Saturday, May 27, 2023

 


Saturday Whitsun Eve 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 25, Verse 17-18

17 Bear in mind what Amalek did to you on the journey after you left Egypt, 18 how he surprised you along the way, weak and weary as you were, and struck down at the rear all those who lagged behind; he did not FEAR God. 

How shall we deal with truly evil people?


 

In Judaism, the Amalekites came to represent the archetypal enemy of the Jews. In the Jewish folklore the Amalekites are considered to be the symbol of evil. This concept has been used by some Hassidic rabbis (particularly the Baal Shem Tov) to represent atheism or the rejection of God. Elliot Horowitz and Josef Stern suggest that Amalekites have come to represent an "eternally irreconcilable enemy" that wants to murder Jews, and that Jews in post-biblical times sometimes associate contemporary enemies with Haman or Amalekites, and that some Jews believe that pre-emptive violence is acceptable against such enemies.[1]

 The truly wicked are animals as the bible mentions they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Strong men and women whether laity or religious have a duty to protect the flock; they are the shepherds of the church that protect the weaker ones. Who are the Amalekites of our time; how shall we recognize them.

 

According to Christian Counselor Lesie Vernick[2] there are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart.

 

1.     Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention. They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information.

  1. Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words. But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
  2. Evil hearts crave and demand control, and their highest authority is their own self-reference. They reject feedback, real accountability, and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance.
  3. Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card. They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust.
  4. Evil hearts have no conscience, no remorse. They do not struggle against sin or evil—they delight in it—all the while masquerading as someone of noble character. 

Hmm…sounds like politicians to me? I would like to finish with some thoughts of Saint John Paul II on the subject.

 

I once again address the leaders of nations and all men and women of good will, who recognize the need to build peace in the world…

 

"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (12:21). Evil is never defeated by evil; once that road is taken, rather than defeating evil, one will instead be defeated by evil.[3]

 

Whitsun Eve[4]


 

Similar to the Easter Vigil, the Vigil of Pentecost can be celebrated in a way that preserves its rich traditions.

Fifty days after the high feast of Easter, the Church comes together to celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It is one of the principal feasts of the year and marks the end of the Easter season. Historically the feast of Pentecost was given a greater emphasis and its vigil the day before was connected to the Easter Vigil in many ways.

There was a service called by the English Whitsun Eve, during which the catechumens who had not been baptized at Easter received the sacraments on the eve of Pentecost. Similar to the Easter Vigil, it was celebrated in a “night watch” liturgy that included the reading of six prophecies and a solemn blessing of the baptismal font.

After the celebration of Baptism, the newly baptized would be vested in a white alb, symbolizing their new birth in the life of grace. Thus Pentecost is also called Whitsunday by English speakers, a word that simply means “White Sunday,” in reference to the white albs the newly baptized would wear.

In recognition of this ancient tradition, the current Roman Missal has revived this extended vigil. Below is a brief guide to how Pentecost can be celebrated according to the Third Edition of the Roman Missal.

Evening Prayer

Prior to the start of Mass, it is an option to begin the celebration with the recitation of Evening Prayer (Vespers). This includes several Psalms and ends right before the Liturgy of the Word during Mass.

Liturgy of the Word

Similar to the Easter Vigil, there are four readings from the Old Testament that are read. The priest will pray the following prayer before these readings, which summarizes the overall “spirit” of the Pentecost Vigil.

    Dear brethren, we have now begun our Pentecost Vigil, after the example of the apostles and disciples, who with Mary, the mother of Jesus, persevered in prayer, awaiting the Spirit promised by the Lord; like them, let us, too, listen with quiet hearts to the Word of God.

    Let us meditate on how many great deeds God in times past did for his people and let us pray that the Holy Spirit, whom the Father sent as the first fruits for those who believe, may bring to perfection his work in the world. 

These readings reflect various prefigurements of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost starting in Genesis, and ending in the book of Joel. Each reading has its own proper prayer, which bring out the truths revealed in this ancient texts. Here is the one after a reading from the book of Exodus.

    O God, who in fire and lightning gave the ancient law to Moses on Mount Sinai and on this day manifested the new covenant in the fire of the Spirit, grant, we pray, that we may always be aflame with that same Spirit whom you wondrously poured out on your apostles, and that the new Israel, gathered from every people, may receive with rejoicing the eternal commandment of your love. Through Christ our Lord.

After the fourth reading and its Psalm is completed, the Gloria is sung with great jubilation. Then a reading from Romans is recited, which recalls the how the Holy Spirit helps us in our need. The Gospel is then proclaimed, and Mass continues as usual.

In the Ordinariate Missal of Divine Worship, the Litany of Saints is sung, again echoing the Easter Vigil Mass.

Celebration of Baptism

Though not a requirement of the Pentecost Vigil, it remains fitting to celebrate baptisms during this Mass after the homily. This can occur for various pastoral reasons and reflects the continuity of the liturgy throughout the ages.

Liturgy of the Eucharist

The remainder of Mass is the same as usual, with no special additions. Mass is concluded with the solemn dismissal, “Go forth, the Mass is ended, Alleluia, Alleluia.” Pentecost marks the last use of the Easter season double Alleluia.

 


Apostolic Exhortation[5]

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,

I. The Graces of Holy Communion

ii. We become “One Body and One Spirit in Christ.”

46. In Holy Communion, Christ is present in us. Holy Communion allows Christ through us to go to every corner and alley of the world so that where there is division and hate, He will bring love; where there is suffering and pain, He will bring comfort and consolation; and where there is discouragement and sin, He will bring healing and forgiveness. Imagine if each of us Christians makes the Eucharist the source and summit of our life? We would set the world on fire with Christ’s love!

II. Faith perceives what our senses fail to grasp.

47. What must we do then, to assure that Holy Communion bestows these life-giving and transforming effects in our soul? If we receive Holy Communion out of routine only, without openness to the Lord, then we will not receive all the graces that God wants to give. But if we receive the Lord with the right dispositions, God’s grace will strengthen our resolve to follow, love and imitate Him. Our Lord Jesus deeply desires our union with Him in Holy Communion and through it He wishes to bring about our transformation into Him and the transformation of our society in which we live. But we, on our part, must ardently desire this union with Jesus Christ as well.

48. In today’s superficial and fast paced culture that is driven by instant results and gratification, it is easy for us to lose our sense of wonder when we come face to face with the miracle of the Eucharist. Living in a culture that seeks sensational headlines and attention-catching spectacles, we can easily take for granted the Eucharist and receive Jesus in Holy Communion with little to no expectation. Contrary to what our culture offers and seeks, the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is so quiet, so gentle, and imperceivable.

To be continued

Four Approved Eucharistic Miracles from the 21st Century[6]

In his writings on the Eucharist, Fr. Spitzer reminds us that a Eucharistic miracle occurs every day, at every holy mass across the world, when the substance of bread and wine is transformed into the substance of Jesus’ body and blood. 

 

However, the term “Eucharistic miracle" can also refer to extraordinary empirical signs of Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist, such as bleeding hosts or the transmutation of a consecrated host into a piece of cardiac muscle tissue.

 

Some notable Eucharistic miracles happened years and years ago (i.e. the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, Italy in the 8th century and the Eucharistic Miracle of Santarem, Portugal in the 13th century). Others have happened in more recent history, such as the scientifically proven Eucharistic miracles of Buenos Aires in 1992-1996. However, there are a handful that have taken place in just the past 20 years. Below are four stories of approved and recent Eucharistic miracles.

 

1. Legnica: A Bleeding Host in Poland, 2013


 

On Christmas Day 2013, at the Church of Saint Hyacinth in Legnica, Poland, a consecrated host fell on the floor. The host was put into a container with water so that it would dissolve. Instead, it formed red stains. In Feb. 2014, the host was examined by various research institutes including the Department of Forensic Medicine in Szczecin who stated:

 

“In the histopathological image, the fragments were found containing the fragmented parts of the cross-striated muscle. It is most similar to the heart muscle.”

 

Additionally, and similar to the findings of the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, Italy, research found that the tissue had alterations that would appear during great distress. 

 

The bleeding Host in Poland was approved for veneration in April 2016, by Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski of Legnica who said that it “has the hallmarks of a Eucharistic miracle.” Learn more here

 

2. Tixtla: Eucharistic Miracle in Mexico, 2006


 

In Oct. 2006, a parish in the Chilpancingo-Chilapa Diocese of Mexico held a retreat. During mass, two priests and a religious sister were distributing communion when the religious sister looked at the celebrant with tears in her eyes. The Host that she held had begun to effuse a reddish substance. 

 

To determine the validity of the event, Bishop Alejo Zavala Castro asked Dr. Ricardo Castañón Gómez (who researched the Eucharistic miracle in Buenos Aires) and his team to conduct scientific research. 

 

In 2013, the research concluded that:

 

“The reddish substance analyzed corresponds to blood in which there are hemoglobin and DNA of human origin… The blood type is AB, similar to the one found in the Host of Lanciano and in the Holy Shroud of Turin.”

 

Learn more about the Tixtla eucharistic miracle here.

 

3. A Eucharistic Miracle at Chirattakonam, India, 2001



Though most Eucharistic miracles have to do with a bleeding host, the one at at Chirattakonam, India was a bit different. On an April morning in 2001, Fr. Johnson Karoor, pastor at St. Mary’s parish in Chirattakonam, India, exposed the Blessed Sacrament for adoration. Soon Fr. Karoor noticed three dots on the host and shared what he saw with the people, who also saw the dots.

 

The priest then left for a week and came back to find that the host had developed an image of a human face. To ensure it wasn’t his imagination, he asked an alter server if he saw anything in the host.

 

“I see the figure of a man,” the alter server replied. After mass, Fr. Karoor had a local photographer capture the image of the host:

 

Read more about the Miracle at Chirattakonam here.

 

4. The Eucharistic Miracle in Sokolka, Poland, 2008

 

Before the bleeding host in Legnica, there was another Eucharistic miracle in Poland that occurred in the city of Sokolka.

 

The miracle took place in 2008 at the church of St. Anthony. That morning during Mass, a priest accidentally dropped a host while distributing Communion. The Host was then put in a small container of water. The pastor, Fr. Stanislaw Gniedziejko, asked the sacristan, Sister Julia Dubowska of the Congregation of the Eucharistic Sisters, to place the container in a safe in the sacristy. After a week, Sister Julia checked on the host. When she opened the safe, she smelled something like unleavened bread and the host had a red blood stain on it.

 

Immediately, Sister Julia and Fr. Gniedziejko told the archbishop of Bialystok, Bishop Edward Ozorowski, about the host. The Bishop had the stained host taken out of the container and placed on a corporal, where it stayed in the tabernacle for three years. During this time, the stained fragment of the host dried out (appearing more like a blood stain or clot) and several studies were commissioned on the host. The studies found that the altered fragment of the host is identical to the myocardial (heart) tissue of a person who is nearing death. Additionally, the structure of the muscle fibers and that of the bread are interwoven in a way impossible to produce by human means.

 

Learn more about the bleeding Host in Poland here.

 

For more on Eucharistic miracles, see “The Eucharistic Miracle Overseen by Archbishop Bergoglio (Now Pope Francis)” and Fr. Spitzer’s article, "Contemporary, Scientifically Validated Miracles Associated with Blessed Mary, Saints and the Holy Eucharist.” See also,

 

“For us believers what we have seen is something that we have always believed… If our Lord is speaking to us by giving us this sign, it certainly needs a response from us.” –

 

Bishop Cyril Mar Baselice, Archbishop of the diocese of Trivandrum on the Eucharistic Miracle at Chirattakonam, India

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART ONE:

THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION ONE

"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"

Article 1-THE REVELATION OF GOD

III. Christ Jesus -- "Mediator and Fullness of All Revelation"

God has said everything in his Word

65 "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son." Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father's one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:

In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.

There will be no further Revelation

66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ." Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.

67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

Christian faith cannot accept "revelations" that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfilment, as is the case in certain nonChristian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such "revelations".


Please pray for the intentions of my wife Mary Katherine (name meaning: Star of the Sea my Purest One) for today is her birthday.


>>>Today is Day 10 of the Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit.<<<

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Protection of Life from Conception until natural death.

·       Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary



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