Novena for Purification Day 2
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.
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
Conversion of St. Paul
Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 5-8
5 Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of FAITH, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, 6 among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; 7 to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is heralded throughout the world.
Christ has called all of us as Paul states to holiness and apostleship.
"The apostolate of the laity derives from their Christian vocation and the Church can never be without it." These words come from the opening lines of the “Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity” (Apostolicam Actuositatem). This particular document on the laity shows that the Church is dependent on the apostolate of all people. But the term “apostolate” seems so daunting; clearly the word is rooted in the idea of being an apostle. I tend to think back to the Twelve Apostles, which creates a certain amount of anxiety. How can I even think about living up to the great examples of these twelve? Yet they are our example, and our apostleship is essential to the life of the Church. In the Church we tend to use the word apostle quite a bit and in many different ways. It appears in terms such as: apostolic, apostolate, and apostleship. To find a secular answer, I looked up the word “apostle” in a Merriam-Webster dictionary. In using a dictionary, my hope was that I might come to a better understanding of what it means to be an apostle. The first definition that I came across for apostle was "one sent on a mission." This first meaning really helps expand the idea of the New Evangelization in simple terms. The discovery of this definition led me to formulate the following question: "What is our mission as baptized Catholics?" This is a very important question that has been the subject of major debate. A simple answer is that we are called to go out into the world around us and proclaim the Good News of our Lord, Jesus Christ. How this is accomplished is a decision that must be made by each one of us. We must find our own niche in the greater mission of Christ. We have been given a divine mission that we must go out and complete.
St. Paul was born at Tarsus, Cilicia, of Jewish parents who were descended from the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Roman citizen from birth. To complete his schooling, St. Paul was sent to Jerusalem, where he sat at the feet of the learned Gamaliel and was educated in the strict observance of the ancestral Law. As a convinced and zealous Pharisee, he returned to Tarsus before the public life of Christ in Palestine.
Sometime after the death of Our Lord, St. Paul returned to Palestine. His profound conviction made his zeal develop to a religious fanaticism against the infant Church. He took part in the stoning of the first martyr, St. Stephen, and in the fierce persecution of the Christians that followed. Entrusted with a formal mission from the high priest, he departed for Damascus to arrest the Christians there and bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was nearing Damascus, about noon, a light from heaven suddenly blazed round him. Jesus with His glorified body appeared to him and addressed him, turning him away from his apparently successful career. An immediate transformation was wrought in the soul of St. Paul. He was suddenly converted to the Christian Faith. He was baptized, changed his name from Saul to Paul, and began travelling and preaching the Faith. He was martyred as an Apostle in Rome around 65 AD.
Feast of St. Paul the Apostle
THE history of this conversion is fully given in the epistle taken from the Acts. The Introit of the Mass is as follows: "I know Whom I have believed, and I am certain that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day, being a just judge. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me, Thou hast known my sitting down, and my rising up."
O God, "Who didst teach the whole world by the preaching of blessed Paul the apostle, grant us, we beseech Thee, that we, who this day celebrate his conversion, may advance towards Thee by his example. Amen.
EPISTLE. Acts ix. 1-22.
In those days: Saul as yet breathing out threatening’s and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus: and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him. And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? Who said: Who art Thou, Lord? And He said: I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad. And he trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now the men who went in company with him stood amazed, hearing indeed a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. But they leading him by the hands, brought him to Damascus. And he was there three days without sight, and he did neither eat nor drink. Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias: and the Lord said to him in a vision: Ananias. And he said: Behold I am here, Lord. And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the street that is called Strait, and seek in the house of Judas, one named Saul of Tarsus. For behold he prayeth. (And he saw a man named Ananias, coming in and putting his hands upon him, that he might receive his sight.) But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints in Jerusalem. And here he hath authority from the chief priests, to bind all that invoke Thy name. And the Lord said to him: Go thy way, for this man is to Me a vessel of election, to carry My name before the gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how great things he must suffer for My name’s sake. And Ananias went his way and entered into the house: and laying his hands upon him, he said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, He that appeared to thee in the way as thou earnest: that thou mayst receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it were scales, and he received his sight; and rising up he was baptized. And when he had taken meat, he was strengthened. And he was with the disciples that were at Damascus for some days. And immediately he preached Jesus in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. And all that heard him were astonished, and said: Is not this he who persecuted in Jerusalem those that called upon this name; and came hither for that intent, that he might carry them bound to the chief priests? But Saul increased much more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt at Damascus, affirming that this is the Christ. What do we learn from this history? Not to despise any sinner, nor to despair of his salvation: for, like Paul on the road to Damascus, the greatest sinner may, by the grace of God, be suddenly converted, and become a saint. At the command of God, he accepted Ananias as his leader in the way of salvation and became as zealous for the honor of Christ as he had previously been intent on persecuting Him. In like manner, a convert must shut his eyes to all by which he has heretofore been led astray and must give heed to that only which God commands.
What do we learn from this history?
Not to despise any sinner, nor to despair of his salvation: for, like Paul on the road to Damascus, the greatest sinner may, by the grace of God, be suddenly converted, and become a saint. At the command of God, he accepted Ananias as his leader in the way of salvation and became as zealous for the honor of Christ as he had previously been intent on persecuting Him. In like manner, a convert must shut his eyes to all by which he has heretofore been led astray and must give heed to that only which God commands.
Today try and be 100% for God.
As iron, cast into the fire, loses its rust and becomes bright with the flame, so too a man who turns his whole heart to Me is purified and all sluggishness and changed into a new man.
Who am I, Lord, that I should be considered by You: I AM WHO AM.
Like Paul we must be fearless in proclaiming the gospel.
“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mk. 16:15-16)
GOSPEL. Matt. xix. 27-29.
At that time Peter said to Jesus: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed Thee: what, therefore, shall we have? And Jesus said to them: Amen I say to you, that you, who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of His majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting. This gospel teaches that he who renounces the world, its pleasures, and its riches, shall receive the grace of God, virtues, interior consolation, and eternal happiness, which are a hundred-fold, that is, infinitely, more precious than worldly goods. Prayer. O St. Paul, great apostle, who, from being an enemy, became the most zealous friend and preacher of Christ, procure for me from Him, I beseech thee, grace at last truly to know Him, Whom I have heretofore so often denied, offended, and, by my sins, crucified anew; to follow Him, and, after thy ex ample 5 to be henceforth as diligent in doing justice as I have formerly been in practicing evil; that I may one day attain to that happiness which thou hast gained. Amen.
Some ideas for honoring St. Paul on his conversion (also for June 29, Saints Peter and Paul):
- Incorporating a horse in the celebration seems most obvious to me. This previous post for Horseshoe Cookies for the feast of St. Martin has loads of ideas for other horse themed foods. There is also Podovy: St. Stephen's Horns which is a filled bread in the shape of horseshoes. How about the Giddy-Up Horse Cake from Kraft Foods?
- Roast beef and horseradish, one of my favorite combinations would make a nice main course. And how about Garlic Horseradish Mashed Potatoes?
- Don't forget what we feed the horse! Perhaps a plate of crudités: maybe just celery and carrot sticks with dip.
Paul followed the Jewish laws strictly, which would mean dietary laws,
too. This could be an opportunity to serve a Biblical Jewish meal.
Life First 9 Days for Life
9 Days for Life is a "digital pilgrimage" of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person's life. A multi-faceted novena highlighting a different intention each day provides reflections, bonus information, and suggested actions. Join to receive the novena through the 9 Days for Life app, daily emails, or daily texts. See below for information on how else you can get involved! #9DaysforLife #OurPrayersMatter
Intercession: May those who long to welcome a child into their family be filled with trust in God’s loving plan.
Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be
It can be very
difficult and painful when the Lord doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we
hope. A couple that finds themselves unable to bring a child into the world
through their loving union can experience this disappointment very deeply.
During such times of trial, we may wonder why we face the particular challenges
that we do. Yet even though suffering is often shrouded in a sense of mystery,
we believe that the Lord loves us with great tenderness and compassion that is
beyond our imagination. Knowing this, we can trust that “all things work for
good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom
Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)
Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and share Christ’s love with
those who need encouragement the most today.
the Prayer for Those Hoping to Conceive
or Adopt a Child,
and spend some time reflecting on the accompanying excerpt from Psalm 145.
· Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention.
Irish Coffee Day
1942 proved a fortuitous year for transatlantic travelers wearied by the cold and damp conditions of an Irish winter. Thanks to the innovative imagination of bartender Joe Sheridan, they were soon to have their cockles delightfully warmed by an almost decadent blend of fine Irish whiskey with the irresistible taste and aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Combined with the subtle sweetness of brown sugar and sipped through the luxurious density of whipped cream, it was a recipe that would become a global hit that needed no specific weather conditions to be enjoyed.
Get Creative with Irish Coffee
While the two most important ingredients are listed in the name, it is also possible to make things much more interesting with some unique ingredients added to the basic recipe. Try out one of these modernized Irish Coffee ideas in celebration of the day:
· The Blind Abbott. Start with cold brew coffee and 1 shot of Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. Then intensify the coffee flavor even more by adding a half shot of Galliano Ristretto, an espresso-based liqueur. Finish it off with some cinnamon syrup and a few dashes of bitters, pour over ice and shake until frosty. Serve topped with fresh, sweet whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
· Vintage Coffee Cocktail. Named after the Vintage Cocktail Club located in Dublin, Ireland, this one is Dublin-ified with a bit of the city’s signature beer: Guinness. Start by infusing Guinness with some malt extract and a vanilla bean pod over heat. This combination is then whisked together with whipping cream and stirred in with a shot of Paddy Old Irish Whiskey, a few shots of espresso, and a teaspoon of light molasses. Top with a garnish of nutmeg sprinkling.
· Gort’s Reprieve Irish Coffee. Featured at the Drink.Well Bar in Austin, Texas, this unique version of the drink is a fun departure from the original. Start with coffee that has been freshly brewed in a French Press, then add in a shot of Irish Whiskey and a half shot of amaro (Italian herbal bitters), a bit of simple syrup and a few dashes of New Orleans coffee bitters. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle on some spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice. Make it extra special by adding chocolate covered espresso beans on top!
· Bailey’s Irish Cream Coffee. This recipe builds a sweeter, creamier, stronger drink (reminiscent of a dessert!) by starting with coffee and whiskey, then adding a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur and finishing it off with a dollop of sweet, whipped cream.
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.
Virtues of St. Joseph Every Man can follow
St. Joseph is the model of a man with no hesitancy of mind he is the man God chose to raise his son.
Justice-One of the few descriptors of St. Joseph found in Scripture is that he was a "just man," also translated as a "righteous man" (Matthew 1:19). Justice includes the virtues of fairness, honesty, and respect for others.
Obedient to God's will-Several times, angels came to St. Joseph in dreams and directed his course of action. They told him to marry Our Lady when he had thought of a quiet divorce, to flee to Egypt, and to return to Nazareth. In all these instances, he did as they said without question, giving us a model of surrender to God's will.
A protector-When Herod threatened the infant Jesus, St. Joseph went to great lengths to guard the baby from harm. We know little of St. Joseph's daily life, but we can imagine the kind of honorable and self-sacrificing man to whom God the Father would entrust the care and upbringing of His only begotten son.
Responsible-Caring for the two holiest people who ever lived, Jesus and Mary, must have seemed an immense task, but St. Joseph undertook it bravely. He was trustworthy enough to rise to the challenge of being responsible for their livelihood and well-being.
Chaste-One of the things we know about St. Joseph is that he and Our Lady lived together without consummating their marriage. He is a model of purity and would be a fitting intercessor for any man striving to live this virtue.
Faithful-St. Luke repeatedly emphasizes in his Gospel how St. Joseph acted in compliance with "the law of the Lord," that is, the ritual requirements of an observant Jewish man. He was a devoutly religious believer, and his faithfulness is an example for all men.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
ARTICLE 4-THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
He was obedient to them.
The Lord Jesus himself recalled the force of this "commandment of God." The Apostle teaches: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother,' (This is the first commandment with a promise.) 'that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth."'
2197 The fourth commandment opens the second table of the Decalogue. It shows us the order of charity. God has willed that, after him, we should honor our parents to whom we owe life and who have handed on to us the knowledge of God. We are obliged to honor and respect all those whom God, for our good, has vested with his authority.
2198 This commandment is expressed in positive terms of duties to be fulfilled. It introduces the subsequent commandments which are concerned with particular respect for life, marriage, earthly goods, and speech. It constitutes one of the foundations of the social doctrine of the Church.
2199 The fourth commandment is addressed expressly to children in their relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members of the extended family. It requires honor, affection, and gratitude toward elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to their country, and to those who administer or govern it. This commandment includes and presupposes the duties of parents, instructors, teachers, leaders, magistrates, those who govern, all who exercise authority over others or over a community of persons.
2200 Observing the fourth commandment brings its reward: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you." Respecting this commandment provides, along with spiritual fruits, temporal fruits of peace and prosperity. Conversely, failure to observe it brings great harm to communities and to individuals.
· Plan winter fun:
· FEAST DAY go to Mass
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
 Paone, Anthony J., Our Daily Bread, 1954.