Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Introduction to 1 Peter
The book of 1st Peter is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). It was written to all believers in general. The author is Peter who wrote it about 60 A.D. The key personalities are the Apostle Peter, Silas, and Mark. Its purpose was to encourage suffering Christians and to call them to personal holiness; Peter’s central focus is persecution.
• Chapters 1-2, Peter addresses the issue that believers are to live a life of personal holiness as God’s people, even during times of suffering and persecution. He teaches that all Christians are to expect suffering; it is normal and Scriptural for Christians to suffer persecution and even imprisonment and death. Peter explains that our salvation in Christ is secure and that He took our sin on the cross and, “for by His wounds you were healed” (2:24).
• In chapters 3-5, Peter explains that in living holy lives the believer is to, “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (3:15). A part of living a holy life is obeying the commands of Christ and Peter claimed that we are obligated to preach the “Hope that is in you”. He expounds that believers should not be surprised when persecution comes upon them, “be on the alert” because Satan is continuously, “seeking whom he may devour” (5:8). In addition, if the believer does suffer persecution, they are to glorify God and entrust their souls to Him.
OCTOBER 4 Tuesday
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI YOM KIPPUR at sundown
1 Peter, Chapter 2, Verse 17
Give honor to all, love the community, FEAR God, honor the king.
We are to be good citizens but God’s citizens first. We are to love our community.
One recent change in the liturgy is in “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed,” Catholics have said this for decades, but due to translation changes those words have been amended to, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” This expression of faith makes me think of all those who are under my roof and are under my protection but then I reflect further. I think of all those roofs I am under: the church, my work, my community and family. I am humbled and ask God to bless them all not just myself. We are not alone we are a community of love.
Yes it is true we have the freedom Christ gave us; but to be truly free we must serve and give reverence to God, esteem for everyone and committed love for our fellow Christians. We are to honor those who are under our roof and those whose roof we are under.
To honor someone means we give great attention to them and listen to them when they talk (put down the smart phone). If they make a request or suggestion we make every effort to do it. It means you give them respect and high esteem; you treat them as being special and of great worth. For indeed they are, did not our Lord die for them. Christ asks us to go the extra mile with them; to accommodate them: out of honor. This is the noble way we are to live.
In the movie Les Misérables (1998 film), Liam Neeson plays, Jean Valjean, a man who was arrested for stealing bread and after 19 years is released on parole. However, no one is willing to allow him, a convict, to stay the night. Except for Bishop Myriel, who kindly welcomes him into his home. Valjean explains to Myriel that sleeping in a real bed will make him a new man. In the night, Valjean, interrupted by Myriel while stealing his silverware, strikes him and flees. When the police arrest Valjean, Myriel tells them that the silverware was a gift and scolds Valjean for failing to take his candlesticks as well. Myriel then reminds Valjean that he is to become a new man.
Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi
ST. FRANCIS was born at Assisi, in Italy, in the year 1182. His father, a rich merchant, intended him for trade, and Francis applied himself with aptness to this employment, in which, though fond of show, he exhibited, at an early day, a particular love for the poor. Agreeable and amiable, affable and kind to all, he was beloved by all around him, and the world sought to draw him to its side. But, enlightened from above, and by heavenly apparitions rendered attentive to the call he was about to receive, he followed the leadings of grace which drew him on to imitate Christ in poverty and humility. Hearing one day at Mass the words of the Gospel “Do not possess gold, or silver, or money in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, nor two coats, nor shoes, nor a staff” (Matt. x. 9, 10), he began to regulate the whole manner of his life according to this precept of the Gospel, and at once began to preach penance with such evangelical poverty, and with such power, that all who heard him were moved to tears. Disinherited by his father, who was greatly displeased at his poverty and open-handedness towards the poor, he threw himself altogether upon the providence of his Father in heaven, dividing with the poor the alms he thus received. The extraordinary manner of his life soon brought around him disciples, and as the number of them increased daily, he wrote for them a rule, and then set out for Home, to procure from the Pope a confirmation of it. He came back, rejoicing in the Lord that everything at Rome had gone according to his wish, and established himself about a mile from his native city, at a small church belonging to the Benedictines, which he called Portiuncula (little portion). Here he led a life of the severest penance here he prayed day and night, and here he laid the foundation of that Order which has filled the world with the splendor of its virtues. Here in this church, dedicated to the virgin Mother of Jesus and to the holy angels, he received from Christ Himself the celebrated indulgence known throughout the whole Christian world as the Portiuncula Indulgence, for while the saint was praying there with glowing devotion, on the day of the dedication of the church, in the year 1221, the Lord appeared to him and said “Francis, ask whatever thou wilt for the salvation of the nations.” He answered: “I desire the remission of guilt and punishment, a plenary indulgence for all who shall visit this church with contrite hearts and sincerely confess their sins. The Lord replied, Go then to My representative, the Pope, and ask the indulgence in My name. “Forthwith he went to Pope Honorius III., who first, by word of mouth, and afterwards by a proper bull, confirmed to him the indulgence. The same indulgence was, at a later day, extended to all churches of the Franciscans, and by Pope Pius VII to all parish churches (at least to all in Bavaria), and may be gained on the first Sunday in August of every year. Burning with desire for the salvation of the people, St. Francis with his brethren, whom he sent out two by two to preach penance and the peace of God, labored to establish everywhere the kingdom of heaven. His love for sinners, and his ardent zeal for the salvation of souls, impelled him to visit remote parts of the world to preach the Gospel to unbelievers. For this he was rewarded by God with miraculous graces, among which there is particularly to be mentioned that which was granted him upon Mount Alverno. While he was there engaged, separated from the world, in fasting and praying for forty days, as he was accustomed to do often, the Savior appeared to him in the form of a seraph on the cross, and imprinted the five wounds of His own body on the body of St. Francis. On account of this, and for his ardent love for Jesus crucified, St. Francis received the surname of Seraph. After this event the saint lived two years in manifold bodily distress and sickness, without murmur or complaint, with perfect resignation to the will of God. Sometime before his death he caused his will to be written, in which he left to his brethren poverty as an inheritance in which they should find great treasure for heaven. As the hour of his dissolution drew nigh he had the passion of Christ read to him; he then said the one hundred and forty-first psalms, and at the words, bring my soul out of prison that I may praise Thy name, he expired happy in the Lord, October 4, 1226, in the forty-fifth year of his age. St. Francis founded three Orders, the first and proper Order of Franciscans, or the Order of Friars Minor, then the Order of Franciscan nuns, or Clares, so called from St. Clare, their first superior and lastly, that called the Third Order, for people in the world, of both sexes, who aim at perfection, but do not desire to make the vows of the cloister. This last Order, which has been approved by many Popes, particularly by Gregory IX., Innocent IV., and Nicholas IV., has spread throughout the whole world, and is becoming in our day more and more flourishing.
O God, Who by the merits of blessed Francis dost increase Thy Church by a new progeny, grant us by imitating him to despise earthly things, and ever to rejoice in the participation of heavenly gifts. Amen.
EPISTLE. Gal. vi. 14-18.
Brethren: God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ: by Whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From henceforth let no man be troublesome to me: for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body. The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
GOSPEL. Matt. xi. 25-30.
At that time Jesus answered and said: I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you that labor, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up My yoke upon you, arid learn of Me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is sweet and My burden
· We must as is sometimes do as attributed to the sayings of St. Francis, “preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.”
This is the first premise of leadership. As leaders, especially Christian leaders, we must demonstrate the Be, Know and Do attitudes of Christ. That is we must become an “Alter Christus” or another Christ. We must BE to others as Christ would. We must KNOW spiritual principals as Christ does and we must act or DO in the world as Christ would.
This day emulate our Lord by reflecting and living the prayer of St. Francis.
The Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
Things to Do
· Pray the Canticle of the Sun, which was written by St. Francis.
· For more reading, see the selections from the Catholic Culture Library. This page from the Franciscan Archives contains links about St. Francis of Assisi, including biographies, articles, writings, Orders & Societies, liturgical texts and art.
· Many parishes have a Blessing of animals or pets on this day. See the Prayers column for other alternatives. St. Francis loved all of God's creatures. Find the stories of the Wolf of Gubbio, the Sermon to the Birds, his Canticle of Creatures to see some illustrations of his honoring God's creation.
· St. Francis was influential on our present-day Christmas crib or creche.
· Although St. Francis is one of the most popular saints of the Church, and his feast is a huge celebration in Assisi, there are no particular foods attached to that festival. Tradition has passed on that on his deathbed he requested Frangipane cream or Moastaccioli (almond biscotti). Fire is a symbol of St. Francis, first of all because his heart was on fire with love of God, but there are other stories in Little Flowers of St. Francis that deal with fire, particularly when he prayed, the surrounding areas would become so bright that people thought the areas were on fire. So a flaming dessert or wine would be an appropriate ending of a wonderful feast. One could also try some Umbrian style recipes, or just have "Italian night" at home, even just simple spaghetti or other pasta and sauces.
· Learn more about the Franciscan order. The Catholic Encyclopedia has a wonderful entry on St. Francis, including his Rule. And from the Catholic Culture Library you can read a detailed summary of the life of St. Francis and his founding of the Order of Friars Minor.
· What does poverty in our state of life mean? How can I follow the Gospels like Francis?
· Learn more about geography and history of the Umbria area, and how much Francis has impacted that area.
· Study art and photos of Francis. Find out more about the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. Although the earthquake in 1997 damaged the basilica, it reopened in 1999.
· Go here for Saint Francis of Assisi, The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi, translated by Fr. Paschal Robinson in 1906.
· Read Little Flowers of St. Francis by Brother Ugolino online or purchase a copy. This is a collection of many stories and legends of the life of St. Francis. Of particular note is his Sermon to the Birds,
"My little sisters the birds, ye owe much to God, your Creator, and ye ought to sing his praise at all times and in all places, because he has given you liberty to fly about into all places; and though ye neither spin nor sew, he has given you a twofold and a threefold clothing for yourselves and for your offspring. Two of all your species he sent into the Ark with Noah that you might not be lost to the world; besides which, he feeds you, though ye neither sow nor reap. He has given you fountains and rivers to quench your thirst, mountains and valleys in which to take refuge, and trees in which to build your nests; so that your Creator loves you much, having thus favoured you with such bounties. Beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praise to God."
St. Francis was a great respecter of life and viewed all creation as a gift of God; he called the animals brothers and the moon sister moon. If we have God’s breath and love in us we must respect and protect all creation starting with the most vulnerable of human life.
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the last day to atone our sins of the Ten Days of Repentance, which start on the New Year (Rosh Hashanah). This is a fast mentioned in the Bible and the punishment mentioned for not keeping this fast is excommunication. Jews seek to 'purify their souls' on this day, by abstaining from common pleasures. Yom Kippur is celebrated by most all Jewish denominations. It is a fast day from the eve until the next day nightfall (twenty-five hours). No food or drink is permissible. It is a day on which Jews 'afflict the soul', which includes wearing only non-leather shoes, not combing one's hair and no marital relations. For many Orthodox Jews, most of Yom Kippur is spent in prayer in the Synagogue. Five prayer services are held (as opposed to the normal three daily prayers).
Yom Kippur Facts
· It is customary to eat a festive meal on the Eve of Yom Kippur with round challah bread, a meat meal and sustaining foods. One is not allowed to risk one's life and thus anyone in danger of life from fasting, including the young and sick are not allowed to fast. Yom Kippur is the only Jewish fast observed on a Sabbath, due to its importance.
· It is customary to wear white on the holiday, which symbolizes purity and calls to mind the promise that our sins shall be made as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). Some people wear a Kittel, the white robe in which the dead are buried.
· Yom Kippur Liturgy in Orthodox and most Traditional communities include Kol Nidre prayer in which Jews annul all their vows and Avinu Malkeinu, 'Our father our King'.
· The last of the Orthodox and traditional five Synagogue services for Yom Kippur is the Neilah service (final 'closing of the gates'). It is considered particularly heart-rendering and people often cry during the service. At the end of the service, a Shofar (ram's horn) is blown and the end of the day is pronounced.
· Jews ask the Lord to be considered both as a child and as a servant. They request from God that as a father of a child, God have mercy as a father does over his child.
On Yom Kippur, I’ll skip my physical workout for a spiritual one instead. In fact, Yom Kippur is all about getting beyond our physical selves, so we can focus solely on doing the difficult, sacred work the High Holidays demand of us, free from the distractions of our bodies and their needs. “When we refrain from indulging our physical appetites for a limited period, in order to devote ourselves for a time more exclusively to demands that rank higher in our hierarchy of values, we are not denying the physical appetites their just place in life; we are simply recognizing the need of putting them in their place.” Although many Jews expect to fast on Yom Kippur, to help ensure we devote ourselves to a most accurate cheshbon hanefesh (accounting of the soul), it is customary to refrain from five specific activities related to our bodies throughout the holiest day of the Jewish year:
1. Eating and drinking: The majority of our lives take place in our physical selves, which require sustenance to function optimally. In an effort to get beyond our corporeal body on this day, we forego food and drink. Of course, you should only do what your body can manage in a healthy way. Those who are sick, pregnant, elderly, or otherwise unable to fast should not do so or should do so only in a modified way.
2. Wearing leather: In an earlier era, leather shoes often were among our most comfortable. If we’re focused on our personal comfort, we can’t also be fully attentive to our spiritual selves. For this reason, you may notice clergy or other worshippers sporting canvas sneakers in lieu of leather shoes on Yom Kippur.
3. Bathing and shaving: Because we are engaging with our souls on this day, cleaning and grooming our bodies can take a backseat on Yom Kippur.
4. Anointing ourselves with oil, cream, cologne, perfume, or other balms and salves for physical pleasure diverts our attention from the spiritual reckoning for which Yom Kippur is intended. Thus, using lotions and the like also is an activity from which we abstain on this sacred day.
5. Sexual relations: For all the reasons noted above, refraining from sexual relations on Yom Kippur turns our attention away from our bodies, centering it instead on our actions and misdeeds of the past year.
By abstaining from these activities for the day, we set ourselves up to truly examine our innermost, intimate beings in a most meaningful way, giving ourselves an opportunity to explore what we can do differently in the coming year to tip the balance toward good. When the sun sets on the Sabbath of Sabbaths, we slowly ease back into our physical selves – returned, revived, refreshed. Mishkan HaNefesh, the new Reform machzor (High Holiday prayer book), eloquently petitions:
May this long day
of fasting and self-denial
inspire acts of creativity, generosity, and joy.
May we go from strength to strength.
Yes, throughout the coming year and beyond, may it be our bodies that feed the hungry, comfort the bereaved, clothe the naked, and bring justice and humanity to the places they are needed most.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE SPIRIT
CHAPTER ONE THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
Article 2-OUR VOCATION TO BEATITUDE
II. The Desire for Happiness
1718 The Beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness. This desire is of divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it:
We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated.
How is it, then, that I seek you, Lord? Since in seeking you, my God, I seek a happy life, let me seek you so that my soul may live, for my body draws life from my soul and my soul draws life from you.
God alone satisfies.
1719 The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This vocation is addressed to each individual personally, but also to the Church as a whole, the new people made up of those who have accepted the promise and live from it in faith.
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: True Masculinity
· Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion
· Pray Day 3 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops
· Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
· Religion in the Home for Preschool: October
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
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