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First Saturday

SHAVUOT-COGNAC-FISH & CHIPS-DONUT DAYS

 

Hosea, Chapter 10, Verse 5

The inhabitants of Samaria are AFRAID for the calf of Beth-aven; its people mourn for it and its idolatrous priests wail over it, —over its glory which has departed from it. 

This verse speaks of a people who want to be God's people while at the same time they want to worship pagan gods-they want it all.  They want freedom without truth.  No society can last long feeding on a diet of moral relativism. 

 

Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others. 

According to Dr. Peter Kreeft[1], author and professor of philosophy at Boston College there are four different kinds of freedom and one false freedom.

 

·       The first freedom men often seek deliverance from is obstacles or external wants of life such as poverty, material needs, dishonor, weakness, disease/death, pain, oppression, slavery and defeat.

 

·       The second freedom is more internal and spiritual in nature. Man seeks to be free to

o   1) have a free mind; to understand and to obtain wisdom

o   2) pursue human happiness and emotional well-being and

o   3) Man wants his free will.

·       The third freedom is a belief that all men have a right to freewill. If we believe otherwise, we treat others as objects and may justify and rationalize the use of violence against them.

 

·       The fourth freedom is liberty that is given by the Holy Spirit when we turn our freewill over to Christ and obtain freedom from sin via the new covenant which gives us eternal life.

 

·       The fifth freedom is a false freedom or myth of autonomy with no dependence on God. This false freedom comes in three forms

o   1) Individualism (Pride-self-esteem-I’m OK; your OK livelihood)

o   2) Hedonism (lust-pleasure)

o   3) Materialism (Greed). In order to have true freedom we should seek poverty, chastity and obedience.  Surely the poor are freer than the rich. 

Professor Kreeft recommends 10 steps or paradigms to true freedom.

 

  1. There are many types of freedom.
  2. These freedoms must be in the right order.
  3. We must put our freedoms in the right order.
  4. Freedoms are political.
  5. To be free we need detachment.
  6. Everything is from God.
  7. Use lower freedoms do not let them use you.
  8. You are free in Christ; without Him you make your own prison.
  9. Christ is our true freedom.
  10. Only Christ. 

The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. She was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit she grew in numbers.

 

First Saturday[2] 

When Sister Lúcia experienced the Pontevedra apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she heard her promise to grant great graces, especially at the hour of death, in particular the salvation of the soul, for the believer who for Five Consecutive First Saturdays of Month (5 Saturdays in 5 months) receives Holy Communion and practices the following exercises as an Act of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Heaven: 

·        Sacramental confession 

The confession can take place within eight days before or even after the Holy Communion is received, but the Holy Communion shall be received with dignity, in a state of Grace, keeping in mind that Jesus is physically present in the Eucharist (Transubstantiation). The Intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary may be kept to oneself; it is not necessary to notify the confessor priest. 

·        To receive Holy Communion 

The Holy Communion has to be received within the 24 hours of the first Saturday of the Month. Attendance to Holy Mass is optional. Receiving Holy Communion as part of this devotion must be consciously intended as an Act of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart. The devotee need not tell anyone else, but keep it in mind. To avoid omitting the Intention every Saturday, the General Intention for the devotion of the Act of Reparation can be mentally or outspokenly stated before starting the First Saturdays (or in between). 

If a person has a valid reason not to attend Mass (Masses not available on Saturdays, difficult mobilization, other major event), the devotee may consult a priest about receiving Communion privately or on another day with the intention of making this Communion as part of the devotion. 

·        A 5-Decade Rosary is recited

Shavuot – The Holiday that Nurtures Our Souls[3]begins at sunset

Shavuot is one of the three major Jewish festivals and comes exactly fifty days after Passover. After being redeemed from Egyptian slavery, the Jews arrived on Mount Sinai and received the Torah from God. This wonderful event took place 3,319 years ago. The word Shavuot means “weeks.” It marks the completion of the seven weeks, 49 days, between Passover and Shavuot during which the Jewish people prepared themselves for the giving of the Torah. During this time period they prepared themselves spiritually and entered into an eternal covenant with God with the giving of the Torah. Shavuot also means “oaths.” With the giving of the Torah, the Jewish people and God exchanged oaths, forming an everlasting covenant, not to forsake one another. Every year on this day we celebrate and renew our acceptance of God’s gift and our eternal bond with Him. There are several interesting customs associated with this holiday. We stay up all night learning Torah, read the Ten Commandments and the book of Ruth, and eat milk products, especially cheesecake. The custom of learning is especially fitting for the holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah. The custom of dairy products seems surprising. Among the different explanations given for this custom, one points out that the Hebrew word for milk is chalav. When the numerical value of the letters in this word are added together – 8; 30; 2 – the total is forty. Forty hints to the number of days Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Torah. I would like to present another, perhaps more personal and spiritual reason for this custom. Unlike meat that nourishes the flesh, milk is full of calcium which nourishes the bones. The Hebrew for bones is “Atzmot תמוצע ” which is also the word that means “essence.” This custom hints to the fact that on this holiday we absorb the Torah which nourishes our essence. Additionally, milk is the most basic of foods that a nursing mother shares with her infant. The mother literally gives of her essence and nurtures the essence of the baby. This relationship parallels the personal bond and love that a mother shares with her child. On Shavuot we celebrate the personal relationship that we have with God, when He gives over His essence, the Torah, and we absorb it into the essence of our soul.

 

Shavuot Facts[4]

·       On Shavuot, it is customary to adorn the Synagogue and home with flowers and green plants.  This is in memory of the foliage around Mount Sinai

·       On Shavuot, it is customary to eat milk products.  Many Jewish houses, replace the normal meat/chicken dinners with a festivity of milk products, including cheesecake, blintzes, cheeses and ice cream.  This custom commemorates the acts of the children of Israel at Sinai.  Having received the Law, they understood that their dishes were no longer Kosher, having been used for milk and meat together.  They also were in need of teaching on the intricate details of ritual slaughter (Shechitah).  Lacking these, they opted to eat only milk products.

·       It is customary in Orthodox and some traditional communities to partake in Bible/Jewish Law lessons throughout the eve and night of Shavuot.  This is in order to accept the Torah for their generation.  In Jerusalem, many people learn the whole night through until dawn and then walk to the Western Wall at sunrise and pray the morning and festival prayer from around 5-8 am.  Thereafter, they go home for a hearty festive breakfast and then sleep the rest of the morning.

·       The Book of Ruth is read in the Synagogue in the Morning of Shavuot.  Ruth converted to Judaism and it is her descendant, David, who became King in Israel.  The book of Ruth demonstrates that achieving a high level in Judaism, is neither ethnic nor genetic.

·       It is customary to wear new clothes on Shavuot.  In the seven weeks (the Omer) preceding Shavuot, people refrain from purchasing major clothing items.

Shavuot Top Events and Things to Do

·       Visit Mount Sinai (Egypt) or Israel.

·       Read the Book of Exodus, Joshua or Ruth in the Bible.

·       Watch the epic film Moses with Burt Lancaster, available for viewing on Youtube

·       Eat Milk products

Apostolic Exhortation[5]

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 II

III. Worthy Reception of Holy Communion – Conforming our life with Christ

55. The beautiful and rich Liturgy of the Church, which has been passed down to us from the first century, contains many expressions of devotion and faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. For example, we call to mind that the main reason our churches are decorated with beautiful and precious art is because here in the Church building, Jesus is present in the tabernacle, always accompanying us and interceding for us. We also celebrate our Masses with beautiful music and vestments, incense, candles, and many other details that allow us to express our faith and gratitude to Christ who has loved us so much that He has decided to stay with us, really present in the Eucharist, until the end of time. Many churches hold special hours of prayer and adoration of the Eucharist, to honor and thank our Lord, and to bring all our needs before Him. We dress respectfully for Mass knowing that we come to worship and receive our Lord who comes to us at the altar and especially in our hearts. All these expressions of devotion flow from a lively faith in Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist.

56. As the Eucharistic faith of the Church expresses itself in so many beautiful ways, so also, our faith in the Real Presence should move us to desire and strive with all our efforts to prepare and receive Jesus worthily in Holy Communion.

57. At the moment of Holy Communion, the priest holds up the consecrated Host and says, “the Body of Christ”. When we reply “Amen” and then receive the Body of Christ, we are expressing not only our faith in Jesus Christ but also our desire and effort to live in friendship with Him. By receiving the Body of Christ in Holy Communion we manifest our union with the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. Therefore, if with our “Amen,” we refuse to accept and live by the whole teaching of Christ and His Church, we are not in communion with Him but living a ‘fake’ union, one that overlooks truth and justice. In the same way, when we commit a mortal sin and deliberately fail in a serious matter of “rejection of communion with God… then we are seriously obliged to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until we are reconciled with God and the Church” through the Sacrament of Penance (USCCB “Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper”: On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist).

To be continued

Cognac Day[6]

There are many forms of distilled alcohol that carry a distinct nobility to them, a bit of culture and of social grandeur that just cant be claimed by other alcohols. When you think of beer, the concepts that arrive in your mind are often cheap bars and backyard BBQs, with wine the themes are the same but generally of a higher social class. Mention Bourbon, Scotch, and Cognac, however, and suddenly the rich red of mahogany and distinguished gentlemen in high-class studies and dens come to mind. Cognac Day is dedicated to one of these rich beverages, and perhaps one of the most distinguished.

History of Cognac Day

To begin with, lets talk about what Cognac actually is. Cognac, in a way, is what happens when wine grows up and develops character, though we may be biased. Cognac begins with a white wine produced in one of six designated growing regions, and its worth noting that if it wasnt produced from a white wine grown in those regions, its not considered a real Cognac. The white wine from which it starts is considered by most connoisseurs to be entirely undrinkable. Theres a further distinction in which a Cognac must be produced from 90% Ugni Blanc, a form of white wine grape, to have a specific designation. It all starts with the grapes being pressed and left to ferment for three weeks in the wild yeasts that grow naturally in those regions without the addition of sugar or sulfur. This wine is then distilled in alembic stills and placed into Limousin oak casks for two years where it goes from being nearly 70% alcohol to 40% alcohol. There are multiple grades of Cognac, and exploring them can be a great way to spend Cognac Day.

How to celebrate Cognac Day

Ahhh, this is certainly one of the grandest celebrations. Cognac Day can be celebrated by taking a trip to your local liquor store and selecting a few varieties to try out. Get together a few friends and you can have a positively thrilling taste test with dozens of varieties to choose from. Cognac is far and away an improvement over the simply fermented grape, distilled and cultivated down to its ultimate final form. While youre sampling this drink, you should look into the various forms of glassware that are specially designed for serving Cognac. Fill a glass, take a sip, and savor the luxuriousness that is Cognac, you wont regret it!

Fish and Chip Day[7]


 

Rich, delicious, and flavorful, and utterly satisfying, thats the best way to describe this treat. Theres something about the tang of salt and the oil-stained newspaper that just speaks of a meal so steeped in tradition it only seems appropriate that it comes wrapped in the days news. Fish and Chips Day commemorates this fundamental meal of the working class, and while its roots may lay on Britannias foggy shores, there are few places in the world that this comfort food hasnt found its way to.

 

To talk of the history of this holiday is, as in the case of so many others, to speak of the origins of that which it celebrates. Fish and Chip seem an odd thing to have become the foundation for an entire cultures working class, but much comes into focus when you understand the economy and industry of the time it took hold. In the late 1800s, trawl fishing became a major part of the industry in the North Sea, resulting in a growing availability of fresh fish in areas further inland, especially within the cities. Anyone who understands economics knows that easily available means cheaper to get your hands on. Cheap, filling, and high caloric food created an excellent foundation for a working class that held incredibly physically demanding jobs. Thus, it was that Chippers started cropping up all over major population centers, the vendors that served fish and chips to the people on the street. From there, the meal spread all over the world and is now popular all over Canada (being sold from Chip Wagons) and throughout the USA. In the Americas it can be found in everything from corner burger shops as part of their fry menu, to some of the most upscale restaurants which provide them with only the best cod and sides. It really is a meal that crosses all the boundaries of culture, class, and status.

 

How to Celebrate Fish and Chip Day

 

Well, it starts off simple enough, doesnt it? Pop on over to your favorite Chipper and get yourself a paper-full of this delicious and filling meal. Try it, however, you like it, with a little tartar sauce in the US, a bit of mayonnaise in Canada, or whatever strikes you as your favorite thing to flavor your dish with. Malt vinegar is a very popular addition, and with the delicious tang, it will make your Fish and Chip Day flavorful and authentic!

 

National Doughnut Day[8]


 

National Doughnut Day is a day of appreciation of Salvation Army volunteers who distributed doughnuts to servicemen during World War I.  Doughnuts are fried circular pieces of dough that are usually topped with sugar syrups, chocolate, nuts and other flavorings. National Doughnut Day began in 1938 as a fundraiser for Chicago's Salvation Army.  The fundraiser aimed to support the needy and honor the Salvation Army volunteers who donated their time during World War I to hand out doughnuts to the soldiers.  When the US entered the war in 1917, Salvation Army huts were formed where many female volunteers were deployed to mother the soldiers.  During this time, women began to make doughnuts for the servicemen who began to refer to the women as, Doughnut Dollies. This national holiday is celebrated each year on the first Friday in June.

 

National Doughnut Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·       Visit your local doughnut store for specials and promotions to celebrate National Doughnut Day.  Many doughnut stores offer free doughnuts or specials.

·       Try to make your own doughnuts with your favorite toppings, or try new blends of sweet and savory toppings.  Some interesting twists include maple bacon doughnut, smoked salmon doughnut and grilled cheese doughnuts!

·       Become a volunteer with The Salvation Army.  According to The Salvation Army, more than 30 million Americans received assistance from the Salvation Army's officers, employees and 3.4 million volunteers in 2014.

·       Pick up a large box of doughnuts on your way to work or school to share with friends, family, colleagues or fellow students

 

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 9-"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH"

Paragraph 4. CHRIST'S FAITHFUL - HIERARCHY, LAITY, CONSECRATED LIFE

871 "The Christian faithful are those who, inasmuch as they have been incorporated in Christ through Baptism, have been constituted as the people of God; for this reason, since they have become sharers in Christ's priestly, prophetic, and royal office in their own manner, they are called to exercise the mission which God has entrusted to the Church to fulfill in the world, in accord with the condition proper to each one."

872 "In virtue of their rebirth in Christ there exists among all the Christian faithful a true equality with regard to dignity and the activity whereby all cooperate in the building up of the Body of Christ in accord with each one's own condition and function."

873 The very differences which the Lord has willed to put between the members of his body serve its unity and mission. For "in the Church there is diversity of ministry but unity of mission. To the apostles and their successors Christ has entrusted the office of teaching, sanctifying and governing in his name and by his power. But the laity are made to share in the priestly, prophetical, and kingly office of Christ; they have therefore, in the Church and in the world, their own assignment in the mission of the whole People of God." Finally, "from both groups [hierarchy and laity] there exist Christian faithful who are consecrated to God in their own special manner and serve the salvific mission of the Church through the profession of the evangelical counsels."

I. THE HIERARCHICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH

Why the ecclesial ministry?

874 Christ is himself the source of ministry in the Church. He instituted the Church. He gave her authority and mission, orientation and goal:

In order to shepherd the People of God and to increase its numbers without cease, Christ the Lord set up in his Church a variety of offices which aim at the good of the whole body. the holders of office, who are invested with a sacred power, are, in fact, dedicated to promoting the interests of their brethren, so that all who belong to the People of God . . . may attain to salvation.

875 "How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? and how are they to hear without a preacher? and how can men preach unless they are sent?" No one - no individual and no community - can proclaim the Gospel to himself: "Faith comes from what is heard." No one can give himself the mandate and the mission to proclaim the Gospel. the one sent by the Lord does not speak and act on his own authority, but by virtue of Christ's authority; not as a member of the community but speaking to it in the name of Christ. No one can bestow grace on himself; it must be given and offered. This fact presupposes ministers of grace, authorized and empowered by Christ. From him, they receive the mission and faculty ("the sacred power") to act in persona Christi Capitis. the ministry in which Christ's emissaries do and give by God's grace what they cannot do and give by their own powers, is called a "sacrament" by the Church's tradition. Indeed, the ministry of the Church is conferred by a special sacrament.

876 Intrinsically linked to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry is its character as service. Entirely dependent on Christ who gives mission and authority, ministers are truly "slaves of Christ," in the image of him who freely took "the form of a slave" for us. Because the word and grace of which they are ministers are not their own but are given to them by Christ for the sake of others, they must freely become the slaves of all.

877 Likewise, it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry that it have a collegial character. In fact, from the beginning of his ministry, the Lord Jesus instituted the Twelve as "the seeds of the new Israel and the beginning of the sacred hierarchy." Chosen together, they were also sent out together, and their fraternal unity would be at the service of the fraternal communion of all the faithful: they would reflect and witness to the communion of the divine persons. For this reason every bishop exercises his ministry from within the episcopal college, in communion with the bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter and head of the college. So also priests exercise their ministry from within the presbyterium of the diocese, under the direction of their bishop.

878 Finally, it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial ministry that it have a personal character. Although Chnst's ministers act in communion with one another, they also always act in a personal way. Each one is called personally: "You, follow me" in order to be a personal witness within the common mission, to bear personal responsibility before him who gives the mission, acting "in his person" and for other persons: "I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ..."; "I absolve you...."

879 Sacramental ministry in the Church, then, is at once a collegial and a personal service, exercised in the name of Christ. This is evidenced by the bonds between the episcopal college and its head, the successor of St. Peter, and in the relationship between the bishop's pastoral responsibility for his particular church and the common solicitude of the episcopal college for the universal Church.

The episcopal college and its head, the Pope

880 When Christ instituted the Twelve, "he constituted [them] in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from among them." Just as "by the Lord's institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are related with and united to one another."

881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head." This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

882 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered."

883 "The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head." As such, this college has "supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff."

884 "The college of bishops exercises power over the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council." But "there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by Peter's successor."

885 "This college, in so far as it is composed of many members, is the expression of the variety and universality of the People of God; and of the unity of the flock of Christ, in so far as it is assembled under one head."

886 "The individual bishops are the visible source and foundation of unity in their own particular Churches." As such, they "exercise their pastoral office over the portion of the People of God assigned to them," assisted by priests and deacons. But, as a member of the episcopal college, each bishop shares in the concern for all the Churches. The bishops exercise this care first "by ruling well their own Churches as portions of the universal Church," and so contributing "to the welfare of the whole Mystical Body, which, from another point of view, is a corporate body of Churches." They extend it especially to the poor, to those persecuted for the faith, as well as to missionaries who are working throughout the world.

887 Neighboring particular Churches who share the same culture form ecclesiastical provinces or larger groupings called patriarchates or regions. The bishops of these groupings can meet in synods or provincial councils. "In a like fashion, the episcopal conferences at the present time are in a position to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegiate spirit."

The teaching office

888 Bishops, with priests as co-workers, have as their first task "to preach the Gospel of God to all men," in keeping with the Lord's command. They are "heralds of faith, who draw new disciples to Christ; they are authentic teachers" of the apostolic faith "endowed with the authority of Christ."

889 In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a "supernatural sense of faith" the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, "unfailingly adheres to this faith."

890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. the exercise of this charism takes several forms:

891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.... the infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.

892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent" which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

The sanctifying office

893 The bishop is "the steward of the grace of the supreme priesthood," especially in the Eucharist which he offers personally or whose offering he assures through the priests, his co-workers. the Eucharist is the center of the life of the particular Church. the bishop and priests sanctify the Church by their prayer and work, by their ministry of the word and of the sacraments. They sanctify her by their example, "not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock." Thus, "together with the flock entrusted to them, they may attain to eternal life."

The governing office

894 "The bishops, as vicars and legates of Christ, govern the particular Churches assigned to them by their counsels, exhortations, and example, but over and above that also by the authority and sacred power" which indeed they ought to exercise so as to edify, in the spirit of service which is that of their Master.

895 "The power which they exercise personally in the name of Christ, is proper, ordinary, and immediate, although its exercise is ultimately controlled by the supreme authority of the Church." But the bishops should not be thought of as vicars of the Pope. His ordinary and immediate authority over the whole Church does not annul, but on the contrary confirms and defends that of the bishops. Their authority must be exercised in communion with the whole Church under the guidance of the Pope.

896 The Good Shepherd ought to be the model and "form" of the bishop's pastoral office. Conscious of his own weaknesses, "the bishop . . . can have compassion for those who are ignorant and erring. He should not refuse to listen to his subjects whose welfare he promotes as of his very own children.... the faithful ... should be closely attached to the bishop as the Church is to Jesus Christ, and as Jesus Christ is to the Father":

Let all follow the bishop, as Jesus Christ follows his Father, and the college of presbyters as the apostles; respect the deacons as you do God's law. Let no one do anything concerning the Church in separation from the bishop.

II. THE LAY FAITHFUL

897 "The term 'laity' is here understood to mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. That is, the faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World."

The vocation of lay people

898 "By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God's will.... It pertains to them in a special way so to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be effected and grow according to Christ and maybe to the glory of the Creator and Redeemer."

899 The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:

Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.

900 Since, like all the faithful, lay Christians are entrusted by God with the apostolate by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation, they have the right and duty, individually or grouped in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth. This duty is the more pressing when it is only through them that men can hear the Gospel and know Christ. Their activity in ecclesial communities is so necessary that, for the most part, the apostolate of the pastors cannot be fully effective without it.

The participation of lay people in Christ's priestly office

901 "Hence the laity, dedicated as they are to Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit, are marvellously called and prepared so that even richer fruits of the Spirit maybe produced in them. For all their works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit - indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born - all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord. and so, worshipping everywhere by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God, everywhere offering worship by the holiness of their lives."

902 In a very special way, parents share in the office of sanctifying "by leading a conjugal life in the Christian spirit and by seeing to the Christian education of their children."

903 Lay people who possess the required qualities can be admitted permanently to the ministries of lector and acolyte. When the necessity of the Church warrants it and when ministers are lacking, lay persons, even if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply for certain of their offices, namely, to exercise the ministry of the word, to preside over liturgical prayers, to confer Baptism, and to distribute Holy Communion in accord with the prescriptions of law."

Participation in Christ's prophetic office

904 "Christ . . . fulfills this prophetic office, not only by the hierarchy . . . but also by the laity. He accordingly both establishes them as witnesses and provides them with the sense of the faith [sensus fidei] and the grace of the word"

To teach in order to lead others to faith is the task of every preacher and of each believer.

905 Lay people also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelization, "that is, the proclamation of Christ by word and the testimony of life." For lay people, "this evangelization . . . acquires a specific property and peculiar efficacy because it is accomplished in the ordinary circumstances of the world."

This witness of life, however, is not the sole element in the apostolate; the true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful.

906 Lay people who are capable and trained may also collaborate in catechetical formation, in teaching the sacred sciences, and in use of the communications media.

907 "In accord with the knowledge, competence, and preeminence which they possess, [lay people] have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons."

Participation in Christ's kingly office

908 By his obedience unto death, Christ communicated to his disciples the gift of royal freedom, so that they might "by the self-abnegation of a holy life, overcome the reign of sin in themselves":

That man is rightly called a king who makes his own body an obedient subject and, by governing himself with suitable rigor, refuses to let his passions breed rebellion in his soul, for he exercises a kind of royal power over himself. and because he knows how to rule his own person as king, so too does he sit as its judge. He will not let himself be imprisoned by sin, or thrown headlong into wickedness.

909 "Moreover, by uniting their forces let the laity so remedy the institutions and conditions of the world when the latter are an inducement to sin, that these may be conformed to the norms of justice, favoring rather than hindering the practice of virtue. By so doing they will impregnate culture and human works with a moral value."

910 "The laity can also feel called, or be in fact called, to cooperate with their pastors in the service of the ecclesial community, for the sake of its growth and life. This can be done through the exercise of different kinds of ministries according to the grace and charisms which the Lord has been pleased to bestow on them."

911 In the Church, "lay members of the Christian faithful can cooperate in the exercise of this power [of governance] in accord with the norm of law." and so the Church provides for their presence at particular councils, diocesan synods, pastoral councils; the exercise in solidum of the pastoral care of a parish, collaboration in finance committees, and participation in ecclesiastical tribunals, etc.

912 The faithful should "distinguish carefully between the rights and the duties which they have as belonging to the Church and those which fall to them as members of the human society. They will strive to unite the two harmoniously, remembering that in every temporal affair they are to be guided by a Christian conscience, since no human activity, even of the temporal order, can be withdrawn from God's dominion."

913 "Thus, every person, through these gifts given to him, is at once the witness and the living instrument of the mission of the Church itself 'according to the measure of Christ's bestowal."'

III. THE CONSECRATED LIFE

914 "The state of life which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical counsels, while not entering into the hierarchical structure of the Church, belongs undeniably to her life and holiness."

Evangelical counsels, consecrated life

915 Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. the perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the profession of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God.

916 The religious state is thus one way of experiencing a "more intimate" consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ's faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come.

One great tree, with many branches

917 "From the God-given seed of the counsels a wonderful and wide-spreading tree has grown up in the field of the Lord, branching out into various forms of the religious life lived in solitude or in community. Different religious families have come into existence in which spiritual resources are multiplied for the progress in holiness of their members and for the good of the entire Body of Christ."

918 From the very beginning of the Church there were men and women who set out to follow Christ with greater liberty, and to imitate him more closely, by practicing the evangelical counsels. They led lives dedicated to God, each in his own way. Many of them, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, became hermits or founded religious families. These the Church, by virtue of her authority, gladly accepted and approved.

919 Bishops will always strive to discern new gifts of consecrated life granted to the Church by the Holy Spirit; the approval of new forms of consecrated life is reserved to the Apostolic See.

The eremitic life

920 Without always professing the three evangelical counsels publicly, hermits "devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance."

921 They manifest to everyone the interior aspect of the mystery of the Church, that is, personal intimacy with Christ. Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is a silent preaching of the Lord, to whom he has surrendered his life simply because he is everything to him. Here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual battle, the glory of the Crucified One.

Consecrated virgins

922 From apostolic times Christian virgins, called by the Lord to cling only to him with greater freedom of heart, body, and spirit, have decided with the Church's approval to live in a state of virginity "for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven."

923 "Virgins who, committed to the holy plan of following Christ more closely, are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are betrothed mystically to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church." By this solemn rite (Consecratio virginum), the virgin is "constituted . . . a sacred person, a transcendent sign of the Church's love for Christ, and an eschatological image of this heavenly Bride of Christ and of the life to come."

924 "As with other forms of consecrated life," the order of virgins establishes the woman living in the world (or the nun) in prayer, penance, service of her brethren, and apostolic activity, according to the state of life and spiritual gifts given to her. Consecrated virgins can form themselves into associations to observe their commitment more faithfully.

Religious life

925 Religious life was born in the East during the first centuries of Christianity. Lived within institutes canonically erected by the Church, it is distinguished from other forms of consecrated life by its liturgical character, public profession of the evangelical counsels, fraternal life led in common, and witness given to the union of Christ with the Church.

926 Religious life derives from the mystery of the Church. It is a gift she has received from her Lord, a gift she offers as a stable way of life to the faithful called by God to profess the counsels. Thus, the Church can both show forth Christ and acknowledge herself to be the Savior's bride. Religious life in its various forms is called to signify the very charity of God in the language of our time.

927 All religious, whether exempt or not, take their place among the collaborators of the diocesan bishop in his pastoral duty. From the outset of the work of evangelization, the missionary "planting" and expansion of the Church require the presence of the religious life in all its forms. "History witnesses to the outstanding service rendered by religious families in the propagation of the faith and in the formation of new Churches: from the ancient monastic institutions to the medieval orders, all the way to the more recent congregations."

Secular institutes

928 "A secular institute is an institute of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful living in the world strive for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification of the world especially from within."

929 By a "life perfectly and entirely consecrated to [such] sanctification," the members of these institutes share in the Church's task of evangelization, "in the world and from within the world," where their presence acts as "leaven in the world." "Their witness of a Christian life" aims "to order temporal things according to God and inform the world with the power of the gospel." They commit themselves to the evangelical counsels by sacred bonds and observe among themselves the communion and fellowship appropriate to their "particular secular way of life."

Societies of apostolic life

930 Alongside the different forms of consecrated life are "societies of apostolic life whose members without religious vows pursue the particular apostolic purpose of their society, and lead a life as brothers or sisters in common according to a particular manner of life, strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions. Among these there are societies in which the members embrace the evangelical counsels" according to their constitutions.

Consecration and mission: proclaiming the King who is coming

931 Already dedicated to him through Baptism, the person who surrenders himself to the God he loves above all else thereby consecrates himself more intimately to God's service and to the good of the Church. By this state of life consecrated to God, the Church manifests Christ and shows us how the Holy Spirit acts so wonderfully in her. and so the first mission of those who profess the evangelical counsels is to live out their consecration. Moreover, "since members of institutes of consecrated life dedicate themselves through their consecration to the service of the Church they are obliged in a special manner to engage in missionary work, in accord with the character of the institute."

932 In the Church, which is like the sacrament - the sign and instrument - of God's own life, the consecrated life is seen as a special sign of the mystery of redemption. To follow and imitate Christ more nearly and to manifest more clearly his self-emptying is to be more deeply present to one's contemporaries, in the heart of Christ. For those who are on this "narrower" path encourage their brethren by their example, and bear striking witness "that the world cannot be transfigured and offered to God without the spirit of the beatitudes."

933 Whether their witness is public, as in the religious state, or less public, or even secret, Christ's coming remains for all those consecrated both the origin and rising sun of their life:

For the People of God has here no lasting city, . . . [and this state] reveals more clearly to all believers the heavenly goods which are already present in this age, witnessing to the new and eternal life which we have acquired through the redemptive work of Christ and preluding our future resurrection and the glory of the heavenly kingdom.

IN BRIEF

934 "Among the Christian faithful by divine institution there exist in the Church sacred ministers, who are also called clerics in law, and other Christian faithful who are also called laity." In both groups there are those Christian faithful who, professing the evangelical counsels, are consecrated to God and so serve the Church's saving mission (cf. CIC, can. 207 # 1, 2).

935 To proclaim the faith and to plant his reign, Christ sends his apostles and their successors. He gives them a share in his own mission. From him they receive the power to act in his person.

936 The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. the bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is "head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth" (CIC, can. 331).

937 The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, "supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls" (CD 2).

938 The Bishops, established by the Holy Spirit, succeed the apostles. They are "the visible source and foundation of unity in their own particular Churches" (LG 23).

939 Helped by the priests, their co-workers, and by the deacons, the bishops have the duty of authentically teaching the faith, celebrating divine worship, above all the Eucharist, and guiding their Churches as true pastors. Their responsibility also includes concern for all the Churches, with and under the Pope.

940 "The characteristic of the lay state being a life led in the midst of the world and of secular affairs, lay people are called by God to make of their apostolate, through the vigor of their Christian spirit, a leaven in the world" (AA 2 # 2).

941 Lay people share in Christ's priesthood: ever more united with him, they exhibit the grace of Baptism and Confirmation in all dimensions of their personal family, social and ecclesial lives, and so fulfill the call to holiness addressed to all the baptized.

942 By virtue of their prophetic mission, lay people "are called . . . to be witnesses to Christ in all circumstances and at the very heart of the community of mankind" (GS 43 # 4).

943 By virtue of their kingly mission, lay people have the power to uproot the rule of sin within themselves and in the world, by their self-denial and holiness of life (cf. LG 36).

944 The life consecrated to God is characterized by the public profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, in a stable state of life recognized by the Church.

945 Already destined for him through Baptism, the person who surrenders himself to the God he loves above all else thereby consecrates himself more intimately to God's service and to the good of the whole Church.

Personal Pilgrimages

 

It is in and through the Mass that we can see the grandeur of God. Perhaps after Mass would be a great time to take a trek outdoors and in wonder of nature praise his holy name. Create a list of places of grandeur to wonder at the art of God. Start with three or four with a goal of doing one per each season of the year. Here is mine[9]:

·       March 19. St. Joseph of the Mountains Shrine.

·       June 4-6. Early morning hike Fay Canyon meditate on precious blood of Christ and then hike after breakfast Devils Canyon. Stay Crescent Moon Ranch Cabin.

·       September or October. Beaver falls are notoriously difficult to access but once you arrive the site is breath taking. They are the fifth set of falls in the area and are directly after Mooney Falls. Originally some parts of the fall were fifty feet in height, but the floods of 1910 destroyed some of the area. When you are at the site you can see the markings around that show how high the water rose during the flood.

·       January 22-24. Santa Fe Loretto Chapel-Feast of the Holy Spouses.

Event

·       Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic--June 4-5--Soar to new heights in California’s beautiful Wine Country in this two-day event in Windsor, California. On Saturday and Sunday, set your alarm clock early to make sure you’re awake to catch approximately 30 colorful balloons launch around 6:30am.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: An increase of the faithful

·       Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Pentecost Novena Day 9

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Nineveh 90-Day 50

·       Rosary




[1]Peter Kreeft, Lecture at Catholic Men’s Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, 3/21/2015.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Saturdays_Devotion

[4]http://www.wincalendar.com/Shavuot

[6] https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/cognac-day/

[9] https://www.thecrazytourist.com/the-17-most-beautiful-spots-in-arizona/



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