Genesis, Chapter 26, Verse 7
When the men of the place asked questions about his wife, he answered, “She is my sister.” He was AFRAID that, if he called her his wife, the men of the place would kill him on account of Rebekah, since she was beautiful.
So, Isaac (whom was bound as a sacrificial offering to God) the only son of Abraham, now is grown, has a wife and is pulling the same trick as his father Abraham with the men who desire his wife-stating she is my sister.
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the recurring story has a unified purpose:
"From the point of view of the history of culture these episodes are very instructive. But it is not very probable that Abraham would have run the risk twice. Moreover, a similar incident is reported in regard to Isaac and Rebecca. This recurrence indicates that none of the accounts is to be accepted as historical; all three are variations of a theme common to the popular oral histories of the Patriarchs. That women were married in the way here supposed is not to be doubted. The purpose of the story is to extol the heroines as most beautiful and show that the Patriarchs were under the special protection of the Deity."
Another lesson we can take from this is that Isaac here was dealing with men that had no fear of God. Men who take what they want and will kill to get it. Isaac here could not fight them because he was not strong enough. Isaac could not leave because there was a famine. So, he sought to deceive. Yet, even in his weakness God was with him and when Abimelech, the righteous king, discovered the truth put him under his royal protection; thus, saving him from danger. Righteous men & nations always seek to protect the weak.
Remember to pray for souls in purgatory
Reigning from 1198 to 1216, Pope Innocent III was one of the most influential and important popes of his era.
He granted Francis of Assisi and his small band of follower’s permission to found the Order of Friars Minor; he convened the Fourth Lateran Council which, among other things, dogmatically defined the doctrine of transubstantiation; and he organized great efforts to combat heresy in Europe and repel invading Muslim forces.
Then, after more than 18 years as pope, he died suddenly. But that wasn’t the last he was heard from. When a Christian dies, Catholics believe, they may go straight to heaven if they lack any outstanding temporal punishment due to sins they’ve committed. But many Christians will go to purgatory first, where, by the grace of Jesus Christ, they are purified and prepared to enter into the presence of the all-holy God.
The story goes that on the day Pope Innocent III died, or soon thereafter, he appeared to St. Lutgardis of Aywières in Belgium. St. Lutgardis is considered to have been one of the great mystics of the 13th century, known for her miracles, visions, levitation, and particularly adept teaching.
When Pope Innocent appeared to her, he thanked her for her prayers during his lifetime, but explained that he was in trouble: he had not gone straight to heaven but was in purgatory, suffering its purifying fire for three specific faults he had committed during his life.
And he made a desperate plea for help:
“Alas! It is terrible; and will last for centuries if you do not come to my assistance. In the name of Mary, who has obtained for me the favor of appealing to you, help me!”
Then he vanished.
With a sense of urgency, St. Lutgardis quickly told her fellow religious sisters what she had seen and prayed for his soul.
Remember to pray for the holy souls in purgatory!
Venice carnival returns to former grandeur after three years
The Venice carnival in the historical lagoon city attracts people from around the world. The opening show of the world-famous Venice carnival kicked off on Saturday night as performers took to brightly lit floats and gondolas for the 'original dreamers' parade.
After three years of scaled-back events due to the covid-19 pandemic, thousands of visitors have travelled to the queen of the Adriatic for the beloved festival.
Spectators lined the banks and bridges of the grand canal on Friday to catch a glimpse of the colorful displays, flashing lights and masked dancers aboard dozens of floating barges. ‘take your time for the original signs’ is the creative title of this year's event. It draws inspiration from the constellations and in particular, the zodiac. The ancient custom began in the 11th century as a symbol of the city's victory over the patriarch of Aquileia, a catholic jurisdiction in northeastern Italy. Venice became a powerful republic and trading center. However, most of the costumes worn in the festivities today are loosely based on the styles worn much later by Venice’s aristocracy in the seventeen-century. The traditional venetian carnival mask, known as the 'butua' allowed revelers through the ages, from both the upper and lower classes, to soak up the festivities while concealing their identities. The festival was banned many times throughout the years and finally outlawed in 1797 by the holy roman emperor Francis ii. The modern-day carnival was restored by the Italian government in 1979 in a bid to revitalize the city's tourism industry. The year's carnival will end on Tuesday, February 21.
NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE
DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER
O Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.
We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Psalm 51, 14-15.
Give me again the joy of your help, with a spirit of fervor sustain me, that I may teach transgressors your ways and sinners may return to you.
Lord Jesus! After contemplating Thy features, disfigured by grief, after meditating upon Thy passion with compunction and love, how can our hearts fail to be inflamed with a holy hatred of sin, which even now outrages Thy Adorable Face! Lord, suffer us not to be content with mere compassion, but give us grace so closely to follow Thee in this Calvary, so that the opprobrium destined for Thee may fall on us, O Jesus, that thus we may have a share, small though it may be, in expiation of sin. Amen. Mary, our Mother, intercede for us, Saint Joseph pray for us.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.
Prayer in Honor of Mary
Hail Mary, Daughter of God the Father! Hail Mary, Mother of God the Son! Hail Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit! Hail Mary, Temple of the Most Holy Trinity! Hail Mary, our mistress, our wealth, our mystic rose, Queen of our hearts, our Mother, our life, our sweetness and our dearest hope! We are all Thine, and all we have is Thine. O Virgin blessed above all things; may Thy soul be in us to magnify the Lord; may Thy spirit be in us to rejoice in God. Place Thyself, O faithful Virgin, as a seal upon our hearts, that in Thee and through Thee we may be found faithful to God. Grant, most gracious Virgin, that we may be numbered among those whom Thou art pleased to love, to teach and to guide, to favor and to protect as Thy children. Grant that with the help of Thy love, we may despise all earthly consolation and cling to heavenly things, until through the Holy Spirit, Thy faithful spouse, and through Thee, His faithful spouse, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, be formed within us for the glory of the Father. Amen. (St. Grignon de Montfort)
Pray one (1) Our Father,
(3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)
THE TREE OF HAPPINESS (Cont.)
“The situation is desperate”, King Richard mentioned to Sir Michael. “The young knights have lost all self-discipline; they have no love or sense of duty for the kingdom and most of the people never attend the churches anymore.” King Richard didn’t mention it to Sir Michael, but his one desire was to have his only daughter, “Dawn Tomorrow”, marry a Knight and see him Crowned King and Dawn be a mother to a Great Nation. Richard was a religious King, but due to the duties of his office he found it difficult to do much else then keep his Knights in check. He wondered if anyone would be found worthy to take the hand of Dawn Tomorrow in marriage. Utopia was a rich nation, and the pleasures were many for all who could afford them. Even with heavy taxes being imposed; most of the peasants in Utopia led lives of relative richness in material things, but sadly most people lacked true happiness and so the King asked Sir Michael for his advice. Sir Michael thought about it and thought about it and could not come up with a solution to the problem. Then at last he came upon an idea. A Quest! He remembered the legend his mother told him of when he was a small boy. It was the legend of the Tree of Happiness. The Tree of Happiness, according to the legend, was also in the Garden of Eden when God banned Adam & Eve from Eden and although access to the Tree of Life was guarded by the Angels, it is said that man may still have access to the fruit of the Tree of Happiness. “That’s it”, Exclaimed Sir Michael. We will have a crusade to find the Tree of Happiness and bring the fruit back to Utopia. To be continued.
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 7-THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
III. The Social Doctrine of the Church
2419 "Christian revelation . . . promotes deeper understanding of the laws of social living." The Church receives from the Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the communion of persons. She teaches him the demands of justice and peace in conformity with divine wisdom.
2420 The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, "when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it." In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.
2421 The social doctrine of the Church developed in the nineteenth century when the Gospel encountered modern industrial society with its new structures for the production of consumer goods, its new concept of society, the state and authority, and its new forms of labor and ownership. the development of the doctrine of the Church on economic and social matters attests the permanent value of the Church's teaching at the same time as it attests the true meaning of her Tradition, always living and active.
2422 The Church's social teaching comprises a body of doctrine, which is articulated as the Church interprets events in the course of history, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in the light of the whole of what has been revealed by Jesus Christ. This teaching can be more easily accepted by men of good will, the more the faithful let themselves be guided by it.
2423 The Church's social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action:
Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely by economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his acts.
theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic
activity is morally unacceptable. the disordered desire for money cannot but
produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many conflicts which
disturb the social order.
A system that "subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production" is contrary to human dignity. Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to the spread of atheism. "You cannot serve God and mammon."
2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with "communism" or "socialism." She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of "capitalism," individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for "there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market." Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.
February 18th, St. Bernadette Soubirous (New, Trad.):
- Crepes for the Feast of St. Bernadette
- Blueberry Muffins for Our Lady
- A (Blue) French Meal for Our Lady of Lourdes
- A Grotto for Our Lady
- Mary's Immaculate Conception (An all-white dinner!)