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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

 


FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS 

2 Corinthians, Chapter 7, Verse 15

And his heart goes out to you all the more, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, when you received him with FEAR and trembling.

 

We know that if our fear gives way to a deep sense of peace and joy when we seek to be reconciled to God; then it is the holy fear of God and we are on the right path.

 

Let those turn to me who fear you and acknowledge your decrees. (Ps. 119:79)

 

The Masculine Spirit[1] 

In America we are gradually seeing the wholesale destruction of the masculine spirit. We are so confused many of us don’t know which bathroom to use. Is this just another attempt by Satan to kill the body as God created it? Men and women need to value themselves and value the beneficial characteristics of masculinity and to reject the false images of being male. Men and women were created to be different. They were created to be in partnership, neither one dominating the other, each using their God-given gifts of gender for the benefit of the other and for the redemption of the world. The spirit of man is action oriented yet at times it is imperative that men to be fully men of God; must borrow from the female spirit the art of reflection. We must become aware of the wounds from our childhood that drive us toward destruction and trap us in unhealthy behavior as adults. We must reflect and learn from our mistakes, so we are not doomed to repeat them. As we reflect, we can see most men fall into one of four Archetypes—King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover. Archetypes are blueprints, primordial images that affect how we think, feel, and react to life’s situations. A balanced man can be all four simultaneously directing his energy to the problem at hand, but problems come when a man gets stuck and becomes trapped in one archetype. Each type has positive and negative characteristics of which a balanced man can tap to be a hero or a villain.








Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross[2]

 

THIS feast is a yearly commemoration of the erection, at Jerusalem, by Constantine the Great, and his mother, St. Helena, of the cross on which Christ died. This took place under the Emperor Heraclius, by whom the holy cross, which Khosroo, King of Persia, had carried into his own country, was, after fourteen years, recovered, brought back to Jerusalem, and borne by the emperor himself to the hill of Calvary, whither it had been borne by the Savior. Upon this occasion a miracle occurred. As Heraclius was about to carry the cross to the proper place on his shoulders, out of veneration for it, he found that while wearing the imperial dress he could not move it, until, by the advice of the patriarch Zachary, he laid aside his royal ornaments, dressed himself plainly, took off his shoes, and in such manner made himself like the humble Savior.

Introit of the Mass: “But it behooves us to glory in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection”.

Prayer. O God, Who on this day givest us joy by the annual solemnity of the exaltation of the holy cross, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may deserve the reward of His redemption in heaven Whose mystery we have known upon earth.

EPISTLE. Phil ii. 5-11.

Brethren: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus : Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a name which is above all names: that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

GOSPEL. John xii. 31-36.

At that time Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews: Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself. (Now this He said, signifying what death He should die.) The multitude answered Him: We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth forever: and how sayest Thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light that you may be the children of light.

 

Instruction on the Devotion of the Way of the Cross

 

What is the Holy Way of the Cross? It is a devotional exercise by which we meditate upon the passion and death of Jesus, and particularly upon His last way of sorrows, from the house of Pilate to Mount Calvary. Tradition testifies that after Christ’s ascension the Christians living in Jerusalem were accustomed particularly to venerate the holy places which had been sanctified by the passion of the divine Redeemer. But after Jerusalem fell into the hands of the infidels, so that it became dangerous, and often impossible, to pass over the ground which Our Lord had trod, the children of St. Francis of Assisi began to erect in their churches the fourteen stations of the Way of the Cross, by meditating on which the faithful might, in spirit, accompany the pilgrims to Jerusalem on the way to Calvary, dwelling in thought on what Christ had suffered for men. Station here means a place to pause, a resting point for meditation. This devotion has been examined and approved by many Popes, enriched with indulgences, and earnestly recommended to Christians. It may be found in any prayer-book. No exercise is more profitable to our souls than this.

 

·       What can bring before us the love of God and the abominableness and frightfulness of sin in a more vivid manner than the sufferings of the Godman?

·       How can we any longer indulge in hate when we hear Jesus pray for His enemies?

·       How can we give ourselves up to sensuality and lust when we see the divine Savior scourged, crowned with thorns, and hanging on the cross?

·       How can we murmur at our trials when we think that Jesus innocent takes up the cross for us guilty?

 

In truth, we should see our coldness and indifference disappear, as ice melts in the heat, we should grow more and more zealous in the way of virtue, if we would but rightly meditate upon the passion of Christ.

 

How are visits to the Stations of the Cross to be made? Rightly to visit the Stations of the Cross, and to draw there from real benefit, we should at each station consider with attention, with devotion and sorrow, what Jesus has done and suffered for us. We should not content ourselves with merely reciting at each station the proper prayers and meditations, but should pause, to impress upon our hearts what is there represented, that we may be moved and quickened to wholesome resolutions. In order to gain the indulgences, we must endeavor to be in the state of grace, and therefore at least, by way of beginning, we must have perfect contrition for our sins.

The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following September 14 marks one of the Ember Days of the Church. See Ember Days for more information.

Things to Do:[3]

  • Study different symbols and types of crosses, history and/or significance. Then have an art project — creating own crosses, using different media, including paper. See variations of crosses for some ideas.
  • Learn and pray the prayer to Christ Crucified; pray the Stations of the Cross. Point out particularly the phrase repeated at each station:
    We adore You, O Christ, and praise You,
    Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
  • Study the history of St. Helena and Constantine, especially St. Helena’s quest for finding the relics of Jesus.
  • Make sure that crucifixes are displayed prominently throughout your home. Point out the crucifix in every room even to the smallest ones. Your child's first word may be "Jesus"!
  • Explain the meaning of the Sign of the Cross to your children and be sure that even the little ones are taught how to make it.
  • Encourage your children to make reparation for sin; read about sacramentals.
  • Teach your children a short ejaculatory prayer such as "Through the sign of the Cross deliver us from our enemies, O our God!".
  • Make a dessert in the form of a cross, or decorated with a cross. Although usually made on Good Friday, Hot Cross Buns would be appropriate for this day. Make a cross cake, either using a cross form cake pan, or bake a sheet cake (recipe of choice). Once cool, cut the cake in half, length ways. Then cut one of these sections in half width ways. This makes three sections - one long and two short. Lay the long section onto a serving plate. Set the two small sections next to the long section forming a cross. Frost and decorate as desired.
  • Tradition holds that sweet basil grew over the hill where St. Helena found the Holy Cross, so in Greece the faithful are given sprigs of basil by the priest. Cook a basil pesto, tomato basil salad (with the last of the summer tomatoes) or some other type of recipe that includes basil, and explain to the family.
  • More Ideas: Women for Faith and Family and Catholic Encyclopedia.
  • Folklore has that the weather on the Ember Days of this month (September 15, 17, and 18) will foretell the weather for three successive months. So, Wednesday, September 15, will forecast the weather for October; Friday, September 17, for November; and Saturday, September 18, for December.

Eucharistic Stations of the Cross[4]

Thy Eucharistic Kingdom Come!

Saint Eymard rated the Stations of the Cross among the most important exercises of a retreat. Long experience had taught him to find in the wounds of Jesus the forgiveness, the peace, and all those graces for which the soul hungers while on retreat. Right up to his death, he made the Stations of the Cross every day, in the evening, after the fullest and most wearisome day's work. Therefore, he recommended this devotion as one whose full value he knew. In the beautiful words of the Following of Christ: "In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection against the enemy, in the cross is infusion of the heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of heart, in the cross is joy of spirit." But to the Eucharistic soul, Calvary is the altar, and the divine Crucified One is Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It hears round about the outcries of the throng against him who answers only with the silence of the lamb; it sees into the plots of the scribes and the pharisees; it knows the bargaining of these new Judases who sell to the demon in their souls, to their vices, to their self-interest, the good Master who has just given himself to them in the kiss of Communion. Every day it sees Jesus in his Eucharist delivered up, denied by cowardice and human respect. The Holy Eucharist is the Passion continued and renewed! The only difference is that the dolorous Eucharistic way passes through the whole world, crisscrosses it in every direction, and that the drama has lasted for almost twenty centuries.

What? But Jesus is glorious, immortal, impassable in the Blessed Sacrament! Why picture him to us as suffering, when he can suffer no more and as humiliated when he reigns as King triumphant? It is true, and very fortunate that Jesus Eucharistic can die no more, that men's hatred could wreak itself upon his sacred person only once at Jerusalem' What priest would cause Jesus to become present upon an altar that would be another Calvary for him? But do sins, insults, and sacrileges wound the living Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament less grievously because he is beyond the physical reach of the tortures, which our arms of flesh would make him undergo? He no longer suffers at present; but in the moment when he instituted the Most Blessed Sacrament, there passed before his soul the vision of the outrages, insults, and profanations, which would be heaped upon him in the course of the centuries. By his foreknowledge of the future he saw in their very smallest details, in their most secret and delicate subtleties, the acts of indifference, the sacrileges, and the profanations, which our malice held in store for him. He saw and he knew; his Heart felt. He had the power to let his Heart feel in that one instant anguish equal to what he would have had to endure if he had remained sensible of suffering and a prey to our cruelty in the long martyrdom to which men's ingratitude and the fury of evil spirits have tried to subject him. The connection between Calvary and the Holy Eucharist is so close that no soul can enter truly and at all intimately into union with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament without feeling the need of consoling him, of compassionating sufferings the mode and reason of which it does not understand but which are very real to its love. To meditate before the Blessed Sacrament on the Passion as it took place in Jerusalem is not enough for this soul: it feels in its heart that the Passion still continues. It is the Eucharistic Passion of Jesus with which it wishes to sympathize. A sweet inspiration, one, which must give so much joy to the Heart of Jesus! For he complained to Saint Margaret Mary in such poignantly sorrowful terms that he received this compassion too rarely from his forgetful children! To us who wish to know and honor the mystery of the Holy Eucharist in all its aspects belongs the beautiful mission of meditating frequently upon the Eucharistic Passion; it is for us to compassionate and weep for so many insults and profanations and to undertake reparation for them. Jesus no longer suffers now: he wishes to suffer in us and to prolong in his members, for the glory of God and the salvation of sinners, the martyrdom which he, our glorious Head, first endured so generously: he gave us the example and opened the way to us. The pious thoughts of Father Eymard will help to guide us in meditating on the Eucharistic sufferings. We may make use of them during an hour of adoration or meditate upon them while making the Stations of the Cross.

Stations of the Cross

                                                I.          First Station - Jesus Is Condemned to Death

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. R. Because by your holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Jesus is condemned by his own people by the very ones he showered with his favors. He is condemned as a fomenter of rebellion, he who is goodness itself; as a blasphemer, he who is holiness itself: as one seeking power, he who made himself the least of all. He is condemned to die on the Cross, like the lowest of slaves.

Jesus lovingly accepts this sentence of death: He came down to this earth in order to suffer and die and to teach us to do the same.

In his Holy Eucharist Jesus is again condemned to death: primarily in his graces, which are rejected; in his love, which is slighted; in his sacramental state, by the unbeliever who denies him, by horrible sacrilege. By unworthy Communion, the bad Christian sells Jesus Christ to the devil, delivers him up to his own passions, casts him at the feet of Satan, king of his heart, and crucifies him in his sinful body.

Jesus is more cruelly treated by bad Christians than by the Jews. In Jerusalem he was condemned only once but in the Blessed Sacrament he is condemned every day and in thousands of places, and by an appalling number of unjust judges.

And yet Jesus allows himself to be insulted, despised, condemned: he still continues his sacramental life in order to show us that his love for us is without condition or reserve, that it is greater than our ingratitude.

O Jesus forgive, I beseech you, all sacrileges! Should I ever have committed any, I want to pass my life making reparation for them and loving and honoring you for those who despise you. Grant me the grace to die with you!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

V. Have mercy on us, O Lord, R Have mercy on us.

May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

Holy Mother pierce me through. In my heart each wound renew Of my Savior crucified.

                                     II.          Second Station - Jesus Is Made To Bear His Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

In Jerusalem the Jews lay a shameful and heavy Cross upon Jesus. It was the instrument used at that time for the punishment of the basest of men. Jesus joyfully takes upon himself this overburdening Cross; he receives it eagerly, kisses it lovingly, and bears it with meekness.

In this way he wishes to make it sweet to us, lighten it for us, and consecrate it in his Blood.

In the divine Sacrament of the altar, bad Christians lay a much heavier Cross upon Jesus, one much more shameful for his Heart. This Cross is their acts of irreverence in the holy place, their distracted thoughts, their coldness of heart in his presence, their lukewarm devotion. What a humiliating Cross it is for Jesus, to have children so lacking in respect, disciples so worthless!

Jesus also bears my crosses in his Sacrament. He places them on his Heart to sanctify them; he covers them with his love, with his kisses, in order to make them attractive to me, but he wants me to carry them for him, to offer them to him; he is even willing to listen to the outpourings of my grief, to let me weep over my crosses and ask help and consolation of him.

Oh, how light is the cross that comes by way of the Holy Eucharist! How beautiful and radiant it comes forth from the Heart of Jesus! How good it is to receive it from his hands and to kiss it after him! To the Eucharist then I will run for refuge in my troubles; to him will I go for comfort and strength; to him will I go to learn to suffer and to love!

Forgive, O Lord, all who treat you irreverently in your Sacrament of love! Forgive my moments of indifference, of forgetfulness in your presence! I wish to love you; I do love you with all my heart!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                                               III.          Third Station - Jesus Falls the First Time

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus has lost so much blood during the three hours of his agony and beneath the blows of the scourge, he is so weakened by the cruel night passed under the guard of his enemies, that after walking a short distance he falls beneath the weight of his Cross.

How many times Jesus Eucharistic falls in particles of the Sacred Species without anyone being aware of it!

But what makes him fall from grief is the sight of a soul sullied by mortal sin!

Ah, how much more painfully Jesus falls in a young heart that receives him unworthily on the day of its First Holy Communion! He falls on that icy heart which the fire of his love cannot melt; on that proud and dissembling spirit without being able to touch it; in that body which is but a tomb full of rottenness. Alas, ought we to treat Jesus like that the first time he so lovingly visits us? O God! So young and already so guilty! To begin so soon to be a Judas! How painful to the Heart of Jesus must be the sin of this sacrilegious First Communion!

O Jesus! I thank you for the love, which you showed me in my First Communion: never shall I forget it! I am yours, wholly yours, for you are wholly mine: do with me, as you will.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                                         IV.          Fourth Station - Jesus Meets His Holy Mother

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Mary accompanies Jesus to Calvary. She endures a real martyrdom in her soul on the way; but when one loves, one desires to suffer with the beloved.

Today, on his way of suffering, Jesus Eucharistic often meets with the children of his love the spouses of his Heart, the ministers of his grace among his enemies. But far from consoling him as Mary did, they join with his tormentors in humiliating, blaspheming, and denying him. How many are the apostates and renegades who forsake the service and love of the Holy Eucharist as soon as that service calls for a sacrifice or for an act of practical faith!

O Jesus, my good Savior, with Mary my Mother, I will follow you amid humiliations, insults, and injuries, and make amends to you with my love!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                       V.          Fifth Station - The Cyrenian Helps Jesus To Carry His Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus was giving way more and more beneath his burden. The Jews, wishing to have him die on the Cross in order to complete his humiliation, urged Simon of Cyrene to help him bear the Cross. The latter refused and had to be forced to take upon himself an instrument of death so ignominious in his eyes. He yielded and merited that Jesus should touch his heart and convert him.

Jesus calls people to him in his Sacrament, and almost no one responds to his invitations; he invites them to his Eucharistic Banquet, and they have a thousand pretexts for refusing to come to it. The faithless and ungrateful soul refuses the grace of Jesus Christ, the most excellent gift of his love. He has his hands full of graces, but nobody wants them; people are afraid of his love!

Instead of the honors due to him, Jesus receives most of the time only disrespect. People are embarrassed at meeting him in the streets; they turn quickly away as soon as thy see him; they have not the courage to give him the outward evidences of their faith.

O divine Savior, can this be so? Alas! It is only too true, and I feel the reproaches of my own conscience. Yes, often, bent upon an earthly pleasure, I have refused to hear your call; often, in order not to be obliged to amend my ways, I have rejected the invitation of your table with which you in your love have honored me. I regret it from the depths of my heart; I know that it is better to let everything else go than by my own fault to miss a single Communion, the greatest and the sweetest of your graces. Forget the past, dear Savior, and accept my resolutions for the future and by your strength help me to keep them!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                            VI.          Sixth Station - A Holy Woman Wipes The Face Of Jesus

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

The face of the Savior no longer looks human; the executioners have covered it with mud, spittle, and blood! He, the splendor of God, is unrecognizable, and his divine Face is covered with defilements. Holy Veronica braves the soldiers. Beneath the pollution she has recognized her Savior and her God, and moved with pity, she wipes that august countenance. Jesus rewards her by imprinting his features upon the cloth.

O divine Jesus, your adorable Sacrament is greatly outraged, insulted, and profaned, and where are the compassionate souls who will make up for these abominations? Ah, it is saddening and appalling that so many sacrileges should be committed so lightly against the sublime Sacrament. It would seem that Jesus Christ is nothing more among us than an unregarded or even contemptible stranger!

It is true that he veils his face beneath the appearances of very weak and lowly species: that is in order that our love may discover in them his divine features. O Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, Son of the living God and I adore your holy Face, full of glory and majesty, beneath the Eucharistic veil! Lord, I beseech you to imprint your features in my heart, that wherever I go, I may carry Jesus with me, Jesus Eucharistic!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                                       VII.          Seventh Station - Jesus Falls the Second Time

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

In spite of Simon's help, Jesus succumbs a second time to his weakness, and it is a cause of new sufferings for him. His hands and knees are wounded by his falls on this laborious way, and the ill treatment inflicted by his executioners increases with their rage.

Oh, how ineffectual is human aid without the help of Jesus Christ! And how many falls are in store for him that relies on others!

How often the God of the Eucharist falls nowadays by Communion in lukewarm and cowardly hearts that receive him without reverence and let him go without an act of love and gratitude! Thus, Jesus' stay within us is fruitless because of our coldness.

Who would dare to receive one of the great of the earth with as little attention as the King of Heaven is every day received?

Divine Savior, I apologize to you for all my Communions that have been lukewarm and without devotion. How many times I already have received you in my heart. I thank you for them and I mean to be faithful to you in the future; only give me your love, that is enough!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

       VIII.          Eighth Station - Jesus Consoles the Holy Women Who Weep for Him

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

It was the Savior's mission in the days of his mortal life to comfort the afflicted and the persecuted. He desires to be faithful to it at the very time of his greatest sufferings. Thus he forgets himself and dries the tears of the holy women who weep over his sorrows and his passion. What goodness!

Very few people come to visit and to adore Our Lord in his Sacrament of divine love. And even fewer people remember to offer him reparation for their own sins and for those of all mankind. He is with us day and night, alone. Oh, if his eyes could weep, what tears they would shed for the ingratitude and neglect of his own! If his Heart could still suffer, what torments he would feel at seeing himself forsaken in this way, even by his friends!

Yet, for all that, as soon as we come to him, he receives us with kindness, listens to our complaints, to the often very long and selfish tale of our woes, and he forgets himself to comfort us and strengthen us. O divine Savior, why do I so often depend on human consolation instead of coming to you? I feel that this wounds your Heart, which is jealous of my own. In your Holy Eucharist be my only consolation, my one confidant! One word, one look of your loving kindness will suffice for me. Let me love you with all my heart, and then do with me as you will!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                                              IX.          Ninth Station - Jesus Falls The Third Time

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

How greatly Jesus suffered in this third fall! He lies overcome by the weight of his Cross, and his executioners with all their cruelty can hardly raise him up again.

Jesus chooses to fall a third time before being lifted up on his Cross, as though to give evidence of his regret at being unable to carry it over the whole world.

Jesus will come to me a last time in Viaticum before I also leave this land of exile. Lord, grant me this grace, the most precious of all and the completion of all the graces of my life!

But, oh, let me receive you worthily in that last Communion so full of love!

How terrible is it when one dying receives Holy Communion for the last time in the state of mortal sin! In this way he adds the crime of sacrilege to all his past sins, who receives unworthily him who is going to judge him and thus profanes the Viaticum of his salvation!

In what a grievous state Jesus must find himself in a heart that detests him, in a spirit that disdains him, in a sinful body that is given over to the devil!

But what will be the judgment passed on these unhappy souls? One trembles at the thought. Forgive them, O Lord forgive them! We beg of you for all the dying: grant that they may die in your arms after they have received you worthily in Viaticum!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                                      X.          Tenth Station - Jesus Is Stripped Of His Garments

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

How much he must suffer in this cruel and pitiless stripping off of his garments! They tear off his clothing that has stuck to his wounds, they reopen them, they tear his flesh.

How much he must suffer in his modesty, treated as one would blush to treat a low wretch and a slave, who dies at least in the shroud that is to cover him in the grave!

Jesus is, as it were, stripped of his garments also in his sacramental state. Not satisfied to see him stripped, through his love for us, of his glory and his divinity, of the beauty of his humanity, his enemies rob him of the honor of divine worship, pillage his churches, profane his sacred vessels and his tabernacles, and cast him on the ground. He, the King and Savior of men, is delivered up to their sacrilegious will as on the day of his Crucifixion. By allowing himself to be stripped thus in the Holy Eucharist; Jesus wishes to lead us to the state of voluntary poverty, wherein we may be clothed with his life and his virtues. O Jesus Eucharistic, be my only possession!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                                       XI.          Eleventh Station - Jesus Is Nailed To The Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

What agony Jesus endures when he is nailed to the Cross! Without a miracle of his power, he could not have suffered it and lived.

But the wood to which Jesus is nailed on Calvary is without fault or defilement, whereas in an unworthy Communion, the sinner crucifies Jesus in his guilty body. It is as though one were to attach a living body to a corpse that is in a state of corruption.

On Calvary, he is crucified by his declared enemies; here, by his children, who crucify him in hypocritical devotion.

On Calvary, he is crucified but once; here every day and by how many Christians!

O divine Savior forgive me for having failed to mortify my senses; most cruelly do you atone for my fault!

You desire, by your Holy Eucharist, to crucify my nature, to immolate the old man without cease and to unite me to your own crucified and resurrected life. Grant, O Lord, that I may give myself to you without reserve or condition!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                                            XII.          Twelfth Station - Jesus Dies on The Cross

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus dies in order to redeem us. His last mercy is the forgiveness he grants to his executioners; his last gift of love is his Holy Mother; his last desire is the thirst for suffering; his last act is the abandonment of his soul and his life into the hands of his Father.

In the Holy Eucharist, Jesus continues to love with the love he showed to me at his death. Every morning he is immolated in the Holy Sacrifice and loses his sacramental existence in them that receive him: in the heart of the sinner. He dies for that soul's condemnation.

From his Host he offers me the graces for my redemption, the price of my salvation. But in order that I may share therein, he wishes me to die with him and for him.

Grant me that grace, O my God, the grace of dying to sin and to self and of living only to love you in your Holy Eucharist!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

XIII.          Thirteenth Station - Jesus Is Taken Down from The Cross and Placed In The Arms Of His Mother

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus is taken down from the Cross and confided to his Mother, who clasps him to her heart and offers him to God as Victim for our salvation.

Now it is for us to offer Jesus as Victim on the altar and in our hearts for ourselves and for others. He belongs to us. God the Father gives him to us; he gives himself to us, so that we may offer him for our salvation.

How unfortunate it is that this infinite price lies unused in our hands because of our indifference!

Let us offer him in union with Mary and pray this good Mother to offer him with us.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

                              XIV.          Fourteenth Station - Jesus Is Laid In The Sepulchre

V. We adore you, O Christ, etc.

Jesus chooses to undergo the humiliation of the tomb, and he is given over to the custody of his enemies; he is still their prisoner.

But it is in the Holy Eucharist that Jesus is, as it were, entombed; he remains there not just for three days, but for all time, and we are the ones he asks to guard him. He is our prisoner of love.

The corporal covers him like a shroud; the lamp burns before his altar as before the place of the dead; around him reigns the silence of death.

When Jesus comes into our heart in Holy Communion, he is as if entombed within us. Let us make ready for him a sepulchre that is worthy of him, one that is new and white, unoccupied by earthly affections; let us anoint him with the perfume of our virtues.

Let us come to do him homage for those who do not come; let us adore him in his tabernacle, forgotten by those who call themselves his friends; let us beg of him the grace of recollection and of death to the world, that we may lead a hidden life in the Holy Eucharist!

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

O Cross, our one reliance, hail, Glory of the saved, avail, to give fresh merit to the saint, And pardon to the penitent.

Quiet Day[5]

Noise is everywhere, on the crowded train, in the busy office, in the pub, the school playground, and even at home. We simply can’t seem to get away from the buzz of everyday life. Sometimes it’s just all too much. We know that peace and quiet are good for the both the body and the mind, but it’s increasingly difficult in today’s world to experience real quiet, and that’s why a National Quiet Day is so important.

” Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this voice. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.”
~ Wayne Dyer

Every day we are surrounded by the chatter of TV, the radio, even our friends and family. Few are the opportunities we have to engage in a little quiet contemplation, giving our vocal chords a rest to simply listen to the world around us and simply experience it. Quiet Day is dedicated to taking a little time to free your voice and mind from the rigors of conversation.

History of Quiet Day

Quiet Day was established to remind us to slow down and give silence a chance. During this celebration, you are encouraged to simply not speak, and preferably to take a chance to not communicate at all. The sounds of our voices, and in fact our active interaction with others has served to keep us spiritually silent and separated from the world around us, and in some odd ways from the very people we interact with every day. Quiet Day allows you to engage the world around you by removing the shield that is the wall of words we use every day. In India, there are meditation retreats where time is spent kneeling and in contemplation, sometimes as many as 10 days in succession. These are called Vipassana retreats, a word which means “to see things as they really are” and comes from ancient Buddhist practices. While Quiet Day is just one day, the principles included in these retreats can be applied to your one Day of Silence. The peace and clarity it can bring has the possibility of opening your mind to things about your life that have long since been buried in verbal noise.

How to Celebrate Quiet Day

The best way to celebrate Quiet Day is to head somewhere to experience your time in silence uninterrupted. If the weather is pleasant, you can head out to a park or to walk among the trees, just getting out in nature and letting your mind wander and find peace. If you must go in and go to work or encounter other people, carry a card that says “I’m spending a day in silence.” that you can flash, letting people know that you are attempting to not speak for the day. Let Quiet Day be your vacation from vocalization!
Peace and quiet is good for you, both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that taking time for quiet can have a positive effect on your body and in some cases can even lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. However, it is increasingly difficult in today’s world to experience real quiet, and that’s why we are establishing the first ever Quiet Day. In these busy times, more people are suffering from stress. Often made worse by the relentless invasion of unwanted noise in our lives, stress levels can be lowered by reducing your exposure to noise and taking a little sanctuary in silence.

Silence is often the sound of humility.[1] 

We don’t pretend to have experience that we actually don’t. We don’t presume to instruct someone who hasn’t asked for our help. We don’t assume that our own lives and experiences are as interesting to others as they are to ourselves (hint: they usually aren’t). The person who only asks one good question or makes one insightful comment often does so to encourage others to participate or to enrich the conversation.

When we have an accurate assessment of our own abilities and an active interest in others’ talents or experiences, we will frequently be silent.


[1]https://www.worldchallenge.org/silence-study-humility-and-strength


Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

IN BRIEF

1590 St. Paul said to his disciple Timothy: "I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands" (2Tim 1:6), and "If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task." (1 Tim 3:1) To Titus he said: "This is why I left you in Crete, that you amend what was defective, and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you" (Titus 1:5).

1591 The whole Church is a priestly people. Through Baptism all the faithful share in the priesthood of Christ. This participation is called the "common priesthood of the faithful." Based on this common priesthood and ordered to its service, there exists another participation in the mission of Christ: the ministry conferred by the sacrament of Holy Orders, where the task is to serve in the name and in the person of Christ the Head in the midst of the community.

1592 The ministerial priesthood differs in essence from the common priesthood of the faithful because it confers a sacred power for the service of the faithful. the ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi).

1593 Since the beginning, the ordained ministry has been conferred and exercised in three degrees: that of bishops, that of presbyters, and that of deacons. the ministries conferred by ordination are irreplaceable for the organic structure of the Church: without the bishop, presbyters, and deacons, one cannot speak of the Church (cf St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Trall. 3,1).

1594 The bishop receives the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders, which integrates him into the episcopal college and makes him the visible head of the particular Church entrusted to him. As successors of the apostles and members of the college, the bishops share in the apostolic responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope, successor of St. Peter.

1595 Priests are united with the bishops in sacerdotal dignity and at the same time depend on them in the exercise of their pastoral functions; they are called to be the bishops' prudent co-workers. They form around their bishop the presbyterium which bears responsibility with him for the particular Church. They receive from the bishop the charge of a parish community or a determinate ecclesial office.

1596 Deacons are ministers ordained for tasks of service of the Church; they do not receive the ministerial priesthood, but ordination confers on them important functions in the ministry of the word, divine worship, pastoral governance, and the service of charity, tasks which they must carry out under the pastoral authority of their bishop.

1597 The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the laying on of hands followed by a solemn prayer of consecration asking God to grant the ordinand the graces of the Holy Spirit required for his ministry. Ordination imprints an indelible sacramental character.

1598 The Church confers the sacrament of Holy Orders only on baptized men (viri), whose suitability for the exercise of the ministry has been duly recognized. Church authority alone has the responsibility and right to call someone to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders.

1599 In the Latin Church the sacrament of Holy Orders for the presbyterate is normally conferred only on candidates who are ready to embrace celibacy freely and who publicly manifest their intention of staying celibate for the love of God's kingdom and the service of men.

1600 It is bishops who confer the sacrament of Holy Orders in the three degrees.

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·       Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·       Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Catholic Politian’s and Leaders.



·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: September

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary



[1] Max Olivia, The Masculine Spirit, 1997.

[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-09-14




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