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ST. JOHN’S EVE-WIDOWS DAY

 

Luke, Chapter 1, verse 65-75

65 Then FEAR came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. 67 Then Zechariah his father, filled with the holy Spirit, prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people.69 He has raised up a horn for our salvation within the house of David his servant, 70 even as he promised through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old:71 salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, 72 to show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful of his holy covenant 73 and of the oath he swore to Abraham our father, and to grant us that,74 rescued from the hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

 

In today’s secular America we also need to have freedom, so we may worship Him without fear.

St. John Bonfires[1]

St. Johns bonfire is traditionally lit on the night before the Feast. The mood surrounding this solemn vigil is merry, since the day was regarded as a sort of summer Christmas. The Roman ritual even includes a special benedictio rogi, or blessing of the bonfire, for the birthday of the Baptist:

Lord God, Father almighty, unfailing Light who is the Source of all light: sanctify this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may be able to come with pure minds to Thee who art Light unfailing. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Domine Deus, Pater omnipotens, lumen indeficiens, qui es conditor omnium luminum: novum hunc ignem sanctifica, et praesta: ut ad te, qui es lumen indeficiens, puris mentibus post hujus saeculi caliginem pervenire valeamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The bonfire, incidentally, is an excellent symbol for John, the untamed prophet who lived outside the city both literally and figuratively. It also makes an interesting contrast with the Paschal candle. On Easter vigil, a similarly "wild" fire representing Christ is made outside and is used to light the Paschal candle, which is then carried into the church. Significantly, in the Exultet the deacon praises this candle as the product of a beehive, symbol of a virtuous and harmonious city. The idea seems to be that Christ is also an outsider, though he succeeds through his death and resurrection in bringing the light of truth into the very citadel of darkness. On the other hand, John, who never lived to see Christ's triumph, can only bear witness to the light from the outside.

Things to Do[2]

·       St. John's Birth marks the summer solstice. On the eve of this feast many countries have celebrated with bonfires. This is especially true in Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. See the list of suggested activities to read more about this tradition.

·       Read about St. John's Eve particularly in Ireland (note the link is a secular website).

·       From the Germanic countries, here is some information on the Summer Solstice.

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

ST.JOHN could not have had any greater panegyrist than Jesus Christ Himself, Who said: There hath not risen, among them that are born of women [in the natural manner], a greater than John the Baptist; (Matt. xi. 11). The Lord made him great, even from his mother’s womb, by causing his birth to be foretold by an angel, by giving him his name, and by sanctifying him while yet in his mother’s womb through the presence of Christ. To escape from the world and its allurements he withdrew to the desert, and there occupied himself only with God and with what concerned his vocation. His food was locusts and wild honey; his clothing a garment of camel’s hair, fastened by a leathern girdle; his bed the hard ground. Thus, he lived till his thirtieth year, in which, by the command of God, he was to proclaim the coming of the Messiahs, Whom he himself afterwards baptized and pointed out to men as the Lamb of God. With extraordinary zeal and earnestness, he preached the necessity of true penance. For having reproved Herod for living in adultery he was thrown into prison, and finally, at the instigation of Herodias, was beheaded.

We celebrate the day of his birth rather than that of his death, as is the case of most saints’ days, because, while other saints arrive at sanctity only through long and difficult contests, John was already sanctified in his mother’s womb.

The Introit of the Mass is as follows: The Lord hath called me by my name, from the womb of my mother, and hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow. It is good to give praise to the Lord, and to sing to Thy name, O Most High.

Prayer. O God, Who, by the birth of John, hast made this day worthy to be honored by us, grant to Thy people the grace of spiritual joys, and guide the minds of all the faithful in the way of eternal salvation.

EPISTLE. Isaias xlix. 1-3, 5-7.

Give ear, ye islands, and hearken, ye peoples from afar. The Lord hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother He hath been mindful of my name. And He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword: in the shadow of His hand He hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow: in his quiver He hath hidden me. And He said to me: Thou art my servant Israel, for in thee will I glory. And now saith the Lord, that formed me from the womb to be His servant, that I may bring back Jacob unto Him, and Israel will not be gathered together: and I am glorified in the eyes of the Lord, and my God is made my strength. And He said: It is a small thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to convert the dregs of Israel. Behold I have given thee to be the light of the gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation even to the farthest part of the earth. Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, His holy One, to the soul that is despised, to the nation that is abhorred, to the servant of rulers: Kings shall see, and princes shall rise up and adore for the Lords sake, because He is faithful, and for the holy One of Israel, Who hath chosen thee.

Explanation. This prophecy refers, it is true, to Christ, Whom God has made the head, teacher, ruler, and salvation of all nations. The greater part of it, however, may be applied to St. John, as is evident from his life.

GOSPEL. Luke i. 57-68.

Elizabeth s full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had showed His great mercy towards her, and they congratulated with her. And it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called him by his father’s name, Zachary. And his mother answering, said: Not so, but he shall be called John. And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And demanding a writing-table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came upon all their neighbors; and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill-country of Judea. And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying: What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him. And Zachary, his father, was filled with the Holy Ghost: and he prophesied, saying: Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: because He hath visited and wrought the redemption of His people.

Explanation. The neighbors and kinsfolk of Elizabeth rejoiced with her at her happiness, and gave her joy. We too, in like manner, should be glad when anything good happens to our neighbor, and thank and praise God therefor.

Prayer. St. John, blessed forerunner of Jesus Christ, mirror of true penance, burning and shining light, who by thy teaching and example didst show to men the way to Christ, I beseech thee, by thy penitential life, that thou wouldst obtain for me, from Him Whom thou didst point out as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, grace that, fearing God’s wrath against the impenitent, I may at last do true penance for my sins, mortify my sinful flesh according to thy example, serve God in purity and sanctity, and finally, in the land of eternal happiness, follow forever the Lamb Who on the altar of the cross was slain for me. Amen.

Saint John the Baptist[3]


 

John the Baptist has the honor of being the only other person besides the Blessed Virgin and our Lord whose birthday the Church celebrates with a special feast. No doubt this has something to do with the unique role that John plays in the economy of salvation. As the "Precursor of the Lord" and the greatest of the prophets (Lk. 7.28), John was given the commission of preparing the way for the Son of God. In the Confiteor he is ranked higher than Saints Peter and Paul and is subordinate only to the Blessed Virgin and St. Michael the Archangel. (Tradition holds that like the prophet Jeremiah, John was consecrated in the womb to be free from all mortal sin.) But there is also something special about his birthday itself: John's conception in the womb of his aged mother Elizabeth was miraculous, as was the Angel Gabriel's prophecy about his mission and name (Lk. 1.5-26, 41-80). Even the birthday's location in the year is profoundly significant: because of the summer solstice, the days begin to grow shorter and shorter after his birthday. The days after Christ's birthday, on the other hand, begin to lengthen. Hence John's statement about Jesus, "He must increase, and I must decrease" (Jn. 3.30), is echoed in the cycle of the cosmos. No wonder that in speaking of John, the Archangel Gabriel declares, "many shall rejoice in his birthday" (Lk. 1.14).

A Great Leap in the Study of Music

We should also mention the breviary hymn for the Feast of St. John the Baptist: Ut queant laxis. Tradition ascribes the hymn to Paul the Deacon, who purportedly wrote it before having to sing the difficult Exultet on Holy Saturday night. (Paul was suffering from a hoarse throat and, remembering how Zechariah, the father of St. John, was cured from a case of muteness, thought it best to direct his prayers to the Baptist). What makes Ut queant laxis most famous, however, is that it is the source of our musical scale, do, re, mi. An attentive medieval monk noticed that the melody of the hymn ascended precisely one note of the diatonic scale of C at each verse. Taking the first stanza, he decided to name the notes after the first syllable of each verse:

UT queant laxis REsonare fibris
MIra gestorum
FAmuli tuorum,
SOLve polluti LAbii reatum, SancTe Ioannes.

With the exception of Ut, which was later changed to Do for ease of pronunciation, these syllables became the first six notes of our scale: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La. And this stanza also ended up providing the name of the seventh note, Ti, which was later taken from the last syllable of the penultimate word and the first syllable of the last word of the stanza: "T" from Sancte and "I" from Ioannes. The names for the notes to our basic Western musical octave therefore come from the hymn for today's feast.


Things to Do:[4]

·        Read about the traditions connected with this feast, particularly the connection with bonfires.

·        The Liturgy of the Hours for the Evening Prayer (Vespers) of the Birth of St. John the Baptist has traditionally included the Gregorian chant Ut Queant Laxis. See Catholic Encyclopedia's entry Ut Queant Laxis, more information on the hymn from Catholic Culture, a Beginner's Guide to Modal Harmony, and Gregorian Chant Notation.

·        The Church year has two cycles. The more important cycle is the Temporal Cycle (from the Latin tempus which means time or season). The life of Christ is relived in liturgical time, in both real time and Church's memory. Throughout the year the Paschal Mystery (Christ's work of redemption through His birth, life, passion, death, and resurrection and ascension) is relived, and broken down into the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Ordinary Time. Sundays are the usual means by which this cycle unfolds.

At the same time with the Temporal Cycle, the Sanctoral Cycle (from the Latin sanctus which means saint) progresses. The Church honors Mary, Mother of God "with a special love. She is inseparably linked with the saving work of her son" (CCC 1172). Then the memorials of martyrs and other saints are kept by the Church. They are held up to us as examples "who draw all men to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she begs for God's favors" (CCC 1173).

This is one of the few saint feast days that is connected with the temporal calendar, not the sanctoral calendar, because John the Baptist was intimately involved in Christ's work of redemption. Charting or making your own liturgical calendar would be a great family project.

·        Read the excerpt from the Directory on Popular Piety on the cult of St. John the Baptist.

·        In Brazil, this day is known as Diário de Sáo Joáo (Saint John's Day). The festivities are set off in the villages and countryside by the Fogueira de Sáo Joáo (bonfire) on St. John's eve. Families and friends eat traditional foods around the fire while younger folks jump over the fire and firecrackers are exploded. The day is primarily a festival for children, who save up months in advance to purchase fireworks to set off for the day. In cities this is a day for parties and dances, with the urban dwellers dressing up in rural costumes.

·        St. John is the protector of lovers, so for fun, young country girls in Brazil will roll up scraps of paper, each bearing a name of a single girl and place them into a bowl of water. The first one which unfolds indicates the girl who will marry first.

·        Today go out into the desert and when you return; renew your baptismal vows while taking a lap in the pool.

International Widows Day[5]

International Widows' Day serves to recognize widows and their unique situations worldwide. Widows are women whose husbands have died. After their husbands have passed, many widows are forced to fight for their human rights and overcome many obstacles to ensure their social and economic development. It is estimated that there are over 245 million widows worldwide, nearly half of which live in extreme poverty and are subject to cruel violence.

Top Events and Things to Do

  • Watch a movie about the life of a widow. Some suggestions are: Water (2005), Black Widow (1987), and Passionada (2002).
  • Read a book about the lives and struggles of widows. Some suggestions are: The Amish Widow’s Secret, A Widow’s Story, and The Writings and Later Wisdom Books.
  • Use the hashtags #InternationalWidowsDay, #IWD and #WidowsDay on social media to help spread awareness of the holiday.
  • Visit an old age or retirement home. Retirement homes are often home to many widows who receive no visits and little interaction with people outside of the homes. They will appreciate your visit.

Widowhood in Judaism-Mary Our Queen was a Widow

Widowhood in Judaism is treated as a distinct state of being, for a woman. If the widow's husband had died after the start of the actual marriage (Hebrew: nissuin), rather than merely dying after the betrothal (Hebrew: erusin), she became a legally independent individual; the Talmud states that a woman became independent from her father upon her marriage (nissuin), and she would become independent from her husband when he dies. It was said that a formerly married widow was tantamount to an orphan.

Though Judaism takes a somewhat benign attitude towards widows, historically it has also imposed a small number of odious requirements on them. For example, if a widow's husband had appointed her to be the guardian of his children, and some were still infants, her husband's heirs had a Talmudic right to demand an oath from the widow, concerning her management of the children; however, her husband could, before dying, remove this task, by means of written revocation of it.

Protections

The Book of Isaiah argues that one should judge the fatherless, plead for the widow; in Judaism, it consequently became customary to give cases raised by any widow the second highest priority (the fatherless having the highest), when scheduling cases for a rabbinic court. The later Deuteronomic Code takes up this principle, commanding that the fatherless (and resident aliens) should not be deprived of justice, and forbidding people from taking a widow's cloak as a pledge; in Judaism this command was regarded as referring to all movable property belonging to a widow, rather than merely her outer clothing.

In the second prologue of the Book of Deuteronomy, which scholars regard as a later prefix to the Deuteronomic Code, it is said that such protection is also provided by God himself, judging the (cases of the) fatherless and the widow. Similarly, a psalm argues that God was a father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows. The Talmud permits a widow to remain resident in her husband's house.

Support

The Deuteronomic Code legislates the requirement for gleanings to be left for consumption by widows (and by the fatherless, and by resident aliens); according to the Holiness Code, which scholars attribute to a different author and time period, gleanings were actually to be left to the poor, and to strangers. The Deuteronomic Code also expects widows (and the fatherless, and resident aliens) to be treated as guests at Shavuot and Sukkot, and permits them (and the fatherless, and resident aliens), every third year, to eat from the proceeds of the Levite Tithe.

More substantive and continual means of support are provided for widows by the Talmud, which allows a widow to claim support from her husband's estate, even after the estate had been inherited by his heirs; as with married life, if the woman made such a claim, she had to surrender all her earnings to the owners of the estate, in order to offset their duty to support her.

As with an absent husband, it was argued that a widow should be allowed to sell any parts of her former husband’s property, if necessary to sustain herself. She was not required to make such sales via rabbinic courts; however, the Talmud argues that if she did not involve a rabbinic court, and sold land for this purpose, for less than it was actually worth, the sale would be void.

Alimony

In Judaism, alimony for a widow is a right written into most Jewish marriage contracts (Hebrew:ketubah); the alimony itself is often referred to as the ketubah, in consequence of this. There was no statue of limitations against a widow collecting her alimony, as long as she possessed the ketubah for the marriage in question; if she no longer possessed this ketubah, and had re-married since the death, the statute of limitations for the claim was 25 years since the death. However, in the Talmud's opinion, once a widow had claimed her alimony, or had agreed to receive it, she should no longer be allowed to claim support from her husband's estate, nor to live in his former home.

The Talmud sets the minimum amount for this alimony as 200 zuzim for a bride who had been a virgin when the marriage began, and a mere 100 zuzim for a non-virgin bride; 200 Zuzim is generally considered [by whom?] to have been enough for a woman to financially support herself for a full year. These minimum amounts were not the upper limit, meaning that the groom could, if he wished, increase the amount of alimony that the bride would receive. Any property which came into the marriage as a dowry-like gift, was legally possessed by the husband during the marriage, but it eventually returned to the widow's ownership, as part of her alimony (at least according to the classical rabbis).

The right of a widow to claim the alimony could be transferred by her to absolutely anyone, for any reason, including selling the right. If she died before completely obtaining the alimony, her heirs could inherit the right to claim the outstanding amount; the Talmud argues that such inheritance would carry with it an obligation to pay for the proper burial of the woman.

There are, though, several things which Jewish tradition regards as sufficient to cause the alimony to be forfeited, should the bride have committed them. These included immodest behavior, adultery, having sexual intercourse with her husband while she was ritually impure due to menstruating, given her husband food that was ritually forbidden, and obdurate refusal, for more than a month, to have sex with her husband. It could even be forfeited if the wife had failed to inform her husband, prior to the marriage, of all of her physical defects which were not already known about by him.

The chained wife

As the classical rabbis do not allow a man to be presumed dead merely on the basis of a prolonged absence, the wife of a man who has travelled to foreign locations and become lost (such as explorers in the Amazon, and soldiers in World War II), or of a man who has deliberately abandoned his wife and become uncontactable, would continue to be married to him, according to the views of Jewish tradition. A woman trapped into a marriage in this way was referred to as an agunah, literally meaning a chained/anchored wife; in modern times, the term agunah has also come to refer to women trapped into a marriage for other reasons, such as being refused a divorce by their husband.

In order to mitigate the hardship arising from being an agunah, Judaism has traditionally been willing to also accept a much more lax standard of evidence about a husband's fate, compared to its requirements for other questions. To prevent the situation arising in the first place, some Jewish husbands provisionally divorce their wives before undertaking long journeys, or taking part in warfare; such divorce only takes effect if the husband goes missing for more than a certain period of time. Provisional divorce has been used by some Jewish American soldiers, during World War II, but other Jewish groups, such as the Chief Rabbinate of the modern State of Israel, have completely rejected the method.

Remarriage

According to Jewish tradition, as soon as a widow remarried, she would no longer have the right to reside in her former husband's home, nor to claim support from his estate. Remarriage, though, was not entirely a free choice, and was subject to several restrictions.

Waiting period

The classical rabbis forbade all widows from remarrying, until at least 90 days had passed since the death of their previous spouse; the delay existed to reduce doubt about the paternity of any subsequent children, by making it easier to discover whether the widow was pregnant. A similar waiting requirement, known as iddah, exists in Islamic society, for similar reasons. Purely for the sake of bureaucratic standardization, the classical rabbis insisted upon a woman waiting the 90 days even when it was obvious that she could not be pregnant.

A widow was also forbade from remarriage if she became visibly pregnant during the 90 day waiting period, or if had a child which was both younger than 24 months old, and had still been breastfeeding when the widow's husband had died. Once the child had reached 24 months in age, or died, the widow was allowed to remarry (if there was no other impediment).

Forbidden remarriage

The Talmud suggests that it would be unwise for men to marry a widow. Furthermore, it completely forbids a widow from remarriage if two of her previous husbands have died from natural causes, while she was married to them; it was believed that such a woman was too dangerous to marry, either due to bad luck, or due to her having a dangerous vagina harboring some malignant disease.

If a widow had been suspected of adultery, she was forbade, by the Talmud, from ever marrying her suspected accomplice, unless she first married someone else; this intervening marriage was thought to refute, to some degree, the accusation of the adultery. Similarly if it is necessary for legal action to confirm a woman's widowhood (due to her husband being absent or missing), the classical rabbis instruct that she may not marry any of the witnesses who have testified that her husband is dead.

Priests, and those who claim descent from them

The Holiness Code demands that the Israelite high priest must only marry a virgin, spelling out that this forbids marriage to a widow. According to the regulations in the Book of Ezekiel, even ordinary priests should be forbidden to marry widows, unless the previous husband of the widow had also been a priest. The classical rabbis followed the regulation of the Holiness Code in this respect, except that they permitted a high priest to remain married to a widow, if he had married her while he was merely an ordinary priest.

Although the first century destruction of the temple in Jerusalem resulted in the priesthood being redundant, the Torah frequently portrays the Israelite priesthood as an hereditary position, and so the rabbis of the Middle Ages regarded these regulations as applying, still, to all men who claim to be descended from such priests; such claims can often be detected in modern surnames resembling the Hebrew word kohen, the term used in most parts of the masoretic text to mean priest (the cognates in related languages, however, mean soothsayer. In the Middle Ages, several rabbis forced such men to divorce any wife prohibited by these rules, often by threatening excommunication if this was not done.

Compulsory remarriage

Among the Israelites, a wife was legally regarded simply as property (valuable property that needed to be looked after, and was thus inherited by close relatives, like other property; this principle was widespread among ancient cultures, and it was usual for the deceased husband's brother to be the first choice to inherit the wife. This levirate marriage (levir is the Latin term for a husband's brother) was made almost compulsory by the Septuagint's version of the Deuteronomic Code, if the husband and his brother lived together, and the husband was childless; the masoretic text, of this passage, makes it compulsory even when the husband was just lacking a son (and he had lived with his brother). In contrast, the Holiness Code of Leviticus appears twice to forbid the institution, listing it among forms of incest.

If the brother in question refuses to take part in the levirate marriage, the wife was permitted by the Deuteronomic Code to loosen his shoe, and spit on him; this act, known in Judaism as Halitzah, also existed in other cultures which practiced levirate marriage. This purpose of this act, however, is not explained by the Torah, though the Book of Ruth implies that it derives from an historic practice customary at every transaction involving landed property; the person disposing of the property gave away his shoe as a symbol of the transaction. In later Judaism, Halitzah was interpreted as releasing the widow and her brother-in-law from an obligation to marry each other.

By the time the Talmud was written, levirate marriage was regarded by rabbinic Jews as an objectionable practice, and Ashkenazi Jews now almost always perform the Halitzah ritual instead; nevertheless, levirate marriage, in accordance with the Deuteronomic Code, continues to be the usual practice of Sephardi Jews. The Samaritans and Karaites usually only performed levirate marriage if the original marriage had not been consummated.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

Why the liturgy?

1066 In the Symbol of the faith the Church confesses the mystery of the Holy Trinity and of the plan of God's "good pleasure" for all creation: the Father accomplishes the "mystery of his will" by giving his beloved Son and his Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world and for the glory of his name. 

Such is the mystery of Christ, revealed and fulfilled in history according to the wisely ordered plan that St. Paul calls the "plan of the mystery" and the patristic tradition will call the "economy of the Word incarnate" or the "economy of salvation." 

1067 "The wonderful works of God among the people of the Old Testament were but a prelude to the work of Christ the Lord in redeeming mankind and giving perfect glory to God. He accomplished this work principally by the Paschal mystery of his blessed Passion, Resurrection from the dead, and glorious Ascension, whereby 'dying he destroyed our death, rising he restored our life.' For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth 'the wondrous sacrament of the whole Church."' 

For this reason, the Church celebrates in the liturgy above all the Paschal mystery by which Christ accomplished the work of our salvation. 

1068 It is this mystery of Christ that the Church proclaims and celebrates in her liturgy so that the faithful may live from it and bear witness to it in the world:

 

For it is in the liturgy, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, that "the work of our redemption is accomplished," and it is through the liturgy especially that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.


What does the word liturgy mean? 

1069 The word "liturgy" originally meant a "public work" or a "service in the name of/on behalf of the people.

In Christian tradition it means the participation of the People of God in "the work of God."

Through the liturgy Christ, our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in, with, and through his Church. 

1070 In the New Testament the word "liturgy" refers not only to the celebration of divine worship but also to the proclamation of the Gospel and to active charity. In all of these situations it is a question of the service of God and neighbor.

In a liturgical celebration the Church is servant in the image of her Lord, the one "leitourgos"; she shares in Christ's priesthood (worship), which is both prophetic (proclamation) and kingly (service of charity):

 

The liturgy then is rightly seen as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ.


It involves the presentation of man's sanctification under the guise of signs perceptible by the senses and its accomplishment in ways appropriate to each of these signs.


In it full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.


From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others.


No other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by the same title and to the same degree.
 

Liturgy as source of life 

1071 As the work of Christ liturgy is also an action of his Church. It makes the Church present and manifests her as the visible sign of the communion in Christ between God and men. It engages the faithful in the new life of the community and involves the "conscious, active, and fruitful participation" of everyone. 

1072 "The sacred liturgy does not exhaust the entire activity of the Church": it must be preceded by evangelization, faith, and conversion. It can then produce its fruits in the lives of the faithful: new life in the Spirit, involvement in the mission of the Church, and service to her unity. 

Prayer and liturgy 

1073 The liturgy is also a participation in Christ's own prayer addressed to the Father in the Holy Spirit. In the liturgy, all Christian prayer finds its source and goal. Through the liturgy the inner man is rooted and grounded in "the great love with which [the Father] loved us" in his beloved Son. It is the same "marvelous work of God" that is lived and internalized by all prayer, "at all times in the Spirit." 

Catechesis and liturgy 

1074 "The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the font from which all her power flows."

It is therefore the privileged place for catechizing the People of God.

"Catechesis is intrinsically linked with the whole of liturgical and sacramental activity, for it is in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist, that Christ Jesus works in fullness for the transformation of men." 

1075 Liturgical catechesis aims to initiate people into the mystery of Christ (It is "mystagogy.”) by proceeding from the visible to the invisible, from the sign to the thing signified, from the "sacraments" to the "mysteries."

Such catechesis is to be presented by local and regional catechisms.

This Catechism, which aims to serve the whole Church in all the diversity of her rites and cultures, will present what is fundamental and common to the whole Church in the liturgy as mystery and as celebration, and then the seven sacraments and the sacramentals.

Daily Devotions

·       Simplicity of life can drive out demons. Honesty is a weapon to defeat Satan, the Liar. When we lie, we put a foot in his camp, and he will try to seduce us all the more.

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: An end to the use of contraceptives.

·       do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Nineveh 90-Day 69

·       Rosary





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