Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter
ST. RITA OF CASSIA-BIO Day
Daniel, Chapter 3, Verse 90
the God of gods, all you who FEAR the
Lord; praise and give thanks, for his mercy endures forever.
God gave the land of Israel to the Israelites as an eternal possession; land could be leased to pay debts, but it always reverted back to the family who owned it. In a similar way Christ has given the possession of your eternal soul back over to you through His mercy; after you leased it out to the evil one. Do not fear or be dismayed to take possession of it.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)
The way we take possession of our soul is by the way of purification. A man in possession of his soul seeks to live in such a way that he does not lose ownership of his soul. He strives to place first things first and he endeavors to follow God’s holy Will in his life. Conversion means turning to God (Beatitude Meditation) and keeping the four last things in our mind when we are tempted: Death, Judgment, Heaven and hell. Immediately after death we will be judged, and our private judgment will be repeated on the Day of Judgment; when all men will know us for what we are. If we have done our best and followed Christ’s commandments (if you love me you will keep my commandments) we will join Him in Heaven but if we have ignored His commandments and refused to make use of His help (via the church sacraments) we shall be condemned to hell. . Therefore, strive to love God in your daily life and make use of His grace. When you fall, immediately make a prayer in honor of the Wound of His Holy Shoulder making use of His grace in the sacrament of confession at the earliest opportunity and receive Holy Communion only after confession.
It is related in the annals of Clairvaux that St. Bernard asked our Lord which was His greatest unrecorded suffering, and Our Lord answered: "I had on My Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound, which was more painful than the others, and which is not recorded by men. Honor this wound with thy devotion, and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through its virtue and merit. And in regard to all those who shall venerate this Wound, I will remit to them all their venial sins, and will no longer remember their mortal sins."
O Loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy flesh and laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other wound of Thy Most Blessed Body. I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee, and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross. Amen.
Imprimatur: Thomas D. Beven, Bishop of Springfield
ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY
Sunday: Day of Joy, Rest and Solidarity
A day of solidarity
73. Lived in this way, not only the Sunday Eucharist but the whole of Sunday becomes a great school of charity, justice and peace. The presence of the Risen Lord in the midst of his people becomes an undertaking of solidarity, a compelling force for inner renewal, an inspiration to change the structures of sin in which individuals, communities and at times entire peoples are entangled. Far from being an escape, the Christian Sunday is a "prophecy" inscribed on time itself, a prophecy obliging the faithful to follow in the footsteps of the One who came "to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to captives and new sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (Lk 4:18-19). In the Sunday commemoration of Easter, believers learn from Christ, and remembering his promise: "I leave you peace, my peace I give you" (Jn 14:27), they become in their turn builders of peace.
Sixth Sunday after Easter
THIS Sunday is a preparation for the feast of Pentecost. At the Introit of the Mass, the Church sings: “Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to Thee, alleluia. My heart hath said to Thee, I have sought Thy face; Thy face, Lord, will I seek; turn not away Thy face from me, alleluia, alleluia. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall, I fear?
Prayer. O almighty and everlasting God grant us ever to entertain a devout affection towards Thee, and to serve Thy majesty with a sincere heart.
EPISTLE, i. Peter iv. 7-11.
Dearly Beloved: Be prudent, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves; for charity covereth a multitude of sins. Using hospitality one towards another without murmuring. As every man hath received grace, ministering the same to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speaks, let him speak as the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the power which God administereth: that in all things God may be honored through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Practice. The virtues here recommended are excellent preparatives for receiving the Holy Ghost, for nothing makes us more worthy of His grace than temperance, prayer, charity, unity, and hospitality towards our neighbors. Endeavor, therefore, to exercise these virtues, and every day during the following week pray fervently to the Holy Ghost for help in your endeavors.
GOSPEL. John xv. 26, 27; xvi. 1-4.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: When the Paraclete cometh Whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you.
What kind of sin is scandal?
It is a frightful sin. By it countless sins are occasioned, thousands of souls are carried to perdition, while the loving design of God for the salvation of men is frustrated.
How, in general, is scandal given?
By saying, doing, neglecting to do something which becomes the occasion of sin to another.
When do parents give scandal?
When they set a bad example to their children. When they do not correct them for doing wrong, or neglect to keep them from what is bad and to teach them that which is good.
How do employers give scandal?
In much the same way that parents give scandal to their children: when, by bad example or by command, they keep their servants or other employees from divine service, or neglect to make them attend it. When they themselves use, or give to others, flesh-meat on days of abstinence. When they order the commission of sin.
It is only a few weeks since Good Friday when we commemorated the agonizing death of Christ on Mount Calvary. This was an excruciating, shameful death even for hardened criminals who deserved it.
But for our loving Savior, the innocent lamb of God, one who had never offended God or neighbor, it was something of which the whole human race should be ashamed forever. What caused Christ that torment and death on the cross was our sins, the sins of all mankind and not the spite and hatred of his Jewish opponents, who were only instruments in the tragedy. Atonement had to be made to God for the sins of the world, so that men could reach the eternal inheritance which the incarnation made available to them.
However, not all the acts of the entire human race could make a sufficient atonement to God. A sacrifice, an expiation of infinite value was needed. The death of the Son of God in his human nature was alone capable of making such an expiation. That Christ willingly accepted crucifixion for our sakes, that he gave the greatest proof of love which the world has ever known, by laying down his life for his friends, did not make his sufferings any less, did not ease any of the pains of Calvary. His agony in the Garden before his arrest shows this: he foresaw all the tortures and pains which he was to undergo and sweated blood at the thought of what awaited him. But he was to keep his Father's commandment "not my will but thine be done." We Christians must have hearts of stone, hearts devoid of all sense of gratitude, when we forget what Christ has done for us and deliberately offend him! Alas, this is what all of us do sometimes, and many of us do all the time. Christ died to bring us to heaven, but we tell him, by our sins, that he was wasting his time. We do not want to go to heaven, we are making our happiness here! How far can human ingratitude and thanklessness go?
Christ told us, through the disciples on Holy Thursday night, that he had made us his friends, his intimates. We are no longer servants in the household, who merely earn their daily wage and have no intimacy with the family and no hope of ever sharing in the family possessions.
Instead, we have been adopted into the family by Christ becoming man, we have been guaranteed all the rights of children intimacy with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the future sharing in the eternal happiness of that divine household. Christ's incarnation made us God's children, Christ's death on the cross removed sin. Sin is the one obstacle that could prevent us reaching our eternal inheritance. Because God gave us a free will we can in a moment of folly, a moment of madness really, deprive ourselves of the privileges and possessions which Christ has made available to us. We can choose to exchange an eternity of happiness for a few fleeting years of self-indulgence on earth. We can fling Christ's gift of love back in his face and tell him we don't want it. God forbid that we should ever act like this, that we should ever forget God's purpose in creating us. It is a marvelous thing to be alive, if we have hope in a future life. If nothing awaited us but the grave, then to live on this earth, which is a valley of sorrow and tears for the vast majority, would be the cruelest of jests. But of this we need have no fear. Life on earth is but a short prelude to our real existence. If we use this brief period as Christ has told us how to use it, death for us will be the passage into the eternal mansions. Be grateful to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; love the Blessed Trinity; prove your love by loving your fellowmen. By doing this you are fulfilling the whole law and the prophets; and you are assuring yourself of the place in heaven which Christ has won for you.
Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
THE Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before the Ascension are observed as days of solemn supplication, and are called Rogation Days. These three Rogation days serve also as a preparation for the feast of the ascension, which reminds us that we have the most powerful intercessor in our savior, who is now enthroned at the right hand of the father. Since 1929 many churches in the United States have observed Rogation Sunday as Rural Life Sunday, or Soil Stewardship Sunday. Services on this day examine the religious aspects of rural life. In 1969 the Roman Catholic Church cancelled the Rogation Days. In their place Church authorities instituted days of prayer for human needs, human works, and the fruits of the earth. Local bishops may now set appropriate dates for these observances in their dioceses.
Things to Do:
Rogation Days are a Roman Catholic "baptism" of the Robigalia, a pagan procession to gain favor from the Robigo, the Roman god of grain. Since the Church had no objection to praying for the harvest, it threw out Robigo while keeping the procession and prayers. 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 TIME and look at in what ways we may offer our time to Christ to help build a harvest for His Kingdom
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,
Eucharist – Mystery to Be Revered
13. The Eucharist is the supernatural food that keeps us going along the difficult journey towards the Promised Land of eternal salvation: “Whoever eats my flesh has eternal life”. To see the truth of these words, we must turn to the context for which they were spoken.
I. The Mass as the new Exodus from Slavery of Sin
14. The Eucharist comes to us through the Mass. Our normal experience of the Eucharist is at Mass, the central ritual – or liturgical – celebration which takes place every day and is a weekly obligation for the faithful. What we often call the Sacrifice of the Mass is the place where the Church has always believed we eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ. The Mass must be understood within the context of the Last Supper where “Jesus took bread […] and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body’ […] Then he took a cup, […] he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant’” (Mt 26:26-28).
15. At the Last Supper, which the Church commemorates today, Jesus took part in and forever transformed the Jewish Passover ritual meal. It is here we see the context in which Jesus desires His Body and Blood to be consumed as food. This is the context where we discover the beauty of the grand mystery of the Eucharist as the fulfillment of both the Jewish Passover and the Covenant of Israel.
. To be continued…
St. Rita of Cassia
Rita's childhood was one of happiness to her parents. To satisfy her desire of a life of union with God by prayer, her parents fitted up a little room in their home as an oratory, where she spent all her spare moments. At the age of twelve, however, she desired to consecrate herself to God in the religious state. Pious though her parents were, their tearful pleadings to postpone her noble purpose prevailed on Rita, and they gave her in marriage, at the age of eighteen, to an impulsive, irascible young man, who was well fitted to try the patience and virtue of the holy girl.
Two sons were born to them, each inheriting their father's quarrelsome temperament. Rita continued her accustomed devotions, and her sanctity and prayers finally won her husband's heart so that he willingly consented that she continue her acts of devotion. Eighteen years had elapsed since her marriage, when her husband was murdered by an old enemy; both of her sons died shortly after. Rita's former desire to consecrate herself to God again took possession of her.
Three times she sought admittance among the Augustinian Nuns in Cascia, but her request was refused each time, and she returned to her home in Rocca Porrena. God Himself, however, supported her cause. One night as Rita was praying earnestly in her humble home, she heard herself called by name, while someone knocked at the door. In a miraculous way she was conducted to the monastic enclosure, no entrance having been opened. Astonished at the miracle, the Nuns received Rita, and soon enrolled her among their number.
St. Rita's hidden, simple life in religion was distinguished by obedience and charity; she performed many extreme penances. After hearing a sermon on the Passion of Christ she returned to her cell; kneeling before her crucifix, she implored: "Let me, my Jesus share in Thy suffering, at least of one of Thy thorns". Her prayer was answered. Suddenly one of the thorns detached and fastened itself in her forehead so deeply that she could not remove it. The wound became worse, and gangrene set in. Because of the foul odor emanating from the wound, she was denied the companionship of the other Sisters, and this for fifteen years. Miraculous power was soon recognized in Rita. When Pope Nicholas IV proclaimed a jubilee at Rome, Rita desired to attend. Permission was granted on condition that her wound would be healed. This came about only for the duration of the trip. Upon her return to the monastery the wound from the thorn reappeared, and remained until her death. As St. Rita was dying, she requested a relative to bring her a rose from her old home at Rocca Porrena. Although it was not the season for roses, the relative went and found a rose in full bloom. For this reason, roses are blessed in the Saint's honor.
After St. Rita's death, in 1457, her face became beautifully radiant, while the odor from her wound was as fragrant as that of the roses she loved so much. The sweet odor spread through the convent and into the church, where it has continued ever since. Her body has remained incorrupt to this day; the face is beautiful and well preserved. When St. Rita died the lowly cell was aglow with heavenly light, while the great bell of the monastery rang of itself. A relative with a paralyzed arm, upon touching the sacred remains, was cured. A carpenter, who had known the Saint, offered to make the coffin. Immediately he recovered the use of his long-stiffened hands.
As one of the solemn acts of his jubilee, Pope Leo XIII canonized St. Rita on the Feast of the Ascension, May 24, 1900.
Patron: Abuse victims; against loneliness; against sterility; bodily ills; DESPERATE CAUSES; difficult marriages; forgotten causes; IMPOSSIBLE CAUSES; infertility; lost causes; parenthood; sick people; sickness; sterility; victims of physical spouse abuse; widows; wounds.
Things to Do:
- From the Catholic Culture library: St. Rita of Cascia and A Life of Heroic Humility and Obedience.
- Visit the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cassia and read this life of St. Rita
- Watch this videos of St. Rita's life here and here
- Visit the Shrine of Santa Rita in the Desert in Vail, Arizona
International Day for Biological Diversity
The International Day for Biological Diversity aims to raise awareness and understanding of biological diversity and issues surrounding it. The day also serves to highlight possible strategies to protect biodiversity, which refers to the variety of life on the planet. Today, habitats are degrading and leading to a reduction in biodiversity, a problem that directly affects human well-being, poverty reduction and global sustainable development. The International Day for Biological Diversity was proclaimed in December of 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is celebrated annually on May 22, a day that commemorates the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992.
International Day for Biological Diversity Facts & Quotes
· According to the UN, more than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods and 1.6 billion people rely on forests and non-timber forest products for their livelihoods.
· Habitat degradation and the loss of biodiversity are currently threatening the livelihood of over 1 billion people who live in dry and subhumid climates.
· Over 50% of the world’s plant species and 42% of all terrestrial vertebrate species are native to a specific country and do not naturally exist elsewhere.
· We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity. – E. O. Wilson, American biologist, researcher, theorist and author.
Day for Biological Diversity Top Events and Things to Do
· Watch a movie or documentary on the importance and irreplaceability of the world’s biodiversity. Some suggestions are: The Cove, Oceans, Plastic Planet and the 11th hour.
· Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtags #InternationalDayForBiologicalDiversity, #IDBD and #BiologicalDiversity.
· Join the international Day for Biological Diversity Google Hangout where you can video stream yourself and with other people to discuss biological diversity with like-minded individuals.
· Organize or participate in a local cleanup effort. Biodiversity is very negatively impacted by human trash and pollution.
· Donate to the center for biological diversity. All funds are put towards securing a future for all species hovering on the brink of extinction with a focus on protecting lands, waters and climate that species need to survive. Consider funds like WWF, the Animal Project and Defenders of Wildlife.
· Visit Biosphere 2 is an American Earth system science research facility located in Oracle, Arizona.
Why should Catholics care?
The Church’s social teaching calls on Catholics to uphold the life and dignity of every human person, to be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters worldwide, and to care for God’s creation. Since the extraction of oil, gas, minerals, and timber affects the poor most acutely, the Church has been addressing issues related to extractive industries around the world. Catholic agencies and affected people have been engaged in advocacy with their own governments, international financial institutions, and extractives companies, urging them to become more transparent, to reduce the negative impacts of resource extraction on people and the environment, and to increase benefits for the poor most especially.
In the U.S. bishops’ first statement on environmental matters, renewing the Earth (1991), they draw attention to the ethical dimensions of the ecological crisis, exploring the link between ecology and poverty and the implications for human life and dignity. Bishops of every part of the world have expressed concern regarding extractive industries. Indeed, Pope Benedict XVI, expanding on the issue of the environment in Caritas in Veritate, stated: Let us hope that the international community and individual governments will succeed in countering harmful ways of treating the environment. It is likewise incumbent upon the competent authorities to make every effort to ensure that the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations: the protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate obliges all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet (No. 50).
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 7 "FROM THENCE HE WILL COME AGAlN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD"
II. To Judge the Living and the Dead
680 Christ the Lord already reigns through the Church, but all the things of this world are not yet subjected to him. the triumph of Christ's kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil.
681 On Judgement Day at the end of the world, Christ will come in glory to achieve the definitive triumph of good over evil which, like the wheat and the tares, have grown up together in the course of history.
682 When he comes at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, the glorious Christ will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render to each man according to his works, and according to his acceptance or refusal of grace.
· Indianapolis 500—May 29-- Rev up for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Part of the Triple Crown of Motorsports (with the Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans right behind) this annual race is quite possibly the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world, attracting roughly 400,000 spectators. Head to Indianapolis the last weekend in May, and prepare for a high-speed show around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval circuit.
o RED ROCK RUMBLE May 29th-5 Mile Trail Race, Sedona, Arizona
· May 23rd Rogation Monday
· May 24th Rogation Tuesday
· May 25th Rogation Wednesday
· May 26th Mass Ascension Thursday
· May 27th Friday in the Octave of the Ascension
· May 29th Seventh Sunday of Easter
· 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. Don’t forget the internet.
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Increase of Vocations to the Holy Priesthood.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
· Total Consecration to Mary Day 25
 Paone, Anthony J., S.J. My Daily Bread, Confraternity of the Precious Blood.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
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