ST. GREGORY THE GREAT-SKYSCRAPER DAY
Psalm 145, Verse 19
He fulfills the desire of those who FEAR him; he hears their cry and saves them.
In this psalm the singer invites all to praise God. The “works of God” make God present and invite human praise; they climax in a confession. God’s mighty acts show forth divine kingship, a major theme in the literature of early Judaism and in Christianity.
I would like to focus on the word desire from verse 19 above. I like to hike and pray. One day I was hiking in the Fay Canyon area of Sedona, Arizona and I was reflecting on the seven deadly sins and the opposing virtues of our Lord sermon on the mount. As I was hiking and musing over the words that are associated with the deadly sin of lust: such words as long for, hanker for, hunger for, yearn, crave, and desire. In my mind I repeated desire, desire, desire and I asked our Lord what do you want me to desire? As I asked that question, I looked up at the canyon and spied a rock formation in the shape of a chalice. Yes Lord, I exclaimed. I shall desire to receive you in the Holy Mass. Today would be a good day to rest in the Lord and go to Confession and Mass-receiving true health, His body and blood. As we receive realize that He has heard our cry’s and has saved us. Such is the love of our God!
1465 When he celebrates the sacrament of Penance, the priest is fulfilling the ministry of the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, of the Good Samaritan who binds up wounds, of the Father who awaits the prodigal son and welcomes him on his return, and of the just and impartial judge whose judgment is both just and merciful. The priest is the sign and the instrument of God's merciful love for the sinner.
First Saturday Devotion
Five consecutive Saturdays in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The practice of the First Saturday devotion was requested by Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, multiple times starting in 1917. She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three children: “I shall come to ask . . . that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.” Years later she repeated her request to Sr. Lucia, the only one still living of the three young Fatima seers, while she was a postulant sister living in a convent in Spain: “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Conditions to Fulfill the First Saturday Devotion
There are five requirements to obtain this promise from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, one should:
1. Have the intention of consoling the Immaculate Heart in a spirit of reparation.
2. Go to confession (within eight days before or after the first Saturday).
3. Receive Holy Communion.
4. Say five decades of the Holy Rosary.
5. Meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the goal of keeping Our Lady company (for example, while in church or before an image or statue of Our Lady).
Why Five Saturdays?
Our Lord appeared to Sr. Lucia on May 29, 1930 and gave her the reason behind the five Saturdays devotion. It is because there are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
2. Blasphemies against Our Lady’s perpetual virginity
3. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize her as the Mother of men
4. Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of their Immaculate Mother
5. Offenses of those who outrage Our Lady directly in her holy images
Never think that Jesus is indifferent to whether or not His mother is honored!
St. Gregory the Great’s 30 Masses
The history of the “Thirty Mass” practice goes back to the year 590 A.D. in St. Andrew’s Monastery in Rome, founded by St. Gregory the Great in his own family villa around 570. It is now known as the Monastery of St. Gregory the Great. The account of the incident which gave rise to it is recounted by St. Gregory himself in his Dialogues.
After his election as Pope in 590, one of the monks, Justus by name, became ill. So he admitted to a lay friend, Copiosus, that he had hidden three gold pieces among his medications years before, when he was professed a monk. Both, in fact, were former physicians. And sure enough, the other monks found the gold when seeking the medication for Justus.
The founder and former abbot of the monastery, now Pope Gregory, hearing of this scandalous sin against the monastic Rule, called in the new Abbot of his beloved monastery, and ordered the penalty of solitary confinement for Justus, even though he was dying, and ordered that his burial not be in the cemetery but in the garbage dump. Copiosus told his wretched friend of this decision. Moreover, the community were to recite over his dreadful grave the words of St. Peter to Simon the Magician: “May your money perish with you” (Acts 8:20).
Let us pray here for all the Bishops and Priest who chose Gold over the Eucharist in response to the COVID 19.
The Pope’s desired result was achieved: Justus made a serious repentance, and all the monks a serious examination of conscience. Justus then died, but the matter did not, for thirty days later Pope Gregory returned to the monastery filled with concern for Justus, who would now be suffering the grim temporal punishment of Purgatory’s fire for his sins. “We must,” said Gregory to the Abbot, “come by charity to his aid, and as far as possible help him to escape this chastisement. Go and arrange thirty Masses for his soul, so that for thirty consecutive days the Saving Victim is immolated for him without fail.” And so, it was done.
Some days later, the deceased monk, Justus, appeared in a vision to his friend Copiosus and said, “I have just received the Communion pardon and release from Purgatory because of the Masses said for me.” The monks did a calculation, and noted that it was exactly thirty days since the thirty Masses had begun for Justus. They shared this great consolation with each other, with their Abbott and with Pope Gregory. The Pope included a full account of this episode.
The construction of tall buildings has become so commonplace in cities around the globe that the general public gives little thought to the visionaries responsible for creating a city’s unique skyline. Skyscraper day provides the opportunity to learn more about the architects who commit a dream to paper and the construction crews that make it reality. Whoever it was that first considered placing dwellings on top of each other instead of side-by-side would be astounded at how modern buildings literally seem to touch the sky. What they may also find interesting is the status that is often attached to living or working at the highest level. Although this analogy is obvious there is another to be drawn from the consequences of a power failure. These are just a few aspects to ponder on a day that is set aside to reflect on man’s apparent conquest of upper space.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER THREE THE SACRAMENTS AT THE SERVICE OF COMMUNION
1533 Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are sacraments of Christian initiation. They ground the common vocation of all Christ's disciples, a vocation to holiness and to the mission of evangelizing the world. They confer the graces needed for the life according to the Spirit during this life as pilgrims on the march towards the homeland.
1534 Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God.
1535 Through these sacraments those already consecrated by Baptism and Confirmation for the common priesthood of all the faithful can receive particular consecrations. Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders are consecrated in Christ's name "to feed the Church by the word and grace of God." On their part, "Christian spouses are fortified and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament."
· 30 DAY TRIBUTE TO MARY 20th ROSE: Carrying of the Cross
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus