Novena for Purification Day 9
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, Hail 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.
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
Soil under our feet goes unnoticed, though this first foot of soil is where most living organisms’ dwell. The health of the fragile skin of our earth is of utmost importance. Humility comes from the Latin word for soil, "humus." From and unto dust is the humbling message to each of us. Soil is rich and fertile but also prone to erosion and pollution.
Overview of February
This year the first 3/12 weeks of February falls during the liturgical season known as Tempus per Annum or Ordinary Time (formerly Time After Epiphany), which is represented by the liturgical color green. Green is a symbol of hope, as it is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. The liturgical color green is worn during prayer of Offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The remaining days of February are the beginning of Lent. The liturgical color changes to violet or purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.
Though the shortest month of the year, February is rich in Liturgical activity. It contains a feast (Presentation of our Lord) that bridges two other seasons (Christmas and Easter)! In addition, the faithful may receive in February two of the four major public sacramentals that the Church confers during the liturgical year: blessed candles and the blessing of throats.
The month of February is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Family. Between the events which marked Christmas and the beginning of Christ's public life the Church has seen fit to recall the example of the Holy Family for the emulation of the Christian family.
The Feast of the Presentation (February 2) or Candlemas forms a fitting transition from Christmas to Easter. The small Christ-Child is still in His Mother's arms, but already she is offering Him in sacrifice. February 21, Shrove Tuesday, will find us preparing for Ash Wednesday. The middle of the month will find us on Ash Wednesday accepting the ashes that remind us of our mortality and our need for penance.
· Take a Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride (All Month)
Enjoy a gorgeous winter wonderland in Yellowstone and the surrounding areas. National Elk Refuge is closed to vehicle traffic but not to horse-drawn sleighs. The open-air rides offer a unique and amazing way to see elk, bison, eagles, foxes and other wildlife species. Yellowstone and the Jackson Hole area offer a variety of other family activities including snow tubing, skiing, snowmobiles and a year-round roller coaster.
· Party in Quebec City Through February 11
For fabulous winter fun, head to the annual Winter Festival in Quebec City. Snow rafting, ice canoe racing, a bartending competition, snow baths (clothing optional), a snow sculpture competition and a masquerade ball are among the many activities.
· March in a Mardi Gras Parade Through February 13
Fat Tuesday — the day before Ash Wednesday — is the biggest party of the year in cities like New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro. If you can’t make it to one of those places, try Mobile, Alabama; Nice, France; Venice Italy or Binche, Belgium.
· See Punxsutawney Phil's Prediction
o February 2
Bundle up, grab some hot coffee and bring your lawn chair to Gobbler’s Knob before dawn on Groundhog Day. Then watch as Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, the Prognosticator of Prognosticators reveals his end-of-winter prediction.
· Chill Out at Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
o 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.
· Watch the Big Game
o February 4
Head to Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium to see the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots go head to head for the NFL championship title. If you’re not lucky enough to score tickets, head to the Philly or Boston, you’re bound to find plenty of bowl-watching parties.
· Walk the Runway at Fashion Week
o February 8-16
Fabulous fashionistas stay ahead of the fashion curve here. Officially known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, this biannual bash is New York City’s single-largest media event, attracting more than 100,000 fashion-industry insiders from around the world.
· Watch the Winter Olympics
o February 8-25
If you can make it to PyeongChang, South Korea, tickets are still available for the 2018 games. Six new events are being introduced this year including snowboard big air (men’s and women’s), speed skating mass start (men’s and women’s) and curling mixed doubles. This means that the total number of gold medal events will be 102, the most ever contested at an Olympic Winter Games.
· Smell the Flowers at Tulipmania
o February 10-18
Head to San Francisco’s iconic Pier 39 for Tulipmania. You’ll see over 39,000 blooming tulips and other garden favorites. Guided tours and gardening tips are provided by Pier 39’s landscaping experts. The tours start at 10 a.m. daily at the Crab Statue in the Entrance Plaza and end with a special treat from Trish’s Mini Donuts. The tulips typically begin blooming in early February and last through mid-March.
· See the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
o February 12-13
Celebrate man’s best friend at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The two-day event at New York City's Madison Square Garden features more than 2,700 pooches going tail to tail to win the coveted Best in Breed title.
· Celebrate Valentine’s Day International Style
o February 14
Many cultures celebrate Valentine’s Day, but they do it in a variety of ways. In Germany, not only do people exchange chocolate and flowers, they also give pigs (toy ones mostly) because they symbolize luck and lust. In Denmark, people send one another poems and rhymes on stationery cut into the shapes of flowers and snowdrops.
· Attend a Horse Show
o February 15-25
Visit the 63rd annual Arabian Horse Show in Scottsdale, Arizona to watch over 2,400 horses compete for a chance at winning the coveted gold title. In between the competitions, there are plenty of kids’ activities like an ice cream social, pony painting (ceramic ponies, not real ones), and art contests. And the best part, kids 17 and under are free.
· Feb. 1-St. Brigid
· Feb. 2-MASS Candlemas
· Feb. 3-St. Blasé Blessing of throats
· Feb. 4-First Saturday
· Feb 5-Septuagesima
· Feb 11-Our Lady of Lourdes
· Feb 14 St. Valentines
· Feb 16-Carnival Thursday
· Feb 17-Carnival Friday
· Feb 18-Carnival Saturday
· Feb 19-Quinguagesima
· Feb 20-Shrovetide Monday
· Feb 21 Shrove Tuesday
· Feb 22 Ash Wednesday
· Feb 24 St. Matthias
· Feb 26 First Sunday of Lent
FEAST OF ST. BRIGID
Mark, Chapter 6, Verse 6
He was amazed at their lack of FAITH.
Fr. Demetrius R. Dumm explains that Jesus could not work more miracles there because the hardness of people's hearts would not permit it. Fr. John Foley puts it in perspective: Jesus’ miracles were an outcropping of the living, loving bonding we are invited to have with him. Faith is our acceptance of that bonding and without it God’s loving power cannot reach us. Father Cusick reminds us all about the impossibility of salvation without the virtue of faith. And Fr. Alex McAllister points to Mary as the perfect example of faith. She was his first and most devoted follower. This story - Fr. Thomas Rosica tells us - shows how when we are faced with someone like Jesus, someone with a generous heart, a wide vision and a great spirit, our reactions are very often filled with jealousy, selfishness and meanness of spirit. And like St. Paul, Fr. Phil Bloom explains, all of us have weaknesses and needs. It's a point reinforced by Fr. Joseph Pelligrino who points out also that we all have really embarrassing personal weaknesses and His Power Is made perfect in our weaknesses.
Feast of St. Bridget, Abbess, and patroness of Ireland
BRIDGETT was born about the year 453 at Fochard, in Ulster. When about twenty years old she received the veil from St. Mel, the nephew and disciple of St. Patrick. So many sought the religious life under her direction that a convent, the first in Ireland, was erected for her and she was made superior. From this parent stem branched forth other convents in different parts of Ireland, all which acknowledged her as their mother and foundress. Several churches in England and Scotland are dedicated to God under her name, and some also in Germany and in France.
After seventy years devoted to the practice of the most sublime virtues, corporal infirmities admonished our saint that the time of her dissolution was nigh. For half a century she had irrevocably consecrated herself to God, and during that period great results had been attained. The day on which our abbess was to quit this life, February 1, 523, having arrived, she received the blessed body and blood of her Lord in the Blessed Eucharist, and, as it would seem, immediately after her spirit passed forth, and went to possess Him in that heavenly country where He is seen face to face and enjoyed without danger of ever losing Him.
Her body was interred in the church adjoining her convent, but was some time after exhumed, and deposited in a splendid shrine near the high altar. In the ninth century, the country being desolated by the Danes, the remains of St. Bridget were removed to Down-Patrick, where they were deposited in the same grave with those of St. Patrick. Their bodies, together with that of St. Columba, were translated after wards to the cathedral of the same city, but their monument was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII. The head of St, Bridget is now kept in the church of the Jesuits at Lisbon.
The Introit of the Mass is as follows: Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore, O God, Thy God hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows. My heart hath uttered a good word. I speak my works to the King."
Give ear to us, O God our Savior, that, as we celebrate with joy the solemnity of blessed Bridget Thy virgin, so we may improve in the affection of piety. Amen
EPISTLE, ii. Cor. x 17, 18; xi. 1, 2.
Brethren: He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself is approved, but he whom God commendeth. "Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly, but do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
GOSPEL. Matt. xxv. 1-13.
At that time Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who, taking their lamps, went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise: but the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil: for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. But at last came also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore because you know not the day nor the hour.
Feast Day of St Brigid of Ireland
Bridget (Brigid, Bride, Bridey) of Kildare was born around 450 into a Druid family, being the daughter of Dubhthach, court poet to King Loeghaire. At an early age, Brigid decided to become a Christian, and she eventually took vows as a nun. Together with a group of other women, she established a nunnery at Kildare. She was later joined by a community of monks led by Conlaed. Kildare had formerly been a pagan shrine where a sacred fire was kept perpetually burning. Rather than stamping out this pagan flame, Brigid and her nuns kept it burning as a Christian symbol. (This was in keeping with the general process whereby Druidism in Ireland gave way to Christianity with very little opposition, the Druids for the most part saying that their own beliefs were a partial and tentative insight into the nature of God, and that they recognized in Christianity what they had been looking for.) As an abbess, Brigid participated in several Irish councils, and her influence on the policies of the Church in Ireland was considerable.
Things to Do
- Read Amy Steedman's biography of Saint Brigid of Ireland to gain a greater appreciation and devotion for this holy woman, who had a great tenderness for mothers and their children.
- Read Saint Brigit: The Mary of the Gael (Catholic Culture Library) or go to this fascinating page St. Brigit - The Giveaway where you will find some folklore and recipes.
- Saint Brigid always recognized Christ in the sick and the poor. Visit Christ in a nursing home or hospital today, and pray for the grace of clear vision, even when you encounter Him in a distressing disguise.
- Meditate on 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13. Is this the kind of love you share with your family? Pray to Saint Brigid for the grace to be patient, kind, and gentle with those entrusted to your care.
- For more recipes and for a craft go to Brigid's Day Foods and How to Make a Traditional St. Brigid's Cross.
Tonight, the night before the feast of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple begins the black mass of magic spring
say your rosary it is a weapon and a shield against evil.
The Black Mass
The black mass is a parody of [the Catholic] Mass, in which one adores and exalts Satan. Usually it is officiated at night, because the darkness permits greater secrecy and because during the night fewer people are found at prayer, which disturbs the ritual. During the celebration, the words and the external signs of the Eucharistic liturgy are used, but always in a contrary sense, in order to manifest opposition to God. There is always a satanic priest officiating who wears blasphemous vestments, an altar represented by a nude woman, possibly a virgin, on whom very serious acts of profanity of the Eucharist (usually stolen from a church), are performed, with words of consecration proclaimed in a contrary sense and an overturned crucifix. Only members of the satanic sect, who are sworn to secrecy, may participate. Nonmembers are never permitted to attend unless it is hoped that, having already been seduced by the perversions and the illusion of power, they may decide to enter the sect.
In general, the black masses are celebrated by small groups of ten or at most fifteen of the “faithful.” Once the ritual is concluded, the woman who functions as the altar is raped in turn by all the participants: first by the one who exercised the “rites” of the priest, then by all the others. This woman may have freely accepted that role, or she may have been led there against her will; and aside from the physical violence, she often suffers the terrible consequences of the ritual: [diabolical] possession.
As in the Church, some of the official rites are required and are tied to particular feast days.
· The most important is Halloween, which falls on the night between October 31 and November 1 of each year: it is considered the magic New Year. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the extreme danger for our children and youth who participate in the feast of Halloween on that date.
· The second precedes our feast of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple on February 2. The night before, in fact, begins the magic spring.
· The summer magic is the third satanic “solemnity” and occurs on the night between April 30 and May 1. During the year [Satanists] often choose nights when the new moon is inaugurated, because it is particularly dark.
The officiator of these rites is usually someone who is consecrated to Satan, and although it is not stated, this person is also usually possessed by the devil. Often during these rituals, the Eucharistic hosts are profaned, [having been] stolen from tabernacles or taken by some of the faithful at Communion during Mass and not consumed.
More pagan worship: Serpent Day
Serpent Day is a day of reflection and coming to grips with our fears. It’s dedicated to pondering our reactions to the prime material behind that expensive high-fashion snake-skin handbag. Its unique, slithering form has long been associated with wisdom and power, used for either good or evil. Serpents have been both feared and revered, at times simultaneously, in many different periods of human history. Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity, the worship of which was first known documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BCE or first century CE. Veneration of the figure appears spread throughout Mesoamerica between 600–900 AD.
Quetzalcoatl, also called “the Plumed Serpent,” played a dominant role as a god, model, myth, historical figure and symbol in Aztec culture. According to legend, he was incarnated on earth and founded the fabulous capital of the Toltecs, Tollan. Quetzalcoatl represented the universal quest for meaning in life, and was the guardian of water and rain, a precious resource of the Aztecs.
In the Hindu regions of Asia the serpent, or naga, is considered a nature spirit. As in the Aztec belief system, Naga is the protector of springs, wells and rivers, and so serpents bring rain, and fertility. The serpent is also a fascinating biblical symbol. Perhaps the most common is the portrayal of the serpent as an enemy in general, or as Satan in particular.
However, a serpent is later used to foreshadow Jesus’ death on the cross and the salvation it makes possible when a bronze serpent appears on a cross that the severely ill Israelites looked upon to recover, which can be found in John 3:14-15. Anthropologists have argued that the serpent as a symbol of death is built into our unconscious minds because of evolutionary history, as for millions of years, snakes were mainly just predators of primates. Nowadays, a snake wrapped around the Rod of Asclepius is on the Star of Life, the worldwide symbol of medical aid.
Better to smoke in this life than the next
Cigars are great for contemplation.
Let’s face it: Many of us need a lot more contemplation in life. Our fast-paced world encourages us to quickly go from one thing to the next, and to always stay busy. We then become consumed by this world and forget to let our souls breathe and take some time to contemplate the true, good, and beautiful. A cigar is our giant NO to a world that doesn’t want us to think for ourselves, that merely wants us to comply. There’s nothing quite like kicking back with a good cigar and letting your thoughts rise to the heavens on wisps of smoke. Those who have never tried cigars don’t realize just how much cigars can inspire deep thoughts. But there’s a reason why many great, insightful writers, artists, and thinkers smoked cigars!
The Mill Brothers know what we’re talking about. To quote their song “Smoke Rings”:
“Where do they go, the smoke rings I blow each night? What do they do, those circles of blue and white? O little smoke rings I love, please take me above!”
Cigars represent the spirited part of the human person
Author Michael P. Foley has compared pipes, cigarettes, and cigars to Plato’s view of the tripartite soul. The pipe corresponds to the rational part of the soul. You often see photos of professors with pipes — we bet that J.R.R. Tolkien popped into some of your minds! For Foley, the cigarette corresponds to the appetitive part of the soul. We often go for cigarettes when we simply need a smoke right now. The cigar corresponds to that noble-spirited part of us — the chest. That’s because a cigar is more about what you blow out than what you inhale. It’s therefore no surprise that great speakers and politicians — such as Winston Churchill — loved cigars. Of course, we will never find full satisfaction in any earthly thing. True happiness is only obtained in heaven. But God in His mercy has given us little foretastes of joy sprinkled here and there. Some of us find echoes of this joy in cigars. Let’s offer this joy back to God and let our smoking fuel beautiful, holy thoughts!
Our Heavenly Father desires all three hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph to be honored. And so along with devotion to Jesus on First Fridays, and to Mary on First Saturdays, Our Father longs for us to add devotion to St. Joseph on each First Wednesday of the month.
"The Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have been chosen by the Most Holy Trinity to bring peace to the world." It is at God's request that "special love and honor be given to them" to help us "imitate" their love and their lives, as well as "offer reparation" for the sins committed against them and their love.
The St. Joseph First Wednesday devotion is:
1. Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary - remembering St. Joseph's love, his life, his role and his sufferings
2. Receive Holy Communion - in union with the love St. Joseph had for Jesus the first time and each time he held him - his son, his God and Savior - in his arms.
In the approved apparitions of Our Lady of America, St. Joseph revealed:
· "I am the protector of the Church and the home, as I was the protector of Christ and his Mother while I lived upon earth. Jesus and Mary desire that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored in a special way.
· Let my children honor my most pure heart in a special manner on the First Wednesday of the month by reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in memory of my life with Jesus and Mary and the love I bore them, the sorrow I suffered with them.
· Let them receive Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received the Savior for the first time and each time I held Him in my arms.
· Those who honor me in this way will be consoled by my presence at their death, and I myself will conduct them safely into the presence of Jesus and Mary."
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.
First Wednesday-St. Joseph
Smoke and Cigar and have a Irish whiskey
· Plan winter fun:
Saint Joseph will increase your prudence.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
Amorth, Fr. Gabriele. An Exorcist Explains the Demonic: The Antics of Satan and His Army of Fallen Angels