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Tuesday First Week of Lent

 ·       Pray for our nation.

·       Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel 

Psalm 34, verse 5-12

5 I sought the LORD, and he answered me, delivered me from all my FEARS. 6 Look to him and be radiant, and your faces may not blush for shame. 7 This poor one cried out and the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. 8 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them. 9 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him. 10 Fear the LORD, you his holy ones; nothing is lacking to those who fear him. Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you fear of the LORD. 11 The rich grow poor and go hungry but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 12 Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you fear of the LORD. 

While taking a prayer filled hike in the Round Lake, New York; I asked our Lord on the hike to communicate to me as we walked along the way. The Lord spoke to my heart and said that in this world there are two kinds of people those that give and those that get. He said amazingly those that get never get enough and those who give always get enough.  

 As we walked Christ pointed out to me the things that I should be giving to others. 

As I started the hike I noticed the sign with the map of the hike was reversed and if I did not study it closely I would be lost. Christ urged me to: 

·       Give good directions. 

Walking along I met others walking or riding bikes coming from the opposite direction that looked rather glum and miserable. Christ urged me to greet them. As I did I noticed their expression changed from glum to happy. 

·       Give greetings. 

Walking along I heard music from a tavern near the trail. Christ urged me to: 

·       Give music and song to gladding others hearts. 

Walking along I met a small turtle that on seeing me tucked into his shell. Christ urged me to: 

·       Give others respect and privacy. 

Walking along I passed a stream and notice the path was shady. Christ urged me to: 

·       Give refreshment to others. 

Finally, as I was walking along as the Lord answered me I noticed He had delivered me from all my fears.

Tuesday First Week of Lent[1]

EPISTLE. Isaias Iv. 6-11. 

IN those days Isaias the prophet spoke, saying: Seek ye the Lord while He may be found call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God: for He is bountiful to forgive. For My thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are My ways exalted above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts. And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My word be, which shall go forth from My mouth : it shall not return to Me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it, saith the Lord Almighty. 

GOSPEL. Matt. xxi. 10-17. 

At that time: When Jesus was come into Jerusalem, the whole city was moved, saying: Who is this? And the people said: This is Jesus the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves: and He saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves. And there came to Him the blind, and the lame in the temple; and He healed them. And the chief priests and scribes seeing the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying: Hosanna to the son of David; were moved with indignation, and said to Him: Hearest Thou what these say? And Jesus said to them: Yea, have you never read: Out of the mouth of infants and of suckling’s Thou hast perfected praise? And leaving them, He went out of the city into Bethania, and remained there. 

Prayer. Look down upon Thy family, O Lord, and grant that our minds, which are afflicted by the mortifications of the flesh, may shine in Thy light with the desire of Thee. 

Lenten Calendar 

Read: Lent is a time many often rededicate themselves to prayer. Check out these 9 ways to pray. . . from USCCBs We Are Salt and Light for ideas on how to expand your prayer life this season. 

Pray: Try one of the 9 ways to pray from the article that you have never tried before.   

Act: If you found you liked one of the 9 ways to pray from above to be helpful to you, share your experience with a loved one.  

 

Preparing for Battle[2]

 

Know Your Battle

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. EPHESIANS 6: 10– 13 

The ordinary activity of demons is subtle and occurs within our thought life. They plant ideas within our minds seeking to influence our reason, memory, and imagination— and ultimately, our will. They use various methods to tempt us.

 

  • First, the demons tempt through deception. (The Devil is the father of lies)
  • Second, demons tempt through accusation.
  • Third, the Devil tempts us through doubt as he seeks to diminish our faith. (Don’t hesitate in faith)
  • Fourth, demons tempt us through enticement. (Don’t take the bait)
  • Finally, demons can tempt us through provocation. (Don’t give into vexations)

We should always remember that not all temptations come directly from Satan and his minions. Many of them arise simply from our own weakness and the habits of sin we have developed.

Leadership and fasting[3] 

The practice of fasting that pleases God and goes further than going without food. God does not delight in our denying ourselves but in us turning eyes from ourselves to others and begin to loosen the chains that bind others. God is calling us to live from His values and ethics not ours. Fasting is good in that it redirects our focus and helps us to bring the body back under the control of the mind and spirit, but we must not fast while continuing to harbor destructive thoughts, assumptions and attitudes. Consider what God expects from the “Fasted life.” 

1.     Liberate the oppressed.

2.     Share with the needy

3.     Shelter the homeless

4.     Clothe the naked

5.     Stop judging and accusing others

 

The Practices of a Committed Catholic Man[4]


 

What practices can help us to take up our cross and follow our King?

 

If we think of soldiers who do not remain in strong physical and mental shape and who fail to practice the essential combat arts, we know they will not be ready for battle and will be a danger to themselves and their comrades in arms. The same is true for Catholic men; those who do not prepare and strengthen themselves for spiritual combat are incapable of filling the breach for Christ.

 

While there are many habits and devotions that a Catholic man can form, Bishop Olmstead charges you with keeping these seven basic practices* on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. If these practices are not (yet) part of your life, start now!

 

Daily

 

1.     Pray every day. Each Catholic man must start his day with prayer. It is said, “Until you realize that prayer is the most important thing in life, you will never have time for prayer.” Without prayer, a man is like a soldier who lacks food, water, and ammunition. Set aside some time to speak with God first thing each morning. Pray the three prayers essential to the Catholic faith: The Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be. Pray also at every meal. Before food or drink touches your lips, make the Sign of the Cross, say the “Bless us, O Lord” prayer, and end with the Sign of the Cross. Do this no matter where you are, with whom or how much you are eating. Never be shy or ashamed about praying over meals. Never deny Christ the gratitude that is due to Him. Praying as a Catholic man before every meal is a simple but powerful way to keep strong and fill the breach.

 

2.     Examine your conscience before going to sleep. Take a few moments to review the day, including both your blessings and sins. Give God thanks for blessings and ask forgiveness for sins. Say an Act of Contrition.

 

3.     Go to Mass. Despite the fact that attending weekly Mass is a Precept of the Church, only about one in three Catholic men attend Sunday Mass. For large numbers of Catholic men, their neglect to attend Mass is a grave sin, a sin that puts them in mortal danger. The Mass is a refuge in the Spiritual Battle, where Catholic men meet their King, hear His commands, and become strengthened with the Bread of Life. Every Mass is a miracle where Jesus Christ is fully present, a miracle that is the high point not only of the week, but of our entire lives on Earth. In the Mass, a man gives thanks to God for his many blessings and hears Christ send him again into the world to build the Kingdom of God. Fathers who lead their children to Mass are helping in a very real way to ensure their eternal salvation.

 

4.     Read the Bible. As St. Jerome so clearly tells us, “Ignorance of the Sacred Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” When we read God’s word, Jesus is present. Married men read with your wife and your children. If a man’s children see him read the Scriptures, they are more likely to remain in the Faith. My brothers in Christ, this I can assure you: men who read the Bible grow in grace, wisdom, and peace.

 

5.     Keep the Sabbath. From the creation of Adam and Eve, God the Father established a weekly cycle ending with the Sabbath. He gave us the Sabbath to ensure that one day out of seven we will give thanks to God, rest, and be refreshed. In the Ten Commandments, God asserts anew the importance of keeping the Sabbath. With today’s constant barrage of buying and selling and the cacophony of noisy media, the Sabbath is God’s respite from the storm. As Catholic men, you must begin, or deepen, keeping the holiness of the Sabbath. If you are married, you must lead your wives and children to do the same. Dedicate the day to rest and true recreation and avoid work that is not necessary. Spend time with family, attend Mass, and enjoy the gift of the day.

 

Monthly

 

6.     Go to Confession. At the very start of Christ’s public ministry, Jesus calls on all men to repent. Without repentance from sin, there can be no healing or forgiveness, and there will be no Heaven. Large numbers of Catholic men are in grave mortal danger, particularly given the epidemic levels of pornography consumption and the sin of masturbation. My brothers get to Confession now! Our Lord Jesus Christ is a merciful King who will forgive those who humbly confess their sins. He will not forgive those who refuse. Open your soul to the gift of our Lord’s mercy!

 

Confession[5]

 

In the beginning God asks Adam, where are you? Adam had sinned and so he hid from God? After Cain killed Able God asked him, “Where is your brother? Yet again according to catholic tradition Saint Peter was fleeing from crucifixion in Rome at the hands of the government, and along the road outside the city he meets the risen Jesus and this time it is Peter who asks the question in Latin "Quo vadis?" “Where are you going?” to which Jesus replies, "Romam eo iterum crucifigi" ("I am going to Rome to be crucified again"). Peter thereby gains the courage to continue his ministry and returns to the city, to eventually be martyred by being crucified upside-down.

 

Confession is our own turning like Peter around to walk with our Lord: to carry our cross with Him and to suffer with Him if need be. Confession is something you do with your mouth and with your mind, heart and actions. Confession should always be individual, spoken and specific. It is customary for devout Catholics to go to confession frequently and the saints have recommended that we go at least once a month. Yet in recent years some parishes have seen a decline in the number of confessions. It is not that we are having a decline in sin; it is because our hearts have become worldly. Will we have the hearts to see our Lord as He passes us by and even say to Him “Quo Vadis”: have we become so worldly that we have lost a sense of sin? Has our no-fault culture convinced us to keep walking in the opposite direction of our Lord thinking “I’m OK, you’re OK, no matter what choices we have made? Yes, God loves us just the way we are, but he loves us too much to keep us fat, dumb and happy. We need to experience his forgiveness so that we can heal and grow. “It is better to confess one’s sins than to harden one’s heart.” (Pope St. Clement I)

 

7.     Build fraternity with other Catholic men. Catholic friendship among men has a dramatic impact on their faith lives. Men who have bonds of brotherhood with other Catholic men pray more, go to Mass and Confession more frequently, read the Scriptures more often, and are more active in the Faith. Proverbs tells us: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (27:17). I call on each of our priests and deacons to draw men together in their parishes and to begin to rebuild a vibrant and transforming Catholic fraternity. I call on laymen to form small fellowship groups for mutual support and growth in the faith. There is no friendship like having a friend in Christ.

Aids in Battle[6] The Word of God useful for our warfare with evil

These biblical passages provide aids in warfare for those who will ponder and act upon the truths they teach us. Recite them as battle cries in the heat of the conflict. Call on Jesus Christ, our Champion when the battle is fierce, turn your eyes to our victorious commander and place your confidence in Him.

·       To this end the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the Devil. 1 Jn 3: 8

·       Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

·       That at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

·       Disarming the Principalities and Powers, He displayed them openly, leading them away in triumph by force of [the Cross]. Col 2: 15

·       Now has come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God.

Preparing for Battle[7] Know Your Weapons 

The weapon of Eucharistic adoration

Outside of Mass, the other great refuge from the Devil and his wiles is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. St. John Bosco used to tell the boys who were under his care:

·       Listen: There are two things the Devil is deathly afraid of: fervent Communions and frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament.

·       Do you want Our Lord to grant you many graces? Visit him often.

·       Do you want Him to grant you only a few? Visit Him only seldom.

·       Do you want the Devil to attack you? Rarely visit the Blessed Sacrament.

·       Do you want the Devil to flee from you? Visit Jesus often.

·       Do you want to overcome the Devil? Take refuge at Jesus’ feet.

·       Do you want to be overcome by the Devil? Give up visiting Jesus.

·       Visiting the Blessed Sacrament is essential, my dear boys, if you want to overcome the Devil. Therefore, make frequent visits to Jesus. If you do that, the Devil will never prevail against you.

Confession and Holy Communion[8]

One of the Precepts of the Church is to receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion at least once a year, during Lent or Paschaltide. Catholics once dedicated the three days prior to Lent as a special time to go to confession. Shrovetide arose from the desire to prepare for the holy asceticism of the Great Fast. Once Lent begins, however, confession should still be sought out: since Lent is a time for frequent and frank examinations of conscience, confession is a sacrament that should be liberally taken advantage of during this time. 

Guardian Angels[9]


Our lives always are better if we work with God rather than against him. To this end God has assigned an angel to protect churches and persons for indeed we are the true temples of God. We should be particularly attentive to our own guardian angels, since they are specifically assigned to our care. Our guardian angels want to help us cooperate with the will of God, and they want to keep us from sin. They help us to comfort others-and they want to keep us safe and from causing harm to others. They are our best friend in that they always want what’s best for us even if it does not coincide with the things, we desire the most and they will undoubtedly help us, especially when we ask them. Learn to ask for what you need. Our angel helps us to answer Gods call for holiness. As we are the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit our angel is charged with protecting our temples and keeping us pure for the presence of God. We must learn to speak to the angels.

 

No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent for he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go. With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You can tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon. (Ps.91:10-13) 

Daily Devotions

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

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·       Pray Day 5 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

·       Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 14

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary



[1] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[2]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

[3] Maxwell, John. The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

*Let us be faithful to these practices as Naaman was faithful to wash himself seven times in the Jordan to cleanse himself of leprosy at the instruction of the prophet Elias.

[5] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 28. Confession.

[6]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

[7]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

[9] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 5. Guardian Angels


MARCH 

The winds of March point to the power of God's Spirit working in us. We need to listen and respond to the gentle breezes of the Spirit; but will we, or will we be too distracted? The rebirth of spring reminds us of the energy of nature so that we ask ourselves whether we waste or wisely use energy –electricity, oil, gas, etc. Can we and should we continue to use nonrenewable fossil fuels, often with accompanying air pollution, at the rate we do? Or will the environmental ills we cause today call us in the future as a society to use wind and solar energy? 

Overview of the Month of March[1] 

The entire month of March falls during the liturgical season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color violet or purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. All saint days that are usually Memorials are shifted to Optional Memorials during the season of Lent. 

A Time of Penance and Promise

 

Here and there in the stark March landscape, a few plants and trees are beginning to give evidence of the new life that winter’s frost and chill had concealed from our eyes. The Church’s vibrant new life has been obscured, too, by the austerity of the penitential season of Lent. But that life is indisputable, and it will burgeon forth on Easter as Christ coming forth from his tomb!

 

During this month we will continue our journey to the cross with our acts of penitence. We will reflect on our mortality ("Remember man thou art dust") and the shortness of life ("and to dust thou shall return"). We will heed the call, "Now is the acceptable time, now is “the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).” Just like Our Lord's earthly life every moment of our lives is leading up to the last moment—when for eternity we will either go to God or suffer the fires of hell. During this month we will go from the suffering of Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday. We will trade the purple of penance for the white of victory and resurrection.

 

Let us not tire of doing our good works and penance but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

 

As the weeks of Lent progress let us not tire of doing our good works and penance but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.

 

MARCH TIMETABLE 

March Travel?[2] 

·       Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain March 1-19 Enjoy a high-spirited fiesta in Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city. The annual bash, held in commemoration of Saint Joseph, sees neighborhoods transformed into lively parties over a boisterous five-day period.

·       Daytona, Florida-Bike Week March 3-12 Rev up for a week of diesel and fun at Daytona Bike Week. The annual motorcycle rally attracts some of the fiercest bikers, clad in leather (and sometimes little else) to celebrate the freedom of the open road.

·       Holi in India March 8th Celebrate spring with a dash of color. The annual Holi festival in India inspires revelers to hit the streets, playfully throwing powdered colors on each other. Once your clothes are doused with all sorts of hues, you’ll understand why this is called a festival of colors.

·       Patrick’s Day March 17th Don your friendliest green for St. Patrick’s Day. Boston is the place to be, with the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day Parade drawing anywhere from 600,000 to 1 million people every year.

·       Spring Equinox: Stonehenge March 21st Mark the beginning of spring with a celebratory gathering at Stonehenge. Join the crowds who gather at the mysterious stone structures in Wiltshire, England, to see the sun rise, ushering in the spring equinox.

·       Spring Break in Panama City Beach Slap on your sunscreen and grab your shades for a laid-back spring break on Panama City Beach. This sunny haven on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico beckons with its tagline, “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.” You’ll see why once you sink your toes into its unique sugar-white sand. 

Iceman’s Calendar           

·       Mar. 1- FAST Ember Wednesday

o   First Wednesday

·       Mar. 3- FAST Ember Friday

o   First Friday

·       Mar. 4th FAST Ember Saturday

·       Mar. 5th Second Sunday of Lent

·       Mar 7th St. Perpetua/Full Worm Moon

·       Mar 12th Third Sunday of Lent

·       Mar 17th St. Patrick’s Day

·       Mar 19th Fourth Sunday of Lent

·       Mar 20th Feast of St. Joseph-Spring Begins

o   March 20-April 16 National Cherry Blossom Festival

·       Mar 25th FAST Feast of the Annunciation

·       Mar 26th Fifth Sunday of Lent

·       Mar 29th Start Novena to the Holy Face for First Friday

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