NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Saturday, April 1, 2023

 

APRIL
 
Lush and blooming vistas beckon us to take to the road and to explore. As we itch to go out and travel more in springtime, let us reflect on the mixed blessings. Interconnected communities and beautiful scenery are often coupled with air pollution, consumption of scarce petroleum, congestion, excessive mobility, and noise.

Overview of April[1]

As our Lenten journey comes to a close, we prepare to follow Christ all the way to the cross and to witness His glorious Resurrection. Hopefully we have sacrificed and prayed so that we are now able to more fully reap the fruits of a well spent Lent. After our solemn commemoration of the last days and death of Our Lord we will spend the remainder of the month of April celebrating. As Spring breaks forth even nature will join us as buds and blooms begin to surface and we spend this month basking in the joy of the Resurrection. We continue throughout the entire month our cry, "Christ is risen, Christ is truly risen."

The Feast of Divine Mercy offers us the opportunity to begin again as though we were newly baptized. The unfathomable mercy of God is made manifest today if we but accept His most gracious offer. Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians. This truly is "the day that the Lord has made." From Sunday to Sunday, from year to year, the Easters of this earth will lead us to that blessed day on which Christ has promised that He will come again with glory to take us with Him into the kingdom of His Father.


A Time of New Life

April boasts the most solemn and sublime events of human history: the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – the Paschal mystery. Though the way to the Resurrection was the Via Crucis, the Sacrificial Lamb of God is now and forever Christ our Light, the Eternal high priest of the New Covenant. And his sorrowful mother, the Stabat Mater of Good Friday, is now the jubilant Mother of the Regina Caeli.

We the members of Christ’s Mystical Body exalt in the mystery by which we were redeemed. If in Baptism we were buried with Christ, so also will we share in his resurrection. By his death we were reborn; “by his stripes we were healed.” (Is 53:5) Easter, the epicenter of time, is the event that links time and eternity. It is indeed “the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Ps 118:24)

April is also:[2]

·       Autism Awareness Month
·       Jazz Appreciation Month
·       Garden Month
·       Month of the Military Child
 
APRIL TIMETABLE
 
April Travel?[3]
 
·       Masters Golf Tournament--April 3-9--Tee up for the granddaddy of all golf tournaments. The 78th Masters Tournament kicks off the first of 4 major championships, with plenty of betting odds. Head to Augusta, GA!


·       Scarborough Renaissance Festival--April 9-May 30th --Travel back to the 16th century at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. This annual fest in Waxahachie, TX, kicks off the first weekend in April, drawing crowds upwards of 200,000 to view some 200 performances.

·       Coachella--April 15-23--Get your music fill at the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The annual 2-weekend, 3-day fest kicks off in Indio, CA, with more than 150 performances.

·       Boston Marathon--April 17--Show your Boston pride and find something for everyone to enjoy. The annual Boston Marathon kicks off with a fitness expo featuring more than 200 exhibitors, followed by a 5K set to draw an estimated 10,000 participants as well as a relay challenge -- all topped by the grand celebration of city spirit.

·       King’s Day in Amsterdam--April 27--Enjoy a ride along Amsterdam’s canals, and don your brightest orange, for the Netherlands’ annual King’s Day. The national holiday celebrates the Dutch royal house (and current King Willem-Alexander) with plenty of “orange madness,” in keeping with the Dutch national colors.

·       New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival--April 28-May 7--Love jazz? Join fellow music lovers at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Held every year since 1970, the annual Jazz Fest, as it’s called, showcases nearly every music genre, from blues to R&B, and everything else in between. It’s all performed across 12 stages during the last weekend in April.

Iceman’s Calendar
           
·       Apr. 1st-MASS First Saturday

·       Apr 2th MASS Palm Sunday Holy Week begins

·       Apr 3rd Monday of Holy Week

·       Apr. 5th MASS First Wednesday

·       Apr 6th Maundy Thursday

·       Apr. 7th-Good Friday



·       Apr 8th Easter Vigil

·       Apr 9th Easter Sunday Easter Octave

·       Apr 16th Divine Mercy Sunday

·       Apr 25th Feast of St. Mark
 
APRIL 1 Saturday in passion Week

ALL FOOLS DAY
 
Leviticus, Chapter 19, verse 32
Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the old, and FEAR your God. I am the LORD.
 
A people or Nation is known by how it treats its most vulnerable persons. Are the most vulnerable; the young, including the unborn and aged treated with dignity and honor. Are these people who are created of and by God treated by us as an object; as a vehicle to obtain something, or as a wall that blocks us from what we want or are they seen as useless and unimportant? We must avoid identifying with the culture of death.

 
An encouragement to live life to the full[4]

I encourage each of you to live with serenity the years that the Lord has granted you, I feel a spontaneous desire to share fully with you my own feelings at this point of my life, after more than twenty years of ministry on the throne of Peter and as we await the arrival, now imminent, of the Third Millennium. Despite the limitations brought on by age, I continue to enjoy life. For this I thank the Lord. It is wonderful to be able to give oneself to the very end for the sake of the Kingdom of God! At the same time, I find great peace in thinking of the time when the Lord will call me: from life to life! And so I often find myself saying, with no trace of melancholy, a prayer recited by priests after the celebration of the Eucharist: In hora mortis meae voca me, et iube me venire ad te – at the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to you. This is the prayer of Christian hope, which in no way detracts from the joy of the present, while entrusting the future to God's gracious and loving care. “Iube me venire ad te!” This is the deepest yearning of the human heart, even in those who are not conscious of it. Grant, O Lord of life, that we may be ever vividly aware of this and that we may savor every season of our lives as a gift filled with promise for the future. Grant that we may lovingly accept your will, and place ourselves each day in your merciful hands. And when the moment of our definitive “passage” comes, grant that we may face it with serenity, without regret for what we shall leave behind. For in meeting you, after having sought you for so long, we shall find once more every authentic good which we have known here on earth, in the company of all who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith and hope. Mary, Mother of pilgrim humanity, pray for us “now and at the hour of our death”. Keep us ever close to Jesus, your beloved Son and our brother, the Lord of life and glory.
 
Saturday in passion Week.
 
Prayer.
 
MAY Thy right hand defend Thy suppliant people, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and worthily instruct them, being purified in Thy sight, that by present consolation it may profit for future good things. Amen.

EPISTLE. Jer. xviii. 18-23.
 
In those days the impious Jews said: Come, and let us invent devices against Jeremias: for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet: come, and let us strike him with the tongue, and let us give no heed to all his words. Give heed to me, O Lord, and hear the voice of my adversaries. Shall evil be rendered for good, because they have digged a pit for my soul? Remember that I have stood in Thy sight, to speak good for them, and to turn away Thy indignation from them. Therefore, deliver up their children to famine, and bring them into the hands of the sword: let their wives be bereaved of children, and widows: and let the husbands be slain by death: let their young men be stabbed with the sword in battle. Let a cry be heard out of their houses: for Thou shalt bring the robber upon them suddenly: because they have digged a pit to take me and have hid snares for my feet. But Thou, O Lord, knowest all their counsel against me unto death: forgive not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from Thy sight: let them be overthrown before Thy eyes ; in the time of Thy wrath do Thou destroy them, O Lord our God.

GOSPEL. John xii. 10-36.

 
At that time a great multitude, that was come to the festival-day, when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm-trees and went forth to. meet Him, and cried: Hosanna, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel. And Jesus found a young ass, and sat upon it, as it is written; Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold thy King cometh sitting on an ass s colt. These things His disciples did not know at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him. The multitude therefore gave testimony, which was with Him when He called Lazarus out of the grave and raised him from the dead. For which reason also the people came to meet Him: because they heard that He had done this miracle The Pharisees therefore said among themselves: Do you see that we prevail nothing? behold, the whole world is gone after Him, Now there were certain gentiles among them who came up to adore on the festival-day. These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew. Again, Andrew and Philip told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying: The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it: and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal. If any man minister to Me, let him follow Me: and where I am, there also shall My minister be. If any man minister to Me, him will My Father honor. Now is My soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. A voice therefore came from heaven: I have both glorified it and will glorify it again. The multitude therefore that stood and heard said that it thundered. Others said, an angel spoke to Him. Jesus answered, and said: This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself. (Now this He said, signifying what death He should die.) The multitude answered Him: We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth forever: and how sayest Thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things Jesus spoke, and He went away, and hid Himself from them.

Preparing for Battle[5] Know Your Weapons

The weapon of Sacred Sacramentals 

·       Sacramentals include certain actions, such as the Sign of the Cross and other blessings, as well as objects that have been blessed, such as holy water, oil, salt, candles, incense, rosaries, crucifixes, scapulars, and religious images.

·       In an exorcism, the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the Devil’s power and withdrawn from his dominion.

·       The Sign of the Cross is the most terrible weapon against the Devil.

·       The Church displays images of the cross so that we can have it continually in front of our minds to recall to us just what our souls are worth and what they cost Jesus Christ.

·       Blessings and blessed objects. Both the blessings that are properly given by clergy (such as those in the Liturgy) and the blessings spoken by lay people as part of their daily lives (such as a table grace) are important sacramentals.

All fool’s Day-One Fool makes a hundred: Farmer’s Almanac-


April Fools' Day is a light-hearted comedic day of cheer, practical jokes and hoaxes.  April Fools' Day has been observed for centuries although its origins remain unclear.  It has been suggested that in ancient Roman and Hindu cultures, the day originally marked ‘New Year’s Day’.  Although in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued the Gregorian calendar which moved New Year’s Day from April 1st to January 1st.  It is believed that those who continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1st were referred to as fools, leading to the concept of April 1st representing All Fools’ Day.  It has also been suggested that April Fools' Day is related to the vernal equinox, the beginning of spring, when Mother Nature plays sudden weather tricks on people. The custom of April Fools' was brought from Britain to the US centuries ago. Both kids and adults in North America and many European countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Finland, Iceland, and North American countries have developed traditional customs to celebrate the day.  These typically include fooling another person and yelling April fools. Note: Today is the start of Assyrian New Year.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

    PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

        SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

            CHAPTER TWO-THE TRADITION OF PRAYER


Article 1-AT THE WELLSPRINGS OF PRAYER

2652 The Holy Spirit is the living water "welling up to eternal life" in the heart that prays. It is he who teaches us to accept it at its source: Christ. Indeed, in the Christian life there are several wellsprings where Christ awaits us to enable us to drink of the Holy Spirit.

The Word of God

2653 The Church "forcefully and specially exhorts all the Christian faithful . . . to learn 'the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ' (Phil 3:8) by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures.... Let them remember, however, that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that a dialogue takes place between God and man. For 'we speak to him when we pray; we listen to him when we read the divine oracles."'

2654 The spiritual writers, paraphrasing Matthew 7:7, summarize in this way the dispositions of the heart nourished by the word of God in prayer "Seek in reading and you will find in meditating; knock in mental prayer and it will be opened to you by contemplation."

The Liturgy of the Church

2655 In the sacramental liturgy of the Church, the mission of Christ and of the Holy Spirit proclaims, makes present, and communicates the mystery of salvation, which is continued in the heart that prays. the spiritual writers sometimes compare the heart to an altar. Prayer internalizes and assimilates the liturgy during and after its celebration. Even when it is lived out "in secret," prayer is always prayer of the Church; it is a communion with the Holy Trinity.

The theological virtues

2656 One enters into prayer as one enters into liturgy: by the narrow gate of faith. Through the signs of his presence, it is the Face of the Lord that we seek and desire; it is his Word that we want to hear and keep.

2657 The Holy Spirit, who instructs us to celebrate the liturgy in expectation of Christ's return, teaches us - to pray in hope. Conversely, the prayer of the Church and personal prayer nourish hope in us. the psalms especially, with their concrete and varied language, teach us to fix our hope in God: "I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry." As St. Paul prayed: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

2658 "Hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Prayer, formed by the liturgical life, draws everything into the love by which we are loved in Christ and which enables us to respond to him by loving as he has loved us. Love is the source of prayer; whoever draws from it reaches the summit of prayer. In the words of the Cure of Ars:

I love you, O my God, and my only desire is to love you until the last breath of my life. I love you, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving you, than live without loving you. I love you, Lord, and the only grace I ask is to love you eternally.... My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love you, I want my heart to repeat it to you as often as I draw breath.

"Today"

2659 We learn to pray at certain moments by hearing the Word of the Lord and sharing in his Paschal mystery, but his Spirit is offered us at all times, in the events of each day, to make prayer spring up from us. Jesus' teaching about praying to our Father is in the same vein as his teaching about providence: time is in the Father's hands; it is in the present that we encounter him, not yesterday nor tomorrow, but today: "O that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts."

2660 Prayer in the events of each day and each moment is one of the secrets of the kingdom revealed to "little children," to the servants of Christ, to the poor of the Beatitudes. It is right and good to pray so that the coming of the kingdom of justice and peace may influence the march of history, but it is just as important to bring the help of prayer into humble, everyday situations; all forms of prayer can be the leaven to which the Lord compares the kingdom. . 

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

The Four Cardinal Virtues[6]


1805 – Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called “cardinal”; all the others are grouped around them. They are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. “If anyone loves righteousness, [Wisdom’s] labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice, and courage.”

1806 – Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; “the prudent man looks where he is going.”… Prudence is “right reason in action,” writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle. It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation.

1807 – Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the “virtue of religion.” … The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. “You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

1808 – Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good…The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. “The Lord is my strength and my song.” “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

1809 – Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable… “Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart.” Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: “Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites.” In the New Testament it is called “moderation” or “sobriety.” We ought “to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world.”

To live well is nothing other than to love God with all one’s heart, with all one’s soul and with all one’s efforts; from this it comes about that love is kept whole and uncorrupted (through temperance). No misfortune can disturb it (and this is fortitude). It obeys only [God] (and this is justice), and is careful in discerning things, so as not to be surprised by deceit or trickery (and this is prudence).

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: End to abortion
·       Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary
·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
·       Make reparations to the Holy Face
·       30 Days with St. Joseph Day 13
·       Drops of Christ’s Blood
·       Universal Man Plan
 


[1]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/overviews/months/04.cfm 
[2]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/2019/04/01/
[3]https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/spring/photos/things-to-do-in-april
[4]http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/letters/1999/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_01101999_elderly.html
[5]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
[6]
https://ewtn.co.uk/ca-what-are-the-four-cardinal-virtues/


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