NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Start March 12 to December 12

Saturday, October 8, 2022

 

 

Introduction to the Epistle of Jude[1]

 

Timeline

 

Author, Date, and Recipients

 

The book was written by Jude, the brother of James and Jesus (see Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3, where “Judas” is the same in Greek as “Jude”). Jude was probably written in the mid-60s A.D. Considering the letter’s apparent Jewish perspective, Jude’s audience was probably Jewish Christians, or a mixture of Jewish and Gentile readers where the Gentiles were familiar with Jewish traditions.

 

Since Jude addresses a situation similar to the one addressed by 2 Peter and exhibits a literary relationship to Ch. 2 of that letter (Jude may have been a source for 2 Peter), the two letters are commonly dated in fairly close proximity, even though evidence for the date of writing within the book of Jude is sparse.

 

Theme

 

The church must defend the one true faith (v. 3). Believers must be faithful to the end by resisting false teachers and following the truth.

 

Purpose, Occasion, and Background

 

Jude warns against following false teachers who have infiltrated the church and are distorting the one true faith. Jude calls the church to defend the truth aggressively against such false teaching.

 

While the false teachers of Jude were profoundly libertine (morally unrestrained), it would be historically inaccurate to argue that they were Gnostics. This heretical sect (or group of sects) was influential primarily from the second century A.D. onward.

 

Jude accomplishes his purpose by drawing analogies with OT events, using the same principles of interpretation found in 2 Peter (and elsewhere in the NT). He also draws on Jewish apocalyptic traditions from nonbiblical literature (he refers to 1 Enoch and the Testament of Moses) in building his case. Thus, as literature, Jude has a distinctively Jewish flavor.

 

The format is of a NT epistle (letter), with its loose divisions of salutation, body, and closing. But the central unit of the letter (vv. 5–16) fits the style of a judgment oracle: it has an object of attack, an attack coming from several directions, a harsh tone, and an implied standard on which the attack is being conducted (“the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints”; v. 3). The description of those who left the faith (vv. 8–16) provides a picture of their character and actions. The use of images and allusions (e.g., to Sodom and Gomorrah and the archangel Michael) lends a poetic quality to the letter.

 

The writer displays horror over the apostasy and the false teachers who have caused it. The only NT passage that goes beyond Jude in these traits is Jesus’ denunciation of the religious leaders in Matthew 23. But this letter begins with the usual soothing notes of NT epistles, and in the last two verses it becomes one of the most moving benedictions in the NT.

 

Key Themes

 

1.     Christians need to defend the doctrines of the faith (v. 3).

2.     False teachers may be identified by their immoral character (vv. 4, 8, 10, 12–13, 16, 18–19).

3.     God will judge false teachers (vv. 4, 5–7, 11, 14–15).

4.     Saints must endure to be saved (vv. 17–23).

5.     As God grants mercy to those who are called, they must show mercy to others (vv. 2, 21–23).

6.     God grants the grace to ensure that his people will persevere (vv. 1–2, 24–25).


 

 

OCTOBER 8 Saturday

SAINT BRIDGET OF SWEDEN

 

Jude, Chapter 1, Verse 12

These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they carouse FEARLESSLY and look after themselves. They are waterless clouds blown about by winds, fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead and uprooted.


 

Jude is talking about people who only come to church for the food and drink or for social interaction. God will not be mocked. Maintain your life with God first then glory in Him with others. Remember God is your true spouse via the Holy Spirit. Love the Lord by spending time alone with Him. Plan to make use of the US National Park Service and get out there where He can speak to you in that still small voice.

 

Max Oliva, in “The Masculine Spirit”[2] recommends a four-step process to the art of reflecting.

 

1.     Get to a special place of quiet for you where you are able to slow down as Christ stated, “Let us go off by ourselves to some place where we will be alone and you can rest awhile.” (Mark 6:31)

2.     Promote self-searching and look for deeper meanings. Look where you are vulnerable; surrender to Him. It requires faith to find Him.

3.     Are you afraid? Stay with the experience; be it painful or pleasant in order to discover its deeper meaning. You must pass through fear to find your true self. You must acquaint yourself with your dark side, your faults and vices. Hear the words of T.S. Eliot:

Old men ought to be explorers, Here and there does not matter, we must be still and still moving, into another intensity, For a further union, a deeper communion, Through the dark cold and the empty desolation, The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters, Of the petral and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

4.     Sharing is the last step, not the first. After you met Him share Him, with someone you trust that will take in your feelings and thoughts.

 

St. Bridget of Sweden[3]- St. Bridget received visions of Christ’s suffering many times throughout her life.


                                        

Book 1

The words of our Lord Jesus Christ to His chosen and dearly beloved bride, Saint Bridget, about the proclamation of His most holy Incarnation and the rejection, desecration and abandonment of our faith and baptism, and how He bids His beloved bride and all Christian people to love Him.

Chapter 1

“I am the Creator of the heavens and the earth, one in Divinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. I am the one who spoke to the patriarchs and the prophets and the one whom they awaited. For the sake of their longing and in agreement with my promise, I assumed flesh without sin and concupiscence, by entering the womb of the Virgin like the sun shining through the clearest gem. For just as the sun does not damage the glass by entering it, likewise the virginity of the Virgin was not lost when I assumed Manhood. I assumed flesh in such a way that I did not have to forsake my Divinity, and I was no less God - with the Father and the Holy Spirit, governing and upholding all things - although I was in the womb of the Virgin in my human nature. Just as brightness is never separated from fire, so too, my Divinity was never separated from my Humanity, not even in death.

Thereafter I allowed my pure and sinless body to be wounded from the foot to the head, and to be crucified for all the sins of mankind. That same body is now offered each day on the altar so that mankind might love me more and remember my great deeds more often. But now I am totally forgotten, neglected, despised, and expelled as a king is from his own kingdom and in whose place the most wicked robber has been elected and honored.

I have indeed wanted my kingdom to be within man, and by right I should be King and Lord over him, for I made him and redeemed him. However, now he has broken and desecrated the faith which he promised me in his baptism, and he has broken and spurned my laws and commandments which I prescribed and revealed to him. He loves his own will and refuses to hear me. In addition, he exalts the most wicked robber, the devil, above me and has given him his faith. The devil really is a robber, since he steals for himself, by way of evil temptations, bad councils, and false promises, the human soul that I redeemed with my blood. But he does not do this because he is mightier than me; for I am so mighty that I can do all things with a word, and so just, that even if all the saints asked me, I would not do the least thing against justice.

But, since man, who has been given free will, willfully rejects my commandments and obeys the devil, it is only right that he also experiences his tyranny and malice. This devil was created good by me, but fell by his own wicked will, and has become, so to speak, my servant for inflicting vengeance on the workers of evil.

Yet even though I am now so despised, I am still so merciful that whoever prays for my mercy and humbles himself in amendment shall be forgiven his sins, and I shall save him from the evil robber - the devil. But to those who continue despising me, I shall visit my justice upon them, so that those hearing it will tremble, and those who feel it will say: “Woe, that we were ever conceived or born! Woe, that we ever provoked the Lord of majesty to wrath!”

But you, my daughter, whom I have chosen for myself, and with whom I now speak in spirit: love me with all your heart - not as you love your son or daughter or parents, but more than anything in the world - since I, who created you, did not spare any of my limbs in suffering for your sake! Yet, I love your soul so dearly that, rather than losing you, I would let myself be crucified again, if it were possible. Imitate my humility; for I, the King of glory and of angels, was clothed in ugly, wretched rags and stood naked at the pillar and heard all kinds of insults and ridicule with my own ears. Always prefer my will before your own, because my Mother, your Lady, has, from the beginning to the end, never wanted anything but what I wanted.

If you do this, then your heart shall be with my heart, and it will be inflamed by my love in the same way that anything dry becomes rapidly inflamed by fire. Your soul shall be so inflamed and filled with me, and I will be in you, so that everything worldly becomes bitter to you and all fleshly lusts like poison. You will rest in the arms of my Divinity, where no fleshly desires exist, but only spiritual delight and joy which fill the delighted soul with happiness - inwardly and outwardly - so that it thinks of nothing and desires nothing but the joy which it possesses. So love me alone, and you will have all the things you want, and you will have them in abundance. Is it not written that the oil of the widow did not decrease until the day the rain was sent to earth by God according to the words of the prophet? I am the true prophet! If you believe my words and follow and fulfill them, the oil - joy and jubilation - shall never decrease for you for all eternity.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ’s words to his daughter - whom He now had taken as His bride - about the articles of the true faith, and about what kind of adornments, tokens and desires the bride must have in order to please the bridegroom.

 

Our Lady of Good Remedy[4]

In 1519 Cortez brought with him a famous little statue to participate in the conquest of Mexico. The statue was first set up in a temporary chapel in one of the rooms of Montezuma’s palace where the Spanish officers made their devotions. On the terrible night when the Indians rose against the Spanish conquerors, the Night of Sorrows, one of the officers rescued the statue before fighting his way out of the palace. He did not get far when he was cut down by Aztec arrows and died at the foot of a Maguey tree. The tiny statue was either pushed or fell into the roots of the tree where it was overlooked by the Indians.

Some twenty years later, an Aztec convert, Prince John the Eagle, was walking near the tree when he heard a sweet voice calling him. Puzzled, he went to the nearby mission of the Franciscan Fathers and told them about it. They thought it was his imagination. Some days later John met with an accident, a large pillar of a church under construction fell on him. Badly crushed, he was given the Last Sacraments.

During the night when he was thought to be dying, the memory of the sweet voice kept returning to him. He prayed to Our Lady to help him. Very early in the morning the Virgin Mary appeared to him and gave him a sash to wear which cured him. A few days later he passed the tree again, and heard the sweet voice; curiously, he looked carefully around the roots of the tree; half buried in the sand, he found the tiny statue of Our Lady.

The Aztec convert thought he should do something about it. “Come home with me, gracious Lady,” he said, “I will see that you have a good home and are cared for.” He brought the little statue home wrapped in his cape and placed it on a rough altar.

Here Mary reigned as queen in the humble home for ten or twelve years. John kept the little shrine supplied with flowers, and occasionally with fruit and pretty stones. Gradually people came to pray at the shrine, their number increasing so that they were underfoot day and night. John took up the local schoolmaster’s suggestion to build a little chapel. He set about building a shrine and enthroned Mary, Our Lady of Good Remedies, there.

—Excerpted from Roman Catholic Saints

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

Article 3-MAN'S FREEDOM

I. Freedom and Responsibility

1731 Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.

1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.

1733 The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. the choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to "the slavery of sin."

1734 Freedom makes man responsible for his acts to the extent that they are voluntary. Progress in virtue, knowledge of the good, and ascesis enhance the mastery of the will over its acts.

1735 Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.

1736 Every act directly willed is imputable to its author:

Thus the Lord asked Eve after the sin in the garden: "What is this that you have done?" He asked Cain the same question. The prophet Nathan questioned David in the same way after he committed adultery with the wife of Uriah and had him murdered.
An action can be indirectly voluntary when it results from negligence regarding something one should have known or done: for example, an accident arising from ignorance of traffic laws.

1737 An effect can be tolerated without being willed by its agent; for instance, a mother's exhaustion from tending her sick child. A bad effect is not imputable if it was not willed either as an end or as a means of an action, e.g., a death a person incurs in aiding someone in danger. For a bad effect to be imputable it must be foreseeable and the agent must have the possibility of avoiding it, as in the case of manslaughter caused by a drunken driver.

1738 Freedom is exercised in relationships between human beings. Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. the right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Protection of Traditional Marriages

·       Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: October

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary





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