Thursday, July 7, 2022

 


HAJJ Begins today

 

Matthew, Chapter 21, verse 26:

But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we FEAR the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” 

The chief priests and the elders of the people were master politicians during Christ’s time. Some of them were faithful in thought word and deed, but many were as Christ pointed out like marble sepulchers which are pretty on the outside but inside full of death and rottenness within. Many of them put on the airs of piety but in reality, were agnostic in nature.  

Here we see the priest and elders were afraid of the people. I think in our time a similar thing occurred with Saint John Paul II’s struggle with communism in Poland. John Paul was a John the Baptist of his time. Poles like the Jews of the Baptists time identified with John Paul and were hungry for a chance to cleanse themselves of the compromises they had to make to live under the rule of the communists. I believe John the Baptist message to have been very similar to John Paul’s.

 

 “He told them to be good, not to compromise themselves, to stick by one another, to be fearless, and that God is the only source of goodness, the only standard of conduct. 'Be not afraid,' he said. Millions shouted in response, 'We want God! We want God! We want God!' The regime cowered. Had the Pope chosen to turn his soft power into the hard variety, the regime might have been drowned in blood. Instead, the Pope simply led the Polish people to desert their rulers by affirming solidarity with one another. The Communists managed to hold on as despots a decade longer. But as political leaders, they were finished. Visiting his native Poland in 1979, Pope John Paul II struck what turned out to be a mortal blow to its Communist regime, to the Soviet Empire, [and] ultimately to Communism."[1]

 

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.

 

Hajj[2]


 

The Hajj starts today. Hajj is a holy pilgrimage to Mecca that is obligatory for all Muslims who can afford to go. The 3rd chapter of the Quran, Surah Ale-Imran makes Hajj mandatory.  During this pilgrimage, Muslims try to get closer to God. The Hajj is performed in the last month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul-Hijjah.  All Muslims who can afford to go on the Hajj are required to do so at least once in their life. Muslims believe that the Prophet Abraham built the Ka'aba with his son Ismael. Kaaba is a sacred cube-shaped shrine at the centre Al-Masjid al-Haram mosque, in Mecca (Saudi Arabia).  Muslims walk around the Ka'bah seven times as part of the Hajj.  Muslims face to pray in the direction of the Ka'bah no matter where they are in the world.  It was the first house built solely for the purpose of worshipping God.  To be completed, the Hajj requires a minimum of five days, during which pilgrim’s travel across Arabia to complete various rituals, some of which are optional, but considered highly beneficial.

 

Hajj Facts

 

·       According to Sahih Bukhari (one of the six main hadith writings of Sunni Islam), the Prophet Muhammad once said that those who finish the Hajj without committing any obscenity or transgression will have their sins completely wiped away.

·       It is believed that to teach Muslims to remain humble and unified, God mandated the Hajj.  During it, everyone wears the same clothes, prays together, and goes around the Ka'bah together.

·       According to the Saudi Arabian Embassy, the Hajj is the largest gathering of human beings on the Earth.

 

Hajj Events and Things to Do

 

·       Visit the mountains of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah in Mecca.  Pilgrims walk between two hills, Safa and Marwa, seven times during the Hajj because they believe that Hagar, the wife of Abraham, did the same when looking for water for her thirsty baby Ismael.  As soon as she finished her seventh run, the Zamzam well sprung out from under baby Ismael's foot.  To this day, pilgrims on the Hajj drink the Zamzam's water, and often take it home with them in large canisters.

·       Visit the tower at Jamrat-al-Aqabah (Saudi Arabia).  After sunset on the day of Arafah, as part of the Hajj, pilgrims throw small pebbles at Jamrat-al-Aqabah.  This is the place where it is believed the Devil stood as he tried to tempt Abraham from carrying out orders from God.  This is act commemorates and symbolizes Abraham's rejecting of the devil.

Understanding Islam: A Guide[3]

 

Today we are bombarded with conflicting versions of Muslims and Islamin the media. This guide is intended to help all people in the Roman Catholic Church to present Islam accurately and in ways that preserve and promote “together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom” (Nostra Aetate3). In spite of the many conflicts and hostilities that have arisen between Muslims and Christians over the centuries, as Christians we are called to reject violence and to live in fraternal love with all human beings. This document intends to identify some of those beliefs and values that Muslims and Christians have in common, as well as some differences, so as to assist those whom we are teaching to live harmoniously together with understanding and respect and to work for peace more effectively. Understanding Islam and Muslims the name Islam means “submission” and those who submit to God are Muslims. The terms have the same Arabic root as the word for peace, Salam. Muslims believe that peace comes through the submission to the one and only God. Although it is often associated with Muslims alone, the name of God in Arabic, Allah (al-Lah– “the God”), is the same name used by Christians and Jews. When saying the name of Allah, Muslims enerally say: “Subhanahu wa ta’aalaa”, which means “May He be glorified and exalted”. Muslims and Christians share many common beliefs in their worship of a single Creator God who loves creation and who commands that His most cherished creations, human beings, love Him, one another, and His creation. In some ways, however, Muslims and Christians have profoundly different beliefs. Muslims do not believe in the Trinitarian nature of God, nor do they accept that Jesus Christ is God incarnate. They believe, however, that Jesus is one of the five most distinguished Prophets of God sent to mankind. Christians, on the other hand, do not recognize Muhammad as a prophet, and do not accept many aspects of the message he preached, including dietary restrictions, polygamy, and other teachings. For Muslims, Muhammad is the recipient of God’s final revelation, the Qur’an, and the model for all human beings, in much the same way as the Virgin Mary is for many Christians. But Muhammad’s role as prophet, law giver and military leader is more similar to that of Moses in the Old Testament. Muhammad is not worshipped by Muslims –he is recognized by them as the final Prophet, the Seal of the prophets, sent by God and is the object of great reverence and devotion. Christians do not accord Muhammad the same status as the biblical prophets but may regard him as aprophetic figure on such issues as charity and the protection of the poor, widows and orphans.

 

Let Freedom Ring: 40 Days to Freedom from the Devil[4]

 

July 7-August 15, 2021

Goal:

Through acts of reparation, fasting, penance, charity, and prayer (both personal and sacramental) we call upon the power of God to release ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation from all demonic influence and oppression.

Method:

 

Each day will be broken into prayer, reflection, and reparation.

Reflection

A reflection (rotating from Fr. Peckman, Fr. Altman & Fr. Heilman) will be written for each day on a particular manifestation of the demonic and the sin it leads to. It will commend a corresponding virtue to cultivate. 

Prayer

Prayers of reparation and exorcism will be followed by a litany

·       Monday: Litany of Humility

·       Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·       Wednesday: Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Thursday: Litany of St. Joseph

·       Friday: Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

·       Saturday: Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

·       Sunday: Litany of the Blessed Sacrament

Acts of Reparation and Penance

Factoring into this will be variables of age, ability, and availability.

* To pray a Rosary for the Intention of exorcism of the day's area of reflection 

* To pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet in reparation for the sin caused by the area of the day's reflection 

* To commit one act of either a spiritual or corporal works of mercy for either one who has been harmed by our sin or who has harmed us by their sin. 

* To commit to fasting or abstinence days as prescribed below. 

* To commit to a prescribed time of exercise based on one's abilities

 * To commit to going to confession once a week (where available)

 * To refrain from all use of the conventional media throughout the 40 days and to limit one's use of social media to one hour a day for non-business or evangelical use.

Levels

Understanding that age, health, and the Covid 19 pandemic are current factors...

·       Black level: (For clerics)

o   Acts of reflection and prayer remain intact. Added is a commitment to a Holy Hour every day.

§  Cleric commits to fasting 3xs a week (unless age or medical condition is an issue).

§  Cleric commits to abstaining from sweets, soda, junk food, and fast food for all 40 days.

§  Clerics with medical conditions and over the age of 65 commit to a half hour of exercise. Otherwise they commit to one hour of exercise, with the understanding that one can exercise and pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet at the same time.

§  They also commit to making more time for the confessional, daily Mass, and praying the entirety of the Divine Office (all hours) for the 40 days.

§  The prayer, reflection, some acts of reparation can be done during Holy Hour and/or exercise time.

§  Clerics commit to confession once a week. Clerics, in a special way, should offer the prayers for those placed under their pastoral care and do their acts of reparations for those harmed by the actions of any cleric, including themselves.

·       Blue level: Recommended for those called to go "All In!"

o   Acts of Reflection and prayer remain intact.

§  Person commits to fasting 3xs a week (Wednesday, Friday, and any other day, save Sunday).

§  Abstinence from sweets, soda, junk food, and fast food for all 7 days.

§  One hour of exercise with the understanding that one can exercise and pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet simultaneously.

·       Red Level: Recommended for those who do not think they can do the blue level:

o   Acts of Reflection and prayer remain intact.

§  Person commits to fasting 2xs a week on Wednesdays and Fridays.

§  Abstinence from sweets, soda, junk food, and fast food for the other four days.  

§  One hour of exercise, with the understanding that one can exercise and pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet at the same time

·       White Level: Recommended for pregnant women, senior citizens, those with serious medical conditions:

o   Acts of Reflection and prayer remain intact.

§  Abstinence 3xs a week from sweets, soda, junk food, & fast food instead of fasting.

§  Half hour of exercise instead of an hour. That other half hour can be used to do spiritual reading.

§  It should be noted that praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet can be done while exercising

 

Prayer for Freedom from the Devil

(We will all pray the following prayer each day)

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, at a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror. You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength. By the power of Your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels to defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces. Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, the Church, so that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust. Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done. Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.

Amen.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us

St. Joseph ... pray for us

St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us

(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us

(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

Thursday-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Fear-Day 1

By Fr. Bill Peckman

In the Garden of Eden, the Devil tempts Adam and Eve. He lies to them. His lie is effective because it taps into fear. The fear is simple: God does not want what is good for you. The Devil sells a fear to Adam and Eve that God wishes them to be perpetually ignorant of good and evil (even though they already knew the good), that they are missing out without that knowledge. Fear finds its roots in a disbelief in God's providence and care. God knows this and in the Scriptures. He tells us 365 times to not be afraid. Overcoming fear is trusting in God.

Fear rules our nation now. It used to be that the American Dream was the ability to act rightly and freely and set one's course independent of one's socioeconomic status. In the last 100 years the American Dream transformed into accumulation of possessions and status. Now the American dream had turned into a nightmare of anarchy by which the dream is complete autonomy and self-determination independent of God, science, or reason. The fear comes from a belief that this life is all that there is, and we must create a reality conducive to my personal truth. Anyone who challenges this is to be feared and despised.

Fear rules within most churches now. Fear has reduced the evangelical call of the Great Commission to a call for the comfortable and non-challenging. It has stilled out tongues on moral issues. It has gutted our catechesis. It has emptied our seminaries and decimated the priesthood. Being Catholic has always carried a stigma in this country. With the scandals in the Church, fear of being accused of things one would never do is a strong deterrent to answering God's call. It was for me. When the purveyors of fear have raised their voices, in fear we Catholics have allowed ours to be silenced. A fearful person who will not stand up against the lies of a human being will never stand up to the lies perpetrated by the father of lies, the Devil. We would do well to heed Jesus's rebuke of His apostles in Mathew 8:26, "Why are you fearful, ye of little faith?" He says this as they are being tossed on the sea by a strong storm.

It might be said that courage is the virtue to cultivate to fight fear. It goes deeper. The virtue to cultivate is the theological virtue of faith. To countermand the Devil's use of fear, in believing that God does not want what is good for us or will abandon us if we follow Him, we must cultivate faith so as to be able and willing to put our trust in His goodness and plan.

 Because it is a theological virtue, the virtue only grows with the assistance of the grace of God. We will not be able to cultivate faith without the sacramental life of the Church. Even when circumstance prevents our participation in the sacramental life of the Church, the fervent desire to participate in the sacramental life of the Church allows that opening for God to flood us with the grace to grow our faith. Such desire has aided the imprisoned, the ill, and the exile.

Faith must lead to conversion. If not, then the grace of God is squandered. We shall have to answer for this. Conversion is an outward and inward sign of the trust we faith we have in God. Conversion sets the devil on his heels. It calls out his lie. Faith will lead us to a place where we can stand out against the rising tide and fight against the diabolical. Dead men flow downstream, weak men float downstream, but live men can walk against the current and move forward. Faith is the power train to give us such abilities.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to doubt in your goodness. We have still our tongues in the face of evil. We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing the strong storms to quell our trust in you. In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to you Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg your forgiveness for our fear and timidity. We beg for the grace of your goodness to build up within us what you sought to build up in your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.

We know, Lord, if you will it, it will be done.

Trusting in you, we offer our prayer to you who live and reign forever.

Amen

Prayer of Exorcism

 Lord God of Heaven and Earth, in your power and goodness, you created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of your arm and Word of your mouth cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to your will. Send your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in your church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.

Trusting in your goodness Lord, We know if you will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever. Amen.

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us. 
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Mary, pray for us. 
Saint Joseph, pray for us. 
Illustrious son of David, …
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord. 

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
 

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray.

O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION ONE THE SACRAMENTAL ECONOMY

CHAPTER TWO-THE SACRAMENTAL CELEBRATION OF THE PASCHAL MYSTERY

1135 The catechesis of the liturgy entails first of all an understanding of the sacramental economy (Chapter One). In this light, the innovation of its celebration is revealed. This chapter will therefore treat of the celebration of the sacraments of the Church. It will consider that which, through the diversity of liturgical traditions, is common to the celebration of the seven sacraments. What is proper to each will be treated later. This fundamental catechesis on the sacramental celebrations responds to the first questions posed by the faithful regarding this subject:
- Who celebrates the liturgy?
- How is the liturgy celebrated?
- When is the liturgy celebrated?
- Where is the liturgy celebrated?

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Protection of Traditional Marriage

·       Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Day 1

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Global Forgiveness Day

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Nineveh 90-Day 83

·       Rosary




[1]Angelo M. Codevilla, "Political Warfare: A Set of Means for Achieving Political Ends", in Waller, ed., Strategic Influence: Public Diplomacy, Counterpropaganda and Political Warfare (IWP Press, 2008.)

[2] http://www.wincalendar.com/Hajj


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