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Corpus Christi Sunday

FATHERS DAY- MIDSUMMER-JUNETEENTH-SAUNTER DAY

 

Haggai, Chapter 2, verse 5

This is the commitment I made to you when you came out of Egypt. My spirit remains in your midst; do not FEAR! 

The prophet here is assuring the people of God’s presence. During the time of exile under the reign of Darius people needed to be reminded of God’s presence. How blessed we are that as Catholics and Non-Catholics we have God in our very presence in the Sanctuary of the Blessed Sacrament. Each time we visit our soul is filled with grace; it is like a river that flows to the sea and with each visit our soul receives a small stream of love and kindness so that it grows fuller and stronger on the way. 

Jesus awaits us in there; let us not refuse to meet Him in adoration, contemplating Him in full faith; opening ourselves to making amends for the offenses and crimes we and the world has committed. Let our adoration never cease.[1] 

Speak Lord; your servant is listening[2]

Ultimately, discernment leads to the wellspring of undying life: to know the Father, the only true God, and the one whom he has sent, Jesus Christ. It requires no special abilities, nor is it only for the more intelligent or better educated. The Father readily reveals himself to the lowly. The Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways, at work, through others and at every moment. Yet we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us better to perceive God’s language, to interpret the real meaning of the inspirations we believe we have received, to calm our anxieties and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light. In this way, we allow the birth of a new synthesis that springs from a life inspired by the Spirit.  Nonetheless, it is possible that, even in prayer itself, we could refuse to let ourselves be confronted by the freedom of the Spirit, who acts as he wills. We must remember that prayerful discernment must be born of a readiness to listen: to the Lord and to others, and to reality itself, which always challenges us in new ways. Only if we are prepared to listen, do we have the freedom to set aside our own partial or insufficient ideas, our usual habits and ways of seeing things. In this way, we become truly open to accepting a call that can shatter our security, but lead us to a better life. It is not enough that everything be calm and peaceful. God may be offering us something more, but in our comfortable inadvertence, we do not recognize it. Naturally, this attitude of listening entails obedience to the Gospel as the ultimate standard, but also to the Magisterium that guards it, as we seek to find in the treasury of the Church whatever is most fruitful for the “today” of salvation. It is not a matter of applying rules or repeating what was done in the past, since the same solutions are not valid in all circumstances and what was useful in one context may not prove so in another. The discernment of spirits liberates us from rigidity, which has no place before the perennial “today” of the risen Lord. The Spirit alone can penetrate what is obscure and hidden in every situation, and grasp its every nuance, so that the newness of the Gospel can emerge in another light.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”[3]

The world tells us exactly the opposite: entertainment, pleasure, diversion and escape make for the good life. The worldly person ignores problems of sickness or sorrow in the family or all around him; he averts his gaze. The world has no desire to mourn; it would rather disregard painful situations, cover them up or hide them. Much energy is expended on fleeing from situations of suffering in the belief that reality can be concealed. But the cross can never be absent. A person who sees things as they truly are and sympathizes with pain and sorrow is capable of touching life’s depths and finding authentic happiness. He or she is consoled, not by the world but by Jesus. Such persons are unafraid to share in the suffering of others; they do not flee from painful situations. They discover the meaning of life by coming to the aid of those who suffer, understanding their anguish and bringing relief. They sense that the other is flesh of our flesh, and are not afraid to draw near, even to touch their wounds. They feel compassion for others in such a way that all distance vanishes. In this way they can embrace Saint Paul’s exhortation: “Weep with those who weep” Knowing how to mourn with others: that is holiness.

ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY[4] 

CHAPTER V

 

DIES DIERUM

 

Sunday: The Primordial Feast, Revealing the Meaning of Time

Sunday in the Liturgical Year

76. With its weekly recurrence, the Lord's Day is rooted in the most ancient tradition of the Church and is vitally important for the Christian. But there was another rhythm which soon established itself: the annual liturgical cycle. Human psychology in fact desires the celebration of anniversaries, associating the return of dates and seasons with the remembrance of past events. When these events are decisive in the life of a people, their celebration generally creates a festive atmosphere which breaks the monotony of daily routine.

Now, by God's design, the great saving events upon which the Church's life is founded were closely linked to the annual Jewish feasts of Passover and Pentecost, and were prophetically foreshadowed in them. Since the second century, the annual celebration of Easter by Christians — having been added to the weekly Easter celebration — allowed a more ample meditation on the mystery of Christ crucified and risen. Preceded by a preparatory fast, celebrated in the course of a long vigil, extended into the fifty days leading to Pentecost, the feast of Easter — "solemnity of solemnities" — became the day par excellence for the initiation of catechumens. Through baptism they die to sin and rise to a new life because Jesus "was put to death for our sins and raised for our justification" (Rom 4:25; cf. 6:3-11). Intimately connected to the Paschal Mystery, the Solemnity of Pentecost takes on special importance, celebrating as it does the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles gathered with Mary and inaugurating the mission to all peoples.

Corpus Christi Sunday

Corpus Christi (Body and Blood of Christ) is a Eucharistic solemnity, or better, the solemn commemoration of the institution of that sacrament. It is, moreover, the Church's official act of homage and gratitude to Christ, who by instituting the Holy Eucharist gave to the Church her greatest treasure. Holy Thursday, assuredly, marks the anniversary of the institution, but the commemoration of the Lord's passion that very night suppresses the rejoicing proper to the occasion. Today's observance, therefore, accents the joyous aspect of Holy Thursday.

The Mass and the Office for the feast was edited or composed by St. Thomas Aquinas upon the request of Pope Urban IV in the year 1264. It is unquestionably a classic piece of liturgical work, wholly in accord with the best liturgical traditions. . . It is a perfect work of art.

Things to Do:[5]

·       The Directory on Popular Piety explains Eucharistic devotion and Eucharistic adoration.

·       Encourage your pastor to have a Eucharist Procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi.

·       Freshly baked bread would be a key dish at your celebratory Sunday dinner, as bread has always been symbolic for life giving and nourishment, as is the Eucharist. We have also highlighted a Christmas cookie recipe called Lebkuchen (life cake), which is rich in symbolism.

·       Two newer church documents to read:

o   The fourteenth encyclical letter of Pope John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia (On the Eucharist in Its Relationship to the Church) released on Holy Thursday, April 17, 2003. The focus of the papal encyclical is the celebration of the Eucharist; the Pope reminds us that the Eucharist is the center of Catholic spiritual life.

o   Redemptionis Sacramentum (On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist), an Instruction released by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on March 25, 2004.

Sunday Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Patum de Berga[6]

The Patum de Berga is a popular and traditional festival that is celebrated each year in the Catalan city of Berga (Barcelona) during Corpus Christi. It consists of a series of "dances" (balls) by townspeople dressed as mystical and symbolical figures. The balls are marked by their solemnity and their ample use of fire and pyrotechnics. It was declared a Traditional Festival of National Interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1983, and as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005. In Catalonia, Corpus Cristi is celebrated with the tradition of the dancing egg. There is evidence this tradition dates from the 16th century.

Corpus Christi[7]

WHY is this day called Corpus Christi? Because on this day the Catholic Church solemnly celebrates the institution of the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The name, which is Latin, signifies the body of Christ.

Why is this feast not celebrated on Maundy Thursday? Because on Maundy Thursday, the day of the institution of this sacrament, the Church is occupied with the passion and death of Christ, and has no thought of joy, but gives herself up to grief.

By whom was this feast established? It was instituted by Pope Urban IV. Persuaded by a devout nun of Liege, who believed herself to be divinely encouraged to introduce this feast, Robert, Bishop of Liege, determined, in the year 1247 to celebrate this feast in his diocese. This intention he was prevented from carrying out by death. In the year 1264 Pope Urban IV commanded this feast to be solemnly celebrated throughout the whole Church. Clement V confirms the order, at the Council of Vienne, 1311, and fixed the feast on the first Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

For what purpose was this feast instituted, and why are processions so solemnly held on this day?

1. To declare, openly, to the faithful the real and substantial presence of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

2. In order to manifest, in the sight of heaven and earth, honor and adoration for Him before Whom every knee shall bow.

3. To give public thanks for the institution of this holy sacrament, and for all the graces thereby conferred upon the faithful.

4. To repair, in some measure, by solemn adoration, the wrongs done to Christ, in this sacrament.

5. To bring down God’s blessing upon the land and upon the people.

6. To show that Jesus, as true God, dwells not only in temples built by hands, but that He has heaven for His throne, the earth for His foot stool, and the whole world for His temple.

The Church sings at the Introit of the Mass: He fed them with the fat of wheat, alleluia; and filled them with honey out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice to God our helper, sing aloud to the God of Jacob” (Ps. Ixxx.).

Prayer. O God, Who in this wonderful sacrament hast left us a memorial of Thy passion, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to reverence the sacred mysteries of Thy body and blood, that we may ever perceive within us the fruit of Thy redemption.

EPISTLE, i. COR. xi. 23-29.

Brethren: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is My body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of Me. In like manner also the chalice, after He had supped, saying: This chalice is the New Testament in My blood, this do ye as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of Me. For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord until He come: therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so, let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself: not discerning the body of the Lord.

GOSPEL. John vi. 56-59.


 

At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink; indeed, he that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live forever.

 

Why did Jesus say, this is the bread that came down from heaven? He wished thereby to teach the Jews that the bread which He would give them, like the manna, came down from heaven, and was, indeed, the only true bread from heaven. The manna was but a type and could only prolong the life of the body. The type was now to be fulfilled; the bread that He was about to give them would impart to them eternal life, and this bread would be His flesh, Himself, Who truly came from heaven, to redeem mankind, and to bring them to life everlasting. Jesus calls His flesh bread, partly on account of its likeness to the manna, partly on account of its effect; for as bread nourishes the body, and sustains the earthly life, so the body of Christ, in the Holy Sacrament, nourishes the soul, and imparts to it, continually, a new, divine, and everlasting life.

 

What is the Holy Sacrament of the Altar? It is that sacrament in which, after the words of its institution have been spoken by the priest, Jesus Christ is present, whole and entire, in His Godhead and in His manhood, under the appearance of bread and wine.

 

When and how did Jesus institute this sacrament? At the Last Supper; In the night, before He was betrayed, He took bread, and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, Take and eat, for this is My body which will be given for you. In the same manner, He took the chalice and said, Take and drink, for this chalice is the new covenant in My blood. Do this as often as you drink from it in commemoration of Me.

 

What did Jesus affect by these words? He changed bread and wine into His most precious body and blood.

 

Has He given to others the power to do the same? Yes, He gave this power to His apostles and their successors, the bishops and priests, in these words: Do this in commemoration of Me.

 

What takes place at the words of consecration? Bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and only the outward appearances of bread and wine remain.

 

How is Jesus present in the Most Holy Sacrament? He is present, truly, really, and substantially, in His divinity and humanity, in flesh and blood, in body and soul, under the appearances of bread and wine.

 

Why do we believe this?

 

1. Because the words of Jesus do not reasonably admit of any other meaning: since by them we see

 

(a) that Jesus gave His disciples a certain nourishment which they were to eat.

 

(b) that this nourishment was bread and wine to all appearances, but Jesus called the bread His body, which was afterwards to be sacrificed for us, and the wine His blood, which was to be shed for us: this food consequently was not bread and wine, but, under the appearance of bread and wine, was indeed His body and blood; since what He gave for our redemption was not bread and wine, but His true body and His true blood;

 

(c) that as the body and blood of Jesus were inseparable from His soul and divinity, He gave Himself up for our nourishment, whole and undivided, as He hung, bled, and died upon the cross.

 

(d) that He commanded what He had done to be continued until He should come again (1 Cor. xi. 26), that is, until the end of the world; and that He,

 

(e) on account of this being His testament, and the New Law, was not at liberty to speak figuratively, but plainly and distinctly.

 

2. Because the apostles preached this very doctrine.

 

3. Because the Catholic Church, the pillar and foundation of truth, has thus constantly taught, from the apostle’s times down to the present day, as the oldest Councils and the Holy Fathers unanimously testify. 

Body of Christ[8]

Feast of Corpus Christi, in the U.S., said on the Sunday rather than the Thursday after the Feast of the Holy Trinity. An adoration of the Food that sustains us on our post-Pentecostal pilgrimage and "the pledge of our future glory" The history of Corpus Christi started with a humble Belgian girl at the age of sixteen, who began having visions of a bright moon marred by a small black spot. After years of seeing this perplexing portent, Jesus Christ appeared to her and revealed its meaning. The moon, He told her, represented the Church calendar, and the black spot the absence of a feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament. That nun was St. Juliana, Prioress of Mont Cornillon (1258), and the Feast she was commissioned by our Lord to promote was the feast of Corpus Christi. Even before its universal promotion in 1314, Corpus Christi was one of the grandest feasts of the Roman rite. At the request of Pope Urban IV (d. 1264), the Mass proper’s and divine office for this day were composed or arranged by St. Thomas Aquinas, whose teaching on the Real Presence was so profound that the figure of Jesus Christ once descended from a crucifix and declared to him, "Thou hast written well of me, Thomas." The mastery with which Aquinas weaves together the scriptural, poetic, and theological texts of this feast amply corroborates this conclusion.

Processions & Pageants 

Though Maundy Thursday is in a sense the primary feast of the Blessed Sacrament, Corpus Christi allows the faithful to specially reflect on and give thanks for the Eucharist. Hence there arose a number of observances centered on Eucharistic adoration. The most conspicuous of these is the splendid Corpus Christi procession. This public profession of the Catholic teaching on the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament was solemnly encouraged by the Council of Trent: there is even an indulgence attached to all who participate in it. By the 1600s, the procession on Corpus Christi had become the most famous of the year. Long parades of faithful walk with the Blessed Sacrament (carried in a monstrance by the priest) while church bells peal and bands play. In Latin countries, the streets are blanketed with boughs and flowers, often elaborately woven together. Sometimes a variation on the custom of Stations is employed (see Stational Churches, etc.), where the procession stops at several points for benediction and adoration. By its very nature, the Corpus Christi procession encouraged pageantry. In addition to the grandeur mentioned above, vivid symbolic reenactments of various teachings became a part of the procession. During the height of baroque piety, people impersonating demons would run along aside the Blessed Sacrament, pantomiming their fright and fear of the Real Presence. Others would dress as ancient’s gods and goddesses to symbolize how even the pagan past must rise and pay homage to Christ. Still others would carry all sorts of representations of sacred history: Moses and the serpent, David and Goliath, the Easter lamb, the Blessed Virgin, etc. But the most popular of all these was the custom of having children dress as angels. Appearing in white (with or without wings), these boys and girls would precede the Blessed Sacrament as symbols of the nine choirs of heavenly hosts who ever adore the Panis Angelicum, the Bread of Angels.

At Holy Trinity German Church, the Corpus Christi procession was the most important of the year. One witness to the procession of 1851 wrote:

The girls clad in white, with lilies in their hands, groups of symbolic figures, with banner and flags, the boys with staffs and rods, all the associations of the parish with their signs and symbols and burning candles, finally the flower-strewing little children preceding the clergy -- all these made a fantastic impression (from Holy Trinity German Catholic Church of Boston: A Way of Life, Robert J. Sauer (Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing, 1994), p. 49)

Plays

Medieval piety is famous, among other things, for its mystery plays, theatrical pieces held after Mass on great feast days that dramatized the lesson or mystery of the day. These effective didactic tools were enormously popular, but perhaps none so much as those held on Corpus Christi. Shakespeare gives an oblique allusion to them when he has Prince Hamlet speak of the Termagant, a violent, overbearing woman in long robes who appeared often in these productions (Hamlet III.ii). Favorite medieval saints, such as George and Margaret, would often be the protagonists, though the details and plot varied from place to place. Perhaps the most famous of these plays are the Autos Sacramentales (Plays of the Sacrament) by Fr. Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1681).

Day of Wreaths 

In some places of Europe Corpus Christi is known as the Day of wreaths. Exquisite wreaths of flowers are used in the pageants, either perched on banners, houses, and arches that stretch over the street, or worn by the participants of the procession. The monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament could also be adorned with a bouquet of flowers. After the solemnities these beautiful decorations would be taken home as keepsakes and posted over gardens and fields for blessing and protection.  

Hymns 

Special mention must be made of the exquisite hymns written by St. Thomas Aquinas for this feast and their subsequent popularity. Aquinas wrote four: Verbum Supernum Prodiens (for Lauds), Pange Lingua Gloriosi (Vespers), Sacris Solemniis (Matins), and Lauda Sion Salvatoris (Mass sequence). Parts of these, in turn, were used as separate hymns. The famous Tantum ergo Sacramentum used at Benediction is taken from Pange Lingua and O salutaris hostia is taken from Verbum Supernum, while Panis Angelicus is taken from Sacris Solemniis. These hymns have become cherished treasures of Catholic devotion and worship and should be sung with gusto on this great feast. 

Thursday Traditional Corpus Christi[9] 

The Feast of Corpus Christi commemorates the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Roman Catholic Church.  This includes the receiving of the Eucharist which Catholics know is the body and blood of Christ.  

This feast seeks to remind us of Jesus Christ's sacrifice Do this in remembrance of me -
Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25.

In many countries, Corpus Christi is observed on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, however where it is not a holy day of obligation, the celebration occurs on the Sunday that follows.

 

Today as Catholics we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi or the body of Christ. As Catholics the one thing that has always been consistent in the church is the taking of the body of our Lord.

 

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. (Mark 14:22-24)

 

Feast of Corpus Christi Facts & Quotes

 

·       In the Middle Ages, the priest was the only person who received the elements.  The congregation watched him eat the bread and drink the wine.

·       The Sacraments are Jesus Christ's presence in us.  So, it is important for us to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion. - Pope Francis via twitter on Nov 23, 2013.

 

Feast of Corpus Christi Top Events and Things to Do

 

·       If you're Christian, go to Mass and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of Corpus Christi.

·       Travel to the Vatican City and watch the annual procession of the Blessed Sacrament, headed by the Pope, through the streets of Rome.

·       A wide range of theologies exist about Holy Communion.  Read about how the elements of bread and wine are related to the body and blood of Christ depending on your denomination.

 

Novena to the Sacred Heart[10]

This novena prayer was recited every day by Padre Pio for all who asked for his prayer. You are invited to recite it daily, so as to be spiritually united with the prayer of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.

Prayers

I. O my Jesus, You have said "Truly I say to you, ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek, and I ask for the grace of . . . .

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

II. O my Jesus, You have said, "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in My Name, He will give it to you." Behold, in Your name, I ask the Father for the grace of . . . .

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

III. O my Jesus, You have said, "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." Encouraged by Your infallible words, I now ask for the grace of . . . .

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father... Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have mercy on us sinners, and grant us the grace which we ask of You, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your tender mother and ours.

Say the Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina) prayer. Conclude with St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

Apostolic Exhortation[11]

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,

Conclusion

104. If God were to offer to do an amazing work to foster faith in the Church and in the world today, what would we ask? We may like to ask for signs and wonders, lightnings and fire, like the pillars of cloud and fire as in the Exodus with Moses. Or we may ask for Eucharistic miracles like bleeding or levitating hosts to deepen our faith in the Eucharist. Perhaps we would simply ask for cultural circumstances to be more favorable to religion.

105. None of this would do any good with respect to faith. Saint John Henry Newman in a sermon entitled “Miracles No Remedy for Unbelief” recalls the Lord’s words that the Israelites “refused to believe in me, despite all the signs I have performed among them” (Numbers 14:11); and that chief priests and pharisees called a council to put Christ to death because he “is performing many signs” (Jn 11:47). Newman’s sobering conclusion is that “nothing is gained by miracles, nothing comes of miracles, as regards our religious views, principles, and habits”. He knows that too often we find our ourselves having gone “year after year with the vain dream of turning to God some future day”. What should we ask from God, then, to strengthen faith?

106. The answer is not in looking for outward miracles or improved circumstances. No, look elsewhere. Newman points to the way forward by saying, “instead of looking for outward events to change our course of life, be sure of this, that if our course of life is to be changed, if must be from within. God’s grace moves us from within, so does our own will”. His point is that if we do not love God, it is because we have not wanted to love Him, tried to love Him, or prayed to love Him.

To be continued

Father’s Day[12]

 

Father's Day is the day to recognize, honor and celebrate the sacrifices and accomplishments of fathers. In 1910, Washington State Governor declared Father's Day on the 19th of July.  It then became a permanent federal holiday in 1972 when President Richard Nixon proclaimed that the third Sunday in June would be further known as Father's Day. On this day, children celebrate their fathers and father figures to show their love and appreciation.

 

Father's Day Facts & Quotes

 

·       In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.  It became a permanent holiday in 1972 when President Richard Nixon proclaimed that the third Sunday in June would remain Father's Day.

·       Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd first came up with the idea for Father's Day after hearing a Mother's Day sermon in church.  She was raised by her father and wanted to honor him.

·       In 2014, 4% of all U.S. children lived only with their fathers.

·       It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father. - Pope John XXIII

·       When one has not had a good father, one must create one. - Frederich Wilhelm Nietzsche 

Father's Day Top Events and Things to Do

·       Attend a Baseball game.  Father’s Day occurs in the midst of Baseball season.

·       Arrange a BBQ and invite all of the fathers in your family.

·       Spend the day with Dad doing one of his favorite activities: fishing, golfing, hiking.

·       Complete one of dad's chores or projects as a surprise. If it's something you don't know how to do, offer to help and learn.

·       Take the President's Fatherhood’s Pledge.

·       Teach justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude to children.

How to Be a Good Father[13]

The father's role in our modern society has dwindled to almost nothing. But as a Christian the father's role is important in molding and giving example to his children, especially to his sons.

Probably nobody denies that the typical father exercises less authority in his home today than at any time in history. Reasons for this decline probably are of no interest or help in the present discussion; but the effect of it cannot be overlooked. For evidence accumulated by psychiatrists, social workers and similar experts proves unmistakably that when children lack a strong father to guide them, they suffer serious damage in many important ways. Consider these facts:

There is a startling growth in homosexual tendencies among the young, and most authorities agree that the boy who develops feminine characteristics usually has had unsatisfactory relations with his father in one or several important respects. Increases in juvenile delinquency a headlined trend in every part of the country are also due to the weak position of the father; the lack of an affectionate and understanding relationship between father and son is a prevalent characteristic in the background of boys charged with criminal offenses. Many authorities also blame the shocking rates of divorce and marriage breakdowns to this cause. The fathers of those who cannot succeed in marriage often never gave their children a realistic example of how a man should live with his wife in this relationship.

The importance of the father as an example of manhood to his son and daughter probably cannot be overestimated. For example, one day your son may marry and have a family. To be a successful father, he should know how to train his children; how to treat his wife and their mother in their presence; what to discuss with them about his work; how to show them manual skills, such as repairing a chair or painting furniture; how to perform in countless other important areas. The best way to learn how to act as a father is to observe one in action.

What ideals will he display as husband and father? To a large extent, that answer will depend upon those he has learned from you, his father, in your own home. What part will he play in the religious education of his children? The answer will largely depend upon whether you have led the family to Mass each Sunday, whether you say grace before meals in your home, whether you take an active part in the spiritual life of your parish. How should he act toward his wife aloof, affectionate, domineering, docile? Here too the answer will mainly depend upon your example.

The adage, "Like father, like son," is firmly based on fact. No matter how much he may resist your influence, your son will be like you in many different ways. If your influence is wholesome, the effect upon him will be wholesome. If you are a bad father, you will almost surely corrupt him in some significant way. Remember also that you represent God before your child because you are or should be the figure of authority in your home. He will be taught that he can always depend upon the mercy and goodness of the eternal Father; but it will be difficult for him to grasp the full importance of that teaching if he cannot rely upon the goodness of his earthly father.

It has been said that, in addition to giving wholesome example, a good father follows four fundamental rules in his dealing with his children.

·       First, he shows himself to be truly and sincerely interested in their welfare.

·       Secondly, he accepts each child for what he is, and encourages any special talent which the youngster possesses.

·       Thirdly, he takes an active part in disciplining his children.

·       And finally, he keeps lines of communication open with them at all times.

Each of these rules is worth detailed consideration, because the typical American father often ignores one or more of them.

1. Show an interest in your child's welfare. You can do this by devoting time to him, every day if possible. Try to discuss with him his experiences, problems, successes and failures. By giving yourself to him in this intimate way, you give him the feeling that he can always depend upon you to understand and help him in his difficulties. In a large family, it is especially important that you find time for intimate moments with each child. Every youngster should know that his father is interested in him as an individual, and is sympathetic with him and devoted to his welfare.

Modern fathers may find it more difficult to make their children an intimate part of their lives than did men of a few generations ago. Today's fathers often work many miles away from home. They leave for their jobs early in the morning and do not return until late in the evening, perhaps after the children are in bed. Unlike the men of an earlier age who often worked close to their homes, today's fathers may seldom see their youngsters during the week. To offset this condition, they should try to devote as much of their weekends to them as possible. This does not mean that you should be a "pal" to your children or that you must act like a juvenile, when aging bones may not permit this. But at family gatherings, picnics, trips to the ballpark or even visits to the school, you are sharing leisure moments with them.

2. Accept your child and encourage his talents. One man hoped for a son, and found it impossible to conceal his disappointment when a girl was born. He now spends much time trying to inculcate masculine virtues in her and berates her constantly because she is not proficient at sports. A successful lawyer prides himself upon his intellect and once hoped that his son would achieve great scholastic success. But the lad, now in high school, has shown no pronounced ability in academic work; however, he is skilled at working with his hands. He must face unending sneers from his father about his "stupidity." A third man married a beautiful woman and expected his daughters to be beauties too. One girl is extremely plain, however. Even at the age of ten she knows that she is a complete disappointment to her father.

All of these examples indicate ways in which fathers display a lack of acceptance of their children. It is a fact that the qualities a child inherits his physical attributes, aptitudes, and many other characteristics are the result of chance. He may be a genius or an idiot: you should not claim credit if the first possibility occurs any more than you should feel ashamed for the second. The moral is plain: your children are a gift from God, and you should always accept each of them in a spirit of gratitude. In fact, the saintly father will accept a defective child with greater gratitude, for God has offered him an opportunity to provide more love, affection and direction than the ordinary youngster might need.

Remember also that your child is an individual, with talents which you perhaps cannot appreciate. Let him develop them in the best way possible. In attempting to learn why many gifted children do not go to college, researchers have found that their parents often have actively discouraged them. In a typical case, a father became wealthy through real estate investments and could easily afford college for a son with a strong aptitude in science. But the father accused the boy of trying to "put on airs" whenever college was discussed. Thanks to him, the son is now a misfit.

3. Don't shirk unpleasant tasks of parenthood. "See your mother; don't bother me" is a remark commonly made by one type of father. He returns from work, eats his dinner and then settles down to an evening behind his newspaper or before the television screen. When his children seek his aid with their homework or when they become unruly and require a strong parental hand, he is "too busy" to pay attention. Such an attitude tells a child that his mother is the true figure of importance in the family, while Dad is only the boarder who pays the bills.

It is not fair for fathers to enjoy all the pleasures of parenthood to play with the children, to boast about their growth and to give mothers all the painful duties. A father should discipline as often as the mother. If he fails to do so, he gives the children the idea that he does not stand with the mother in her efforts to instill proper manners and acceptable forms of behavior. As a matter of fact, in major matters the good father is likely to be the court of last resort. This is as it should be for his authority is more impressive and its effect more lasting than that of the mother.

4. Keep lines of communication open with your children. Teenagers often say that they cannot talk to their fathers about questions which disturb them. This breakdown in communication usually stems from one of three factors, or a combination of them. The father may be so severe in his discipline that he appears as a dictator in the youngster's mind; in the past he has always been "too busy" to keep on close terms with his boy; or he has not given his youngster the respectful attention he should have.

Stalin-type fathers fortunately are on the way out in America, for most men have learned that it is easier to train a child with loving kindness than with brute force. But some stern unyielding fathers remain. They may beat their child into patterns of behavior that offend no one, but in the process, they often create a bitter adult who is never able to confide fully in another human being.

The second and third possible explanations for a child's unwillingness or inability to confide in his father may have even worse effects than the first. In the first instance, unless the father is a calloused brute, his child may at least discern evidence that his father is interested in his welfare. But when a father does not even care enough to concern himself with the child's upbringing in any serious way, he evidences a complete absence of love or interest.

There are many things that human beings prefer to keep to themselves, and it is probably good that this is so. Your child should not feel that he must lay bare his innermost thoughts and desires. But he should know that in times of stress and strain he has a sympathetic and loving adviser to turn to. You will fulfill that role if you strive always to treat him with courtesy and sympathy, and with an understanding based upon your memory of the difficulties, problems, fears and aspirations of your own boyhood. Never ridicule him: it is the opposite of sympathy and probably locks more doors between father and son than any other action.

Activity Source: Catholic Family Handbook, The by Rev. George A. Kelly, Random House, Inc., New York, 1959

Sauntering Day[14]

“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

·        The world around us is moving at such a hectic pace, that we often forget to slow down and smell the proverbial roses. Even our walk is at high speed, pushing every inch of speed we can out of what is otherwise the most leisurely of modes of locomotion. It isn’t just an opportunity for us to remember to walk it is, more importantly, an opportunity for us to take a truly relaxed tack to the day and choose to saunter.

History of Sauntering Day

Saunter: v, a walk in a slow, relaxed manner, without hurry or effort.

·        This holiday was formed by W.T. Rabe in 1979 as a response to the sworn enemy of the Saunter, jogging. Jogging is a grueling attack on movement, with rapidity and effort being the purpose at hand, and all joy being drained from getting around by making each step as painful as possible. Perhaps we’re biased, but we believe the saunter to be the unquestionably superior alternative. Sauntering doesn’t just mean walking; it means walking as though the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders. It means being free from stress and strain, and instead focusing on the pure joy of walking. In fact, sauntering specifically implies that you will be moving in a joyful manner.

 

·        Sauntering Day is your opportunity to head out into the world and approach it with a deeply relaxed air, a moment of pure clarity and joy, all while enjoying the beautiful world around you and everything it has to offer.

How to Celebrate Sauntering Day

·        Give yourself plenty of time today and do so with the intent of relaxing and truly enjoying your journey to wherever it is you have to go. Saunter casually with pure relaxation and take in the scents and sights. Greet others, and don’t let their urge to move quickly infect yours. In fact, see if you can get them to slow down and join you on your happy little saunter. The world will be better for it, and you’ll be happier for it. Sauntering Day is your opportunity to leave all the rush behind and just… Saunter… through your day.

Juneteenth[15]

Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Texas to deliver news that President Lincoln has issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the enslaved. Although Lincoln's Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, it took nearly two and half years for word to travel from Washington to Texas. By then, Texas had amassed more than 250,000 slaves.  


Since 1865, Juneteenth has been informally celebrated throughout the country however in 1980, Texas became the first state to recognize it as an official holiday. Shortly thereafter, other states also proclaimed the holiday. Today, Juneteenth is a celebration of African American freedom, heritage and culture observed through songs, communal cookouts and parades.

Juneteenth Facts & Quotes

·        According to the International Labor Organization, almost 21 million people are victims of forced labor today, 11+ million women and girls and 9+ million men and boys.

·        Juneteenth is a combination of the words June and Nineteenth about the date that slaves were freed in Texas.

·        The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere. - General Gordon Granger, Major General of the United States Army, Issued June 19, 1865.

·        ...I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons. - President Abraham Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863

Juneteenth Top Events and Things to Do

·        Read the Emancipation Proclamation.  The proclamation, issued by President Lincoln, declared all persons held as slaves within any State... shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free

·        Visit the Whitney Plantation, America's first slavery museum, to learn about impact of slavery in Southern America.  The museum contains exhibits, artwork, restored buildings and first-person slave narratives about the lives of those enslaved in Louisiana.

·        Sing traditional Juneteenth songs.  These include Swing low, Swing Chariot, and Lift Every Voice and Sing.

·        Attend the annual Juneteenth Emancipation Celebration at Emancipation Park, Houston Texas.

·        Attend a Juneteenth Musical Festival.  These are held across the United States; great ones can be found in Denver, Berkeley and Atlanta

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 12 "I BELIEVE IN LIFE EVERLASTING"

V. The Last Judgment

1038 The resurrection of all the dead, "of both the just and the unjust," will precede the Last Judgment. This will be "the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man's] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment." Then Christ will come "in his glory, and all the angels with him .... Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.... and they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

1039 In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man's relationship with God will be laid bare. The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life:

All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know. When "our God comes, he does not keep silence.". . . he will turn towards those at his left hand: . . . "I placed my poor little ones on earth for you. I as their head was seated in heaven at the right hand of my Father - but on earth my members were suffering, my members on earth were in need. If you gave anything to my members, what you gave would reach their Head. Would that you had known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treasury. But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence."

1040 The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvellous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. the Last Judgment will reveal that God's justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God's love is stronger than death.

1041 The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them "the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation." It inspires a holy fear of God and commits them to the justice of the Kingdom of God. It proclaims the "blessed hope" of the Lord's return, when he will come "to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all who have believed."

The Week Ahead

·       June 23rd Suppressed Feast of John the Baptist

·       June 24th Sacred Heart of Jesus

·       June 25th Immaculate Heart of Mary

·       June 26th Third Sunday after Pentecost

Daily Devotions

·       When boredom and discouragement beat against your heart, run away from yourself and hide in My heart.

·       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: Conversion of Sinners

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       It’s OK to have a Martini or two

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Nineveh 90-Day 65

·       Rosary




[5]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-06-23

[7] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[10]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=892

[12] https://www.wincalendar.com/Fathers-Day

[13]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=128

[14]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/sauntering-day/


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