Sunday, April 9, 2023
Numbers, Chapter 14, Verse 9
Only do not rebel against the LORD! You need not be AFRAID of the people of the land, for they are but food for us! Their protection has left them, but the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”
There’s a happy thought. The Israelites were a hard people, but little did they know that God would turn that around to Him being food for us. Yes, we are all hard people. Yes, we eat our young. Look at the comments coming out of Planned Parenthood about making so much money from tissue sales they will be driving Lamborghinis.
Looking at the world we can see that more and more there is a battle between the light and the dark. Look at advertising, marketing, media, politics; all are fighting either for Him who is or him who thinks he is. Choose but choose to wisely-do not fear them.
Our Lady tells us the battle is already won-their protection has left them!
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday
The presence of the Risen Lord
31. "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20). This promise of Christ never ceases to resound in the Church as the fertile secret of her life and the wellspring of her hope. As the day of Resurrection, Sunday is not only the remembrance of a past event: it is a celebration of the living presence of the Risen Lord in the midst of his own people.
For this presence to be properly proclaimed and lived, it is not enough that the disciples of Christ pray individually and commemorate the death and Resurrection of Christ inwardly, in the secrecy of their hearts. Those who have received the grace of baptism are not saved as individuals alone, but as members of the Mystical Body, having become part of the People of God.(38) It is important therefore that they come together to express fully the very identity of the Church, the ekklesia, the assembly called together by the Risen Lord who offered his life "to reunite the scattered children of God" (Jn 11:52). They have become "one" in Christ (cf. Gal 3:28) through the gift of the Spirit. This unity becomes visible when Christians gather together: it is then that they come to know vividly and to testify to the world that they are the people redeemed, drawn "from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Rev 5:9). The assembly of Christ's disciples embodies from age to age the image of the first Christian community which Luke gives as an example in the Acts of the Apostles, when he recounts that the first baptized believers "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers" (2:42).
WHAT is the feast of Easter?
The celebration of the day on which Jesus Christ, according to the predictions both of Himself and the prophets, by His almighty power, reunited His body and soul, and arose alive from the grave.
Why is Easter Sunday sometimes called Pasch or Passover?
It is from the Latin Pascha, and the Hebrew Phase, meaning “the passing over” because the destroyer of the firstborn in Egypt passed over the houses of the Israelites who had sprinkled the transom and posts of the door with the blood of the paschal lamb and because the Jews were in that same night delivered from bondage, passing over through the Red Sea into the land of promise. Now we Christians are by the death and resurrection of Christ redeemed and passed over to the freedom of the children of God, so we call the day of His resurrection Pasch or Passover.
How should we observe the feast of Easter?
We observe the feast in such manner as to confirm our faith in Jesus Christ and in His Church, and to pass over from the death of sin to the new life of grace.
What is the meaning of Alleluia, so often repeated at Eastertime?
“Alleluia” means “Praise God.” In the Introit of the Mass of the day the Church introduces Jesus Christ as risen, addressing His heavenly Father as follows “I rose up and am still with Thee, alleluia; Thou hast laid Thy hand upon Me, alleluia. Lord, thou hast proved me, and know me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.”
O God, who this day didst open to us the approach to eternity by Thy only Son victorious over death, prosper by Thy grace our vows, which Thou dost anticipate by Thy inspirations.
EPISTLE, i. Cor. v. 7, 8.
Brethren: Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened. For Christ, our Pasch, is sacrificed. Therefore, let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
The Apostle selected the leaven as a type of the moral depravity from which the Christian community and every individual Christian should be free. Let us, therefore, purge out the old leaven of sin by true penance, that we may receive our Paschal Lamb, Jesus, in the Most Holy Eucharist with a pure heart.
GOSPEL. Mark xvi. 1-7.
At that time: Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought sweet spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulcher, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulcher?
And looking, they saw the stone rolled back: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe: and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted: you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there you shall see Him, as He told you.
Why did the holy women desire to anoint the body of Jesus with sweet spices?
The women wanted to anoint Jesus’ body out of love for him. This love God rewarded by sending to them an angel, who rolled back the great stone from before the mouth of the sepulcher, comforted them, and convinced them that Christ was really raised from the dead. From this we learn that God always consoles those who seek Him. The angel sent the holy women to the disciples to console them for Christ’s death, and in order that they might make known His resurrection to the world. St. Peter was specially named not only because he was the head of the apostles, but because he was sadder and more dispirited than the others on account of his denial of Our Savior.
How did Our Savior prove that He was really risen from the dead?
Our Lord proved Himself risen by showing Himself first to the holy women, then to His disciples, and finally to five hundred persons at once. His disciples not only saw Him, but ate and drank with Him, not once only, but repeatedly, and for forty days.
It was through combat and inexpressible sufferings that Our Savior gained victory. So also, with us we gain heaven only by labor, combat, and sufferings shall we win the crown of eternal life; though redeemed by Christ from the servitude of Satan and sin, we shall not be able to enter the kingdom of Christ unless, after His example and by His grace, we fight till the end against the flesh, the devil, and the world; for only he that perseveres to the end shall receive the crown (n. Tim. ii. 5).
Read: Easter does not just last for a day! Take time to read about the span of the Easter season today.
Reflect: Take extra time with the readings today practicing lectio divina. . . .
Pray: O God, who on this day, through your Only Begotten Son, have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity, grant, we pray, that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord's Resurrection may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit, rise up in the light of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Collect, Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord, Mass During the Day, Roman Missal, Third Edition, International Commission on English Liturgy)
Act: Christ is Risen! Spread the Good News!
This is the day the Lord hath made;
let us be glad and rejoice therein. - Ps. 117.24
With this antiphon, the Church proclaims Easter Sunday the greatest day of the year. For the Christian believer every day is, of course, a celebration of Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, as is every Mass. Yet daily rejoicing pales in comparison to that of the Sunday Mass, since Sunday is the day that the resurrection took place, the "eighth" day of the week signifying a new creation and a new life. And these Sundays of the year, in turn, are dwarfed by Easter, the Feast of Feasts celebrated in the newness of the vernal moon and in the rebirth of springtime. Easter is the Christian day par excellence.
The commemoration of our Lord's physical resurrection from the dead provides not only the crucial resolution to the Passion story, but to several liturgical themes stretching back over the past two months.
· Easter ends the seventy days of Babylonian exile begun on Septuagesima Sunday by restoring the Temple that was destroyed on Good Friday, i.e. the body of Jesus Christ.
· It ends the forty days of wandering in the desert begun on Ash Wednesday by giving us the Promised Land of eternal life.
· It ends the fourteen days of concealment and confusion during Passiontide by revealing the divinity of Jesus Christ and the meaning of His cryptic prophecies.
· It ends the seven days of Holy Week by converting our sorrow over the crucifixion into our jubilance about the resurrection.
· And it ends the three days of awesome mystery explored during the sacred Triduum by celebrating the central mystery of our faith: life born from death, ultimate good from unspeakable evil. It is for this reason that all the things that had been instituted at one point or another during the past penitential seasons (the purple vestments or the veiled images) are dramatically removed, while all the things that had been successively suppressed (the Alleluia, the Gloria in excelsis, several Gloria Patri's, or the bells) are dramatically restored.
The Easter season (or Paschaltide, as it is traditionally known) is not an undifferentiated block of joy but one that consists of several distinct stages. The first is the Easter Octave, lasting from Easter Sunday to the former "Low" Sunday which is now Divine Mercy Sunday. These eight days comprise a prolonged rejoicing in our Savior's victory over death and in the eternal life given to the newly baptized converts. In fact, Christian initiates used to receive a white robe upon their baptism on Holy Saturday night and would wear it for the rest of the week. They would take off these symbols of their new life on the following Sunday, which in Latin is called Dominica in albis depositis as a result of this practice. (The English name, Low Sunday, was used as a contrast to the high mark of Easter). For centuries the first Sunday after Easter was also the day when children would receive their first Holy Communion, often with their father and mother kneeling beside them. So meaningful was this event that in Europe it was referred to as the "most beautiful day of life." (Significantly, both customs are encapsulated in Low Sunday's stational church, the basilica of St. Pancras (see Station Days): St. Pancras, a twelve-year-old martyr, is the patron saint of children and neophytes).
The Easter Kiss and Greeting.
The day that the risen Christ
appeared to His apostles, breathed the Spirit on them, and wished them peace is
the day that Christians greet each other with special fraternal affection.
Early Latin Christians embraced each other on Easter with the greeting, Surrexit
Dominus vere ("The Lord is truly risen"). The appropriate
response is Deo gratias ("Thanks be to God"). Greek
Christians, on the other hand, say, Christos aneste ("Christ is
risen"), to which is answered, Alethos aneste ("Truly He is
risen"). The mutual kiss and embrace last throughout the Easter Octave.
There was a time in both the Eastern and Western churches that no one would dream of eating unblessed food on Easter. Priests would either visit families on Holy Saturday night and bless the spread made ready for the following day, or they would bless the food brought to church after the Easter Sunday Mass. The old Roman ritual attests to this tradition by its title for Food Blessings: Benedictiones Esculentorum, Praesertim in Pascha - "The Blessings of Edibles, especially for Easter".
New Clothes & the Easter Parade.
Most people are familiar with the old-fashioned images of ladies bedecked in crisp new bonnets and dapper escorts during the annual Easter parade. What at first blush appears to be no more than a spectacle of vanity, however, is a combination of two deeply religious practices. The first is the custom of wearing new clothes for Easter. This stems from the ancient practice of newly baptized Christians wearing a white garment from the moment of their baptism during the Easter Vigil until the following week. The rest of the faithful eventually followed suit by wearing something new to symbolize the new life brought by the death and resurrection of Christ. Hence an old Irish saying: "For Christmas, food and drink; for Easter, new clothes." There was even a superstition that bad luck would come to those who could afford new clothes for Easter but did not buy them. The second practice is the Easter walk, in which the faithful (mostly couples) would march through town and country as a part of a religious procession. A crucifix or the Paschal candle would often lead the way, and the entourage would make several stops in order to pray or sing hymns. The rest of the time would be spent in light banter. This custom became secularized after the Reformation and thus became the "Easter parade" so popular before the 1960s.
Two kinds of activities (besides eating) surround this famous feature of Paschal celebration. The first is the decoration of the egg, a custom that goes back to the first centuries of Christianity. Colored dyes are the easiest way this is done, though different customs from various cultures sometimes determine which colors are used. The Chaldean, Syrian, and Greek Christians, for example, give each other scarlet eggs in honor of the most precious blood of Christ. Other nations, such as the Ukrainians and Russians, are famous for their beautiful and ornate egg decorations. Egg games are also a familiar part of Easter merriment. Most Americans are familiar with the custom of Easter egg hunts, but there are other forms as well. Egg-pecking is a game popular in Europe and the Middle East (not to mention the White House lawn), where hard-boiled eggs are rolled against each other on the lawn or down a hill; the egg left uncracked at the end is proclaimed the "victory egg."
The Dancing Sun.
There is an old legend that the sun
dances for joy or makes three cheerful jumps on Easter morning. In England and
Ireland families would place a pan of water in the east window to watch the
dancing rays mirrored on it. Other "sun" customs involve some kind of
public gathering at sunrise. Greeting the daybreak with cannons, gunfire,
choirs, or band music was once very popular, as was holding a prayer service,
followed by a procession to the church where Mass would be offered.
According to some scholars the beautiful sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes sung during the Easter Mass in the traditional Roman rite is the inspiration for the development of medieval religious drama. The poem's dialogic structure, with its question and answer format, became the foundation on which more lines were added until a separate play was formed. This play, in turn, inspired the composition of the other medieval "mystery" plays held on Christmas, Epiphany, Corpus Christi, and so on. Solemn vespers and benediction were a traditional part of every Sunday afternoon in many parishes, but especially so on Easter. Perhaps one reason for this was the medieval custom of Easter fables where, prior to the service, the priest would regale the congregation with amusing anecdotes and whimsical yarns. This served as a sort of antidote to the many sad or stern Lenten sermons of the previous weeks.
The entire Octave of Easter constitutes an extended exultation in Christ's victory over death. Obviously, the two most important days of this Octave are the two Sundays. As mentioned elsewhere, Low Sunday was once the day that the neophytes took off their white robes and resumed their lives in the daily world, and it was also the traditional time for children to receive Holy Communion. Other days of the Octave, however, also had distinctive customs of their own.
· Easter Monday was reserved as a special day for rest and relaxation. Its most distinctive feature is the Emmaus walk, a leisurely constitution inspired by the Gospel of the day (Luke 24.13-35). This can take the form of a stroll through field or forest or, as in French Canada, a visit to one's grandparents.
· Games of mischief dating to pre-Christian times also take place on Easter Monday and Tuesday. Chief among them is drenching customs, where boys surprise girls with buckets of water, and vice versa, or switching customs, where switches are gently used on each other.
· Easter Thursday in Slavic countries, on the other hand, was reserved for remembering departed loved ones. Mass that day would be offered for the deceased of the parish.
· Finally, Easter Friday was a favorite day for pilgrimages in many parts of Europe. Large groups would take rather long processions to a shrine or church, where Mass would be offered.
Divine Mercy Novena
Third Day - Today Bring Me All Devout and Faithful Souls.
Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in the great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.
Eternal Father turn Your Merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus, may they never fail in love or lost the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Novena for the Poor Souls
O Mother most merciful, pray for the souls in Purgatory!
PRAYER OF ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT O Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory and for sinners everywhere— for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and for those within my family. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE DYING O Most Merciful Jesus, lover of souls, I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother, to wash in Thy Most Precious Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony and who will die today. Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the dying! Amen.
ON EVERY DAY OF THE NOVENA V. O Lord, hear my prayer; R. And let my cry come unto Thee. O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired, Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
SUNDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood which Thy divine Son Jesus shed in the Garden, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and especially that one which is the most forsaken of all, and bring it into Thy glory, where it may praise and bless Thee forever. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
CHAPTER THREE-THE LIFE OF PRAYER
Article 1-EXPRESSIONS OF PRAYER
2705 Meditation is above all a quest. the mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking. the required attentiveness is difficult to sustain. We are usually helped by books, and Christians do not want for them: the Sacred Scriptures, particularly the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts of the day or season, writings of the spiritual fathers, works of spirituality, the great book of creation, and that of history the page on which the "today" of God is written.
2706 To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality. To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: "Lord, what do you want me to do?"
2707 There are as many and varied methods of meditation as there are spiritual masters. Christians owe it to themselves to develop the desire to meditate regularly, lest they come to resemble the three first kinds of soil in the parable of the sower. But a method is only a guide; the important thing is to advance, with the Holy Spirit, along the one way of prayer: Christ Jesus.
2708 Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord.
PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
The fuller account and the more prominent place given the Beatitudes in St. Matthew are quite in accordance with the scope and the tendency of the First Gospel, in which the spiritual character of the Messianic kingdom — the paramount idea of the Beatitudes — is consistently put forward, in sharp contrast with Jewish prejudices. The very peculiar form in which Our Lord proposed His blessings make them, perhaps, the only example of His sayings that may be styled poetical — the parallelism of thought and expression, which is the most striking feature of Biblical poetry, being unmistakably clear.
The text of St. Matthew runs as follows:
· Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 3)
· Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. (Verse 4)
· Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted. (Verse 5)
· Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. (Verse 6)
· Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Verse 7)
· Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. (Verse 8)
· Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Verse 9)
· Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Verse 10)
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Purity
· 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 21
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
Schouppe S.J., Rev. Fr. F. X.. Purgatory Explained
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