MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH-MEMORIAL DAY
Deuteronomy, Chapter 28, Verse 10
All the peoples of the earth will see that the name of the LORD is proclaimed over you, and they will be AFRAID of you.
Christ death on the cross was the fulfillment of the proclaiming of God’s name to all the peoples of the world; for over His head was placed a notice: King of the Jews.
It is thought-provoking to contemplate that Pilates notice was printed in three languages Hebrew, Latin and Greek. These three cultures in a sense represented the characteristics of God. The Hebrew’s were Gods people and represented the good of man and brought the idea that the person was created by God and is more valuable than the universe. Latin the language of the Romans brought the idea that truth is the highest value and the Greeks culture brought the idea of beauty being the greatest value. In Christ’s death is represented all three values. That a good God died for man; true to the end; and His shame was turned by love to beauty.
The Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, also represent these three values Michael the truth that angels and men are willing to fight for; Raphael the good and Gabriel the beauty. On further reflection I can see these same three attributes reflected the preamble of the US constitution: Life (good); Liberty (truth); and pursuit of happiness (beauty).
We can also recognize that the Name of God which is goodness; truth and beauty is feared by evil men and women when they are inspired by Satan and the demons to take away our life, liberty or our pursuit of happiness.
Surely, it is time for Christians to "rise from sleep," and to offer vigorous resistance to the enemies of salvation. The weapons in this conflict are not the arms of civil warfare, but the spiritual weapons of prayer and penance, increased fidelity to the Commandments of God, and frequent reception of the Sacraments. And surely we can choose no better leader in this conflict than the powerful captain who led the faithful Angels to victory.
Let us, then, with confident trust, invoke the aid and the protection of this mighty Archangel whose shield bears the inscription:
"Michael----Quis ut Deus----Who is like unto God?"
FILLED with joy over the gracious descent of the Holy Ghost, the Church sings, at the Introit of the Mass, He fed them with the fat of wheat, alleluia, and filled them with honey out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice to God, our helper, sing aloud to the God of Jacob (Ps. Ixxx.).
Prayer. O God, Who didst give the Holy Spirit to Thy apostles, grant to Thy people the effect of their pious prayers, that on those to whom Thou hast given grace, Thou mayest also bestow peace.
EPISTLE. Acts x. 34, 43-48.
In those days Peter, opening his mouth, said: Men, brethren, the Lord commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He Who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead. To Him all the prophets give testimony, that by His name all receive remission of sins, who believe in Him. While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word. And the faithful of the circumcision, who came with Peter, were astonished, for that the grace of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the gentiles also. For they heard them speaking with tongues, and magnifying God. Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
GOSPEL. John iii. 16-21.
At that time Jesus said unto Nicodemus: God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by Him. He that believeth in Him is not judged. But He that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil. For everyone that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.
By what has God most shown the greatness of His love?
By giving up His only begotten Son to the most painful and ignominious death, that we, the guilty, might be delivered from eternal death, and have life everlasting.
If, then, so many are lost, is it the fault of God?
No: as the physician gives up only the incurable, so God condemns only those who believe not in Christ as their Savior and God; who love darkness, that is, the principles and works which correspond to their corrupt inclinations; who despise Jesus, the light of the world, and His doctrines; who neglect the divine service, the public instructions, and the reception of the holy sacraments; who take this licentious life for wisdom and enlightenment; who refuse to be taught, and have pronounced their own condemnation, even before the final judgment.
Why should we love God?
Because He has loved us from eternity: He loved us when as, yet we were not. If we love him who does us some good, who helps us in need, or exposes himself to danger for our sake, how much more should we love Him Who has given us all that we have: the angels to be our guards, the sun, moon, and stars to be our light; the earth to be our dwelling-place; the elements, plants, and animals to supply our necessary wants, and to serve for our advantage and enjoyment; Who continually preserves us and protects us from countless dangers; Who has subjected Himself for our sake, not merely to the danger of His life, but to the most painful and humiliating death; Who for gives all our sins, heals all our infirmities, redeems our life from destruction, and crowns us with compassion and mercy.
The Time After Pentecost
As both the Bible and Church Fathers attest, there are several distinct periods of sacred history. These periods arise, are given their own set of dispensations, and then disappear. The age before the Law was replaced by the age under it, and that age, in turn, was closed during the time that Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth. Likewise, the age of divine revelation (which ended at the death of the last Apostle) gave way to a different era, the era immediately preceding the Second Coming. It is that era in which we now find ourselves. Despite the expanse of two thousand years and the plethora of cultural and technological changes that separate us from the Christians who outlived the Beloved Disciple, we are still living in the same age as they, the last age of mankind.
The Time After Pentecost is the time that corresponds to this age. Just as Advent symbolizes life under the Old Law while the Christmas, Lenten, and Easter seasons recapitulate the thirty-three-year era of Jesus Christ's earthly sojourn, the Time after Pentecost corresponds to the penultimate chapter of the story of redemption, the chapter that is currently being written. That story, as we all know, has been written somewhat out of order. Thanks to the last book of the Bible, we have a vivid account of history's climax but not of what happens in between the Apostolic Age and the Final Judgment. In a sense we should all feel a certain affinity for the Time After Pentecost, since it is the only liturgical season of the year that corresponds to where we are now.
Where we are is the age of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church because even though the Apostles were transformed by earlier events such as the institution of the Eucharist and priesthood on Maundy Thursday or their acquiring the power to forgive sins on Easter afternoon, they - and by extension, the Church - did not really come into their own until the Paraclete inspired them to burst out of their closed quarters and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. And just as Pentecost marks the birthday of the Church in the Holy Spirit, so too does the Time after Pentecost mark the life of the Church moving through the vicissitudes of history under the protection and guidance of that same Spirit. It is for this reason that the epistle readings from this season emphasize the Apostles' advice to the burgeoning churches of the day while its Gospel readings focus on the kingdom of heaven and its justice. It is also the reason why the corresponding lessons from the breviary draw heavily from the history of the Israelite monarchy in the Old Testament. All are somehow meant to teach us how to comport ourselves as citizens of the city of God as we pass through the kingdoms of this world.
The sectoral cycle that concurs with the Time after Pentecost is the part of the year with the most saints' days. Saints are an important component in the Christian landscape not only because of their capacity to intercede for us, but because they are living proof that a holy, Catholic life is possible in every time and place. In fact, the feasts kept during the Time after Pentecost encompass virtually every aspect of Church life. If the saints in general remind us of the goal of holiness, certain saints, such as St. John the Baptist (June 24 & August 29) or Sts. Peter (June 29 & August 1) and Paul (June 29 & 30) remind us of the role that the hierarchy plays in leading the Church towards that goal. Likewise, the feasts of the temporal cycle, such as the Feast of the Holy Trinity, of Corpus Christi, or of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, direct our attention to the explicit dogma, sacramentality, and spirituality of the Church, respectively. Even the physical space is consecrated for sacred use; all feasts for the dedication of churches take place only during the Time after Pentecost. The Time after Pentecost truly is the time of the Church, the liturgical season that corresponds to the spotless Bride's continuous and multifaceted triumph over the world. This is one of the reasons why the liturgical color for this season is green, the symbol of hope and life. It might also be the reason why it is the longest liturgical season, occupying 23 to 28 weeks of the year.
And because the Time after Pentecost is the time of the Church, it is also a profoundly eschatological season. Every believer needs to heed St. Paul's admonitions about the Parousia and to ready himself for the end times, for the Last Judgment and the creation of a new heaven and earth.
That is why, beginning on the eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Mass propers begin to take on an apocalyptic tone. Verses from the prophets become much more common and references to the final manifestation of Christ more insistent. This sense of anticipation grows each week until it crescendos with the last Sunday after Pentecost (the last Sunday of the liturgical year), when the Gospel recalls Christ's ominous double prophecy concerning the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and the horrific end of the world. An awareness of the eschaton is also salient in the feasts and saints' days that occur at around the same time. The Feast of the Assumption (Aug. 15), for example, reminds us not only of the glorious consummation of the Blessed Virgin's earthly life, but of the reunification of all bodies with their souls on Judgment Day. St. Michael's Day (Sept. 29), the Feast of the Guardian Angels (Oct. 2), the Feast of Christ the King (last Sunday of October), All Saints' Day (Nov. 1), and All Souls' Day (Nov. 2) all have a way of directing our attention to the ultimate completion of the work of redemption. Significantly, these holy days occur mostly during autumn, the season that heralds the end of life. Though it has no formal name, this cluster of Sundays and feasts constitutes a season unto its own that reminds us of the tremendous awe and glory surrounding the Last Things.
The Time after Pentecost is the period between the age of the Apostles on the one hand and the Age of ages (saecula saeculorum) on the other. By navigating vis-à-vis these two coordinates, its liturgical celebrations embody redeemed living in a fallen world and constant preparedness for the Bridegroom. And in doing so it shows us - members of the age it ritually represents - how to do the same.
Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost? They are the twelve following:
These fruits should be visible in the Christian, for thereby men shall know that the Holy Ghost dwells in him, as the tree is known by its fruit.
Notice I have placed the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in stairstep fashion so we may reflect on them seeing that by concentrating on each step of our growth in the spirit we may progress closer and closer to our heavenly Father. Today we will be focusing on the first step which is chastity.
When I reflect on chastity, I think of Saint Maximilian Kolbe which is reported to have had a vision of the Virgin Mary as a youth and in the vision, Mary came to him presented him two crowds one crown was white and the other crown was red, and she told him that he must choose a crown. She said the white crown was purity and the red crown blood sacrifice/martyrdom. Consequently, Saint Maximilian Kolbe then asked Mary can I take both to which she said yes. Maximilian Kolbe later became a priest and was chase his entire life and he was a martyr for the cause of Christ during WWII in Auschwitz, the NAZI death camp.
In reflecting on this I have concluded, we too, also must decide whether we want to sacrifice our blood; be pure or do both.
Chastity is the first step to the long road to Holiness and Happiness both in this world and the next. Chastity is the first step and Continency is the next step.
Today is Memorial Day and we honor those who have paid the supreme sacrifice of devotion watching our nation. Pray today for the souls of those taken in battle. In the communion of saints, it is our duty; no, our honor to pray for the souls of those in our company who have died; especially those who have passed through the valley of fear in the heat of battle.
Memorial Day, first established in 1866 to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War, is now a day set aside to remember all of the American soldiers who have died in war in the subsequent 15 decades -- about 1.2 million in all. This number, while representing a tremendous loss, pales in comparison to the number of war-related deaths globally for the same time period. Estimates run from 60 to 85 million for the number of lives lost during World War II alone.
While stationed in Mons, Belgium I learned there is the legend of the Angels of Mons, where it was reported the British soldiers were saved by heavenly forces.
One thing is certain: There are no atheists in foxholes.
To honor our fallen let us stop what we are doing at 1500 hrs. (3 pm) and offer the Divine Mercy Prayer for those who have fallen in service of our nation.
God of power and
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Memorial Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend a Memorial Day parade. One popular parade is the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC.
· All Americans are encouraged to pause for one minute at 3:00 pm (local time). Think of the sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers to provide freedom for all.
· Visit the grave of a fallen soldier.
· Have a picnic or go boating.
· Donate to a charity that serves veterans.
Memorial Day Facts & Quotes
· There have been over 2.7 million US military deaths since 1775.
· The deadliest US War was the Civil War with about 600,000 US deaths.
· It is customary to fly a US flag at half-staff till noon on Memorial Day.
· It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. - George S. Patton
Today in honor of Memorial Day I remembered my friend Paul Wolff-The Wolf of the Ardennes
Men are frequently blinded by fear and as a result often harmed themselves. The grace of God gives confidence to see the right and to stand when called. Father Paul was called to stand and became General Patton’s guide during the “Battle of the Bulge” while he was still a teen. Father Paul Wolff was 15 years old when he first joined the Belgium resistance during the years of the Nazi occupation of World War II. He was the youngest member of the Belgium resistance. Unfortunately, he and other members of his group were captured and at 17 he was tortured, condemned to death and imprisoned in the Nazi Prison in Liege, Belgium. There he languished yet his faith would not allow him to lose all hope and the resistance still worked to get him and the others (256) out. Part of the plan was to get a radio to the prisoners. To do this the resistance secreted small parts of a crystal radio inside bars of soap. Interestingly these were “Lever” brother bars of soap and were large about the size of a brick. Father Paul related that during the Nazi occupation not all Jews were in German prisons if they were of use to the Nazi’s. In this case the soap bars were made by the Lever Jews and the radio parts were easily hidden inside the soap bars. Father Paul stated that when they received the soap, they then washed their hands raw in wearing away the soap to get to the radio part. Then after several bars they constructed the radio which was the Morse code type. Father Paul typed in code in English which he spoke along with German and French the words over and over “SOS SOS 256 prisoners in Liege prison condemned to death SOS SOS.” They hoped someone would get the message and somehow, they would be rescued. All they had was hope.
Father also related that it drove the Nazi’s crazy because they intercepted the message but never suspected it was coming from the prison. Father Paul said that in the cell they were in there was only one barred window, but it was so high that to look out it required a person to stand on the shoulders of a fellow prisoner. He further relayed that they when they would see women that were friendly with the guards coming and going, they would call them the nastiest things they could think of calling them. Yet one day during an air raid while the guards were hiding as deep as they could go; one of these young women (secret agent) came and taking the heel of her shoe wrote on the pavement that during the air raid they are going to be rescued by commandoes and they were. Father Paul stated neither he nor the others ever lost hope.
After his escape he went underground. He was a friend of King Leopold III. He served as General Patton's Belgian guide during the battle of the bulge.
December 24, 1944
Father Paul communicated to me the tale about the battle of the bulge that has not been recorded in history. During WWII the US Army was segregated and black men were not mixed with white men. Black men mostly served in support roles such as transportation and as cooks, etc. During the course of the Battle of the Bulge’ Hitler sent in a special operations team to confuse and destroy the American Army. It was composed of American NAZI’s and German’s, who spoke perfect American slang, knew the culture, baseball stuff, etc. These Spec Ops were equipped with American Uniforms and equipment that was captured by Gen. Rommel from North Africa. Father Wolff was at a meeting with Gen. Patton, Bradley, Eisenhower and the English Gen. Montgomery in Luxembourg City on the evening of Dec. 24th, 1944. The Generals were very excited and afraid because of the effect these NAZI spec ops were having in the warzone and due to the fact that they had murdered many men. They did not know what to do. Patton who was a visionary, suddenly stood up and said, I know exactly what to do. From this time forward, nothing in the American Army will move without a black American in the group. Patton knew there were no black NAZI’s. As a result, black units were moved forward and integrated and as far as I know this was the first time in American History since the Civil War. As a result, the NAZI spec ops team was neutralized.
My daughter Candace Faith in light of Memorial Day invited me to participate in the annual Murph. The Murph Challenge is the Official annual fundraiser of the LT. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation, presented by Forged®. It is also one of the primary means of funding for the Foundation on an annual basis. YOUR support is what drives our success!
Since 2014, Forged® has raised over $1,000,000+ for the LT. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation through The Murph Challenge campaign. In 2018, The Murph Challenge Fundraiser provided a vehicle to raise nearly $250,000 in order to begin construction on the LT Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum/Sea Cadet Training Facility in Long Island, NY! In addition to that, and ONLY with such overwhelming support and success, the Foundation was also able to add four additional scholarships in 2018, now providing the opportunity to award 27 or more scholarships each and every year!
Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man to summit Mt. Everest on May 29, 1953.
Climbing a summit is deeply spiritual. Christ climbed tabor, Moses Sinai and even St. Patrick had a favorite climb today call Patrick’s Croagh. We even have Saints that were mountaineers. Today we will look at Pier Giorgio.
Pier Giorgio Michelangelo Frassati was born in Turin, Italy on April 6, 1901. His mother, Adelaide Ametis, was a painter. His father Alfredo was the founder and director of the newspaper, “La Stampa," and was influential in Italian politics, holding positions as an Italian Senator and Ambassador to Germany.
an early age, Pier Giorgio joined the Marian Sodality and the Apostleship of
Prayer, and obtained permission to receive daily Communion (which was rare at
that time). He developed a deep spiritual life which he never hesitated to
share with his friends. The Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin were the two
poles of his world of prayer. At the age of 17, he joined the St. Vincent de
Paul Society and dedicated much of his spare time to serving the sick and the
needy, caring for orphans, and assisting the demobilized servicemen returning
from World War I.
He decided to become a mining engineer, studying at the Royal Polytechnic University of Turin, so he could “serve Christ better among the miners," as he told a friend. Although he considered his studies his first duty, they did not keep him from social and political activism. In 1919, he joined the Catholic Student Foundation and the organization known as Catholic Action. He became a very active member of the People’s Party, which promoted the Catholic Church’s social teaching based on the principles of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical letter, Rerum Novarum.
What little he did have, Pier Giorgio gave to help the poor, even using his bus fare for charity and then running home to be on time for meals. The poor and the suffering were his masters, and he was literally their servant, which he considered a privilege. His charity did not simply involve giving something to others, but giving completely of himself. This was fed by daily communion with Christ in the Holy Eucharist and by frequent nocturnal adoration, by meditation on St. Paul’s “Hymn of Charity” (I Corinthians 13), and by the writings of St. Catherine of Siena. He often sacrificed vacations at the Frassati summer home in Pollone (outside of Turin) because, as he said, “If everybody leaves Turin, who will take care of the poor?”
In 1921, he was a central figure in Ravenna, enthusiastically helping to organize the first convention of Pax Romana, an association which had as its purpose the unification of all Catholic students throughout the world for the purpose of working together for universal peace.
Mountain climbing was one of his favorite sports. Outings in the mountains, which he organized with his friends, also served as opportunities for his apostolic work. He never lost the chance to lead his friends to Mass, to the reading of Scripture, and to praying the rosary.
He often went to the theater, to the opera, and to museums. He loved art and music, and could quote whole passages of the poet Dante.
Fondness for the epistles of St. Paul sparked his zeal for fraternal charity, and the fiery sermons of the Renaissance preacher and reformer Girolamo Savonarola and the writings of St. Catherine impelled him in 1922 to join the Lay Dominicans (Third Order of St. Dominic). He chose the name Girolamo after his personal hero, Savonarola. “I am a fervent admirer of this friar, who died as a saint at the stake," he wrote to a friend. Like his father, he was strongly anti-Fascist and did nothing to hide his political views. He physically defended the faith at times involved in fights, first with anticlerical Communists and later with Fascists. Participating in a Church-organized demonstration in Rome on one occasion, he stood up to police violence and rallied the other young people by grabbing the group’s banner, which the royal guards had knocked out of another student’s hands. Pier Giorgio held it even higher, while using the banner’s pole to fend off the blows of the guards.
Just before receiving his university degree, Pier Giorgio contracted poliomyelitis, which doctors later speculated he caught from the sick whom he tended. Neglecting his own health because his grandmother was dying, after six days of terrible suffering Pier Giorgio died at the age of 24 on July 4, 1925. His last preoccupation was for the poor. On the eve of his death, with a paralyzed hand he scribbled a message to a friend, asking him to take the medicine needed for injections to be given to Converso, a poor sick man he had been visiting.
Pier Giorgio’s funeral was a triumph. The streets of the city were lined with a multitude of mourners who were unknown to his family -- the poor and the needy whom he had served so unselfishly for seven years. Many of these people, in turn, were surprised to learn that the saintly young man they knew had actually been the heir of the influential Frassati family. Pope John Paul II, after visiting his original tomb in the family plot in Pollone, said in 1989: “I wanted to pay homage to a young man who was able to witness to Christ with singular effectiveness in this century of ours. When I was a young man, I, too, felt the beneficial influence of his example and, as a student, I was impressed by the force of his testimony."
On May 20, 1990, in St. Peter’s Square which was filled with thousands of people, the Pope beatified Pier Giorgio Frassati, calling him the “Man of the Eight Beatitudes.”
His mortal remains, found completely intact and incorrupt upon their exhumation on March 31, 1981, were transferred from the family tomb in Pollone to the cathedral in Turin. Many pilgrims, especially students and the young, come to the tomb of Blessed Frassati to seek favors and the courage to follow his example.
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most
Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix
on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
II. Faith perceives what our senses fail to grasp.
52. Our Catholic faith passed on to us from the Apostles affirms that after the words of consecration, what seems to our senses to remain just simple unleavened bread and wine really become the Son of God and Savior of the world. For this reason, Saint Thomas Aquinas through his beautiful Eucharistic hymn “Adoro Te Devote” invites us to have a greater trust in Jesus’ words about His Body and Blood, even if the reality may seem too good to be true: “Sight, touch, taste fail with regard to Thee, but only by hearing does one believe surely; I believe whatever God’s Son said: nothing is truer than the word of Truth.” And in the hymn of “Tantum Ergo,” he invites us to beg the Lord for this needed faith: “May faith supplement what our senses fail to grasp.”
53. Faith makes all the difference in how we experience God’s saving and transforming grace in the Eucharist. Faith is the key we hold in our hands to open the treasures of God’s love and grace entirely at our disposal for our sanctification. Beg the Lord to strengthen your faith: “Make me always believe in you more and more” (Hymn Adoro Te Devote).
54. The Lord Jesus invites us to respond with faith like Peter, “To whom shall we go, you have the words of everlasting life” and make a commitment not just to believe His words that He is the Bread from heaven, but to build our lives according to that belief. Jesus is asking us to make Him the “source and summit” of all Christian life (Lumen Gentium, no. 11). He is asking us to choose him who has chosen to dwell among us and has made the promise and commitment to always be with us.
To be continued…
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION ONE-"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
CHAPTER TWO GOD COMES TO MEET MAN
Article 2-THE TRANSMISSION OF DIVINE REVELATION
74 God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth": that is, of Christ Jesus. Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth:
God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations.
Monday Night at the Movies
Ermanno Olmi, Legend of the Holy Drinker, 1988.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Goffine’s Devout Instruction’s, 1896.