NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Friday, May 5, 2023

 


Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

First Friday

CINCO DE MAYO 

Acts, Chapter 13, verse 26

My brothers, children of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are GOD-FEARING, to us this word of salvation has been sent. 

Is there no end to the Hubris of man, who has no fear of God, making himself the purveyors of good and evil? 

In the United States and France, during the Age of enlightenment two forms of government were established; one was God fearing and the other made reason, science, and the Egoism of Man into modernist gods. 

America’s revolution although immersed in the ideology of the age of enlightenment retained its fear of God which was indeed been our salvation. Whereas France lost its fear of God and as a result found no salvation in man; thus, began the reign of terror and Napoleonic wars. God is no tyrant; his church although flawed is his Kingdom on earth there is no other way to salvation.

 

A number of novel ideas about religion developed with the Enlightenment, including Deism and talk of atheism. Deism, according to Thomas Paine, is the simple belief in God the Creator, with no reference to the Bible or any other miraculous source. Instead, the Deist relies solely on personal reason to guide his creed,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment - cite_note-63 which was eminently agreeable to many thinkers of the time. Atheism was much discussed, but there were few proponents. Wilson and Reill note that, "In fact, very few enlightened intellectuals, even when they were vocal critics of Christianity, were true atheists. Rather, they were critics of orthodox belief, wedded rather to skepticism, deism, vitalism, or perhaps pantheism." Some followed Pierre Bayle and argued that atheists could indeed be moral men. Many others like Voltaire held that without belief in a God who punishes evil, the moral order of society was undermined. That is, since atheists gave themselves to no Supreme Authority and no law, and had no fear of eternal consequences, they were far more likely to disrupt society. Bayle (1647–1706) observed that in his day, "prudent persons will always maintain an appearance of [religion].". He believed that even atheists could hold concepts of honor and go beyond their own self-interest to create and interact in society. Locke said that if there were no God and no divine law, the result would be moral anarchy: every individual "could have no law but his own will, no end but himself. He would be a god to himself, and the satisfaction of his own will the sole measure and end of all his actions".[1]

 

First Friday[2]




Learn about devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the graces that come from observing First Fridays.

It is no wonder, therefore, that our predecessors have constantly defended this most approved form of devotion — the pious devotion of the faithful toward the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus [and] the custom of receiving Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month at the desire of Christ Jesus, a custom which now prevails everywhere.—Pope Pius XI Miserentissimus Redemptor

Whats so special about First Fridays?

Our parents grew up going to church every First Friday of the month and taking part in Sacred Heart devotions, but in recent decades the pious practice has fallen out of practice and is dismissed by some as an old-fashioned anachronism.

A main reason for the decline in interest in this devotion is probably rooted in simple ignorance: people dont know what First Fridays all are about; families and parishes may not have adequately passed down their importance to the next generation. Here are five things to know.

1. How did the First Friday Devotion begin?

While some saints referenced the Heart of Jesus in their writings even centuries earlier, in 1673, a French Visitandine (Visitation) nun named Margaret Mary Alacoque had visions of Jesus, wherein he asked the Church to honor His Most Sacred Heart. In particular, Jesus asked the faithful to receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months. The request was connected to a specific promise made to all who venerated and promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart. After Margaret Marys death, the First Friday practice steadily spread in the Church endorsed by popes and promoted by saints — but it greatly increased in popularity when Margaret Mary was canonized a saint in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.

2. Why nine consecutive months?

The number nine is traditionally associated with a novena and finds its origin in the nine days that the apostles spent in prayer before Pentecost. A novena provides an extended amount of time for preparation and interior renewal.

3. What am I supposed to do on First Fridays?

Go to Mass and receive Holy Communion with the intention of honoring Christs Sacred Heart. If you are not in a state of grace, and thus unable to receive, you will also need to go to confession.

4. What are the “promises” connected to this devotion?

Jesus said to St. Margaret Mary, In the excess of the mercy of my heart, I promise you that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who will receive communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour. This means that if a person faithfully receives communion for nine consecutive months on First Fridays, Jesus will grant that person extra graces at the time of their death, making it possible to repent of their sins and receive the last rites (if needed).

This promise is the last of 12 promises connected to the Devotion to the Sacred Heart, particularly attached to the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in ones home:

(1) I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.

(2) I will establish peace in their homes.

(3) I will comfort them in all their afflictions.

(4) I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.

(5) I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.

(6) Sinners will find in my heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.

(7) Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.

(8) Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.

(9) I will bless every place in which an image of my heart is exposed and honored.

10) I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.

(11) Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in my Heart.

(12) I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. My divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

5. Are the First Fridays a “ticket” to heaven?

It is not as simple as going to Mass for nine months and then clocking out, never going to Mass again and leading a sinful life! The entire purpose of this devotion is to draw a person closer to the heart of Christ. If a person fulfills these obligations with sincere faith, it is natural for he or she to be closer to God and better prepared for death. The moment that this devotion is observed in a superstitious manner, neglecting the need to live a virtuous life, all bets are off and Jesus promise is null and void.

Jesus wants us to rest on his heart, like St. John, and the First Friday devotion is an opportunity for us to encounter him more than just on Sundays and to deepen our love of him.

Coming to know, love and trust that we may take rest in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and place our anxieties within, is what the First Fridays are all about.

Cinco de Mayo[3]


 

Today is Cinco de Mayo; sometimes referred to as Cinco de Drunko, due to the heavy consumption of alcohol connected with the hedonistic celebration. Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. However, in America it is up there with some of our most celebrated: like the Fourth of July and St. Patrick’s Day. The holiday has reinvented itself in America, from celebrating Mexico's win at the Battle of Puebla, to celebrating Mexican culture, and beer, and tequila. If we're being completely honest though, the actual meaning of Cinco de Mayo in America is pretty lost on us, but so is the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day. Today instead of following this hedonistic celebration try and make it to Mass today.

 

Things to Do[4]: other than drinking yourself into unconsciousness

  • Attend a Cinco de Mayo Festival.  Popular such festivals can be found in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.
  • Go eat or have drinks at a Mexican restaurant.
  • Make Margaritas with Mexican tequila.
  • Attend a Parade.
  • Make a piñata with your friends. Piñatas usually contain sweets or treats that fall out once it has been smashed open.

Instruction on Intemperance[5] 

“Be sober and watch.” I. Peter v. 8. 

St. Peter prescribes sobriety and watchfulness as necessary means for resisting the attacks of the devil, who by day and night goes about seeking whom he may devour. Woe to those who, by reason of their drunkenness, (The term drunkard applies to any person who is caught up in the addiction cycle, whether it is drink, gambling, drugs or sex.) live in a continual night and lie in the perpetual sleep of sin! How will it be with them if, suddenly awakened from this sleep by death, they find themselves standing, burdened with innumerable and unknown sins, before the judgment-seat of God? For who can number the sins, committed in and by reason of drunkenness, which the drunkard either accounts as trifles, easily pardoned, or else, not knowing what he has thought, said, and done in his fit of intoxication, considers to be no sins at all? Will the divine Judge, at the last day, thus reckon? Will He also find no sin in them? Will He let go unpunished the infamous deeds and the scandals of their drunkenness? 

He Who demands strict account of every word spoken in vain, will He make no inquiry of so many shameful, scandalous, and blasphemous sayings, of so much time wasted, of so much money squandered, of so many neglects of the divine service, of the education of children, of the affairs of home, and of innumerable other sins? Will they be able to excuse themselves before this Judge by saying that they did not know what they were doing? Or that what they did was for want of reflection, or in jest? Or that they were not strong, and could not bear much? Will not such excuses rather witness against them that they are the worthier of punishment for having taken more than their strength could bear, thereby depriving themselves of the use of reason, making themselves like brutes, and, of their own free will, taking on themselves the responsibility for all the sins of which their drunkenness was the occasion? What, then, awaits them? What else than the fate of the rich glutton who, for his gluttony, was buried in hell? (Luke xvi. 22.) 

Yes, that shall be the place and the portion of the drunkard! There shall they in vain sigh for a drop of water. There, for all the pleasures and satisfactions which they had in the world, as many pains and torments shall now lay hold of them (Apoc. xviii. 7); there shall they be compelled to drain the cup of God’s anger to the dregs, as they, in life, forced others into drunkenness. This is what they have to hope for, for St. Paul says expressly that drunkards shall not possess the kingdom of God (i. Cor. vi. 10). What then remains for them but to renounce either their intemperance or heaven? But how rare and difficult is the true conversion of a drunkard! This is the teaching of experience. Will not such a one, therefore, go to ruin?

 

Fitness Friday

 

Recognizing that God the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength, mind, soul and heart.

Be smart when sunbathing

·       Everyone knows that a nice tan gives a healthy glow, so as soon as summer comes, we rush to enjoy sunbathing. However, the research show that excessive and irresponsible sunbathing can cause skin problems including skin cancer. Despite all potential threats to enjoy the sun, sunbathing can be healthy if you take all measures to protect your skin from harmful sun rays. Here are some tips for you when and how to enjoy the sun in order to get a healthy tan without any trouble.

·       Every time when you face the sun use a sunscreen with SPF protection. Apply a sunscreen all over your body and face at least 30 minutes before sunbathing so that your skin could absorb the cream. When you are in the sun reapply sunscreen every 30 minutes. Also, don’t forget a sunscreen to your lips as they are very sensitive to the sun.

·       First time you shouldn’t stay in the sun for more than 15 minutes. Let your skin to get used to the sun. Then you can gradually increase the time you spend in the sun for 5-10 minutes every time.

·       Stay in the sun before the noon or just after 3 p.m. Time from 12 a.m. to 3 p.m. is the most dangerous because the sun causes the most damage at this time.

·       Don’t forget to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Make sure to wear sunglasses as the sun can violate your retina.

·       Moisturize your skin after sunbathing. The best moisturizers contain aloe vera which has soothing properties and helps to restore moisture balance of skin cells.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION TWO-THE LORD'S PRAYER

Article 3-THE SEVEN PETITIONS

IV. "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread"

2828 "Give us": the trust of children who look to their Father for everything is beautiful. "He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." He gives to all the living "their food in due season." Jesus teaches us this petition, because it glorifies our Father by acknowledging how good he is, beyond all goodness.

2829 "Give us" also expresses the covenant. We are his and he is ours, for our sake. But this "us" also recognizes him as the Father of all men and we pray to him for them all, in solidarity with their needs and sufferings.

2830 "Our bread": the Father who gives us life cannot not but give us the nourishment life requires - all appropriate goods and blessings, both material and spiritual. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus insists on the filial trust that cooperates with our Father's providence. He is not inviting us to idleness, but wants to relieve us from nagging worry and preoccupation. Such is the filial surrender of the children of God:

To those who seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he has promised to give all else besides. Since everything indeed belongs to God, he who possesses God wants for nothing, if he himself is not found wanting before God.

2831 But the presence of those who hunger because they lack bread opens up another profound meaning of this petition. the drama of hunger in the world calls Christians who pray sincerely to exercise responsibility toward their brethren, both in their personal behavior and in their solidarity with the human family. This petition of the Lord's Prayer cannot be isolated from the parables of the poor man Lazarus and of the Last Judgment.

2832 As leaven in the dough, the newness of the kingdom should make the earth "rise" by the Spirit of Christ. This must be shown by the establishment of justice in personal and social, economic and international relations, without ever forgetting that there are no just structures without people who want to be just.

2833 "Our" bread is the "one" loaf for the "many." In the Beatitudes "poverty" is the virtue of sharing: it calls us to communicate and share both material and spiritual goods, not by coercion but out of love, so that the abundance of some may remedy the needs of others.

2834 "Pray and work." "Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you." Even when we have done our work, the food we receive is still a gift from our Father; it is good to ask him for it with thanksgiving, as Christian families do when saying grace at meals.

2835 This petition, with the responsibility it involves, also applies to another hunger from which men are perishing: "Man does not live by bread alone, but . . . by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God," that is, by the Word he speaks and the Spirit he breathes forth. Christians must make every effort "to proclaim the good news to the poor." There is a famine on earth, "not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD." For this reason the specifically Christian sense of this fourth petition concerns the Bread of Life: the Word of God accepted in faith, the Body of Christ received in the Eucharist.

2836 "This day" is also an expression of trust taught us by the Lord, which we would never have presumed to invent. Since it refers above all to his Word and to the Body of his Son, this "today" is not only that of our mortal time, but also the "today" of God.

If you receive the bread each day, each day is today for you. If Christ is yours today, he rises for you every day. How can this be? "You are my Son, today I have begotten you." Therefore, "today" is when Christ rises.

2837 "Daily" (epiousios) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Taken in a temporal sense, this word is a pedagogical repetition of "this day," to confirm us in trust "without reservation." Taken in the qualitative sense, it signifies what is necessary for life, and more broadly every good thing sufficient for subsistence. Taken literally (epi-ousios: "super-essential"), it refers directly to the Bread of Life, the Body of Christ, the "medicine of immortality," without which we have no life within us. Finally in this connection, its heavenly meaning is evident: "this day" is the Day of the Lord, the day of the feast of the kingdom, anticipated in the Eucharist that is already the foretaste of the kingdom to come. For this reason it is fitting for the Eucharistic liturgy to be celebrated each day.

The Eucharist is our daily bread. the power belonging to this divine food makes it a bond of union. Its effect is then understood as unity, so that, gathered into his Body and made members of him, we may become what we receive.... This also is our daily bread: the readings you hear each day in church and the hymns you hear and sing. All these are necessities for our pilgrimage.

The Father in heaven urges us, as children of heaven, to ask for the bread of heaven. [Christ] himself is the bread who, sown in the Virgin, raised up in the flesh, kneaded in the Passion, baked in the oven of the tomb, reserved in churches, brought to altars, furnishes the faithful each day with food from heaven.

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Full Flower Moon


 

Today according to the almanac is a Full Flower Moon; bring flowers to all the women in your life. Christ always brought His mother Lilies of the Valley.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: True Masculinity

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity



[5] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896



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