Saturday, January 28, 2023

Novena for Purification Day 5

Description:

This novena prayer, although short is sufficient. It would be better of course to add, if time permits, three Hail Marys or say five times the Our Father, Haily Mary and Glory be to the Father, or to use some of the many well-loved novena prayers from other sources. Remember that prayers must be said with the lips in order to gain the indulgences. This novena starts on January 24 and ends on February 2.

Prayer:

O Blessed Mother of God, who went up to the Temple according to the law with your offering of little white doves, pray for me that I too may keep the law and be pure in heart like you.

Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation.

300 days. Plenary, under usual conditions, if said daily for a month. S. C. Indulg., Sept. 30, 1852.

Prayer Source: All Day With God by Blanche Jennings Thompson

FEAST of SAint Thomas AQuinas 

Hebrews, Chapter 11, Verse 1

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. 

Quote: “All things are created twice,” says Stephen R. Covey

All things are created twice. “There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.  “Take the construction of a home, for example. You create it in every detail before you ever hammer the first nail into place. . . .“Then you reduce it to blueprint and develop construction plans. . . .“You have to make sure that the blueprint, the first creation, is really what you want, that you’ve thought everything through. Then you put it into bricks and mortar. . . . You begin with the end in mind. “Through imagination, we can visualize the uncreated worlds of potential that lie within us.”—from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

 

St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church[1]


 Thomas Aquinas thoughts on Fear

Article 1. Whether God can be feared? I answer that, Just as hope has two objects, one of which is the future good itself, that one expects to obtain, while the other is someone's help, through whom one expects to obtain what one hopes for, so, too, fear may have two objects, one of which is the very evil which a man shrinks from, while the other is that from which the evil may come. Accordingly, in the first way God, Who is goodness itself, cannot be an object of fear; but He can be an object of fear in the second way, in so far as there may come to us some evil either from Him or in relation to Him. From Him there comes the evil of punishment, but this is evil not absolutely but relatively, and, absolutely speaking, is a good. Because, since a thing is said to be good through being ordered to an end, while evil implies lack of this order, that which excludes the order to the last end is altogether evil, and such is the evil of fault. On the other hand the evil of punishment is indeed an evil, in so far as it is the privation of some particular good, yet absolutely speaking, it is a good, in so far as it is ordained to the last end. In relation to God the evil of fault can come to us, if we be separated from Him: and in this way God can and ought to be feared.

Article 2. Whether fear is fittingly divided into filial, initial, servile and worldly fear? I answer that, We are speaking of fear now, in so far as it makes us turn, so to speak, to God or away from Him. For, since the object of fear is an evil, sometimes, on account of the evils he fears, man withdraws from God, and this is called human fear; while sometimes, on account of the evils he fears, he turns to God and adheres to Him. This latter evil is twofold, viz. evil of punishment, and evil of fault. Accordingly if a man turn to God and adhere to Him, through fear of punishment, it will be servile fear; but if it be on account of fear of committing a fault, it will be filial fear, for it becomes a child to fear offending its father. If, however, it be on account of both, it will be initial fear, which is between both these fears.

Article 3. Whether worldly fear is always evil? I answer that, moral acts and habits take their name and species from their objects. Now the proper object of the appetite's movement is the final good: so that, in consequence, every appetitive movement is both specified and named from its proper end. For if anyone were to describe covetousness as love of work because men work on account of covetousness, this description would be incorrect, since the covetous man seeks work not as end but as a means: the end that he seeks is wealth, wherefore covetousness is rightly described as the desire or the love of wealth, and this is evil. Accordingly, worldly love is, properly speaking; the love whereby a man trusts in the world as his end, so that worldly love is always evil. Now fear is born of love, since man fears the loss of what he loves, as Augustine states. Now worldly fear is that which arises from worldly love as from an evil root, for which reason worldly fear is always evil.

Saint Thomas Aquinas’ thoughts on fear:[2]

 

1. Fear is a shrinking back from evil. Hence, we cannot fear God in himself, for God is infinite goodness. But one is said to fear God in the sense of fearing the evil of being separated from God by sin, and in the sense of fearing to incur his punishments for sin.

2. Fear is called servile fear when it is the dread of punishment alone. It is called filial fear or chaste fear when it is primarily the dread of offending God, our loving father. Between these two types of fear is initial fear, which is properly the beginning of filial fear, and differs from it only as imperfect differs from perfect. There is another type of fear called worldly fear which is the dread of losing temporal things to which the heart clings as to the ultimate good.

3. Worldly fear is always evil, for it discounts God and eternity, and dreads only the loss of creatural goods.

4. Servile fear is not good in point of its servility, but it is good inasmuch as it recognizes and dreads the evil that attends upon sin. From such a dread a person may readily rise to the higher and noble type of fear, and through this, to charity and repentance.

5. However, servile fear is essentially different from filial fear. Servile fear dreads punishment; filial fear dreads offending God. These two types of fear differ in their specific objects, and therefore differ essentially from each other.

6. Yet servile fear, as we have seen, has a good aspect, and, in this respect, it comes from the Holy Ghost; but it is not the gift of the Holy Ghost that we call fear. Hence, servile fear, in so far as it is good, can remain in the soul which has charity, that is, which is in the state of sanctifying or habitual grace, and therefore in the friendship and love of God.

7. Wisdom is knowledge of God together with the will to serve him and possess him. Now, the beginning of wisdom itself is faith, for by faith we know God and are directed to him. But the beginning of wisdom, in the sense of what arouses one and stirs oneto be wise, is fear. This beginning of wisdom is both servile fear and filial fear; such fear puts spurs to a man, so to speak, and makes him cultivate wisdom. In this sense, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 110).

8. Initial fear is, as we have said, beginning fear. Both servile fear and filial fear may be, in some way, the start of fearing the Lord. Yet initial fear is closer to filial fear than to servile fear; indeed, it is, properly speaking, an imperfect form of filial fear.

9. Filial or chaste fear of the Lord is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. By it we revere God and avoid what separates us from him.

10. Filial fear increases with charity, for the more one loves God, the more one fears to offend him. Servile fear loses its servility as charity increases, and then, as the non servile dread of deserved punishments, it decreases in the glow of charity. For charity fixes the soul more and more on God, and thus the thought of self, and even of deserved punishment of oneself, becomes less and less. Besides, the greater one's charity is, the more confident is one's soul of escape from punishment. And thus, finally, the only fear in the charity-filled soul is filial fear.

11. Filial fear will exist in a perfected state in heaven. It cannot be the same as it is during earthly life, for in heaven all possibility of losing or offending God will be taken away. Servile fear will not exist at all in heaven.

12. The first beatitude, "Blessed are the poor inspirit," corresponds to the gift of fear. For if a man fears God perfectly, as he may do by the gift, he does not pridefully seek to be rich or honored but is humble and poor inspirit.

Things to do:[3]

·        Read G.K. Chesterton's biography, St. Thomas Aquinas, The Dumb Ox, which is full of Chestertonian profundity and wit online or purchase it from Amazon.

·        Dive into the intellectual depth and beauty of St. Thomas' thought in his Summa Theologiae. Familiarize yourself with his method of inquiry by reading his section on God's attributes, especially the goodness of God. Here is a Bibliography in English.

·        Nearly everyone, especially young people, knows and appreciates the story of St. Thomas chasing the prostitute from his room with a burning log. (She was sent by his wealthy family to tempt him away from the religious life.) After he drove away the temptress, two angels came to him and fastened a mystical chastity cord around his waist. Buy or fashion your own chastity belt, easy to make from braided yarn or thin, soft rope. (St. Joseph chastity belts are available at some Catholic shops.) This would be a beautiful alternative or addition to the "True Love Waits" chastity pledge and ring. It is a wonderful low-key symbol for self-conscious teens. It also serves as an excellent reminder to pray daily for the virtue of chastity.

·        Meditate upon the profound humility of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose intellectual capacity far surpasses any since his time. He stopped writing at the end of his life after having a vision of the glory of God, claiming that 'All that I have written seems to me like straw compared to what has now been revealed to me.' How often do we take pride in our own intellectual achievements, fully crediting them to ourselves?

·        If you are a student or teacher, or at all concerned about the crisis of Catholic education, make ample use of the Prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas for Schools and the Prayer to the Angel of Schools.

·        Read Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Aeterni Patris, strangely relevant to our time in its exhortation towards a renewal in philosophical study with a focus on the Angelic Doctor, Saint Thomas Aquinas.

·        Finally, read Pope John Paul II's encyclical, Fides et Ratio, especially the section on The enduring originality of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. He expresses a similar intent to that of Pope Leo XIII's in the following words, "If it has been necessary from time to time to intervene on this question, to reiterate the value of the Angelic Doctor's insights and insist on the study of his thought, this has been because the Magisterium's directives have not always been followed with the readiness one would wish."

·        From the Catholic Culture library: Light from Aquinas , The Meaning of Virtue in St. Thomas Aquinas and The Philosophy of Woman of St. Thomas Aquinas. For many more documents search the library for "aquinas".

Life First[4] 9 Days for Life

 

Day Nine

Intercession: May the tragic practice of abortion come to an end. 

Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be 

Reflection: Today, on this 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we mourn the many children’s lives ended by abortion and remember in prayer those who suffer the aftermath. The Church comes together today to pray for the protection of all unborn children and to make reparation for abortion, trusting that the Lord hears our prayers. Pope Saint John Paul II wrote, “A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer” (Evangelium vitae, 100). May that prayer arise in our hearts today and each day forward until every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

 

·        Abstain from snacking today. Eat three meals only.
 

·        Learn how to pray the Angelus (www.usccb.org/angelus), and consider saying it every day for the next week—on awakening, at noon, or at 6 p.m. (or all three times).
 

·        Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

ARTICLE 4-THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT

II. The Family and Society

2207 The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. the family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.

2208 The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families, and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

2209 The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger communities should take care not to usurp the family's prerogatives or interfere in its life.

2210 The importance of the family for the life and well-being of society entails a particular responsibility for society to support and strengthen marriage and the family. Civil authority should consider it a grave duty "to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote domestic prosperity."

2211 The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:
- the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family's own moral and religious convictions;
- the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution of the family;
- the freedom to profess one's faith, to hand it on, and raise one's children in it, with the necessary means and institutions;
- the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and housing, and the right to emigrate;
- in keeping with the country's institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits;
- the protection of security and health, especially with respect to dangers like drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;
- the freedom to form associations with other families and so to have representation before civil authority.

2212 The fourth commandment illuminates other relationships in society. In our brothers and sisters we see the children of our parents; in our cousins, the descendants of our ancestors; in our fellow citizens, the children of our country; in the baptized, the children of our mother the Church; in every human person, a son or daughter of the One who wants to be called "our Father." In this way our relationships with our neighbors are recognized as personal in character. the neighbor is not a "unit" in the human collective; he is "someone" who by his known origins deserves particular attention and respect.

2213 Human communities are made up of persons. Governing them well is not limited to guaranteeing rights and fulfilling duties such as honoring contracts. Right relations between employers and employees, between those who govern and citizens, presuppose a natural good will in keeping with the dignity of human persons concerned for justice and fraternity.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Binding and suppressing the Devils Evil Works

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

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Novena to the Holy Face-Day 4

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary 

 Day 14

St. Joseph will never abandon you.


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