Deuteronomy, Chapter 6, Verse 1-2
1 This then is the commandment, the statutes and the ordinances, which the LORD, your God, has commanded that you be taught to observe in the land you are about to cross into to possess, 2 so that you, that is, you, your child, and your grandchild, may FEAR the LORD, your God, by keeping, as long as you live, all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you, and thus have long life.
Those that fear the Lord have a great love for Him. “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (Jn. 14:15)
Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way. But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all. (Col. 3:5-11)
Five consecutive Saturdays in reparation to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The practice of the First Saturday devotion was requested by Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, multiple times starting in 1917. She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three children: “I shall come to ask . . . that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.” Years later she repeated her request to Sr. Lucia, the only one still living of the three young Fatima seers, while she was a postulant sister living in a convent in Spain: “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Conditions to Fulfill the First Saturday Devotion
There are five requirements to obtain this promise from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, one should:
1. Have the intention of consoling the Immaculate Heart in a spirit of reparation.
2. Go to confession (within eight days before or after the first Saturday).
3. Receive Holy Communion.
4. Say five decades of the Holy Rosary.
5. Meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the goal of keeping Our Lady company (for example, while in church or before an image or statue of Our Lady).
Why Five Saturdays?
Our Lord appeared to Sr. Lucia on May 29, 1930, and gave her the reason behind the five Saturdays devotion. It is because there are five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
2. Blasphemies against Our Lady’s perpetual virginity
3. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize her as the Mother of men
4. Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of their Immaculate Mother
5. Offenses of those who outrage Our Lady directly in her holy images
Never think that Jesus is indifferent to whether or not His mother is honored!
The Kentucky Derby is the most popular and oldest horse race in the world. The race is a 1.25-mile long, Grade 1 stakes horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds on a dirt track. It is held annually at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby, run on the first Saturday in May of every year, is the first leg of the elusive Triple Crown races. It is followed by the Preakness Stakes two weeks later in Baltimore, Maryland and the Belmont Stakes, 3 weeks after the Preakness in Elmont, New York. Meriweather Clark founded the Kentucky Derby, which was first held in 1875. Since then, the Derby has become a day of luxury and fashion and celebrities are often in attendance.
Kentucky Derby Facts & Quotes
· Over 160,000 spectators come to see the Kentucky Derby every year while millions of others watch it on TV.
· In Kentucky, the equine industry generated 3 billion dollars annually and creates 55,000 jobs.
· As of 2015, no woman trainer or jockey has won the Kentucky Derby. Many have run horses and ridden them, but none have won.
· Only 12 horses have ever been able to win the Triple Crown. The most recent was American Pharaoh in 2015. Prior to 2015, the Triple Crown hadn't been won since 1978.
Kentucky Derby Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky. Be careful though, tickets are very expensive and must be purchased far in advance for the event.
· Enjoy a good movie about horses and horse racing. Some of our picks are: The Cup (2011), The First Saturday in May (2007), Racing Stripes (2005), Seabiscuit (2003), The Derby Stallion (2005), Secretariat (2010) and Dreamer (2005).
· Book a horseback riding class at a local stable. Try to get a feel for what it would be like to race that fast.
· Plan a Triple Crown Party. Be sure to send out invitations for the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont. Pick favorite horses and see who wins the home derby. During the celebration it would be a good idea to also pray for the pope who wears the triple crown of the church. The Triple Crown (the tiara) represents the pope's three functions as "supreme pastor", "supreme teacher" and "supreme priest". The gold cross on monde (globe) surmounting the tiara symbolizes the sovereignty of Jesus.
Bless the Animals and the Simple
One day while, Mitch, a Protestant was at the track playing the ponies and all but losing his shirt noticed a Catholic priest who stepped out onto the track and blessed the forehead of one of the horses lining up for the 4th race. Lo and behold, that horse – a very long shot – won the race.
Before the next race, as the horses began lining up, Mitch watched with interest the old priest step onto the track. Sure enough, before the 5th race the horses came to the starting gate. The priest made a blessing on the forehead of one of the horses. Mitch made a beeline for a betting window and placed a small bet on the horse blessed by the priest. Again, even though it was another long shot, the horse the priest had blessed won the race. Mitch collected his winnings, and anxiously waited to see which horse the priest would bless for the 6th race.
The priest again blessed a horse. Mitch bet big on it, and it won. Mitch was elated. As the races continued the priest kept blessing long shot horses, and each one ended up coming in first. By and by, Mitch was pulling in some serious money. By the last race, he knew his wildest dreams were going to come true. He made a quick dash to the ATM, withdrew all his savings, and awaited the priest's blessing that would tell him which horse to bet on. True to his pattern, the priest stepped onto the track for the last race and blessed the forehead of an old nag that was the longest shot of the day. Mitch also observed the priest blessing the eyes, ears, and hooves of the old nag. Mitch knew he had a winner and bet every cent he owned on the old nag. He then watched dumbfounded as the old nag come in dead last and then dropped dead. Mitch, in a state of shock, made his way down to the track area where the priest was. Confronting the old priest, he demanded, 'Father! What happened? All day long you blessed horses and they all won. Then in the last race, the horse you blessed lost by a Kentucky mile. Now, thanks to you I've lost every cent of my savings – all of it!'. The priest nodded wisely and with sympathy. 'Son,' he said, 'that's one of the problems with you Protestants; you can't tell the difference between a simple blessing and the Sacrament of Last Rites.'
· Kentucky Derby-May 6th On your mark, get set … it’s off to Louisville for the granddaddy of all horse races. In time-honored tradition, the 149th annual Kentucky Derby -- the first leg of the Triple Crown -- kicks off the first Saturday in May. Settle into your seat at Churchill Downs racetrack on Central Avenue, sip a mint julep and enjoy the "Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports."
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
SECTION TWO-THE LORD'S PRAYER
Article 3-THE SEVEN PETITIONS
V. "And Forgive Us Our Trespasses, as We Forgive Those Who Trespass AGAINST US"
2838 This petition is astonishing. If it consisted only of the first phrase, "and forgive us our trespasses," it might have been included, implicitly, in the first three petitions of the Lord's Prayer, since Christ's sacrifice is "that sins may be forgiven." But, according to the second phrase, our petition will not be heard unless we have first met a strict requirement. Our petition looks to the future, but our response must come first, for the two parts are joined by the single word "as."
and forgive us our trespasses . . .
2839 With bold confidence, we began praying to our Father. In begging him that his name be hallowed, we were in fact asking him that we ourselves might be always made more holy. But though we are clothed with the baptismal garment, we do not cease to sin, to turn away from God. Now, in this new petition, we return to him like the prodigal son and, like the tax collector, recognize that we are sinners before him. Our petition begins with a "confession" of our wretchedness and his mercy. Our hope is firm because, in his Son, "we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." We find the efficacious and undoubted sign of his forgiveness in the sacraments of his Church.
2840 Now - and this is daunting - this outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Love, like the Body of Christ, is indivisible; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see. In refusing to forgive our brothers and sisters, our hearts are closed and their hardness makes them impervious to the Father's merciful love; but in confessing our sins, our hearts are opened to his grace.
2841 This petition is so important that it is the only one to
which the Lord returns and which he develops explicitly in the Sermon on the
Mount. This crucial requirement of the covenant mystery is impossible for
man. But "with God all things are possible."
. . . as we forgive those who trespass against us
2842 This "as" is not unique in Jesus' teaching: "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect"; "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful"; "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." It is impossible to keep the Lord's commandment by imitating the divine model from outside; there has to be a vital participation, coming from the depths of the heart, in the holiness and the mercy and the love of our God. Only the Spirit by whom we live can make "ours" the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. Then the unity of forgiveness becomes possible and we find ourselves "forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave" us.
2843 Thus the Lord's words on forgiveness, the love that loves to the end, become a living reality. the parable of the merciless servant, which crowns the Lord's teaching on ecclesial communion, ends with these words: "So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart." It is there, in fact, "in the depths of the heart," that everything is bound and loosed. It is not in our power not to feel or to forget an offense; but the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit turns injury into compassion and purifies the memory in transforming the hurt into intercession.
2844 Christian prayer extends to the forgiveness of enemies, transfiguring the disciple by configuring him to his Master. Forgiveness is a high-point of Christian prayer; only hearts attuned to God's compassion can receive the gift of prayer. Forgiveness also bears witness that, in our world, love is stronger than sin. the martyrs of yesterday and today bear this witness to Jesus. Forgiveness is the fundamental condition of the reconciliation of the children of God with their Father and of men with one another.
2845 There is no limit or measure to this essentially divine forgiveness, whether one speaks of "sins" as in Luke ( 11:4), "debts" as in Matthew (6:12). We are always debtors: "Owe no one anything, except to love one another." The communion of the Holy Trinity is the source and criterion of truth in every relation ship. It is lived out in prayer, above all in the Eucharist.
God does not accept the sacrifice of a sower of disunion, but commands that he depart from the altar so that he may first be reconciled with his brother. For God can be appeased only by prayers that make peace. To God, the better offering is peace, brotherly concord, and a people made one in the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Prayer to Patron Saint
Great Saint N., who at my baptism was chosen as my guardian and under whose patronage I became an adopted child of God and solemnly renounced Satan, his works and allurements, assist me by your powerful intercession in the fulfillment of these sacred promises. Amen
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus