US Marine Corp
Where the mighty go; God goes with them!
· At Iwo Jima, Marine Chaplain Father Charles Suver celebrated Holy Mass shortly before the raising of the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi by the Marines. Debate has been inconclusive whether it was the first less known or the second more well-known raising of the flag that is now immortalized in history. Regardless of which flag raising it was Father Suver could still hear Japanese voices in the nearby caves as he said the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!
ST. SIMON STOCK
27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew [his] sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted out in a loud voice, “Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.” 29 He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with FEAR, he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
In this work of God’s Mercy, Christ frees the jailer from the jail of fear and sin.
Freeing of the Jailer of his jail
Paul was not overwhelmed by circumstances. The earthquake had not numbed him with fear. He had no abject terror of death. Paul had his wits about him. He heard the jailer's cry, heard the sword being drawn - perhaps, he saw the shadow of it cast by the dim lamplight upon the prison wall and spoke out in mercy to save the man's life from the consequences of sin.
The penal consequence of sin is death. There are three kinds of death that result from sin. Sinners are dead to God. There is no real communion between God and us. He has withdrawn and no longer walks with us in the cool of the day. All men physically die. Our old bodies will not last forever. Finally, for those who remain God's enemies at heart there is ultimately the destruction of both body and soul.
Our fallen natures continually drag us down. We have little power to withstand the inclination to sin when it is strong upon us. We scarcely live a day of our lives without falling short of the standards we set ourselves let along the standards that God sets. It is very doubtful that the Philippian jailer thought along these lines exactly - nor do most people who are converted! The jailer just knew that he needed saving from the way he was. He compared himself with Paul and Silas and he was disgusted with the life he led. He hadn't the fortitude, inner joy, peace or consideration for others that Paul exhibited. The jailer feared death. He had no sort of relationship with God. He had no hope of life beyond the grave because he had no assurance that God was interested him let alone loved him. The jailer was lost, and he knew it.
Paul and Silas replied to the jailer's question as one: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household." Paul did not point the jailer to Jesus' saving work but to Jesus himself. This is because in the first instance the human heart must submit to Jesus. A sinner has to answer, "I will," to that command of Paul and Silas. Saving faith involves submitting, surrendering and yielding to Jesus. The rebel has to shoulder arms and say to the Savior, "I give in. Please rescue me."
The Lesser Rogation Days prior to the Ascension were especially important in rural communities dependent on agricultural bounty. They were also the inspiration for a number of semi-liturgical imitations, where farmers would take holy water and douse their fields for protection and blessing. Perhaps this would be a good time to have one's garden blessed. Another interesting feature of Rogationtide is the tradition of having parishioners end resentments or conflicts that had been festering between them. Edman Duffy's The Stripping of the Altars includes vivid accounts from pre-Reformation England of some of these reconciliations.
Today would be a good day to reflect on what we want to harvest this fall; so, like farmers we must till the soil of our soul reflecting this day on our use of our TALENTS and look at in what ways we may offer our abilities to Christ to help build a harvest for His Kingdom.
Saint John Paul II wrote the Encyclical "Laborem Exercens" in 1981, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Leo XIII's Encyclical "Rerum Novarum" on the question of labor. In it he develops the concept of man's dignity in work, structuring it in four points: the subordination of work to man; the primacy of the worker over the whole of instruments and conditioning that historically constitute the world of labor; the rights of the human person as the determining factor of all socio-economic, technological and productive processes, that must be recognized; and some elements that can help all men identify with Christ through their own work.
Work is one of these aspects, a perennial and fundamental one, one that is always relevant and constantly demands renewed attention and decisive witness."
The Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to ensure authentic progress by man and society." "Human work is a key, probably the essential key, to the whole social question, if we try to see that question really from the point of view of man's good. And if the solution - or rather the gradual solution - of the social question, which keeps coming up and becomes ever more complex, must be sought in the direction of 'making life more human', then the key, namely human work, acquires fundamental and decisive importance."
Work and Man
John Paul, "work is a fundamental dimension of man's existence on earth." This conviction is found in the first pages of Genesis: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it." "Man's dominion over the earth is achieved in and by means of work. ... The proper subject of work continues to be man," and the finality of work "is always man himself." It is a question of the objective and subjective meaning of work: although both are important, the second takes precedence; "there is no doubt that human work has an ethical value of its own, which clearly and directly remains linked to the fact that the one who carries it out is a person, a conscious and free subject, that is to say a subject that decides about himself." Although technology fosters an increase in the things produced by work, sometimes it "can cease to be man's ally and become almost his enemy, as when the mechanization of work 'supplants' him, taking away all personal satisfaction and the incentive to creativity and responsibility, when it deprives many workers of their previous employment, or when, through exalting the machine, it reduces man to the status of its slave." "in order to achieve social justice in the various parts of the world, in the various countries, and in the relationships between them, there is a need for ever new movements of solidarity of the workers and with the workers."
"Work is a good thing for man - a good thing for his humanity - because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfillment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes 'more a human being'."
Conflict: Labor and Capital in the Present Phase of History
The Pope observes that during the period which has passed since the publication of "Rerum Novarum" (1891), "which is by no means yet over, the issue of work has of course been posed on the basis of the great conflict that in the age of, and together with, industrial development emerged between 'capital' and 'labor'." This antagonism "found expression in the ideological conflict between liberalism, understood as the ideology of capitalism, and Marxism, understood as the ideology of scientific socialism and communism, which professes to act as the spokesman for the working class and the world-wide proletariat." Later, he recalls the principle of "the priority of labor over capital." The first "is always a primary efficient cause, while capital, the whole collection of means of production, remains a mere instrument or instrumental cause." Thus appears the error of economism, "that of considering human labor solely according to its economic purpose." John Paul II then refers to the right to private property, emphasizing that the Church's teaching regarding this principle "diverges radically from the program of collectivism as proclaimed by Marxism," and "the program of capitalism practiced by liberalism and by the political systems inspired by it." "The position of 'rigid' capitalism continues to remain unacceptable, namely the position that defends the exclusive right to private ownership of the means of production as an untouchable 'dogma' of economic life. The principle of respect for work demands that this right should undergo a constructive revision, both in theory and in practice." For this reason, regardless of the type of system of production, it is necessary for each worker to be aware that "he is working 'for himself'."
Rights of Workers
The Holy Father highlights that the human rights that are derived from work are a part of the fundamental rights of the person.
· He discusses the need to take action against unemployment, which is a true social calamity and a problem of a moral as well as an economic nature. Starting with the concept of the "indirect employer," in other words, "all the agents at the national and international level that are responsible for the whole orientation of labor policy," he notes that in order to solve the problem of unemployment, these agents "must make provision for overall planning." This "cannot mean one-sided centralization by the public authorities. Instead, what is in question is a just and rational coordination, within the framework of which the initiative of individuals ... must be safeguarded."
· Speaking of the rights of workers, he recalls the dignity of agricultural work and the need to offer jobs to disabled people. As for the matter of salaries, he writes that "the key problem of social ethics in this case is that of just remuneration for work done."
· In addition, "there must be a social re-evaluation of the mother's role." Specifically, "the whole labor process must be organized and adapted in such a way as to respect the requirements of the person and his or her forms of life, above all life in the home, taking into account the individual's age and sex."
· It is fitting that women "should be able to fulfill their tasks in accordance with their own nature, without being discriminated against and without being excluded from jobs for which they are capable, but also without lack of respect for their family aspirations and for their specific role in contributing, together with men, to the good of society."
· Besides wages, there are other social benefits whose objective is "to ensure the life and health of workers and their families." In this regard, he notes the right to leisure time, which should include weekly rest and yearly vacations.
· The Pope then considers the importance of unions, which he calls "an indispensable element of social life." "One method used by unions in pursuing the just rights of their members is the strike or work stoppage. This method is recognized by Catholic social teaching as legitimate in the proper conditions and within just limits," but must not be abused.
· As for the question of emigration for work reasons, he affirms that man has the right to leave his country to seek better living conditions in another. "The most important thing is that the person working away from his native land, whether as a permanent emigrant or as a seasonal worker, should not be placed at a disadvantage in comparison with the other workers in that society in the matter of working rights."
Elements for a Spirituality of Work
· Labor has meaning in God's eyes. Thus, "the knowledge that by means of work man shares in the work of creation constitutes the most profound motive for undertaking it in various sectors."
· Labor is participation in the work of the Creator and the Redeemer. Jesus Christ looks upon work with love because he himself was a laborer.
· This is a doctrine, and at the same time a program, that is rooted in the "Gospel of work" proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth. "By enduring the toil of work in union with Christ crucified for us, man in a way collaborates with the Son of God for the redemption of humanity. He shows himself a true disciple of Christ by carrying the cross in his turn every day in the activity that he is called upon to perform."
St. Simon Stock
Saint Simon Stock was born to a very illustrious family in Kent County, England (c. 1165), of which his father was governor. His mother was devoted to the Virgin Mary, and Simon was not yet one year old when he was heard clearly articulating the Angelic salutation several times. When he was twelve, Simon began to live as a hermit in the hollow of a trunk of an oak, where he got the nickname “stock” or “trunk”. Within this wilderness retreat, his continual prayers ascended to heaven and he spent twenty years in the most complete solitude, feeding his soul with the celestial delights of contemplation.
Having voluntarily chosen to deprive himself of human conversation, he was favored with that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the angels who urged him to persevere in his life of sacrifice and love. The Queen of Heaven told him that some hermits from Palestine would soon land in England, adding that he should join those men whom she considered as her servants.
Indeed, Lord John Vesoy and Lord Richard Gray of Codnor returned from the Holy Land, bringing with them several hermits from Mount Carmel. Simon Stock joined them in 1212 and was elected Vicar General of the Carmelite Order in 1215. He begged the Virgin Mary by fervent prayers and tears to defend this Order, which was devoted to her, and she appeared in a dream to Pope Honorius III, so the pope finally confirmed the Rule of Carmelites in 1226.
Another time the Mother of God appeared to Simon, surrounded by a dazzling light and accompanied by a large number of blessed spirits, with the scapular of the order in her hand. This scapular she gave him with the words:
“Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hoc habitu moriens salvabitur” –
This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone wearing this habit shall be saved.
Through Saint Simon Stock the devotion of the scapular spread throughout the world, not only among the people, but also among kings and princes who found themselves very honored to wear the sign of the servants of the Blessed Virgin. Stock breathed his last in the city of Bordeaux while visiting monasteries, in the 20th year of his office as Vicar General. The Church added his last words to the Angelic salutation: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”
Mary’s Promise to Those Who Wear the Scapular
Our Lady gave St. Simon a scapular for the Carmelites with the following promise, saying: Receive, My beloved son, this habit of thy order: this shall be to thee and to all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire …. It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger, and a pledge of peace.
Another important aspect of wearing the Scapular is the Sabbatine Privilege. This concerns a promise made by Our Lady to Pope John XXII. In a papal letter he issued, he recounted a vision that he had had. He stated that the Blessed Virgin had said to him in this vision, concerning those who wear the Brown Scapular: “I, the Mother of Grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”
Conditions and Rituals Attached to The Scapular
According to Church tradition, there are three conditions necessary to participate in this Privilege and share in the other spiritual benefits of the Scapular: wear the Brown Scapular, observe chastity according to your state in life, and pray the Rosary. In addition to the Sabbatine Privilege, enrollment in the Brown Scapular also makes a person part of the Carmelite family throughout the world. They therefore share in all of the prayers and good works of the Carmelite Orders. Participation in the Carmelite family also, of course, places you in a special relationship with the Carmelite saints, especially St. Elijah, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, and, most importantly, Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
In order to receive the spiritual blessings associated with the Scapular, it is necessary to be formally enrolled in the Brown Scapular by either a priest or a lay person who has been given this faculty. Once enrolled, the enrollment is for life and need not be repeated. Anyone, adult or infant, who has not previously been enrolled may be enrolled in the Brown Scapular.
Value and Meaning of The Scapular
Many popes and saints have strongly recommended wearing, the Brown Scapular to the Catholic Faithful, including St. Robert Bellarmine, Pope John XXII, Pope Pius Xl, and Pope Benedict XV. For example, St. Alphonsus said: “Just as men take pride in having others wear their livery, so the Most Holy Mary is pleased when Her servants wear Her Scapular as a mark that they have dedicated themselves to Her service, and are members of the Family of the Mother of God.”
Pope Pius XII went so far as to say: “The Scapular is a practice of piety which by its very simplicity is suited to everyone and has spread widely among the faithful of Christ to their spiritual profit.” In our own times, Pope Paul VI said: “Let the faithful hold in high esteem the practices and devotions to the Blessed Virgin … the Rosary and the Scapular of Carmel” and in another place referred to the Scapular as: “so highly recommended by our illustrious predecessors.”
Today is Horse Rescue Day
Adopt a (Army) Caisson Horse
The Caisson Horses of The Old Guard participate in all Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps Full Honors Funerals performed in Arlington National Cemetery. These magnificent animals serve with the men of the Caisson Platoon daily to ensure final honors are given in a dignified, professional, and respectful manner; and they love their job. Each Caisson Horse offered for adoption has served on average for over a decade. During the course of their service, they participate in thousands of funerals for our nation’s heroes. Because of the long and distinguished service of each and every horse in our stables, The Old Guard has introduced the Caisson Horse Adoption Program to ensure each horse is rewarded with a great home following its well-earned retirement.
The primary goal of the Caisson Horse Adoption Program is to select a home for a retiring Caisson Horse. The program publishes Horses ready for retirement to a website, identifies potential adopters, and selects the best candidate from a pool of applicants seeking to adopt a retired Caisson Horse. The specifics of the Caisson Horse Adoption Program is governed by The Old Guard Regimental Policy Letter #13 – Horse Adoption.
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of
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,
Eucharist – Mystery to Be Revered
10. We cannot speak of the Eucharist without being confronted by its awesome mystery. It is no wonder that it is the central point of division between Catholics and other Christians. As early as the second century, we have record of Christians being accused of cannibalism by the pagan Romans because they ate and drank the Body and Blood of Christ (cf. First and Second Apologies of St. Justin Martyr). Since the Protestant Reformation, many Christians stopped believing in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Instead, they hold a certain religious service on Sundays but not the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
11. The perennial biblical verse where the Christian conflict begins and ends is the Bread of Life discourse: “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink” (Jn 6:53-55).
12. Jesus meant exactly what He said – He is truly present in the Eucharist. Some say that these words are figurative or that Jesus was only speaking symbolically when He said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life”. However, if Jesus had meant it as a symbol, He would not have repeated this message seven times in this dialogue: “My flesh is true food, my blood is true drink”. The Jews understood what He really meant, and they responded with incredulity, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”. Despite the uproar caused by His teaching, Jesus did not soften His claim. On the contrary, He strengthened it. Up to this point, the Gospel of Saint John uses the ordinary Greek word for “eat” (phagein). After the indignant question from the Jews, John shifts to a stronger word “to chew” or “to munch” (trogein). To capture the force of this word, we could translate, not as: “Whoever eats my flesh”; but “Whoever feeds on my flesh”.
To be continued…
Catechism of the Catholic Church
V. Practical Directions for Using this Catechism
18 This catechism is conceived as an organic presentation of the Catholic faith in its entirety. It should be seen therefore as a unified whole. Numerous cross-references in the margin of the text (numbers found at the end of a sentence referring to other paragraphs that deal with the same theme), as well as the analytical index at the end of the volume, allow the reader to view each theme in its relationship with the entirety of the faith.
19 The texts of Sacred Scripture are often not quoted word for word but are merely indicated by a reference (cf.). For a deeper understanding of such passages, the reader should refer to the Scriptural texts themselves. Such Biblical references are a valuable working-tool in catechesis.
20 The use of small print in certain passages indicates observations of an historical or apologetic nature, or supplementary doctrinal explanations.
21 The quotations, also in small print, from patristic, liturgical, magisterial or hagiographical sources, are intended to enrich the doctrinal presentations. These texts have often been chosen with a view to direct catechetical use.
22 At the end of each thematic unit, a series of brief texts in small italics sums up the essentials of that unit's teaching in condensed formulae. These "IN BRIEF" summaries may suggest to local catechists brief summary formulae that could be memorized.
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: For the Poor and Suffering
· National Barbecue Day-Better to smoke in this life than the next.
· Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion
· Pray Day 7 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops
· Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
· Make reparations to the Holy Face
· Drops of Christ’s Blood
· Universal Man Plan