Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
HOLY GUARDIAN ANGELS
Hebrews, Chapter 11, Verse 27
Moses was a warrior who was led by faith to serve the one who is invisible. Although as the adopted son of pharaoh he could have had the power of Egypt, yet he chose to follow Him who is. Moses was a righteous man. A righteous man is one who leads a life that is pleasing to God.
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. (Ps. 23:4)
Faith helps a warrior to focus himself and conserve the warrior energy for where it is most effective. Ponder the fact that Christ at any moment could have chosen to fight and the results would have been the defeat of the Romans and the loss of man.
The Warrior Ethos
Whether it's a Navy SEAL or a saint, we admire those who put it all on the line - go "all in!" - those who are totally dedicated to the mission. In the military, this dedication is revealed in the Warrior Ethos, four simple lines embedded in the Soldier's Creed:
· I will always place the mission first.
· I will never accept defeat.
· I will never quit.
· I will never leave a fallen comrade.
Sustained and developed through discipline, commitment, and pride, these four lines motivate every soldier to persevere and, ultimately, to refuse defeat. What would happen if we dedicated ourselves to the training and mission of Jesus Christ with the same intensity Eric Greitens and his comrades dedicated themselves to the "Warrior Ethos" and to their training to become Navy SEALs? What is keeping us from becoming, in essence, SEALS for Christ?
We must learn the special operations (special ops) techniques and procedures for search and rescue missions of fallen comrades (those who have become weak in their faith). Although rarely wielded by the Catholics today, this supernatural strength and these techniques are truly authentic gifts of the Church that are field-tested and battle-hardened. We must commit ourselves to their restoration if we ever hope to stem the tide of evil and rescue our lost loved ones who may be destined for eternal damnation. (Excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual).
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
My esteemed Brothers in the
and the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
4. Until quite recently, it was easier in traditionally Christian countries to keep Sunday holy because it was an almost universal practice and because, even in the organization of civil society, Sunday rest was considered a fixed part of the work schedule. Today, however, even in those countries which give legal sanction to the festive character of Sunday, changes in socioeconomic conditions have often led to profound modifications of social behavior and hence of the character of Sunday. The custom of the "weekend" has become more widespread, a weekly period of respite, spent perhaps far from home and often involving participation in cultural, political or sporting activities which are usually held on free days. This social and cultural phenomenon is by no means without its positive aspects if, while respecting true values, it can contribute to people's development and to the advancement of the life of society as a whole. All of this responds not only to the need for rest, but also to the need for celebration which is inherent in our humanity. Unfortunately, when Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes merely part of a "weekend", it can happen that people stay locked within a horizon so limited that they can no longer see "the heavens". Hence, though ready to celebrate, they are really incapable of doing so.
The disciples of Christ, however, are asked to avoid any confusion between the celebration of Sunday, which should truly be a way of keeping the Lord's Day holy, and the "weekend", understood as a time of simple rest and relaxation. This will require a genuine spiritual maturity, which will enable Christians to "be what they are", in full accordance with the gift of faith, always ready to give an account of the hope which is in them (cf. 1 Pt 3:15). In this way, they will be led to a deeper understanding of Sunday, with the result that, even in difficult situations, they will be able to live it in complete docility to the Holy Spirit.
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
This Sunday recognizes the double love of God and neighbor.
IN the Introit of the Mass, the justice and mercy of God are praised. Thou are just, O Lord, and Thy judgment is right. Deal with Thy servant according to Thy mercy. Blessed are the undefiled who walk in the law of the Lord (Ps. cxviii.).
Grant to Thy people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to avoid the contagion of the devil, and with a pure mind to seek Thee, the only God.
EPISTLE. Eph. iv. 1-6.
Brethren: I, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called, with all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity, careful to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in us all, Who is blessed forever and ever. Amen.
The words, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, confound those who assert that a man may be saved in any belief. There can be but one true religion; they who profess it should be united by the bond of charity, and their lives be worthy of their vocation to the true faith.
GOSPEL. Matt. xxii. 35-46.
At that time the Pharisees came nigh to Jesus, and one of them, a doctor of the law, asked Him, tempting Him: Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind; This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: What think you of Christ? Whose son is He? They say to Him: David’s. He saith to them: How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit on My right hand, until I make Thy enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word: neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions.
Why is this commandment to love God and our neighbor called the great commandment?
Because in these two are contained all the others, so that he who fulfils these fulfils the whole law. For whoever loves God with his whole heart does not murmur against God; does not dishonor His name by cursing and swearing; does not desecrate the Sabbath-day, because he knows that all this is offensive to God. On the contrary, he hopes in God; gives thanks and praise to God; sanctifies the Sundays and holy-days, because he knows this to be pleasing to God; observes the precepts of the Church, because he knows it to be the will of God that he should hear the Church; honors his parents; does no injury to his neighbor; does not commit adultery; does not steal; slanders no one; bears no false witness; pronounces no unjust judgment; is not envious, malicious, unmerciful, but rather practices towards every one the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; and all this because, out of love to God, he loves his neighbor as himself. Thus, love fulfils all the commandments.
What is the meaning of the question, “What think you of Christ?”
Christ put this question to the Pharisees in order that, by their own answer, He might convince them that He was not merely a lineal son of David, but that He was the Son of God, begotten from eternity, on which account He called Himself David’s Lord. That Christ is the Son of God, our Lord, our Teacher, our Lawgiver, our Redeemer and Savior, we Christians know well, for we daily profess it; but how many of us, in deeds, deny it, since we do not follow His teaching nor observe His commandments! What, then, will Christ one day be to such? What but a judge to condemn, and a God to punish?
Why must we love our neighbor?
Because we are all, not merely by descent from Adam, but much more through the grace of Jesus, children of God and members of one family. As children of God, we bear in us the likeness of God. But God loved and still loves all men; for the salvation of all He has given up His only Son, that all may be saved; shall we then love one and hate another, and yet think to be like God? Through the grace of Jesus, we are all redeemed, made members of His body, yes, partakers of His body and blood. Therefore St. Paul admonishes us: “You are all one in Christ” (Gal. iii. 28), be therefore careful to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephes. iv. 3). How natural is it for the members of one body not to wound each other! Jesus, our Redeemer, gave His life for us when we were His enemies, and even on the cross prayed for His murderers. We are His disciples. But can we be allowed to call ourselves so without possessing this mark of His discipleship? (John xiii. 15.) Thus, everything incites us to love: the law of nature and of revelation, the example of Christ, all the promises and hopes that we have. In truth, how, without love, could we hope to enter the kingdom of love? There can be no answer to this reasoning: “Would you be a disciple of Jesus, an heir of His kingdom? then love like Him; and He has shed His blood for His mortal enemies.
Feast of our Holy Guardian Angels
THIS feast was instituted:
1. To thank God that to each one of us He has given a guardian angel to conduct him unharmed through the dangers of this world.
2. To inspire us with gratitude to the angels who do us such great good, and to incite us to efforts to render ourselves worthy of their guardianship.
What is the office of a guardian angel?
To guard men against dangers of soul and body. The Psalmist says: He hath given His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways; in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone (Ps. xc. 11); that is, that thou mayest neither fall into sin nor misfortune. Oh, what great regard for us, hereupon exclaims St. Bernard, what wonderful love!
Who is it that has given charge?
To whom has He given charge?
The angels, those noble spirits of His own household.
What charge has He given them?
To guard and defend us, poor men. O Lord, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him? St. Paul calls the angels ministering spirits sent to minister to them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation (Heb. i. 14). In innumerable other places in the Bible they are represented as friends of children, guides of youth, defenders of innocence, promoters of good deeds, monitors against evil, guardians of the pious, protectors against misfortune, comforters in need, deliverers in danger, helpers in combat, companions of the souls in everlasting joy.
What should we do every day, but particularly this day?
We should thank God for having given us guardians so holy and powerful, and our guardian angel himself for the help he has rendered us; should think of and call upon him often, especially in the hour of temptation; finally, we should promise fidelity and obedience to his admonitions. Whatever in this regard is at any time binding upon us should especially be done today.
Prayer to the Guardian Angel
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
(100 days indulgence each time).
Things to do
- Memorize and pray the Angel of God prayer.
- Bake an angel food cake, serve angel hair pasta, and/or make angel kisses (meringue cookies).
- Read from the Catholic Culture Library:
- Our Guardian Angels by Fr. Joseph Ventura, C.P.
- Sermon on the Holy Guardian Angels by St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
- Guardian Angels
- Meditation for the Feast of the Guardian Angels by Pope John XXIII.
- Role of Guardian Angels in our Lives by George Huber.
- Paschal Parente's chapters on Angels.
- Read the section on angels in the Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy. The document examines the doctrine and devotions of the angels. Devotion to angels is good, but also can have deviations:
“Devotion to the Holy Angels gives rise to a certain form of the Christian life which is characterized by:
- devout gratitude to God for having placed these heavenly spirits of great sanctity and dignity at the service of man;
- an attitude of devotion deriving from the knowledge of living constantly in the presence of the Holy Angels of God — serenity and confidence in facing difficult situations, since the Lord guides and protects the faithful in the way of justice through the ministry of His Holy Angels. Among the prayers to the Guardian Angels the Angele Dei is especially popular, and is often recited by families at morning and evening prayers, or at the recitation of the Angelus.
“217. Popular devotion to the Holy Angels [which is legitimate and good] can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:
- when, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and daemons, in which man is left at the mercy of superior forces and over which he is helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the Devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;
- when the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the Devil and all success to the Guardian Angels. The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.”
- Also read All About the Angels.
- Read about saints and others who had a great devotion to their guardian angel (St. Josemaria Escriva; St. Padre Pio; Blessed John XXIII).
- Think about how you can develop a greater devotion and depend on your guardian angel everyday.
Redwood National Park Establish 1968
Think of the giant Redwoods they are the largest trees in the world. These trees survive by intertwining their roots because the ground is so hard the Redwood cannot strike a taproot to hold itself up but by supporting each other they become the largest trees in the world.
World Farm Animals Day
Farm animals are cute, and they also play an important role in modern society. Take some time to appreciate them this World Farm Animals Day. Created in memory of Ghandi, who believed in treating all living beings with respect, World Farm Animals Day was founded to highlight the poor conditions suffered by some farm animals and promote awareness in the hope something may be done to improve their lives.
While World Farm Animals Day has an important, and sad, origin, in the sense it was created to raise awareness of suffering, it can be celebrated in different ways with children. Taking children for a visit to a farm is a great way to teach them about farm animals, and it’s a good chance to instill in them the message of treating animals with respect. Another great way to celebrate is by donating to an animal protection charity of your choice
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
1710 "Christ . . . makes man fully manifest to man himself and brings to light his exalted vocation" (GS 22 # 1).
1711 Endowed with a spiritual soul, with intellect and with free will, the human person is from his very conception ordered to God and destined for eternal beatitude. He pursues his perfection in "seeking and loving what is true and good" (GS 15 # 2).
1712 In man, true freedom is an "outstanding manifestation of the divine image" (GS 17).
1713 Man is obliged to follow the moral law, which urges him "to do what is good and avoid what is evil" (cf GS 16). This law makes itself heard in his conscience.
1714 Man, having been wounded in his nature by original sin, is subject to error and inclined to evil in exercising his freedom.
1715 He who believes in Christ has new life in the Holy Spirit. the moral life, increased and brought to maturity in grace, is to reach its fulfillment in the glory of heaven.
· 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: Today's Fast: The Pope
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.