Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
AUGUST VON GALEN-WATER DAY
of Pharaoh’s servants who feared the
word of the LORD hurried their servants and their livestock off to shelter.
Pharaohs servants when they heard the word of God took action. Blessed are we
that hear the word of the Lord!
Today we are a community living in the fulfillment of faith in Christ and He asks us to do something unthinkable, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:53-58)
Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Mt. 4:19)
Wednesday Of the Fourth Week of Lent
O God, Who grantest to the just the reward of their merits, and to sinners pardon, by means of fasting, have mercy on Thy supplicants, that the confession of our guilt may enable us to receive the forgiveness of our sins. Amen.
EPISTLE. Isaias i. 16-19.
Thus saith the Lord God: Wash
yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from My eyes: cease to
do perversely, learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge
for the fatherless, defend the widow. And then come, and accuse Me, saith the
Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if
they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool. If you be willing, and
will hearken to Me, you shall eat the good things of the land, saith the Lord
GOSPEL. John ix. 1-38.
that time: Jesus passing by, saw a man who was blind from his birth: and His
disciples asked Him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man or his parents, that he
should be born blind? Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his
parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work
the works of Him that sent Me, whilst it is day: the night cometh when no man
can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When He
had said these things, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and
spread the clay upon his eyes, and said to him: Go, wash in the pool of Siloe,
which is interpreted, Sent. He went therefore, and washed, and he came seeing.
The neighbors, therefore, and they who had seen him before that he was a
beggar, said: Is not this he that sat, and begged? Some said: This is he. But
others said: No, but he is like him. But he said: I am he. They said therefore
to him: How were thy eyes opened? He answered: That man that is called Jesus,
made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me: Go to the pool of Siloe, and
wash. And I went, I washed, and I see. And they said to him: Where is He? He
saith, I know not. They bring him that had been blind to the Pharisees. Now it
was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Again, therefore
the Pharisees asked him how he had received his sight. But he said to them: He
put clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and I see. Some therefore of the Pharisees
said: This man is not of God, Who keepeth not the Sabbath. But others said: How
can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among
them. They say therefore to the blind man again: What sayest thou of Him that
hath opened thy eyes? And he said: He is a prophet. The Jews then did not
believe concerning him, that he had been blind and had received his sight,
until they called the parents of him that had received his sight, and asked
them, saying: Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then doth he
now see? His parents answered them and said: We know that this is our son, and
that he was born blind; but how he now seeth, we know not: or who hath opened
his eyes, we know not: ask himself; he is of age, let him speak for himself.
These things his parents said, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had
already agreed among themselves, that if any man should confess Him to be
Christ he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore, did his parents say:
He is of age, ask him. They therefore called the man again that had been blind
and said to him: Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner. He said
therefore to them: If He be a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that
whereas I was blind, now I see. They said then to him: What did He to thee? How
did He open thy eyes? He answered them: I have told you already, and you have
heard: why would you hear it again? will you also become His disciples? They
reviled him therefore and said: Be thou His disciple; but we are the disciples
of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses: but as to this man, we know not from
whence He is. The man answered, and said to them: Why, herein is a wonderful
thing that you know not from whence He is, and He hath opened my eyes. Now we
know that God doth not hear sinners: but if a man be a server of God, and doth
His will, him He heareth. From the beginning of the world, it hath not been
heard, that any man hath opened the eyes of one born blind. Unless this man
were of God, He could not do anything. They answered and said to him: Thou wast
wholly born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard
that they had cast him out: and when He had found him, He said to him: Dost
thou believe in the Son of God? He answered, and said: Who is He, Lord, that I
may believe in Him? And Jesus said to him: Thou hast both seen Him, and it is
He that talketh with thee. And he said: I believe, Lord. And falling down he
Words of Warning in Battle
The Enemy is crafty and
powerful. Heed these warnings to avoid his ambush.
sober, be watchful! For your adversary the Devil, like a roaring lion, goes
about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith. 1 Peter 5:
himself disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Cor 11: 14
I fear lest, as the serpent seduced
Eve by his guile, so your minds may be corrupted and fall from a pure devotion
to Christ. 2 Cor 11: 3
that is from above is first of all chaste, then peaceable, moderate, docile, in
harmony with good things, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging,
without dissimulation. The fruit of justice is sown in peace by those who make
peace. Jas 3: 13– 18
angry and do not sin do not let the sun go down upon your anger; do not give
place to the Devil. Eph 4: 26– 27
In the summer of 1941, in answer to unwarranted attacks by the National Socialists, Bishop von Galen delivered three admonitory sermons between July and August. He spoke in his old parish Church of St Lambert and in Liebfrauen-Ueberlassen Church, since the diocesan cathedral had been bombed. In his famous speeches, Bishop von Galen spoke out against the State confiscation of Church property and the programmatic euthanasia carried out by the regime. The clarity and incisiveness of his words and the unshakable fidelity of Catholics in the Diocese of Münster embarrassed the Nazi regime, and on 10 October 1943 the bishop’s residence was bombed. Bishop von Galen was forced to take refuge in nearby Borromeo College. From 12 September 1944 on, he could no longer remain in the city of Münster, destroyed by the war; he left for the zone of Sendenhorst. In 1945, Vatican Radio announced that Pope Pius XII was to hold a Consistory and that the Bishop of Münster was also to be present.
T4: The Nazis' Euthanasia Solution
He who is bodily and mentally not sound and deserving may not perpetuate this misfortune in the bodies of his children. — Hitler, Mein Kampf.
Beginning in 1939, the National
Socialist regime begin systematically killing disabled children in
"specially designated pediatric clinics" via starvation and overdose.
By the end of World War II, an estimated 5,000 infants and children had been
murdered by the Nazis. The program, code-named T4, was extended to adults
beginning in 1940. Physicians working for the T4 program examined medical files
(seldom the institutionalized patients themselves) and marked for death
disabled and mentally ill adults, in most cases without the knowledge or
consent of family members. Those selected for extermination were rounded up,
processed, and directed into a facility for a "disinfecting shower."
Instead, the victims were gassed to death via carbon monoxide. Their bodies
were cremated, and the ashes sent to families with an official death
certificate listing a fictitious cause of death.
By 1941 the program had become public
knowledge, in part because of the opposition from German clergymen, including
Bishop von Galen. Hitler officially halted the adult killings, but the child
program continued. In 1942 the adult killings resumed in secret and continued
until the end of the war, with an ever-expanding range of victims, including
the elderly, hospitalized war victims, and foreign laborers. In all, an
estimated 200,000 people were executed as part of the Nazi "mercy
World Water Day serves to raise awareness about water issues such as sanitation problems and water shortages in many parts of the world. Today, 1 in 10 people lack access to safe and clean water, a problem which has a direct impact on the economy, health of the population and well-being of women and children worldwide. In 1992, World Water Day was proposed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The United Nations General Assembly responded to the proposition in 1993 by declaring March 22 as World Water Day. Each year, the UN-Water agency allocates a theme corresponding to a current or potential challenge for World Water Day.
Water Day Facts & Quotes
developing nations, nearly 80% of illnesses can be linked to poor water and
Lake Baikal and North America's Great Lakes hold about 40% of the world's fresh
water supply, the large remainder of the freshwater supply is in the form of
icecaps and glaciers.
to UNICEF, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under
the age of 5 in the world.
ain't gonna miss your water until your well runs dry. - Bob Marley
Water Day Top Events and Things to Do
waste water!!! Make a conscious effort to use less water on World Water Day and
on other days. Some ways to reduce water consumption include showers instead of
baths, washing full loads of clothing only and turning off the tap while
washing dishes and brushing teeth.
to a charity
or organization that supports water issues in developing nations. WaterAid is an organization that works in
poor countries to set up and maintain water sources, UNICEF and UNCHR also provide
support and relief efforts to improve water sanitation and hygiene globally.
to help clean up trash and other debris along a beach or shore. This garbage
and debris pollute the water that we need in our daily lives.
documentaries about water-related issues such as pollution, contamination and
diseases. Our top picks are Troubled Water, The Fight for Water, Flow
for the Love of Water, Tapped, Thirst and Dhaka's Cholera
· Take part in a local World Water Day celebration, such as a film screening or a water conservation event. One of the largest events, the White House Water Summit in Washington DC, will be live streamed.
Ramadan Starts tonight
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, during which, for a period of thirty days, Muslims abstain from eating, and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Muslims do this because it is a pillar of Islam, and obligatory for everyone and the entire month is holy for Muslims so that they can increase their remembrance of life after death. Muslims also abstain from all bad deeds and habits, like smoking, swearing, backbiting, and disrespectfulness. Muslims reflect upon themselves, their religion. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Fasting and abstaining from bad habits teaches Muslim’s self-control, humility, and generosity. Ramadan is a time for charity, family, and good deeds. Muslims fast because they believe it is vital for spiritual health. Unlike the fast of Ashurah, the fasts of Ramadan and salah (praying towards Mecca), fasting helps Muslims maintain spiritual and physical health. The month of Ramadan begins when the new moon of Ramadan is sighted and ends when the new moon of Sha'ban is sighted. Muslims also believe that devils are chained up during Ramadan.
Ramadan Facts & Quotes
· Ramadan comes from the word ramadaa, which means 'sunbaked' in Arabic. This is perhaps a reference to the pangs of hunger Muslims feel when fasting.
· According to Islamic tradition, menstruating women, women who are experiencing bleeding after giving birth, people who are sick (either with short term or long-term illnesses), and travelers are exempt from fasting. Pregnant women also have the option of skipping fasts.
· In Islamic countries, when Ramadan ends and the crescent moon is first seen, people bang drums and give mighty shouts.
· According to Sunnah belief, the Prophet Muhammad once said, there is no conceit in fasting.
· who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves (Quran, 2:183)
Ramadan Top Events and Things to Do
· The fast is usually broken in a family setting, where traditional foods are served. Most Muslims begin their meal with a few dates and a glass of milk because the Prophet Muhammad used to do the same. The high sugar content of the dates sends energy to weary fasting Muslim, while the fiber in the dates and the protein in the milk fills them up and prevents nausea.
· During Ramadan, Muslims congregate every night in the mosque to pray Taraweeh prayers in congregation. In the United States, in between sets of prayers, the Imam gives a brief sermon and encourages people to give to charity.
· In Islamic countries, the end of the fast is signaled by a loud call to the sunset prayer. Most people eat a small meal, pray at the mosque, and then join their families for a large, festive dinner.
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
Article 2-IN THE
FULLNESS OF TIME
2598 The drama of prayer
is fully revealed to us in the Word who became flesh and dwells among us. To
seek to understand his prayer through what his witnesses proclaim to us in the
Gospel is to approach the holy Lord Jesus as Moses approached the burning bush:
first to contemplate him in prayer, then to hear how he teaches us to pray, in
order to know how he hears our prayer.
2599 The Son of God who
became Son of the Virgin learned to pray in his human heart. He learns to pray
from his mother, who kept all the great things the Almighty had done and
treasured them in her heart. He learns to pray in the words and rhythms of
the prayer of his people, in the synagogue at Nazareth and the Temple at
Jerusalem. But his prayer springs from an otherwise secret source, as he
intimates at the age of twelve: "I must be in my Father's
house." Here the newness of prayer in the fullness of time begins to
be revealed: his filial prayer, which the Father awaits from his children, is
finally going to be lived out by the only Son in his humanity, with and for
2600 The Gospel
according to St. Luke emphasizes the action of the Holy Spirit and the meaning
of prayer in Christ's ministry. Jesus prays before the decisive moments of his
mission: before his Father's witness to him during his baptism and
Transfiguration, and before his own fulfillment of the Father's plan of love by
his Passion. He also prays before the decisive moments involving the
mission of his apostles: at his election and call of the Twelve, before Peter's
confession of him as "the Christ of God," and again that the faith of
the chief of the Apostles may not fail when tempted. Jesus' prayer before
the events of salvation that the Father has asked him to fulfill is a humble
and trusting commitment of his human will to the loving will of the Father.
2601 "He was
praying in a certain place and when he had ceased, one of his disciples said to
him, 'Lord, teach us to pray."' In seeing the Master at prayer the
disciple of Christ also wants to pray. By contemplating and hearing the Son,
the master of prayer, the children learn to pray to the Father.
2602 Jesus often draws
apart to pray in solitude, on a mountain, preferably at night. He includes
all men in his prayer, for he has taken on humanity in his incarnation, and he
offers them to the Father when he offers himself. Jesus, the Word who has
become flesh, shares by his human prayer in all that "his brethren"
experience; he sympathizes with their weaknesses in order to free them. It
was for this that the Father sent him. His words and works are the visible
manifestation of his prayer in secret.
2603 The evangelists
have preserved two more explicit prayers offered by Christ during his public
ministry. Each begins with thanksgiving. In the first, Jesus confesses the
Father, acknowledges, and blesses him because he has hidden the mysteries of
the Kingdom from those who think themselves learned and has revealed them to
infants, the poor of the Beatitudes. His exclamation, "Yes,
Father!" expresses the depth of his heart, his adherence to the Father's
"good pleasure," echoing his mother's Fiat at the time of his
conception and prefiguring what he will say to the Father in his agony. the
whole prayer of Jesus is contained in this loving adherence of his human heart
to the mystery of the will of the Father.
2604 The second prayer,
before the raising of Lazarus, is recorded by St. John. Thanksgiving precedes
the event: "Father, I thank you for having heard me," which implies
that the Father always hears his petitions. Jesus immediately adds: "I
know that you always hear me," which implies that Jesus, on his part,
constantly made such petitions. Jesus' prayer, characterized by thanksgiving,
reveals to us how to ask: before the gift is given, Jesus commits himself to
the One who in giving gives himself. the Giver is more precious than the gift;
he is the "treasure"; in him abides his Son's heart; the gift is
given "as well."
The priestly prayer of Jesus
holds a unique place in the economy of salvation. A meditation on it will
conclude Section One. It reveals the ever present prayer of our High Priest
and, at the same time, contains what he teaches us about our prayer to our
Father, which will be developed in Section Two.
2605 When the hour had
come for him to fulfill the Father's plan of love, Jesus allows a glimpse of
the boundless depth of his filial prayer, not only before he freely delivered
himself up (“Abba . . . not my will, but yours."), but even in his
last words on the Cross, where prayer and the gift of self are but one:
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they
do", "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in
Paradise", "Woman, behold your son" - "Behold your
mother", "I thirst."; "My God, My God, why have
you forsaken me?" "It is finished"; "Father, into
your hands I commit my spirit!" until the "loud cry" as he
expires, giving up his spirit.
2606 All the troubles,
for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin and death, all the petitions and
intercessions of salvation history are summed up in this cry of the incarnate
Word. Here the Father accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them by
raising his Son. Thus is fulfilled and brought to completion the drama of
prayer in the economy of creation and salvation. the Psalter gives us the key
to prayer in Christ. In the "today" of the Resurrection the Father
says: "You are my Son, today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will
make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your
The Letter to the Hebrews
expresses in dramatic terms how the prayer of Jesus accomplished the victory of
salvation: "In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and
supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from
death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned
obedience through what he suffered, and being made perfect, he became the
source of eternal salvation to all who obey him."
Jesus teaches us how to pray
2607 When Jesus prays he
is already teaching us how to pray. His prayer to his Father is the theological
path (the path of faith, hope, and charity) of our prayer to God. But the
Gospel also gives us Jesus' explicit teaching on prayer. Like a wise teacher he
takes hold of us where we are and leads us progressively toward the Father.
Addressing the crowds following him, Jesus builds on what they already know of
prayer from the Old Covenant and opens to them the newness of the coming
Kingdom. Then he reveals this newness to them in parables. Finally, he will
speak openly of the Father and the Holy Spirit to his disciples who will be the
teachers of prayer in his Church.
2608 From the Sermon on
the Mount onwards, Jesus insists on conversion of heart: reconciliation with
one's brother before presenting an offering on the altar, love of enemies, and
prayer for persecutors, prayer to the Father in secret, not heaping up empty
phrases, prayerful forgiveness from the depths of the heart, purity of heart,
and seeking the Kingdom before all else. This filial conversion is
entirely directed to the Father.
2609 Once committed to
conversion, the heart learns to pray in faith. Faith is a filial adherence to
God beyond what we feel and understand. It is possible because the beloved Son
gives us access to the Father. He can ask us to "seek" and to
"knock," since he himself is the door and the way.
2610 Just as Jesus prays
to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us
filial boldness: "Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it,
and you will." Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not
doubt: "all things are possible to him who believes." Jesus is
as saddened by the "lack of faith" of his own neighbors and the
"little faith" of his own disciples as he is struck with
admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman.
2611 The prayer of faith
consists not only in saying "Lord, Lord," but in disposing the heart
to do the will of the Father. Jesus calls his disciples to bring into
their prayer this concern for cooperating with the divine plan.
2612 In Jesus "the
Kingdom of God is at hand." He calls his hearers to conversion and
faith, but also to watchfulness. In prayer the disciple keeps watch, attentive
to Him Who Is and Him Who Comes, in memory of his first coming in the lowliness
of the flesh, and in the hope of his second coming in glory. In communion
with their Master, the disciples' prayer is a battle; only by keeping watch in
prayer can one avoid falling into temptation.
2613 Three principal
parables on prayer are transmitted to us by St. Luke:
- the first, "the importunate friend," invites us to urgent prayer: "Knock, and it will be opened to you." To the one who prays like this, the heavenly Father will "give whatever he needs," and above all the Holy Spirit who contains all gifts.
- the second, "the importunate widow," is centered on one of the qualities of prayer: it is necessary to pray always without ceasing and with the patience of faith. "and yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
- the third parable, "the Pharisee and the tax collector," concerns the humility of the heart that prays. "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" the Church continues to make this prayer its own: Kyrie eleison!
2614 When Jesus openly
entrusts to his disciples the mystery of prayer to the Father, he reveals to
them what their prayer and ours must be, once he has returned to the Father in
his glorified humanity. What is new is to "ask in his
name." Faith in the Son introduces the disciples into the knowledge
of the Father, because Jesus is "the way, and the truth, and the life." Faith
bears its fruit in love: it means keeping the word and the commandments of
Jesus, it means abiding with him in the Father who, in him, so loves us that he
abides with us. In this new covenant the certitude that our petitions will be heard
is founded on the prayer of Jesus.
2615 Even more, what the
Father gives us when our prayer is united with that of Jesus is "another
Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth." This
new dimension of prayer and of its circumstances is displayed throughout the
farewell discourse. In the Holy Spirit, Christian prayer is a communion of
love with the Father, not only through Christ but also in him: "Hitherto
you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may
Jesus hears our prayer
2616 Prayer to Jesus is
answered by him already during his ministry, through signs that anticipate the
power of his death and Resurrection: Jesus hears the prayer of faith, expressed
in words (the leper, Jairus, the Canaanite woman, the good thief) or in
silence (the bearers of the paralytic, the woman with a hemorrhage who touches
his clothes, the tears and ointment of the sinful woman). The urgent
request of the blind men, "Have mercy on us, Son of David" or "Jesus,
Son of David, have mercy on me!" has-been renewed in the traditional
prayer to Jesus known as the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
have mercy on me, a sinner!" Healing infirmities or forgiving sins,
Jesus always responds to a prayer offered in faith: "Your faith has made
you well; go in peace."
St. Augustine wonderfully
summarizes the three dimensions of Jesus' prayer: "He prays for us as our
priest, prays in us as our Head, and is prayed to by us as our God. Therefore
let us acknowledge our voice in him and his in us."
The prayer of the Virgin Mary
2617 Mary's prayer is
revealed to us at the dawning of the fullness of time. Before the incarnation
of the Son of God, and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, her prayer
cooperates in a unique way with the Father's plan of loving kindness: at the
Annunciation, for Christ's conception; at Pentecost, for the formation of the
Church, his Body. In the faith of his humble handmaid, the Gift of God
found the acceptance he had awaited from the beginning of time. She whom the
Almighty made "full of grace" responds by offering her whole being:
"Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to
your word." "Fiat": this is Christian prayer: to be wholly
God's, because he is wholly ours.
2618 The Gospel reveals
to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith. At Cana, The mother of Jesus
asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast; this is the sign of another
feast - that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives his body and blood at
the request of the Church, his Bride. It is at the hour of the New Covenant, at
the foot of the cross, that Mary is heard as the Woman, the new Eve, the
true "Mother of all the living."
2619 That is why the
Canticle of Mary, The Magnificat (Latin) or Megalynei (byzantine) is the
song both of the Mother of God and of the Church; the song of the Daughter of
Zion and of the new People of God; the song of thanksgiving for the fullness of
graces poured out in the economy of salvation and the song of the
"poor" whose hope is met by the fulfillment of the promises made to
our ancestors, "to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."
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.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual
Warfare. TAN Books.