NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Septuagesima

FEAST OF ST. AGATHA-Tu Bishvat-Winter Carnival 

1 Corinthians, chapter 2, Verse 3-5

3I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, 4and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive (words of) wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, 5 so that your FAITH might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God. 

It is God’s desire that we be wise not in the way of the world but in the ways of eternity.

 

Human wisdom[1] 

Greek tradition of wisdom was based in argumentations. The Greeks lived to argue. Arguments (discussions) & logics were entertainments. Interests in philosophies and rhetoric was based not only what is said, but how it is said. Always looking for something profound (deep meaning) 

Jews have their wisdom tradition which includes the wisdom Literatures.

 

1. Job – story of a man who did right & suffers



2. Psalms – classic wisdom, praise, laments, etc



3. Proverbs – classic wisdom: do right & no suffering



4. Ecclesiastes – meaning of life



5. Song of Songs – intimate relationship with God



Gnostics tradition of wisdom and knowledge was a heresy in the early church, a bad theology based on “Secret knowledge” that is needed for salvation. All matters are evil, spirit is good. Gnostics denied the humanity of Christ “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel –not with words of (human) wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power (made void)” “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” The Cross – is the Message. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” 

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[2]

CHAPTER II

DIES CHRISTI

The Day of the Risen Lord
and of the Gift
of the Holy Spirit

The first day of the week

21. It was for this reason that, from Apostolic times, "the first day after the Sabbath", the first day of the week, began to shape the rhythm of life for Christ's disciples (cf. 1 Cor 16:2). "The first day after the Sabbath" was also the day upon which the faithful of Troas were gathered "for the breaking of bread", when Paul bade them farewell and miraculously restored the young Eutychus to life (cf. Acts 20:7-12). The Book of Revelation gives evidence of the practice of calling the first day of the week "the Lord's Day" (1:10). This would now be a characteristic distinguishing Christians from the world around them. As early as the beginning of the second century, it was noted by Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia, in his report on the Christian practice "of gathering together on a set day before sunrise and singing among themselves a hymn to Christ as to a god". And when Christians spoke of the "Lord's Day", they did so giving to this term the full sense of the Easter proclamation: "Jesus Christ is Lord" (Phil 2:11; cf. Acts 2:36; 1 Cor 12:3). Thus Christ was given the same title which the Septuagint used to translate what in the revelation of the Old Testament was the unutterable name of God: YHWH.

Septuagesima[3]Pre-Lent


                                              

 

Three weeks prior to Ash Wednesday, on the day before Septuagesima Sunday, a touching ceremony is held. A choir assembles, chants the divine office and, afterwards, sings a bittersweet hymn bidding farewell to the word

 

"Alleluia": We do not now deserve to sing the Alleluia forever; Guilt forces us to dismiss you, O Alleluia. For the time approaches in which we must weep for our sins.

 

·       So important was Lent to both Eastern and Western Christians that they actually had a separate season to prepare for it. Thus, the day after Septuagesima Sunday, they would begin a period of voluntary fasting that would grow more severe as it approached the full and obligatory fast of Lent. The amount of food would be reduced, and the consumption of certain items, such as butter, milk, eggs, and cheese, would gradually be abandoned. Starting on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, this self-imposed asceticism would culminate in abstinence from meat. Thus the name for this seven-day period before Ash Wednesday, is "Carnival," from the Latin carne levarium, meaning "removal of meat." Finally, within the week of Carnival, the last three days (the three days prior to Lent) would be reserved for going to confession This period was known as  "Shrovetide," from the old English word "to shrive," or to have one's sins forgiven through absolution. 

·       These incremental steps eased the faithful into what was one of the holiest -- and most demanding -- times of the year. Lent is a sacred period of forty days set aside for penance, contrition, and good works. Just as Septuagesima imitates the seventy years of Babylonian exile (see elsewhere), Quadragesima ("forty," the Latin name for Lent) imitates the holy periods of purgation recorded in the Old Testament. The Hebrews spent forty years wandering in the wilderness after their deliverance from the Pharoah and before their entrance into the Promised Land. Moses, representative of the Law, fasted and prepared forty days before ascending Mount Sinai, as did Elias, the greatest of the Hebrew prophets. (So too did the gentile Ninevites in response to Jonah's prophecy.) Moreover, these Old Testament types are ratified by the example of our Lord, who fasted forty days in the desert before beginning His public ministry.

·       Given the significance of the number forty as a sign of perfection-through-purgation, it is little wonder that Lent became associated early on with two groups of people: public penitents and catechumens. The former were sinners guilty of particularly heinous crimes. To atone for their sins, they received a stern punishment from their bishop on Ash Wednesday and then spent the next forty days wearing sackloth and ash and not bathing. The visual, tactile, and odiferous unpleasantness of this practice was meant to remind others-- and themselves -- of the repulsiveness of sin. These penitents would remain in this state until they were publicly welcomed back into the Church during a special Mass on Maundy Thursday morning. Catechumens, on the other hand, underwent a rigorous period of instruction and admonition during Lent. They, too, were not allowed to bathe as part of their contrition for past sins. Near the start of Lent they would be exorcized with the formula that is still used in the traditional Roman rite of baptism: "Depart, thou accursed one!" In the middle of Lent they would learn the Apostle's Creed so that they could recite it on Holy Saturday, and on Palm Sunday they would learn the Lord's Prayer. Finally, on Holy Thursday they would bathe and on Holy Saturday undergo a dramatic ritual during the Easter Vigil formally initiating them into the Body of Christ. Over time, all Catholics would imitate these two groups as a recognition of personal sinfulness and as a yearly re-avowal of the Christian faith. Lent is thus not only a time to probe the dark recesses of our fallen souls and to purge ourselves, with the cooperative grace of Christ, of our stains, but to be renewed in our commitment to live a holy Christian life.

·       Lent is often thought of as an undifferentiated block of time preceding Easter: It is not. There are actually several distinct "mini-seasons" within Lent designed to move the believer from a more general recognition of the need for atonement (Ash Wednesday to the third Sunday of Lent) to a more specific meditation on the passion of Jesus Christ (Passion Sunday and Palm Sunday). These two periods, in turn, are separated by a brief interlude of restrained joy called mid-Lent, which begins on the Wednesday before Laetare Sunday and ends the Wednesday after. Finally, the meditation on our Lord's suffering culminates during Holy Week with a Mass each day presenting a different Gospel account of the Passion, the divine office of Tenebrae on Spy Wednesday, and the three great liturgies of the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday) that dwell at length on the final events of Christ's earthly life and the mysteries of the Christian Pasch.

·       Voluntary Fasting As mentioned elsewhere, it was customary for some Christians to voluntarily begin fasting in preparation for the Great Fast of Lent. Their fasts would become progressively more ascetic, culminating in the abstinence of meat beginning on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. The name for this period, which ends the day before Ash Wednesday, is "Carnival," from the Latin carne levarium, meaning "removal of meat."

Goffine’s 1896 Devout Instructions

 

WHY is this Sunday traditionally called Septuagesima?

 

The word means seventy. According to the First Council of Orleans, in the year A.D. 545, many pious ecclesiastics and lay persons of the primitive Church used to fast seventy days before Easter, and their fast was called, therefore, Septuagesima, a name which was afterwards retained to distinguish this Sunday from others. The same was the case with the three following Sundays; many Christians beginning their fast sixty days before Easter, whence the name Sexagesima; others fifty days, whence Quinquagesima; others forty days, whence Quadragesima.

 

Why did the first Christians fast seventy days?

 

Alcuin and Amakrius say that the captivity of the Jews in Babylon first suggested it; for as the Jews were obliged to do penance seventy years, that they might thereby merit to return into the promised land, so Christians sought to regain the grace of God by fasting for seventy days. 

Why does the Church, from this Sunday until Easter, omit all joyful chants, as the Te Deum, Alleluia, Gloria in Excelsis? 

To remind the sinner of the grievousness of his errors, and to exhort him to penance. To incite us to sorrow for our sins, and to show us the necessity of repentance, the Church at the Introit in the name of all nations unites her prayers with David, saying, “The sorrows of death surrounded me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me, and in my affliction, I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice from His holy temple. I will love Thee! O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer.”

Prayer. 

Graciously hear the prayers of Thy people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we, who are justly afflicted for our sins, may be mercifully delivered, for the glory of Thy name. 

EPISTLE, i. Cor. ix. 24 x. 5. 

Brethren: Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So, run that you may obtain. And everyone that striveth for the mastery refraineth himself from all things, and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown: but we an incorruptible one. I therefore so run, not as an uncertainty: I so fight, not as one beating the air: but I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway. For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud, and in the sea: and did all eat the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them; and the rock was Christ), but with the most of them God was not well pleased. 

NOTE--Reflect, O Christian, what we poor sinners ought to be willing to do to gain heaven when the great apostle suffered so much to obtain eternal life. 

Prayer. 

O Jesus, assist me, that with Thy holy grace I may follow the example of St. Paul, and endeavor to deny myself, to chastise my body, and, by continual exercise of every virtue, to obtain perfection and everlasting life. Amen. 

GOSPEL. Matt. xx. 1-16. 

At that time Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a householder, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. And having agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing in the market-place idle, and he said to them: Go you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just. And they went their way. And again, he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour: and did in like manner. But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing, and he saith to them: Why stand you here all the day idle? They say to him: Because no man hath hired us. He saith to them: Go you also into my vineyard. And when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the laborers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first. When therefore they were come that came about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first also came, they thought that they should receive more; and they also received every man a penny. And receiving it, they murmured against the master of the house, saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, that have borne the burden of the day and the heats. But he answering said to one of them: Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny? Take what is thine, and go thy way: I will also give to this last even as to thee. Or is it not lawful for me to do what I will? is thy eye evil because I am good? So, shall the last be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few chosen.


 In these parables what is to be understood by the master of a family, the vineyard, the laborers, and the penny? 

The master of a family is God, Who calls all men as laborers to His vineyard of the true religion, or Church, and to receive the promised penny, which is the divine grace and eternal salvation. 

How and when does God call men? 

By the instruction of parents and teachers, by preachers and confessors, by spiritual books, edifying conversation, good examples and inspirations; in early youth, in manhood, and in old age which stages of human life are also signified by the different hours of the day. 

Who are the laborers in the vineyard? 

Those who work, combat, and suffer for God and His honor, for their own salvation and that of others, particularly spiritual teachers. 

How should we work in the vineyard of the Lord? 

As in a vineyard men must dig, destroy the weeds, cut off what is useless and bad, manure, plant, and bind, in like manner must we, in the spiritual vineyard of our souls, destroy the weeds of vice by rooting out sinful inclinations and their causes, and by real penance. 

In other words:

 

1. We must hate every sin.

2. We must produce in ourselves a fervent desire to destroy vice.

3. We must earnestly beg God’s grace, without which we can do nothing.

4. We must attend zealously at instructions, sermons, and catechism.

5. We must often go to confession and communion, and follow our confessor’s directions.

6. Every morning we must make firm resolutions, and every night an examination of conscience.

7. We must read in some spiritual book, treating of the predominant sin which we have to root out.

8. We must venerate some saint who in life committed the same sin, as, for instance, Mary Magdalen, who from being a great sinner became a great penitent.

9. We must fast, give alms, and do other good works. 

Why did the last man, as mentioned in the gospel, receive as much as those who came first? 

Because God does not reward men according to the time of their labor, but according to the zeal, love, fidelity, and humility with which they have concurred with His grace (Wis. iv. 7, 8, 11; n. Cor. ix. 6). 

What is meant by “many are called, but few chosen?” 

It is as if Our Savior should say, do not wonder that the last shall be first, and the first last, for many will not be received at all. From among the Jews and gentiles He has called many, but few only have followed Him, and of these again only few can be the chosen. How many Christians are there who do not accept His calling, or who fail to live according to their vocation, neither cooperating with His grace nor trying forcibly to enter the kingdom of heaven! 

Prayer. 

O most merciful and benign Lord, Who, without any merit of our own, hast called us, Thy unworthy servants, out of mere mercy, into Thy vineyard the Church and commanded us to work therein, grant us grace, we beseech Thee, never to be idle, but as faithful servants to be always doing Thy holy will. Whatever we have heretofore left undone, we will in future endeavor to do with persevering zeal, through the grace of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Things to Do[4]


·       Read the more detailed, corresponding passage in Matthew 5:3-12 on the Beatitudes. Choose a beatitude to focus on for the rest of this month. Write it in conspicuous places throughout your house — desk, home altar, fridge, bathroom mirror. Think of some small practical ways to put this beatitude into action in your daily life. For some ideas on how to live the poverty and detachment prescribed by the first beatitude (Blessed are the poor in spirit), read this interview with spiritual director and writer Fr. Dubay.

·       Read a summary of St. Bernard's advice for living the Beatitudes, and the Holy Father's exhortation to the youth at Toronto's World Youth Day to be people of the Beatitudes. 

Tu Bishvat[5]

Tu Bishvat (Hebrew: ט״ו בשבט, literally: the 15th of the Lunar Month of Shevat) is the New Year for trees (similar to Arbor Day).  It falls in January or February each year, typically when almond blossom is seen in Israel.  It is one of the four New Years in the Jewish Calendar. According to the Jewish Law (Halachah), the 'New Year for trees' defines the beginning of the year for separating tithes for the poor and Levite. Tithes are 10% portions of a product, which are allocated as charity to either the Levites or the poor. Torah Law requires, that when the Holy Temple was standing, these tithes would be removed from the produce, before it was 'fit for consumption'. There was a seven-year cycle, culminating in the Shimittah year, when fields lay fallow. After every seven seven-year cycles, a Jubilee, 50th year was celebrated.

Tu Bishvat Facts & Quotes

·       It is customary on Tu Bishvat to eat fruits of the Land of Israel, particularly those of the Biblical verse A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey (Deuteronomy 8:8).  The honey in this verse refers to date honey, according to tradition.  Another custom is to plant trees in Israel.

·       On Tu Bishvat, we remember that Man is a Tree of the Field (Deuteronomy 20:19).   It explains that we may not cut down trees during the siege of a city.  The tree of the field is man's life to be used in and after the siege.

·       The Code of Jewish Law states that on Tu B'Shevat fasting and eulogies are forbidden, and all penitential prayers are omitted. One of the most important authorities, the Magen Avraham, adds (131:16): It is the custom to eat many different kinds of fruit.  The Arizal suggested the eating of fifteen kinds of fruit (on the fifteenth of the month).

·       It should be noted that all Jewish holidays begin at sundown one the eve before the Gregorian date specified for the holiday. 

Tu Bishvat Top Events and Things to Do

·       Make a Tu Bishvat Fruit Plate.  Magen Avraham, a leading Jewish authority suggested the eating of fifteen kinds of fruit (on the fifteenth of the month).

·       Say Blessings for new Fruit.  Two blessings are said for new fruits (which have not yet been eaten that year), namely the standard blessing for fruits ..Who created the fruits of the tree and ..Who kept us alive, and sustained us and allowed us to reach this day.

·       Attend a Tu Bishvat tisch which is popular in Hasidic communities.  A Tisch is the Yiddish word for table.  It refers to a festive meal with Holy Land fruits, wine, bread, fish and other foods.

·       Sing a Tu Bishvat Song.  There are many songs on YouTube about Tu Bishvat in both Hebrew and English.

"we will plant Trillions of Trees now"[6] 

Planting Trillions of Trees will Cancel Out Decades of CO2 Emission say Scientists. There is enough room in the world’s existing parks, forests, deserts and abandoned land to plant trillions of additional trees, which would have the CO2 storage capacity to cancel out decades of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new analysis by ecologist Thomas Crowther and colleagues at ETH Zurich, a Swiss university. 

Trees are “our most powerful weapon in the fight against climate change,” Crowther told The Independent. Combining forest inventory data from 1.2 million locations around the world and satellite images, the scientists estimate there are 3 trillion trees on Earth — seven times more than previous estimates. and they also found that there is abundant space to restore millions of acres of additional forests, not counting urban and agricultural land. 

“There’s 400 gigatons [of CO2 stored] now in the 3 trillion trees,” Crowther said. “If we were to scale that up by Planting trillions of more trees now, because that’s in the order of hundreds of gigatons captured from the atmosphere – and anthropogenic emissions will completely be wiped out.” 

Planting Trillions of Trees will Cancel Out a Decades of CO2 Emissions, Scientists Find. How to erase 100 years of carbon emissions? Plant trees—lots of them. and there are more than 2000 species of trees with edible fruits and nuts and berries and olives and trees have medicinal properties.

 FEAST of Saint AGATHA[7] 

Agatha came from, Catania, a city in Sicily. I was stationed there while in the Navy and lived in a small town of Nicolosi which was situated on the Volcano (Etna) near the city of Catania. I was impressed and formed as a young man by the faith and beauty of the people of Sicily.


 

Agatha was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. She belonged to a rich, important family. When she was young, she dedicated her life to God and resisted any men who wanted to marry her or have sex with her. One of these men, Quintian, was of a high enough rank that he felt he could force her to acquiesce. Knowing she was a Christian in a time of persecution, he had her arrested and brought before the judge - - himself. He expected her to give in to when faced with torture and possible death, but she simply affirmed her belief in God by praying: "Jesus Christ, Lord of all, you see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am. I am your sheep: make me worthy to overcome the devil." Quintian imprisoned her in a brothel in order to get her to change her mind.

 

He brought her back before him after she had suffered a month of assault and humiliation in the brothel, but Agatha had never wavered, proclaiming that her freedom came from Jesus. Quintian sent her to prison, instead of back to the brothel -- a move intended to make her more afraid, but which probably was a great relief to her. When she continued to profess her faith in Jesus, He had her tortured. He refused her any medical care, but God gave her all the care she needed in the form of a vision of St. Peter. When she was tortured again, she died after saying a final prayer: "Lord, my Creator, you have always protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Receive my soul." Because one of the tortures she supposedly suffered was to have her breasts cut off, she was often depicted carrying her breasts on a plate. It is thought that blessing of the bread that takes place on her feast may have come from the mistaken notion that she was carrying loaves of bread. Because she was asked for help during the eruption of Mount Etna, she is considered a protector against the outbreak of fire. She is also considered the patroness of bell makers for an unknown reason -- though some speculate it may have something to do with the fact that bells were used as fire alarms.


 

Prayer: Saint Agatha, you suffered sexual assault and indignity because of your faith. Help heal all those who are survivors of sexual assault and protect those women who are in danger. Amen

Things to Do[8]

·        Bake an Agatha loaf! On St. Agatha's feast day people would bake loaves attached to a picture of St. Agatha and prayers for protection from fires. The parish priests would bless the loaves, and people would keep them in their homes in case of a poor harvest and famine. The prayers would then be hung above the main door of each home to invoke St. Agatha's guardianship.

·        Spanish tradition associates this feast day with ancient fertility customs. Young men would visit many farms throughout the countryside, singing songs of praise to St. Agatha and invoking God's blessing upon people, animals, and fields. However, if they did not receive the customary gifts of money or food for their services, they would call down a 'quick old age' upon the ungrateful inhabitants of that farm. Although most of us do not live in such communities where this kind of custom would be practicable or even understood, we can pray to St. Agatha for a greater openness to the transmission of new life in our culture, and actively affirm and support young couples with children whenever possible.

·        St. Agatha is the patron saint against fire. Take this day to establish a fire escape plan for the family and to practice a family fire drill. Also check the smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors to see if they are all working. Change the batteries on all the alarms!

Chill Out at Saranac Lake Winter Carnival

February 2-13

Party Adirondack style. Since its start back in 1897, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival has grown into one of the oldest winter carnivals in America. The 10-day event showcases plenty of winter magic, from an ice palace made from blocks of ice to the coronation of a winter carnival king and queen.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Chapter 2 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Article 5-THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT

I. Respect for Human Life

                                                                           The Final War

The witness of sacred history

2259 In the account of Abel's murder by his brother Cain, Scripture reveals the presence of anger and envy in man, consequences of original sin, from the beginning of human history. Man has become the enemy of his fellow man. God declares the wickedness of this fratricide: "What have you done? the voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. and now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand."

2260 The covenant between God and mankind is interwoven with reminders of God's gift of human life and man's murderous violence:

For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning.... Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.

The Old Testament always considered blood a sacred sign of life. This teaching remains necessary for all time.

2261 Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous." The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator. the law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and everyone, always and everywhere.

2262 In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, "You shall not kill," and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other cheek, to love their enemies. He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.

Legitimate defense

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor.... the one is intended, the other is not."

2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their charge.

Capital Punishment

2266 The State's effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. the primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.

2267 Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”, [Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

Intentional homicide

2268 The fifth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. the murderer and those who cooperate voluntarily in murder commit a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.

Infanticide, fratricide, parricide, and the murder of a spouse are especially grave crimes by reason of the natural bonds which they break. Concern for eugenics or public health cannot justify any murder, even if commanded by public authority.

2269 The fifth commandment forbids doing anything with the intention of indirectly bringing about a person's death. the moral law prohibits exposing someone to mortal danger without grave reason, as well as refusing assistance to a person in danger.

The acceptance by human society of murderous famines, without efforts to remedy them, is a scandalous injustice and a grave offense. Those whose usurious and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is imputable to them.

Unintentional killing is not morally imputable. But one is not exonerated from grave offense if, without proportionate reasons, he has acted in a way that brings about someone's death, even without the intention to do so.

Abortion

2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.

From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.
This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.
Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves.
Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.
The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.
"A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae," "by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.
The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy.
Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority.
These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin.
Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."

"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law.
When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined....
As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights."

2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, "if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual....
It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence."

2275 "One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival."
"It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material."
"Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities.
Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity" which are unique and unrepeatable.

Euthanasia

2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.

2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons.
It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator.
The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment.
Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted.
The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted.
The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable
Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity.
As such it should be encouraged.

Suicide

2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him.
It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life.
We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls.
We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us.
It is not ours to dispose of.

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life.
It is gravely contrary to the just love of self.
It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations.
Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal.
Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.
Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. the Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.

Daily Devotions

 

·       Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: True Masculinity



·       Devotion of the Seven Sundays: St Joseph-1st Sunday



·       Carnival: Part Two, the Final Countdown

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Rosary


Day 22



[3] http://www.holytrinitygerman.org/septlent.html

[5]http://www.wincalendar.com/Tu-Bishvat

[6]https://www.christianforums.com/threads/trump-says-we-will-plant-trillions-of-trees-now-because.8147047/

[7] http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=14

If only this stuff worked on politicians 

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