NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Sunday, July 2, 2023

  In a church inside the Monastery of Santa Ana and San Jose in Cordoba, Spain, there is an ancient cross. It is the image of the Cross of Forgiveness that shows Jesus crucified with his right arm stripped of the Cross and down.


They tell that one day a sinner went to confess to the priest under this cross. As usual, when a sinner was guilty of a SERIOUS crime, this priest acted very strictly.

Not long later, this person fell back and after confessing their sins, the priest threatened: ''This is the last time I'll forgive you.''

Many months passed and that sinner went to kneel down at the priest's feet under the cross and asked for forgiveness again. But on this occasion, the priest was clear and said, ''Don't play with God, please. I can't allow you to keep sinning."

But strangely, when the priest rejected the sinner, a noise from the cross was suddenly heard. The right hand of Jesus unraveled and moved by that man's repentance, the following words were heard: ''I am the one who shed the blood on this person, not you.''

Since then, the right hand of Jesus remains in that position, for it continually invites man to ask and receive forgiveness.

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

 

Judges, Chapter 7, Verse 10-11

10 If you are AFRAID to attack, go down to the camp with your aide Purah 11 and listen to what they are saying. After that you will have the courage to descend on the camp. So he went down with his aide Purah to the outposts of the armed men in the camp.

 

“Take courage; get up, he is calling you.” (Mk: 10:49)

 

Christ calls us to a greater purpose than he did Gideon:

 

No man or woman of good will can renounce the struggle to overcome evil with good. This fight can be fought effectively only with the weapons of love. When good overcomes evil, love prevails and where love prevails, there peace prevails. This is the teaching of the Gospel, restated by the Second Vatican Council: "the fundamental law of human perfection, and consequently of the transformation of the world, is the new commandment of love"…Christians must be convinced witnesses of this truth. They should show by their lives that love is the only force capable of bringing fulfillment to persons and societies, the only force capable of directing the course of history in the way of goodness and peace…By Christ's death and resurrection, made sacramentally present in each Eucharistic celebration, we are saved from evil and enabled to do good. Through the new life which Christ has bestowed on us, we can recognize one another as brothers and sisters, despite every difference of language, nationality and culture. In a word, by sharing in the one bread and the one cup, we come to realize that we are "God's family" and that together we can make our own effective contribution to building a world based on the values of justice, freedom and peace.[1]

 

Aids in Battle[2] Empty consolations of the Devil

Some people, when they reflect on the goodness of God and the passion of Christ, are powerfully moved to sighs, tears, prayers, and other devout actions, so that you might suppose their hearts were seized with a very fervent devotion. But when they are tested we find that they are like the passing rains of a hot summer, which may fall heavily on the earth, but do not penetrate it, and bring forth only mushrooms. In the same way, these tears and emotions in a corrupt heart do not penetrate it and are altogether fruitless. For these unhappy people would not give up a penny of their unjustly acquired wealth or renounce one of their perverse affections, nor would they endure the slightest suffering in the service of that Savior over whom they have wept. Their good impulses are like spiritual mushrooms. Not only are they a false devotion, but too often they are actually the deep wiles of Satan. While he amuses souls with such empty consolations, he induces them to remain satisfied with them instead of seeking true and solid devotion, which consists in a constant, resolute, prompt, and active will to carry out what we know to be pleasing to God. ST. FRANCIS DE SALES

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[3]

CHAPTER III

DIES ECCLESIAE

The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday

The table of the Body of Christ

42. The table of the word leads naturally to the table of the Eucharistic Bread and prepares the community to live its many aspects, which in the Sunday Eucharist assume an especially solemn character. As the whole community gathers to celebrate "the Lord's Day", the Eucharist appears more clearly than on other days as the great "thanksgiving" in which the Spirit-filled Church turns to the Father, becoming one with Christ and speaking in the name of all humanity. The rhythm of the week prompts us to gather up in grateful memory the events of the days which have just passed, to review them in the light of God and to thank him for his countless gifts, glorifying him "through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit". The Christian community thus comes to a renewed awareness of the fact that all things were created through Christ (cf. Col 1:16; Jn 1:3), and that in Christ, who came in the form of a slave to take on and redeem our human condition, all things have been restored (cf. Eph 1:10), in order to be handed over to God the Father, from whom all things come to be and draw their life. Then, giving assent to the Eucharistic doxology with their "Amen", the People of God look in faith and hope towards the eschatological end, when Christ "will deliver the kingdom to God the Father ... so that God may be everything to everyone" (1 Cor 15:24, 28).

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost[4]

The importance of forgiving injuries. Again, there is a Petrine motif because of the proximity to the feast on June 29th. (This Sunday was originally known as the "First Sunday after the Feast of the Apostles.")[5]

WITH the priest in the Introit of the Mass, let us implore God’s assistance, and say: “Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to Thee; be Thou my helper, forsake not, do not Thou despise me, O God, my Savior. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” (Ps. xxvi. 7, 9, 1.)

Prayer. O God, Who hast prepared invisible goods for them that love Thee, infuse into our hearts the affection of Thy love, that loving Thee in all things and above all, we may obtain Thy promises which surpass every desire.

EPISTLE, i. Peter iii. 8-15.

Dearly Beloved: Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble: not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing: for unto this are you called, that you may inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him decline from evil, and do good: let him seek after peace, and pursue it: because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers: but the countenance of the Lord upon them that do evil things. And who is he that can hurt you, if you be zealous of good? But if also you suffer anything for justice sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled; but sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts. How may and ought we to sanctify the Lord Jesus in our hearts? By faithfully imitating Him; for thereby we become His true and faithful disciples, honor Him, sanctify ourselves and edify others, who by our good example are led to admire Christianity, and Christ its founder, and to become His followers.

GOSPEL. Matt. v. 20-24.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: I tell you, unless your justice abounds more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you: that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whoso ever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee: leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.

In what did the justice of the Pharisees consist?

They were very pious in outward appearance, and avoided those vices which caused temporal disgrace and injury; but, on the other hand, they were full of malice in their hearts, and this Christ often reproached them with, calling them hypocrites.

How are we to understand what Christ says about anger and using abusive words?

The meaning of His words is, “You have heard from your teachers and doctors of the law, that whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment of men; but I say to you, who think it no sin to be angry or envious, that whosoever is angry with his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment of God. You have heard that whosoever calls his brother fool, shall be brought before the council and punished; but I say to you, that God punishes with hell fire every grievous offence against your neighbor, as also the hatred and enmity of your heart towards Him.”

Why must one first be reconciled to his brother before he offers his gift at the altar, or undertakes any good work?

Because no offering, or other good work, can be pleasing to God so long as we are living in enmity, hatred, and strife with our neighbor, and thereby going directly against His will and example.

Remedies for Anger.

The first and best means to overcome anger is humility; to become thus humble, gentle, and patient, one must often consider the example of Christ, Who endured so many contradictions, persecutions, and insults, without reviling again when reviled Himself, and without threatening vengeance to any one for all He suffered. An excellent preventive to anger is, to think over in the morning what causes will be likely to draw us into anger at any time during the day, and to guard ourselves against them beforehand, by a firm resolution to bear everything patiently for the love of God; and then, when anything vexatious occurs and excites our anger, to say and do nothing so long as the anger lasts.

How shall we be reconciled with our enemies?

Not only with the lips but from the heart, and with sincerity and promptness. “Is he absent whom you have wronged,” says St. Augustine, “so that you cannot easily reach him? humble yourself then before God, and ask His pardon before you offer your gift, with a firm resolution to be reconciled with your enemy as soon as possible.”

INSTRUCTION ON SWEARING.

To swear is to call upon God, upon His truth, His justice, or other attributes, or upon His creatures, in the name of God, as witnesses of the truth.

Is swearing lawful, and when?

Yes, when necessity demands it, and when the matter sworn to is true and just: when a man thus swears he imitates God, honors Him as all-holy, all-wise, all-just, and contributes to the triumph of justice and innocence. On the other hand, great sins are committed:

1.      By those who swear in a false and unjust cause, which may be, besides, of little moment; for they call upon God as a witness to falsehood and wrong, thus violating His truth and justice.

2.      By those who swear in a good cause, but without necessity or a sufficient reason; for it is certainly unseemly to call God as witness on every trivial occasion.

3.      In like manner, they sin grievously and constantly who have become so habituated to swearing as to break out into oaths, without so much as knowing or thinking whether the thing is true or false, whether they will keep their word or not; where by they expose themselves to great danger, both because they run the risk of swearing falsely, and also because they frivolously abuse the name of God, of His saints, and of His works.

Everyone, says St. Chrysostom, who swears often sometimes swears falsely; just as lie who talks a great deal sometimes utters things unseemly and improper. For this reason, according to the opinion of St. Augustine, the Savior forbade Christians to swear at all (Matt. v. 34), that they might not fall into a habit of swearing, and, by reason of that, into swearing falsely. Whoever has this habit should take the greatest pains to overcome it. To accomplish which, it will be useful to him to reflect:

1.      That if we have to render an account for every idle word we speak, how much more strictly will we be judged for needless, idle, and false oaths! “Remember thy last end, and thou shalt not sin,”

2.      To remember that persons who swear so lightly are generally less believed than others.

3.      To repent each time that he swears, and to punish himself by a penance.

 

The Feast of the Visitation?[6]

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Visitation, when Mary went to visit her sister Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist.

The Gospels tell us that when John felt the presence of Jesus in Mary’s womb, he leaped for joy in his own mother’s womb. At this moment, John was cleansed of original sin, and filled with the grace of God.

The earliest evidence of this feast’s celebration in the Church is its adoption by the Franciscan Chapter in 1263, under advisement from St. Bonaventure. The feast spread to many churches, but was celebrated on various dates. On April 6, 1389, Pope Urban VI extended the feast to the entire Church, with the hope that Christ and Our Lady would put an end to the Great Schism that was threatening the Church at the time.

The feast was originally assigned to July 2, the day after the octave of St. John, which is estimated to be around the time that Mary returned to Nazareth. However, during the Schism, many opposing bishops refused to adopt the feast, until it was confirmed at the Council of Basle in 1441. Pius IX raised the feast to the rank of a double of the second class on May 13, 1850.

Thrive by 25 course[7]

Brain Thrive by 25 is a scientifically designed research-based course designed to change the lives of teenagers and young adults all over the world.

Multi-Dimensional Education, Inc., (MDEI) an independent education research group, studied the effects of Brain Thrive by 25 at 16 sites on over 330 students. They found that the 12-lesson/12-lab course:

  • Significantly decreased drug, alcohol and tobacco use
  • Decreased depression
  • Improved self-esteem

Utilizing a multi-dimensional approach to assessing the outcomes associated with the implementation of Brain Thrive by 25, this study supports the Brain Thrive by 25 positive impact on brain function and schools seeking to help students succeed academically.

According to Dr. Doug Grove, President of MDEI, “After spending a year organizing and implementing the study, and weeks of analysis, the results strongly supported that unlike many interventions we have evaluated, Brain Thrive by 25 was literally making a difference in developing better minds of the students who took part in the intervention.”

Catholic Activity: Your Child's Spiritual Training[8]

Your child's religious training should begin almost as soon as he is born. Here are basic guidelines for instructing your child before he has reached the age of reason.

DIRECTIONS

At seven to ten months, a baby begins to listen to sounds intently. He does not know what words mean, but he gets an impression from the tone of your voice, your facial expressions, and your gestures. It is not too soon to begin teaching him a prayer. Such a prayer should be as simple as possible, and preferably repetitive — with the same sounds repeated over and over. Sister de Lourdes cites this one:

Thank you, God, for Jimmy, Thank you for Jimmy's bread, Thank you for Jimmy's smile, Bless Jimmy in his bed.

As soon as your child can speak in syllables, you can teach him simple prayers. For example, carry him to a painting or statue depicting the Baby Jesus in His Blessed Mother's arms, and point out to him that the Infant Savior also had a mother who loved Him. Before he reaches his first year, he may be able to enunciate the name of Jesus. He can be encouraged to say good night to the Savior of the painting or statue. When the family eats together, the baby in his high chair will observe that grace is said before and after meals. He will join in the prayers automatically as soon as he is able.

Pictures have a powerful appeal for the one-year-old and two-year-old. You can encourage his interest in religion by showing him paintings of great events in the life of Our Lord. You will find him an interested viewer and listener if you show him pictures of Baby Jesus, and the Holy Family, and of Biblical incidents. He will also be a rapt listener as you narrate the stories which the pictures illustrate. At Christmas time especially, you can impress upon him that this great feast commemorates the birth of the Infant Savior: your telling of the Christmas story can begin to implant a reverence for this great feast that will last throughout his life.

In his third year, your child will probably be ready to learn about the creation by God of the world and everything in it. You will have opportunities to teach him as a matter of course that God made the flowers, the trees, the dog whose back he pats, and every other thing that he sees about him. Express your own appreciation for God's many gifts — the beautiful flowers, the lovely sunset, the water you drink, the food you eat. In this way, he too will recognize that God is a loving Father to Whom we owe gratitude for all things.

By the time he is three, he should be sufficiently advanced mentally to begin practicing simple acts of self-denial. If he is given a piece of candy before dinner, he will probably understand if he is told that he must not eat it until after his meal. This is his first realization that satisfaction of present desires must often be deferred for our own good.

At the age of four, he should be ready to take a more active part in family prayers. In some families, father, mother and children pray together in the evening before the first child goes to bed. His attendance at night prayers will impress the importance of this devotion upon him and enable him to learn the words sooner than he perhaps would ordinarily. Four-year-olds usually do not have a long attention span, however, and the average child may become distracted after a few minutes. The night prayers in which he joins may be kept short at first and gradually lengthened as he grows older.

At this time, your child is old enough to understand certain moral principles: that he must obey his parents because God wishes him to do so; and that lying, stealing and disobedience are not in accordance with God's will. You can teach these principles by giving him the image of God as his Eternal Father. If he has a loving trust in his own father, he will not find it difficult to visualize God as the loving Father of all mankind. He is also ready to learn of his Guardian Angel; many childish fears can be removed if he knows that his Guardian Angel always watches over him, and he will feel secure in new experiences when he knows that he has a protector.

From ages four to six, you can intensify in many different ways the moral training you began earlier. Through family prayer and other devotions, when you read to him, and through little talks when you perform his daily routines with him, you can inculcate the great truths of our religion. In particular, do not overlook opportunities to instill high ideals through reading. Many excellent books recount Bible stories in attractive pictures and text and they stress vividly the importance of practicing virtue in our lives. For example, the story of Adam and Eve can be a means of teaching him why he must obey God and his earthly parents. The story of Abraham may teach him that we must be ready to sacrifice all we possess if God requires it. From the parable told by Jesus of the widow's mite, he can learn that we must always show our gratitude to God; from the parable of the talents, that we must always do our best for His glory.

Many devotions and religious observances can now be made an intimate part of your child's daily life. In Chapter 16, devoted to religious observances in the home, you will find many suggestions to help you make the love of God the greatest fact in your child's existence.

Our Lord taught that the love of God is the first and greatest commandment, but He also said that a second commandment was like it — the commandment that we must love our neighbor as ourself. You probably can best teach this commandment by example. More powerful than your words will be your courteous attitude toward those who visit your home; toward peoples of other races and creeds; toward those less privileged in a spiritual or material sense than yourself. Christ's teaching that all men are brothers under the Fatherhood of God will have greater meaning for your child if he notices that you always treat others with respect.

Before your child is seven, you will probably notice the formation of his conscience. He may show by expressions of guilt or shame when he has done wrong. This development of conscience indicates that you now can appeal to him more and more on the grounds of reason, rather than on the weight of your authority. The seven-year-old normally is sufficiently developed to take responsibility before God for his actions. By the orderly and constructive training you have provided, he should be able to recite his morning and night prayers; he should know the important laws of God and Church — the necessity to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and of abstaining from meat on Friday, for example; and he should be ready to begin preparations for his First Communion.

Obviously, your child's moral training at home does not stop when he enters parochial school. Rather, it continues throughout his lifetime. In the remaining chapters of this book you will find many suggestions to help you meet his continued needs for spiritual guidance. Specific problems you may encounter in his various stages are discussed below.

Activity Source: Catholic Family Handbook, The by Rev. George A. Kelly, Random House, Inc., New York, 1959

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION TWO-I. THE CREEDS

CHAPTER TWO

I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF GOD

ARTICLE 2-"AND IN JESUS CHRIST, HIS ONLY SON, OUR LORD"

II. Christ

436 The word "Christ" comes from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah, which means "anointed". It became the name proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine mission that "Christ" signifies. In effect, in Israel those consecrated to God for a mission that he gave were anointed in his name. This was the case for kings, for priests and, in rare instances, for prophets. This had to be the case all the more so for the Messiah whom God would send to inaugurate his kingdom definitively. It was necessary that the Messiah be anointed by the Spirit of the Lord at once as king and priest, and also as prophet. Jesus fulfilled the messianic hope of Israel in his threefold office of priest, prophet and king.

437 To the shepherds, the angel announced the birth of Jesus as the Messiah promised to Israel: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." From the beginning he was "the one whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world", conceived as "holy" in Mary's virginal womb. God called Joseph to "take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", so that Jesus, "who is called Christ", should be born of Joseph's spouse into the messianic lineage of David.

438 Jesus' messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, "for the name 'Christ' implies 'he who anointed', 'he who was anointed' and 'the very anointing with which he was anointed'. the one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing.'" His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power", "that he might be revealed to Israel" as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as "the Holy One of God".

439 Many Jews and even certain Gentiles who shared their hope recognized in Jesus the fundamental attributes of the messianic "Son of David", promised by God to Israel. Jesus accepted his rightful title of Messiah, though with some reserve because it was understood by some of his contemporaries in too human a sense, as essentially political.

440 Jesus accepted Peter's profession of faith, which acknowledged him to be the Messiah, by announcing the imminent Passion of the Son of Man. He unveiled the authentic content of his messianic kingship both in the transcendent identity of the Son of Man "who came down from heaven", and in his redemptive mission as the suffering Servant: "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Hence the true meaning of his kingship is revealed only when he is raised high on the cross. Only after his Resurrection will Peter be able to proclaim Jesus' messianic kingship to the People of God: "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."

Daily Devotions

·       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.

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Restoring the Church

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary







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