her soul the pain that her Beloved Jesus experiences from the rejection of so many souls on the earth. No doubt her tears, prayers, and penances brought consolation to the wounded heart of Jesus, and you too can console his heart by your prayers and penances. You may or may not have emotional experiences or ecstasies in this lifetime, but your meditation on His passion and your prayers and penances in reparation for those who reject His love can bring great consolation to His heart.

For the majority of her time as a religious, St. Mary Magdalene endured great physical suffering and illness. While experiencing excruciating suffering, our Lord consoled her with His overwhelming presence and love. Mary Magdalene was quite embarrassed by the attention this brought her. Some sisters ridiculed her, and some sisters wished they experienced ecstasy like her. She would say to those sisters that they should be thankful that they are strong enough to advance in holiness without the Lord Jesus having to give extra graces to keep them going. She was convinced of her misery and weakness because Jesus would grant her so many graces while in suffering. That being said, she also endured a five-year period of great dryness and severe temptations against purity and to suicide. She received visions of the souls in Purgatory during her time of purification and also received the sacred stigmata invisibly, as she begged the Lord to keep it hidden. What is at the heart of this lesson is being thankful for whatever season you are in with the Lord in your life. Whether in a time of great consolation or desolation, the key is to persevere in prayer and penance, in gratitude for God and always seeking His will.

Lastly, St. Mary Magdalene was known to have playful, bantering tones with Jesus. One account given was that of Jesus offering her a crown of thorns and a crown of flowers. She always insisted on the crown of thorns, desiring to suffer for Jesus, but He would always insist on giving her the crown of flowers. When He admonished her, "I called and you didn't care," she came back with, "You didn't call loudly enough" and told the Lord to shout His love. I would encourage those of you reading this to grow in your personal relationship with Jesus. Talk with Him throughout your day, make Him your best of friends, because He wants to be! Don't be afraid to "be real" with Him, to share your struggles and emotions, and also thank Him! Get to know Jesus, love Jesus, and ask for St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi's intercession so that her cry, "O Love, you are neither known nor loved," can be changed to, "You are known and loved!"

 

Please pray for the intentions of my youngest son Vincent Michael (Conqueror-Who is like God) whose birthday is today.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION TWO I. THE CREEDS

CHAPTER THREE-I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

ARTICLE 8-"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT"

I. The Joint Mission of the Son and the Spirit

689 The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God. Consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world. In adoring the Holy Trinity, life-giving, consubstantial, and indivisible, the Church's faith also professes the distinction of persons. When the Father sends his Word, he always sends his Breath. In their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable. To be sure, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals him.

690 Jesus is Christ, "anointed," because the Spirit is his anointing, and everything that occurs from the Incarnation on derives from this fullness. When Christ is finally glorified, he can in turn send the Spirit from his place with the Father to those who believe in him: he communicates to them his glory, that is, the Holy Spirit who glorifies him. From that time on, this joint mission will be manifested in the children adopted by the Father in the Body of his Son: the mission of the Spirit of adoption is to unite them to Christ and make them live in him:

The notion of anointing suggests . . . that there is no distance between the Son and the Spirit. Indeed, just as between the surface of the body and the anointing with oil neither reason nor sensation recognizes any intermediary, so the contact of the Son with the Spirit is immediate, so that anyone who would make contact with the Son by faith must first encounter the oil by contact. In fact there is no part that is not covered by the Holy Spirit. That is why the confession of the Son's Lordship is made in the Holy Spirit by those who receive him, the Spirit coming from all sides to those who approach the Son in faith.

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·       Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·       Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: The sanctification of the Church Militant.

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Total Consecration to Mary Day 28

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Nineveh 90-Day 40

·       Rosary



[1] John Maxwell, The Leadership Bible.

[3]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/donate-a-days-wages-to-charity-day/

[5]https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/washington-could-become-first-state-legalize-human-composting-n952421

[6] https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/senior-health-fitness-day/

[8] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[9]https://www.thedivinemercy.org/articles/who-was-st-mary-magdalene-de-pazzi

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