Deuteronomy, Chapter 31, Verse 8
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
The Lord our God calls us to His service. This is the message of St. Therese of Lisieux that we are all called, and we should have great confidence and humility seeking to bring the kingdom in small ways and asking our Lord to multiply our efforts. The greatest way we can bring about the Kingdom is in our own families. This is the reason Pope Francis made such efforts to attend the family symposium in Philadelphia in 2015. Yes, families are under attack from a secular world, a media that continually pushes instant gratification and sensuality and of course Satan and his followers.
The final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid because Our Lady has already crushed his head and anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way. (Sister Lucia of Fatima)
Our Lord will not abandon us and tells us to trust in him.
Entrust everything to Me and do nothing on your own, and you will always have great freedom of spirit. No circumstances or events will ever be able to upset you. Set little store on what people say. Let everyone judge you as they like. Do not make excuses for yourself, it will do you no harm. (Diary of Sister Faustina, 1685)
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday
The day of hope
38. Viewed in this way, Sunday is not only the day of faith, but is also the day of Christian hope. To share in "the Lord's Supper" is to anticipate the eschatological feast of the "marriage of the Lamb" (Rev 19:9). Celebrating this memorial of Christ, risen and ascended into heaven, the Christian community waits "in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ". Renewed and nourished by this intense weekly rhythm, Christian hope becomes the leaven and the light of human hope. This is why the Prayer of the Faithful responds not only to the needs of the particular Christian community but also to those of all humanity; and the Church, coming together for the Eucharistic celebration, shows to the world that she makes her own "the joys and hopes, the sorrows and anxieties of people today, especially of the poor and all those who suffer". With the offering of the Sunday Eucharist, the Church crowns the witness which her children strive to offer every day of the week by proclaiming the Gospel and practicing charity in the world of work and in all the many tasks of life; thus she shows forth more plainly her identity "as a sacrament, or sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of the entire human race".
Sunday is dedicated to the worship of the Triune God, and is called accordingly the Lord s day; but the first Sunday after Pentecost is appointed by the Church a special feast of the Most Holy Trinity, because this mystery, as the fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, began at once to be preached by the apostles, as soon as they had been enlightened and strengthened by the descent of the Holy Ghost.
What thoughts and affections should occupy our minds on this feast? Although the mystery of the Trinity is incomprehensible to us, we must consider:
1. That God would cease to be God, if our limited understanding were capable of penetrating the substance of His nature.
2. The mystery of the Blessed Trinity, though incomprehensible to our intellect, is yet not without fruit in our hearts. The records of revelation show us God the Father as our Creator, God the Son as our Redeemer, God the Holy Ghost as our Sanctifier; and should not this move us to a child-like gratitude towards the blessed Trinity?
In praise of the Most Holy Trinity, the Church sings at the Introit of the Mass, Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided Unity; we will give glory to Him, because He hath shown His mercy to us. O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is Thy name in all the earth.
Prayer. O almighty and eternal God, Who hast created Thy servant to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, in the confession of the true faith, and to adore the unity in the power of Thy majesty, we beseech Thee, that by firmness in the same faith, we may be ever protected from all adversities.
EPISTLE. Rom. xi. 33-36.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be made Him? For of Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all things: to Him be glory forever. Amen.
Explanation. The ground of St. Paul’s admiration in this epistle is the unfathomable wisdom and love of God, by which He permitted the Jews and heathen to fall into unbelief, that He might have mercy on all, and make all perceive that they were justified, not through their merits, but only through His grace. But the Church makes use of these words to express her reverent admiration for the greatness of the mystery of the All Holy Trinity. Though we can neither measure nor comprehend this mystery, yet no man of sound reason will hesitate to believe it, if he considers that it is most plainly revealed by God; that as God, the Infinite, cannot be comprehended by the spirit of man, so also He can reveal more than we can understand; and that, finally, there are many things in man himself, and in nature, which we acknowledge as true, but cannot comprehend. Besides, does not our holy religion assure us, that one day we shall behold face to face the Infinite Whose image is now reflected dimly in the mirror of nature? Let us add hope, therefore, to our faith, and if true and sincere love be based upon these two, our understanding and heart will have abundant consolation in regard to this great mystery.
GOSPEL. Matt, xxviii. 18-20.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth; going therefore teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
What command does Our Savior give in this gospel?
He commands His apostles to teach all nations, and to baptize them.
Is Baptism a sacrament?
Yes, for by it we receive the grace of God, through an outward sign instituted by Christ.
What is the outward sign?
Pouring water on the head of the person to be baptized and pronouncing at the same time the words: “I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
What is the effect of the grace of Baptism?
Through water and the Holy Ghost, the baptized person is cleansed from original sin, and from all actual sins, if he has committed such; is spiritually new-born, and made a child of God and a joint heir with Christ (John iii. 6; Rom. viii. 17).
What is the use of sponsors?
1. In the name of the child, they express the desire to be baptized, and make the profession of faith, together with the promise to live according to the doctrine of Christ.
2. In case the parents should die, or neglect their duty, the godparents may provide for the instruction of the children.
3. They are witnesses that such a person has been baptized.
Who is God?
God is an infinite being, of all possible perfections, the most sublime and excellent of all goods, existing from all eternity, and containing within Himself the principle of His own being and substance; from Whom all other things have received their existence and life, “for of Him, and by Him, and in Him are all things” (Rom. xi. 36).
What is the blessed Trinity?
It is this one God, Who is one in nature and threefold in person, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Is each of these persons God?
Yes, for each possesses the divine nature and substance.
Is any of these three persons older, more powerful, or greater than another?
No; they are all three, from eternity, equal in power, sublimity, and majesty, and must therefore be equally adored.
From Whom is the Father?
From Himself, before all eternity.
From Whom is God the Son?
The Son is begotten of the Father before all ages.
From Whom is God the Holy Ghost?
He proceeds from the Father and the Son.
Holy Sunshine and Rain
After the Son revealed His relation to the Father through Good Friday and Easter, and the Spirit revealed Himself at Pentecost, the most Holy Trinity can now be fully worshipped.
Though the mystery of the Holy Trinity is the greatest dogma of the Christian faith and the Feast of the Holy Trinity one of the beloved annual feasts of Christianity, there are not many customs or rituals quintessentially associated with this day. It has always been the custom, however, to keep this day with great reverence and solemnity. Festivals after Mass featuring thunderous preachers and thunderous bands aroused their listeners to joyful heights, while Holy Trinity Confraternities (which were once very influential) would sponsor special events and devotions on this their name day. Superstition also ascribed great powers to the weather on Holy Trinity Sunday, regardless of what it was: "Trinity rain" was considered as healthy as "Trinity sunshine."
Trinity Sunday Facts
· The Nicene Creed and similar Apostle's Creed often recited during mass for many denominations affirms the Trinity. The creeds are a profession of faith. The Catholic version of The Apostle's Creed is:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
· The Trinity does not explicitly appear in the Bible. The interpretation and belief in the three-in-one God came out of several councils in the early church that wrestled with the question of the divinity of God the Creator, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
· St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, taught non-Christians the Trinity with a shamrock.
· The Orthodox Church celebrates the Trinity in its Feast of the Pentecost. Pentecost Sunday is sometimes even called Trinity Day.
Trinity Sunday Top Events and Things to Do
· The Trinity is often described as a holy mystery beyond complete human understanding. To mark Trinity Sunday, consider other things that are beyond human understanding, like the universe, or the concept of time never ending.
· Listen to a sermon on Trinity Sunday to see what examples the pastor uses to illustrate the concept of God in three persons.
· Johann Sebastian Bach wrote music to celebrate the Trinity. Listen to one of his Trinity Sunday cantatas on YouTube.
· Experience the Trinity in art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. One painting that depicts this is The Trinity by Italian painter Angulo Gaddi.
Fifty days after the Resurrection, on the excising Jewish feast of Pentecost, while the disciples and many other followers of Jesus Christ were gathered together to pray, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of "cloven tongues of fire," with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and they began to speak in languages that they did not know. There were many visitors from the Jewish diaspora to Jerusalem at that time for the Jewish observance of the feast, and they were astonished to hear these untaught fisherman speaking praises to God in their alien tongues. This account is detailed in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2.
The number fifty, as in the fiftieth day after Pascha, stands for eternal and heavenly fulfillment, seven times seven, plus one.
Feast of Pentecost
The Orthodox Church sees Pentecost as the final fulfillment of the mission of Jesus Christ and the first beginning of the messianic age of the Kingdom of God, mystically present in his Church. It is traditionally called the beginning of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Besides celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit, the feast also celebrates the full revelation of the divine Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hymns of the Church, celebrate the sign of the final act of God's self-disclosure to the world of His creation.
To Orthodox Christians, the feast of Pentecost is not just a celebration of an event in history. It is also a celebration their membership in the Church. They have lived Pentecost and received "the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit" in the sacrament of chrismation.
Celebration of the feast
For the feast of Pentecost the icon of the Holy Trinity, the three angelic figures who appeared to Abraham, is placed in the center of the church for veneration. This icon is used with the traditional Pentecost icon. The church building is decorated with flowers and the green leaves of the summer to show that God's divine breath comes to renew all creation. Green vestments and coverings are also used.
The Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom with special hymns replacing the standard Antiphons. The hymns O Heavenly King and We have seen the True Light are sung for the first time since Easter, calling the Holy Spirit to "come and abide in us," and proclaiming that "we have received the heavenly Spirit."
An extraordinary service called the Kneeling Vespers, is observed on the evening of Pentecost. This is a Vespers service to which are added three sets of long poetical prayers, the composition of Saint Basil the Great, during which everyone makes a full prostration, touching their foreheads to the floor (prostrations in church having been forbidden from the day of Pascha (Easter) up to this point). In many parishes, this service is done immediately after the Liturgy.
The Monday after Pentecost is the Feast of the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Church, and the Sunday after Pentecost is the Feast of All Saints.
Even though the start of the Church year is considered to start in September, the liturgical center of the annual cycle of Orthodox worship is the feast of Pascha, preceded by Great Lent, and pre-lent, and followed by the fifty days of paschal celebration until the feast of Pentecost. Until the start of the next Great Lent, the Sundays and weeks following Pentecost, are numbered from Pentecost. Liturgical readings and hymns will be based on the "weeks after Pentecost" as listed in the Octoechos, Apostolos, and Lectionary arranged Gospel.
There are many forms of distilled alcohol that carry a distinct nobility to them, a bit of culture and of social grandeur that just can’t be claimed by other alcohols. When you think of beer, the concepts that arrive in your mind are often cheap bars and backyard BBQ’s, with wine the themes are the same but generally of a higher social class. Mention Bourbon, Scotch, and Cognac, however, and suddenly the rich red of mahogany and distinguished gentlemen in high-class studies and dens come to mind. Cognac Day is dedicated to one of these rich beverages, and perhaps one of the most distinguished.
History of Cognac Day
To begin with, let’s talk about what Cognac actually is. Cognac, in a way, is what happens when wine grows up and develops character, though we may be biased. Cognac begins with a white wine produced in one of six designated growing regions, and it’s worth noting that if it wasn’t produced from a white wine grown in those regions, it’s not considered a real Cognac. The white wine from which it starts is considered by most connoisseurs to be entirely undrinkable. There’s a further distinction in which a Cognac must be produced from 90% Ugni Blanc, a form of white wine grape, to have a specific designation. It all starts with the grapes being pressed and left to ferment for three weeks in the wild yeasts that grow naturally in those regions without the addition of sugar or sulfur. This wine is then distilled in alembic stills and placed into Limousin oak casks for two years where it goes from being nearly 70% alcohol to 40% alcohol. There are multiple grades of Cognac, and exploring them can be a great way to spend Cognac Day.
How to celebrate Cognac Day
Ahhh, this is certainly one of the grandest celebrations. Cognac Day can be celebrated by taking a trip to your local liquor store and selecting a few varieties to try out. Get together a few friends and you can have a positively thrilling taste test with dozens of varieties to choose from. Cognac is far and away an improvement over the simply fermented grape, distilled and cultivated down to its ultimate final form. While you’re sampling this drink, you should look into the various forms of glassware that are specially designed for serving Cognac. Fill a glass, take a sip, and savor the luxuriousness that is Cognac, you won’t regret it!
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,
Loving and Adoring the Eucharistic Lord
I. Make every Sunday the “Day of the Lord.”
73. Brothers and sisters in Christ, examine your experience of Sunday. Have you allowed Sunday to be like the other days of the week? Is the whole day set aside for your rejuvenation in God, or have you reduced the holiness of the day to an hour or two? Some persons are indeed required to work on Sunday, which of course is permitted. But for so many of us, Sunday could be more effectively “kept holy” with even minimal preparation and foresight.
74. The Saints always love Sunday and keep it holy. As a young girl, Saint Maria Goretti walked fifteen miles back and forth to Sunday Mass. Saint Lawrence of Brindisi once walked forty miles for Mass. In parts of Africa today, for example, some of our Catholic brothers and sisters walk for long hours to attend Mass. Families, individuals, and small communities who attempt to be good stewards of the Lord’s Day quickly discover a treasure which changes their whole experience of the week. Sunday is no longer just another day. It becomes the day of the Eucharist. It is the day of encountering the joy of the Risen Lord, who strengthens, nourishes, and sends them, together, on mission the rest of the week.
75. Think of the Sunday Eucharist as the sun which emits rays of warmth and light. If no rays shined forth, what good would the sun be for life on the earth? Similarly, if no good effects from Mass are perceptible on Sunday, our eyes become blind to the goodness and power of the Eucharist. I invite you: be bold in allowing rays of freedom, joy, and life to burst forth from Mass into the rest of your Sunday! How might the Lord desire that you allow these rays to shine forth precisely on Sunday? Here are some simple ideas for you to consider:
· Choose a set time when you will go to Mass on Sunday and stick to it.
· Find ways to make the experience of Sunday Mass truly joyful and festive, e.g., wear your best clothes, have a wonderful meal with loved ones afterward, have great music playing at home throughout day, telephone loved ones, enjoy a clean and renewed home – which means finishing domestic duties and chores on Saturday, spend time enjoying the Bible, savor something truly beautiful in nature or art, and perform simple works of charity.
· Try to live the Lord’s Day from sunset on Saturday through Sunday evening.
· Turn off your phone for extended periods of Sunday, if not the whole day.
· If outside obligations threaten your Sunday, consider talking with your boss, family, or friends to find ways to move those commitments elsewhere.
To be continued…
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 fourth step which is faith.
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 3 SACRED SCRIPTURE
I. Christ - The Unique Word of Sacred Scripture
101 In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: "Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men."
102 Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely:
You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.
103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord's Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God's Word and Christ's Body.
104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, "but as what it really is, the word of God". "In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them."
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.