NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Friday, June 23, 2023

 


ST. JOHN’S EVE-WIDOWS DAY 

Luke, Chapter 1, verse 13:

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be AFRAID, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. 

To a Pious Jew and especially a Levi priest the knowledge that God is so holy we dare not even say His name. Notice frequently in the bible the angels will use the term, “Do not be afraid”, and this is because at times we know our sinfulness and may not feel worthy. 

Feeling unworthy is a tool the evil one often uses to discourage us from doing good works. 

I have felt this fear of being unworthy often. In the mid-seventies while still a youth in my 20’s I was chosen to be a lay Eucharistic minister while working at the South Pole in Antarctica by the priest that had come 900 miles to bring our Lord to us catholic boys working I didn’t feel worthy; come on this is Richard you know; but the Priest convinced me that it was the only way and I did want to bring “Our Lord” to my fellow brothers in Christ.

 

We must remember that the evil one will sow fear in our hearts trying to convince us we are unworthy and if we listen, we become like the man who out of fear buried his talent in the ground.


St. John Bonfires[1]


St. Johns bonfire is traditionally lit on the night before the Feast. The mood surrounding this solemn vigil is merry, since the day was regarded as a sort of summer Christmas. The Roman ritual even includes a special benedictio rogi, or blessing of the bonfire, for the birthday of the Baptist:

Lord God, Father almighty, unfailing Light who is the Source of all light: sanctify this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may be able to come with pure minds to Thee who art Light unfailing. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Domine Deus, Pater omnipotens, lumen indeficiens, qui es conditor omnium luminum: novum hunc ignem sanctifica, et praesta: ut ad te, qui es lumen indeficiens, puris mentibus post hujus saeculi caliginem pervenire valeamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The bonfire, incidentally, is an excellent symbol for John, the untamed prophet who lived outside the city both literally and figuratively. It also makes an interesting contrast with the Paschal candle. On Easter vigil, a similarly "wild" fire representing Christ is made outside and is used to light the Paschal candle, which is then carried into the church. Significantly, in the Exultet the deacon praises this candle as the product of a beehive, symbol of a virtuous and harmonious city. The idea seems to be that Christ is also an outsider, though he succeeds through his death and resurrection in bringing the light of truth into the very citadel of darkness. On the other hand, John, who never lived to see Christ's triumph, can only bear witness to the light from the outside.

Things to Do[2]

·       St. John's Birth marks the summer solstice. On the eve of this feast many countries celebrate with bonfires. This is especially true in Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. See the list of suggested activities to read more about this tradition.

·       Read about St. John's Eve particularly in Ireland (note the link is a secular website).

·       From the Germanic countries, here is some information on the Summer Solstice.

International Widows Day[3]

International Widows' Day serves to recognize widows and their unique situations worldwide. Widows are women whose husbands have died. After their husbands have passed, many widows are forced to fight for their human rights and overcome many obstacles to ensure their social and economic development. It is estimated that there are over 245 million widows worldwide, nearly half of which live in extreme poverty and are subject to cruel violence.

Top Events and Things to Do

  • Watch a movie about the life of a widow. Some suggestions are: Water (2005), Black Widow (1987), and Passionada (2002).
  • Read a book about the lives and struggles of widows. Some suggestions are: The Amish Widow’s Secret, A Widow’s Story, and The Writings and Later Wisdom Books.
  • Use the hashtags #InternationalWidowsDay, #IWD and #WidowsDay on social media to help spread awareness of the holiday.
  • Visit an old age or retirement home. Retirement homes are often home to many widows who receive no visits and little interaction with people outside of the homes. They will appreciate your visit.

Widowhood in Judaism-Mary Our Queen was a Widow.

Widowhood in Judaism is treated as a distinct state of being, for a woman. If the widow's husband had died after the start of the actual marriage (Hebrew: nissuin), rather than merely dying after the betrothal (Hebrew: erusin), she became a legally independent individual; the Talmud states that a woman became independent from her father upon her marriage (nissuin), and she would become independent from her husband when he dies. It was said that a formerly married widow was tantamount to an orphan.

Though Judaism takes a somewhat benign attitude towards widows, historically it has also imposed a small number of odious requirements on them. For example, if a widow's husband had appointed her to be the guardian of his children, and some were still infants, her husband's heirs had a Talmudic right to demand an oath from the widow, concerning her management of the children; however, her husband could, before dying, remove this task, by means of written revocation of it.

Protections

The Book of Isaiah argues that one should judge the fatherless, plead for the widow; in Judaism, it consequently became customary to give cases raised by any widow the second highest priority (the fatherless having the highest), when scheduling cases for a rabbinic court. The later Deuteronomic Code takes up this principle, commanding that the fatherless (and resident aliens) should not be deprived of justice, and forbidding people from taking a widow's cloak as a pledge; in Judaism this command was regarded as referring to all movable property belonging to a widow, rather than merely her outer clothing.

In the second prologue of the Book of Deuteronomy, which scholars regard as a later prefix to the Deuteronomic Code, it is said that such protection is also provided by God himself, judging the (cases of the) fatherless and the widow. Similarly, a psalm argues that God was a father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows. The Talmud permits a widow to remain resident in her husband's house.

Support

The Deuteronomic Code legislates the requirement for gleanings to be left for consumption by widows (and by the fatherless, and by resident aliens); according to the Holiness Code, which scholars attribute to a different author and time period, gleanings were actually to be left to the poor, and to strangers. The Deuteronomic Code also expects widows (and the fatherless, and resident aliens) to be treated as guests at Shavuot and Sukkot, and permits them (and the fatherless, and resident aliens), every third year, to eat from the proceeds of the Levite Tithe.

More substantive and continual means of support are provided for widows by the Talmud, which allows a widow to claim support from her husband's estate, even after the estate had been inherited by his heirs; as with married life, if the woman made such a claim, she had to surrender all her earnings to the owners of the estate, in order to offset their duty to support her.

As with an absent husband, it was argued that a widow should be allowed to sell any parts of her former husband’s property, if necessary to sustain herself. She was not required to make such sales via rabbinic courts; however, the Talmud argues that if she did not involve a rabbinic court, and sold land for this purpose, for less than it was actually worth, the sale would be void.

Alimony

In Judaism, alimony for a widow is a right written into most Jewish marriage contracts (Hebrew:ketubah); the alimony itself is often referred to as the ketubah, in consequence of this. There was no statue of limitations against a widow collecting her alimony, as long as she possessed the ketubah for the marriage in question; if she no longer possessed this ketubah, and had re-married since the death, the statute of limitations for the claim was 25 years since the death. However, in the Talmud's opinion, once a widow had claimed her alimony, or had agreed to receive it, she should no longer be allowed to claim support from her husband's estate, nor to live in his former home.

The Talmud sets the minimum amount for this alimony as 200 zuzim for a bride who had been a virgin when the marriage began, and a mere 100 zuzim for a non-virgin bride; 200 Zuzim is generally considered [by whom?] to have been enough for a woman to financially support herself for a full year. These minimum amounts were not the upper limit, meaning that the groom could, if he wished, increase the amount of alimony that the bride would receive. Any property which came into the marriage as a dowry-like gift, was legally possessed by the husband during the marriage, but it eventually returned to the widow's ownership, as part of her alimony (at least according to the classical rabbis).

The right of a widow to claim the alimony could be transferred by her to absolutely anyone, for any reason, including selling the right. If she died before completely obtaining the alimony, her heirs could inherit the right to claim the outstanding amount; the Talmud argues that such inheritance would carry with it an obligation to pay for the proper burial of the woman.

There are, though, several things which Jewish tradition regards as sufficient to cause the alimony to be forfeited, should the bride have committed them. These included immodest behavior, adultery, having sexual intercourse with her husband while she was ritually impure due to menstruating, given her husband food that was ritually forbidden, and obdurate refusal, for more than a month, to have sex with her husband. It could even be forfeited if the wife had failed to inform her husband, prior to the marriage, of all of her physical defects which were not already known about by him.

The chained wife

As the classical rabbis do not allow a man to be presumed dead merely on the basis of a prolonged absence, the wife of a man who has travelled to foreign locations and become lost (such as explorers in the Amazon, and soldiers in World War II), or of a man who has deliberately abandoned his wife and become uncontactable, would continue to be married to him, according to the views of Jewish tradition. A woman trapped into a marriage in this way was referred to as an agunah, literally meaning a chained/anchored wife; in modern times, the term agunah has also come to refer to women trapped into a marriage for other reasons, such as being refused a divorce by their husband.

In order to mitigate the hardship arising from being an agunah, Judaism has traditionally been willing to also accept a much more lax standard of evidence about a husband's fate, compared to its requirements for other questions. To prevent the situation arising in the first place, some Jewish husbands provisionally divorce their wives before undertaking long journeys, or taking part in warfare; such divorce only takes effect if the husband goes missing for more than a certain period of time. Provisional divorce has been used by some Jewish American soldiers, during World War II, but other Jewish groups, such as the Chief Rabbinate of the modern State of Israel, have completely rejected the method.

Remarriage

According to Jewish tradition, as soon as a widow remarried, she would no longer have the right to reside in her former husband's home, nor to claim support from his estate. Remarriage, though, was not entirely a free choice, and was subject to several restrictions.

Waiting period

The classical rabbis forbade all widows from remarrying, until at least 90 days had passed since the death of their previous spouse; the delay existed to reduce doubt about the paternity of any subsequent children, by making it easier to discover whether the widow was pregnant. A similar waiting requirement, known as iddah, exists in Islamic society, for similar reasons. Purely for the sake of bureaucratic standardization, the classical rabbis insisted upon a woman waiting the 90 days even when it was obvious that she could not be pregnant.

A widow was also forbade from remarriage if she became visibly pregnant during the 90 day waiting period, or if had a child which was both younger than 24 months old, and had still been breastfeeding when the widow's husband had died. Once the child had reached 24 months in age, or died, the widow was allowed to remarry (if there was no other impediment).

Forbidden remarriage

The Talmud suggests that it would be unwise for men to marry a widow. Furthermore, it completely forbids a widow from remarriage if two of her previous husbands have died from natural causes, while she was married to them; it was believed that such a woman was too dangerous to marry, either due to bad luck, or due to her having a dangerous vagina harboring some malignant disease.

If a widow had been suspected of adultery, she was forbade, by the Talmud, from ever marrying her suspected accomplice, unless she first married someone else; this intervening marriage was thought to refute, to some degree, the accusation of the adultery. Similarly if it is necessary for legal action to confirm a woman's widowhood (due to her husband being absent or missing), the classical rabbis instruct that she may not marry any of the witnesses who have testified that her husband is dead.

Priests, and those who claim descent from them.

The Holiness Code demands that the Israelite high priest must only marry a virgin, spelling out that this forbids marriage to a widow. According to the regulations in the Book of Ezekiel, even ordinary priests should be forbidden to marry widows, unless the previous husband of the widow had also been a priest. The classical rabbis followed the regulation of the Holiness Code in this respect, except that they permitted a high priest to remain married to a widow, if he had married her while he was merely an ordinary priest.

Although the first century destruction of the temple in Jerusalem resulted in the priesthood being redundant, the Torah frequently portrays the Israelite priesthood as an hereditary position, and so the rabbis of the Middle Ages regarded these regulations as applying, still, to all men who claim to be descended from such priests; such claims can often be detected in modern surnames resembling the Hebrew word kohen, the term used in most parts of the masoretic text to mean priest (the cognates in related languages, however, mean soothsayer. In the Middle Ages, several rabbis forced such men to divorce any wife prohibited by these rules, often by threatening excommunication if this was not done.

Compulsory remarriage

Among the Israelites, a wife was legally regarded simply as property (valuable property that needed to be looked after, and was thus inherited by close relatives, like other property; this principle was widespread among ancient cultures, and it was usual for the deceased husband's brother to be the first choice to inherit the wife. This levirate marriage (levir is the Latin term for a husband's brother) was made almost compulsory by the Septuagint's version of the Deuteronomic Code, if the husband and his brother lived together, and the husband was childless; the masoretic text, of this passage, makes it compulsory even when the husband was just lacking a son (and he had lived with his brother). In contrast, the Holiness Code of Leviticus appears twice to forbid the institution, listing it among forms of incest.

If the brother in question refuses to take part in the levirate marriage, the wife was permitted by the Deuteronomic Code to loosen his shoe, and spit on him; this act, known in Judaism as Halitzah, also existed in other cultures which practiced levirate marriage. This purpose of this act, however, is not explained by the Torah, though the Book of Ruth implies that it derives from an historic practice customary at every transaction involving landed property; the person disposing of the property gave away his shoe as a symbol of the transaction. In later Judaism, Halitzah was interpreted as releasing the widow and her brother-in-law from an obligation to marry each other.

By the time the Talmud was written, levirate marriage was regarded by rabbinic Jews as an objectionable practice, and Ashkenazi Jews now almost always perform the Halitzah ritual instead; nevertheless, levirate marriage, in accordance with the Deuteronomic Code, continues to be the usual practice of Sephardi Jews. The Samaritans and Karaites usually only performed levirate marriage if the original marriage had not been consummated.

Fitness Friday Wim Hof's Workout Routine[4]

Becoming an Iceman like Wim Hof needs a solid discipline, especially when it comes to your workout routine. A man like him can breathe underwater for about 6 minutes and sit in an ice bath for about 2 hours while still maintaining his normal body temperature.

I’m pretty sure you’re all curious as to how an extreme athlete works out:

Wake Up and Stretch

Hof stretches his back and tough his toes. He then reaches the sky standing on his toes, holds for three seconds, and repeats it twice.

Power Breathing

Next, he takes a 30-40 slow, steady breath. He then followed it with a 10-count holding on to exhale and take a breath, and then hold a count of 10 once again. He repeats it four times and meditates for at least five minutes.

Cold Shower

The most important part of his workout routine is taking a cold shower. When he doesn’t have enough time, he sometimes combines power breathing while showering. If you want to follow a Wim Hof method, don’t ever skip this part.

Wim Hof's Breathing Exercise:

Looking for a quiet place to sit or lie down is the first thing that Hof is doing. There should be no distractions and minimal noise in that place so that he will be comfortable while exercising. Then, he follows these four steps:

·       Step 1: Power Breaths

Here, Hof starts his exercise with 30-40 breaths (inhale and exhale). It must be slow and steady, making sure his breathing is neither deep or shallow. When performing power breaths, you need to imagine being blowing up a balloon and need to picture it out as if your body is being concentrated with fresh oxygen.

During this process, it is normal if you feel tingly or lightheaded.

·       Step 2: Hold Your Breath

Once Hof completes the first step, he empties his lungs and holds his breath as long as he can. To monitor how long he can hold his breath and improvement with the time, he is using a stopwatch to check it. If you’re in this step, don’t focus too much on time or feel anxious if your time doesn’t increase quickly.

·       Step 3: Breathe In

After Hof holds his breath until such time he feels a gasp reflex, he then inhales for about 10 seconds. Next is, he holds his breath for about 10-15 seconds. He usually repeats this step 1-4 rounds.

·       Step 4: Meditate

Once he is done with all the rounds of power breathing, he immediately meditates for a minimum of 5 minutes. Here, it would be best if you close your eyes then focus on your breathing. Do your very best to block out any distracting thoughts and sounds around.

As Wim Hof said, this will be difficult at first, but it will become easier with constant practice. He believes that practicing his breathing and meditation techniques can help cure and prevent more diseases. It can also help in improving the quality of life, including having better sleep at night.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION TWO-I. THE CREEDS

CHAPTER ONE-I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER

Article 1-"I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH"

Paragraph 1. I BELIEVE IN GOD

199 "I believe in God": this first affirmation of the Apostles' Creed is also the most fundamental. the whole Creed speaks of God, and when it also speaks of man and of the world it does so in relation to God. the other articles of the Creed all depend on the first, just as the remaining Commandments make the first explicit. the other articles help us to know God better as he revealed himself progressively to men. "The faithful first profess their belief in God."

I. "I BELIEVE IN ONE GOD"

200 These are the words with which the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed begins. the confession of God's oneness, which has its roots in the divine revelation of the Old Covenant, is inseparable from the profession of God's existence and is equally fundamental. God is unique; there is only one God: "The Christian faith confesses that God is one in nature, substance and essence."

201 To Israel, his chosen, God revealed himself as the only One: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." Through the prophets, God calls Israel and all nations to turn to him, the one and only God: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.. . To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 'Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength.'"

202 Jesus himself affirms that God is "the one Lord" whom you must love "with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength". At the same time Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is "the Lord". To confess that Jesus is Lord is distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in the One God. Nor does believing in the Holy Spirit as "Lord and giver of life" introduce any division into the One God:

We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God, eternal infinite (immensus) and unchangeable, incomprehensible, almighty and ineffable, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; three persons indeed, but one essence, substance or nature entirely simple.

II. GOD REVEALS HIS NAME

203 God revealed himself to his people Israel by making his name known to them. A name expresses a person's essence and identity and the meaning of this person's life. God has a name; he is not an anonymous force. To disclose one's name is to make oneself known to others; in a way it is to hand oneself over by becoming accessible, capable of being known more intimately and addressed personally.

204 God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people, but the revelation that proved to be the fundamental one for both the Old and the New Covenants was the revelation of the divine name to Moses in the theophany of the burning bush, on the threshold of the Exodus and of the covenant on Sinai.

The living God

205 God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that burns without being consumed: "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."9 God is the God of the fathers, the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. He is the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them and his promises; he comes to free their descendants from slavery. He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can do this and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for this plan.

"I Am who I Am"

Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you', and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." and he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'. . . this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations."

206 In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or "I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divine name is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, and he is the God who makes himself close to men.

207 By revealing his name God at the same time reveals his faithfulness which is from everlasting to everlasting, valid for the past ("I am the God of your father"), as for the future ("I will be with you"). God, who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is always there, present to his people in order to save them.

208 Faced with God's fascinating and mysterious presence, man discovers his own insignificance. Before the burning bush, Moses takes off his sandals and veils his face in the presence of God's holiness. Before the glory of the thrice-holy God, Isaiah cries out: "Woe is me! I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips." Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus, Peter exclaims: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." But because God is holy, he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner before him: "I will not execute my fierce anger. . . for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst." The apostle John says likewise: "We shall. . . reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."

209 Out of respect for the holiness of God, the people of Israel do not pronounce his name. In the reading of Sacred Scripture, the revealed name (YHWH) is replaced by the divine title "LORD" (in Hebrew Adonai, in Greek Kyrios). It is under this title that the divinity of Jesus will be acclaimed: "Jesus is LORD."

"A God merciful and gracious"

210 After Israel's sin, when the people had turned away from God to worship the golden calf, God hears Moses' prayer of intercession and agrees to walk in the midst of an unfaithful people, thus demonstrating his love. When Moses asks to see his glory, God responds "I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you my name "the LORD" [YHWH]." Then the LORD passes before Moses and proclaims, "YHWH,
YHWH, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness"; Moses then confesses that the LORD is a forgiving God.

211 The divine name, "I Am" or "He Is", expresses God's faithfulness: despite the faithlessness of men's sin and the punishment it deserves, he keeps "steadfast love for thousands". By going so far as to give up his own Son for us, God reveals that he is "rich in mercy". By giving his life to free us from sin, Jesus reveals that he himself bears the divine name: "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will realize that "I AM"."

God alone IS

212 Over the centuries, Israel's faith was able to manifest and deepen realization of the riches contained in the revelation of the divine name. God is unique; there are no other gods besides him.

He transcends the world and history. He made heaven and earth: "They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment....but you are the same, and your years have no end."

In God "there is no variation or shadow due to change." God is "HE WHO IS", from everlasting to everlasting, and as such remains ever faithful to himself and to his promises.

213 The revelation of the ineffable name "I AM WHO AM" contains then the truth that God alone IS. the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and following it the Church's Tradition, understood the divine name in this sense: God is the fullness of Being and of every perfection, without origin and without end. All creatures receive all that they are and have from him; but he alone is his very being, and he is of himself everything that he is.

III. GOD, "HE WHO IS", IS TRUTH AND LOVE

214 God, "HE WHO IS", revealed himself to Israel as the one "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness". These two terms express summarily the riches of the divine name. In all his works God displays, not only his kindness, goodness, grace and steadfast love, but also his trustworthiness, constancy, faithfulness and truth. "I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness." He is the Truth, for "God is light and in him there is no darkness"; "God is love", as the apostle John teaches.

God is Truth

215 "The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever." "and now, O LORD God, you are God, and your words are true"; this is why God's promises always come true. God is Truth itself, whose words cannot deceive. This is why one can abandon oneself in full trust to the truth and faithfulness of his word in all things. the beginning of sin and of man's fall was due to a lie of the tempter who induced doubt of God's word, kindness and faithfulness.

216 God's truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the world. God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself.

217 God is also truthful when he reveals himself - the teaching that comes from God is "true instruction". When he sends his Son into the world it will be "to bear witness to the truth": "We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true."

God is Love

218 In the course of its history, Israel was able to discover that God had only one reason to reveal himself to them, a single motive for choosing them from among all peoples as his special possession: his sheer gratuitous love. and thanks to the prophets Israel understood that it was again out of love that God never stopped saving them and pardoning their unfaithfulness and sins.

219 God's love for Israel is compared to a father's love for his son. His love for his people is stronger than a mother's for her children. God loves his people more than a bridegroom his beloved; his love will be victorious over even the worst infidelities and will extend to his most precious gift: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son."

220 God's love is "everlasting": "For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you." Through Jeremiah, God declares to his people, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."

221 But St. John goes even further when he affirms that "God is love": God's very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret: God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange.

IV. THE IMPLICATIONS OF FAITH IN ONE GOD

222 Believing in God, the only One, and loving him with all our being has enormous consequences for our whole life.

223 It means coming to know God's greatness and majesty: "Behold, God is great, and we know him not." Therefore, we must "serve God first".

224 It means living in thanksgiving: if God is the only One, everything we are and have comes from him: "What have you that you did not receive?" "What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me?"

225 It means knowing the unity and true dignity of all men: everyone is made in the image and likeness of God.

226 It means making good use of created things: faith in God, the only One, leads us to use everything that is not God only insofar as it brings us closer to him, and to detach ourselves from it insofar as it turns us away from him:
My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you.
My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you
My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you.

227 It means trusting God in every circumstance, even in adversity. A prayer of St. Teresa of Jesus wonderfully expresses this trust:

Let nothing trouble you / Let nothing frighten you Everything passes / God never changes Patience / Obtains all Whoever has God / Wants for nothing God alone is enough.

IN BRIEF

228 "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD..." (Dt 6:4; Mk 12:29). "The supreme being must be unique, without equal. . . If God is not one, he is not God" (Tertullian, Adv. Marc., 1, 3, 5: PL 2, 274).

229 Faith in God leads us to turn to him alone as our first origin and our ultimate goal, and neither to prefer anything to him nor to substitute anything for him.

230 Even when he reveals himself, God remains a mystery beyond words: "If you understood him, it would not be God" (St. Augustine, Sermo 52, 6, 16: PL 38, 360 and Sermo 117, 3, 5: PL 38, 663).

231 The God of our faith has revealed himself as HE WHO IS; and he has made himself known as "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Ex 34:6). God's very being is Truth and Love.

Daily Devotions

·       Simplicity of life can drive out demons. Honesty is a weapon to defeat Satan, the Liar. When we lie, we put a foot in his camp, and he will try to seduce us all the more.


·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: An end to the use of contraceptives.

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Operation Purity

·       Rosary




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