NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Start March 12 to December 12

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

 

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

ST. DAMIEN OF MOLOKAI-Third Shift Workers’ Day

 

Deuteronomy, Chapter 7, Verse 24-25

17 If you say to yourselves, “These nations are more numerous than we. How can we dispossess them?” 18 do not be AFRAID of them. Rather, remember clearly what the LORD, your God, did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: 19 the great testing’s which your own eyes have seen, the signs and wonders, the strong hand and outstretched arm with which the LORD, your God, brought you out. The same also will he do to all the peoples of whom you are now afraid.

 

We in America have much to be afraid of If we have not been obedient to God’s word but If we have been obedient we also have nothing to fear from those nations and peoples which hate us.

 

We on our own have no power to defeat the devil and his evil forces but with God fighting for us nothing can defeat us. Do you believe this?

 

Then we as a people must be a nation that follows the precepts of the Lord or clearly, we too will be dispossessed of our land. You must know that those who are loyal to God’s commandments will not be in terror. We must be humble before God and confident that His power will save us. On the Day of Judgment, it will be the poor and the humble that will have great confidence and joy, but the proud and powerful lovers of this world who have not repented will be afraid. Let us pray for those who do not know and follow Christ.

 

Under all the false, overloaded, glittering masquerade, there is in every person a noble nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson 

St. Damien of Molokai[1] 

Joseph De Veuster, the future Father Damien, was born at Tremelo in Belgium, January 3rd, 1840. His was a large family and his father was a farmer-merchant. When his oldest brother entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts (called 'Picpus' after the street in Paris where its Generalate was located), his father planned that Joseph should take charge of the family business. Joseph, however, decided to become a religious. At the beginning of 1859 he entered the novitiate at Louvain, in the same house as his brother. There he took the name of Damien. In 1863, his brother who was to leave for the mission in the Hawaiian Islands, became ill. Since preparations for the voyage had already been made, Damien obtained permission from the Superior General to take his brother's place. He arrived in Honolulu on March 19th, 1864, where he was ordained to the priesthood the following May 21st. He immediately devoted himself, body and soul, to the difficult service of a "country missionary" on the island of Hawaii, the largest in the Hawaiian group. At that time, the Hawaiian Government decided on a very harsh measure aimed at stopping the spread of "leprosy," the deportation to the neighboring island of Molokai, of all those infected by what was thought to be an incurable disease. The entire mission was concerned about the abandoned "lepers" and the Bishop, Louis Maigret ss.cc., spoke to the priests about the problem. He did not want to send anyone "in the name of obedience," because he knew that such an order meant certain death. Four Brothers volunteered, they would take turns visiting and assisting the "lepers" in their distress. Damien was the first to leave on May 10th, 1873. At his own request and that of the lepers, he remained definitively on Molokai. He brought hope to this hell of despair. He became a source of consolation and encouragement for the lepers, their pastor, the doctor of their souls and of their bodies, without any distinction of race or religion. He gave a voice to the voiceless, he built a community where the joy of being together and openness to the love of God gave people new reasons for living. 

After Father Damien contracted the disease in 1885, he was able to identify completely with them: "We lepers." Father Damien was, above all, a witness of the love of God for His people. He got his strength from the Eucharist: "lt is at the foot of the altar that we find the strength we need in our isolation..." It is there that he found for himself and for others the support and the encouragement, the consolation and the hope, he could, with a deep faith, communicate to the lepers. All that made him "the happiest missionary in the world," a servant of God, and a servant of humanity. Having contracted "leprosy" himself, Fr. Damien died on April 15th, 1889, having served sixteen years among the lepers. His mortal remains were transferred in 1936 to Belgium where he was interred in the crypt of the church of the Congregation of Sacred Hearts at Louvain. His fame spread to the entire world. In 1938 the process for his beatification was introduced at Malines (Belgium): Pope Paul VI signed the Decree on the "heroicity of his virtues" on July 7th, 1977. He was canonized on October 11th, 2009. 

In Father Damien, the Church proposes an example to all those who find sense for their life in the Gospel and who wish to bring the Good News to the poor of our time. 

Things to Do: 

Be adventurous and prepare a Hawaiian luau in honor of St. Damien.

 

Humble Confession[2]


A story about Father Damien the leper shows us how no one or anything should stop us from making a humble confession. One of Father Damien's greatest sufferings after he left for Molokai was his inability to go to confession. Two months after his arrival on the island, the Honolulu Board of Health ruled that no one on Molokai would be allowed to return, even temporarily. This was a cruel blow to a man of such delicate conscience as Father Damien, accustomed to receiving the grace of the sacrament of Penance weekly. Since he was forbidden to leave, it seemed someone must come to him. In September, a steamer stopped outside the shore settlement of Kalaupapa with the usual load of provisions, patients banished from the mainland, and this time with Father Damien's provincial, Father Modeste, who knew the young priest was longing to see him. As he prepared to land, Father Modeste was confronted by the captain. "I have formal orders to stop you," he announced. There was nothing left but for Damien to come out to the ship. He did, in a small boat rowed by two of his leper friends and prepared to board. "Stay back! Stay back!" shouted the captain. "I've been strictly forbidden to let you see anyone!" Father Damien stood in the little boat, so near and yet so far. Quickly he made up his mind. "Very well, I will go to confession here." And with his provincial leaning over the railing on the deck, the priest confessed his sins and received absolution. It is said no one on board knew French. Nevertheless, one cannot help feeling that in this case the walls, the very skies, had ears. It was truly heroic: a man making the choice between human respect and sacramental grace. There is no comparison. Penance is the torrent that will cleanse us. Let neither pride nor human respect prevent our making a humble confession.

Third Shift Workers’ Day

 

Most people work during the day, which is lucky for them. Third Shift Workers’ Day celebrates those who lead more nocturnal lives. Do you ever spare a thought for the nurses, fire-fighters, supermarket shelf-fillers, and all the other brave people that work the graveyard shift while you sleep soundly in your soft, warm bed?

 

They are the people that really keep the world turning, yet they might as well be invisible as far as most of us are concerned. Inhabiting the strange, monochromatic world of dreams, they keep us safe from harm, make sure our packages are delivered on time, and see to it that our morning croissant is freshly baked. Now come on and drink a toast to the health of third shift workers everywhere. Lets face it, what with the ravages wreaked on their immune systems from having their body clock messed around so much, theyll be grateful for it! 

COMPENDIUM
OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE
OF THE CHURCH

INTRODUCTION

AN INTEGRAL AND SOLIDARY HUMANISM


a.      At the dawn of the Third Millennium

1. The Church moves further into the Third Millennium of the Christian era as a pilgrim people, guided by Christ, the “great Shepherd” (Heb 13:20). He is the “Holy Door” (cf. Jn 10:9) through which we passed during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life (cf. Jn 14:6): contemplating the Lord's face, we confirm our faith and our hope in him, the one Savior and goal of history.

The Church continues to speak to all people and all nations, for it is only in the name of Christ that salvation is given to men and women. Salvation, which the Lord Jesus obtained “at a price” (1 Cor 6:20; cf. 1 Pet 1:18-19), is achieved in the new life that awaits the righteous after death, but it also permeates this world in the realities of the economy and labour, of technology and communications, of society and politics, of the international community and the relations among cultures and peoples. “Jesus came to bring integral salvation, one which embraces the whole person and all mankind, and opens up the wondrous prospect of divine filiation”.

2. At the dawn of this Third Millennium, the Church does not tire of proclaiming the Gospel that brings salvation and genuine freedom also to temporal realities. She is mindful of the solemn exhortation given by Saint Paul to his disciple Timothy: “Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry” (2 Tim 4:2-5).

3. To the people of our time, her travelling companions, the Church also offers her social doctrine. In fact, when the Church “fulfils her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the communion of persons. She teaches him the demands of justice and peace in conformity with divine wisdom”. This doctrine has its own profound unity, which flows from Faith in a whole and complete salvation, from Hope in a fullness of justice, and from Love which makes all mankind truly brothers and sisters in Christ: it is the expression of God's love for the world, which he so loved “that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3:16). The new law of love embraces the entire human family and knows no limits, since the proclamation of the salvation wrought by Christ extends “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

4. Discovering that they are loved by God, people come to understand their own transcendent dignity, they learn not to be satisfied with only themselves but to encounter their neighbor in a network of relationships that are ever more authentically human. Men and women who are made “new” by the love of God are able to change the rules and the quality of relationships, transforming even social structures. They are people capable of bringing peace where there is conflict, of building and nurturing fraternal relationships where there is hatred, of seeking justice where there prevails the exploitation of man by man. Only love is capable of radically transforming the relationships that men maintain among themselves. This is the perspective that allows every person of good will to perceive the broad horizons of justice and human development in truth and goodness.

5. Love faces a vast field of work and the Church is eager to make her contribution with her social doctrine, which concerns the whole person and is addressed to all people. So many needy brothers and sisters are waiting for help, so many who are oppressed are waiting for justice, so many who are unemployed are waiting for a job, so many peoples are waiting for respect. “How can it be that even today there are still people dying of hunger? Condemned to illiteracy? Lacking the most basic medical care? Without a roof over their head? The scenario of poverty can extend indefinitely, if in addition to its traditional forms we think of its newer patterns. These latter often affect financially affluent sectors and groups which are nevertheless threatened by despair at the lack of meaning in their lives, by drug addiction, by fear of abandonment in old age or sickness, by marginalization or social discrimination ... And how can we remain indifferent to the prospect of an ecological crisis which is making vast areas of our planet uninhabitable and hostile to humanity? Or by the problems of peace, so often threatened by the spectre of catastrophic wars? Or by contempt for the fundamental human rights of so many people, especially children?”.

6. Christian love leads to denunciation, proposals and a commitment to cultural and social projects; it prompts positive activity that inspires all who sincerely have the good of man at heart to make their contribution. Humanity is coming to understand ever more clearly that it is linked by one sole destiny that requires joint acceptance of responsibility, a responsibility inspired by an integral and shared humanism. It sees that this mutual destiny is often conditioned and even imposed by technological and economic factors, and it senses the need for a greater moral awareness that will guide its common journey. Marvelling at the many innovations of technology, the men and women of our day strongly desire that progress be directed towards the true good of the humanity, both of today and tomorrow.

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Prayer After Receiving Holy Communion

I give thanks to Thee, O Lord, most holy, Father almighty, eternal God, that Thou hast vouchsafed, for no merit of mine own, but out of Thy pure mercy, to appease the hunger of my soul with the precious body and blood of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Humbly I implore Thee, let not this holy communion be to me an increase of guilt unto my punishment, but an availing plea unto pardon and salvation. Let it be to me the armor of faith and the shield of goodwill. May it root out from my heart all vice; may it utterly subdue my evil passions and all my unruly desires. May it perfect me in charity and patience; in humility and obedience; and in all other virtues. May it be my sure defense against the snares laid for me by my enemies, visible and invisible. May it restrain and quiet all my evil impulses and make me ever cleave to Thee Who art the one true God. May I owe to it a happy ending of my life. And do Thou, O heavenly Father, vouchsafe one day to call me, a sinner, to that ineffable banquet, where Thou, together with Thy Son and the Holy Ghost, art to Thy saints true and unfailing light, fullness of content, joy for evermore, gladness without alloy, consummate and everlasting happiness. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night, perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·       Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·       Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Restoring the Constitution

·       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




[1]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-05-10

[2]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=258



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