Thursday, March 23, 2023

Thursday of The Fourth Week of Lent 

Exodus, Chapter 9, Verse 27-30

27 Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time! The LORD is the just one, and I and my people are the ones at fault. 28 Pray to the LORD! Enough of the thunder and hail! I will let you go; you need stay no longer.” 29 Moses replied to him, “As soon as I leave the city I will extend my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail so that you may know that the earth belongs to the LORD. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet FEAR the LORD God.”

 

This was the seven plague of God on the Egyptians and of course Pharaoh had closed his ears and heart to God. Thunder was to the Egyptians the voice of God but they did not listen nor did the hail melt the ice of their hearts to the true God. Because God loves us He sometimes permits plagues in our lives that will bring about an exodus from our sin and a melting of our heart. When we are poor in spirit it is then that we can draw near to the Lord.

 

A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. (Mt. 19:16-22)

 

Today might be a good day to make a poor man feast.

 

Poor Man’s Feast[1]



Recipe originally uploaded to YouTube by 91-year-old cook and great grandmother, Clara, who recounts her childhood during the Great Depression as she prepares meals from the era.

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the vegetables: Dice the onion. Peel the potatoes and dice into cubes no larger than 1/2 inch.

Heat the oil in a 12" non-stick skillet over medium heat.

Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once.

Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the sliced wieners and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

INGREDIENTS

·       3 tablespoons vegetable oil

·       1 medium onion, diced.

·       2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced small.

·       5 hot dogs, sliced into rounds (about 10 oz)

·       8 ounces tomato sauce

·       1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)

·       2 teaspoons sugar

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent[2]

                                            

Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who are chastised by the fasts we have undertaken, may rejoice with holy devotion; that, our affections being weakened, we may more easily apprehend heavenly things.

EPISTLE, iv. Kings iv. 25-38.

In those days a Sunamite woman came to the man of God to Mount Carmel: and when the man of God saw her coming towards, he said to Giezi his servant: Behold that Sunamitess. Go therefore to meet her, and say to her: Is all well with thee, and with thy husband, and with thy son?

And she answered: Well. And when she came to the man of God to the mount, she caught hold on his feet: and Giezi came to remove her. And the man of God said: Let her alone, for her soul is in anguish, and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. And she said to him: Did I ask a son of my lord? did I not say to thee: Do not deceive me?

Then he said to Giezi: Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thy hand, and go. If any man meet thee, salute him not: and if any man salute thee, answer him not: and lay my staff upon the face of the child. But the mother of the child said: As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. He arose, therefore, and followed her. But Giezi was gone before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child, and there was no voice nor sense: and he returned to meet him, and told him, saying: The child is not risen. Eliseus therefore went into the house, and behold the child lay dead on his bed; and going in he shut the door upon him, and upon the child, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up, and lay upon the child: and he put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he bowed himself upon him, and the child’s flesh grew warm. Then he returned and walked in the house, once to and fro: and he went up, and lay upon him: and the child gaped seven times, and opened his eyes. And he called Giezi, and said to him: Call this Sunamitess. And she being called went in to him: and he said: Take up thy son. She came and fell at his feet, and worshipped upon the ground: and took up her son, and went out. And Eliseus returned to Galgal.

GOSPEL. Luke vii. 11-16.

At that time Jesus went into a city that is called Nairn; and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude. And when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow: and a great multitude of the city was with her. Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, He said to her: Weep not. And He came near, and touched the brier. And they that carried it, stood still. And He said: Young man, I say to thee, arise. And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And He gave him to his mother. And there came a fear on them all: and they glorified God, saying, A great prophet is risen up among us: and God hath visited His people.

Aids in Battle [3] The Devil and his cohorts as a siege force

Beloved brothers and sisters, we must strive with all our strength to repel the enemy of our souls, with full attention and vigilance, as he rages and aims his darts against every part of us that can be assaulted and wounded. This is what the Apostle Peter, in his epistle, warns.

·       He and his forces circle around each of us and watches. When weaknesses are found, the siege forces break through them and then penetrate to the inside.

·       The enemy presents to the eye’s seductive images and easy pleasures, so he can destroy chastity through the sense of sight.

·       He tempts the ears with seductive music, so that by hearing these sweet sounds, the soul relaxes its guard and loses strength.

·       He provokes the tongue by rebukes.

·       He instigates the hand to do evil through exasperating wrong.

·       He presents the lure of dishonest gains.

·       He promises earthly honors so that he can deprive us of heavenly ones.

·       He makes a show of false things, so that he can steal away the true ones. And when he can’t deceive through stealth, he threatens explicitly and openly, holding out the fear of violent persecution to vanquish God’s servants.

·       For these reasons, beloved brothers and sisters, the mind ought to stand arrayed and armed against all the Devil’s deceiving snares and open threats, as ever ready to repel as the foe is ever ready to attack.

Good Works[4]

 

Lent is traditionally considered a particularly good time for performing corporal works of mercy (e.g., almsgiving, peacemaking, etc.). The importance of supplementing ascetical denial with active virtues is underscored in the Gospel (Luke 11.14-28), in which a man who has had a demon exorcized from him later becomes repossessed by the demon and seven other unclean spirits. Christ's point seems to be that holy practices such as fasting do indeed remove bad things from one's soul, but this is ultimately to no avail if the soul is not then filled with good things. This understanding is also operative in the Collect for the First Sunday of Lent:

 

O God, who by the yearly Lenten observance dost purify Thy Church, grant to Thy household that what they strive to obtain from Thee by abstinence, they may achieve by good works. 

Baptism[5] 

Supernatural Life begins at baptism. Jesus himself spoke of baptism in terms of a strict obligation: “unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” When new believers asked St. Peter, the first pope, what they should do, he declared: “Repent, and be baptized”. It is easy for us to take God’s fatherhood for granted. We say easily, “God is our Father” yet we forget that that during Christ’s time to say that could get you killed. This was why the Jews sought to kill Jesus because he called God his Father. When we are born anew in baptism, we are born not of human parentage but heavenly by what theologians call the “marvelous exchange.” In Jesus, God became what we are so that we might become what HE is. This is why God became man and this is why he gave us baptism. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in you mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:11-14). 

Our Lady of Victory[6]


Pray for Ukraine, Russia and the World for the Victory of the Holy Spirit

In Hungary today is the feast of Our Lady of Victories, (there are nine separate days in honor of Our Lady of Victory, the main being October 7) Today's feast commemorates the victory in Hungary. On August 6, 1716, Prince Eugene of Savoy defeated a large invading Ottoman army at Peterwardein, Hungary. The victory set the stage for the reconquest of Hungary from the Turks. 

O Mary, merciful Refuge of Sinners and Mother of all mankind! Behold how many souls are lost every hour! Behold how countless millions of those who live in India, in China, and in barbarous regions do not yet know Our Lord Jesus Christ! See, too, how many others are far from the bosom of Mother Church, which is Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman! O Mary ... life of our hearts ... let not the Precious Blood and fruits of Redemption be lost for so many souls! 

Grant that a ray of Heavenly light may shine forth to enlighten those many blinded understandings and to enkindle so many cold hearts. Intercede with thy Divine Son, and obtain grace for all pagans, Jews, heretics, and schismatics in the whole world to receive supernatural light and to enter with joy into the bosom of the true Church. Hear the confident prayer of the Supreme Pontiff that all nations may be united in one faith, that they may know and love Jesus Christ, the blessed fruit of thy womb... And then all men shall love thee also, thou who art the salvation of the world, arbiter and dispenser of the treasures of God ... And, glorifying thee, O Queen of Victories, who, by means of thy Rosary, dost trample upon all heresies, they shall acknowledge that thou givest life to all nations, since there must be a fulfillment of the prophecy: "All generations shall call me blessed." Amen. 

Rosary[7] 

The Rosary is the foremost daily method of meditative prayer used by popes and saints alike. There are many forms of praying the Rosary such as the “The Seven Sorrows” Rosary and recently Pope John Paul II added the luminous mysteries. The Rosary has even been adapted to pray for the United States. Pious Germans have the custom of improvising a mystery-specific insertion for each Hail Mary. For example, while meditating on the annunciation, they pray, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus” (and they insert the words) “who died for our sins” then start again with “Holy Mary...The Rosary works, on a human level, because it engages the five senses. It involves our speech and our hearing. It occupies our mind and incites our emotions. We feel the beads with our fingertips. If we pray before a sacred image or better before the Blessed Sacrament we are transported into the lives of Mary and Jesus. The Rosary works best when we stop working and abandon ourselves like children to the time we are spending with our mother. The best place to pray the Rosary is with the family. Mother Teresa of Calcutta after enduring a vision of Calvary stated that Mary reassured her to: “Fear not. Teach them to say the Rosary—the family Rosary—and all will be well.” To God and to the Blessed Virgin, all our efforts at prayer are precious, when we persevere in praying the Rosary, we become like little children, children of Mary, children of our heavenly Father. 

·       German Rosary

·       Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary

Atheist Day[8] Agnostic Holiday

Christmas. Basant. Diwali. Eid al-Adha. Easter. Yom Kippur. Vesak. Hanukkah. Ramadan. There is no shortage of religious holidays celebrated every year. According to recent studies, there are approximately 7.1 billion people currently living in this world, 31% of whom are Christians, 23% of whom are Muslims, 13% of whom are Hindus, and almost 7% of whom are Buddhists. There are also millions of other people who follow religions such as Judaism, Jainism, and Spiritism. But what about those of us who do not believe in a god or gods? An estimated 2% of the worlds population does not adhere to any religion.

Last Words of famous Atheists[9]

Thomas Hobbs [political philosopher]

·       I say again, if I had the whole world at my disposal, I would give it to live one day. I am about to take a leap into the dark." 

Thomas Payne [the leading atheistic writer in American colonies

·       "Stay with me, for God's sake; I cannot bear to be left alone, O Lord, help me! O God, what have I done to suffer so much? What will become of me hereafter? "I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. Lord help me! Christ help me! …No, don't leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of Hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one." 

Voltaire famous anti-Christian atheist:

·       "I am abandoned by God and man; I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months' life." (He said this to Dr. Fochin, who told him it could not be done.) "Then I shall die and go to hell!" (His nurse said: "For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die! All night long he cried for forgiveness. 

Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor, and who, like Adolf Hitler, brought death to millions to satisfy his greedy, power-mad, selfish ambitions for world conquest:

·       "I die before my time, and my body will be given back to the earth. Such is the fate of him who has been called the great Napoleon. What an abyss between my deep misery and the eternal kingdom of Christ!” 

In a Newsweek interview with Svetlana Stalin, the daughter of Josef Stalin, she told of her father's death:

·       "My father died a difficult and terrible death. God grants an easy death only to the just. At what seemed the very last moment he suddenly opened his eyes and cast a glance over everyone in the room. It was a terrible glance, insane or perhaps angry. His left hand was raised, as though he were pointing to something above and bringing down a curse on us all. The gesture was full of menace. The next moment he was dead."

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER ONE-THE REVELATION OF PRAYER - THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO PRAYER

IN BRIEF

2620 Jesus' filial prayer is the perfect model of prayer in the New Testament. Often done in solitude and in secret, the prayer of Jesus involves a loving adherence to the will of the Father even to the Cross and an absolute confidence in being heard.

2621 In his teaching, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray with a purified heart, with lively and persevering faith, with filial boldness. He calls them to vigilance and invites them to present their petitions to God in his name. Jesus Christ himself answers prayers addressed to him.

2622 The prayers of the Virgin Mary, in her Fiat and Magnificat, are characterized by the generous offering of her whole being in faith.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: An end to the use of contraceptives.

·       do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       30 Days with St. Joseph Day 4

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan




[1]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/recipes/view.cfm?id=1656

[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

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

[5] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 3. Baptism.

[7] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 35. Rosary.

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