NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Monday, July 10, 2023

·       Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels


 Monday Night at the Movies


Mel Gibson, Braveheart, 1995

1 Samuel, Chapter 13, Verse 6-7

6 When the soldiers saw they were in danger because the army was hardpressed, they hid themselves in caves, thickets, rocks, caverns, and cisterns. 7 Other Hebrews crossed the Jordan into the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul, however, held out in Gilgal, all his army trembling in FEAR behind him.

 

This was a low point for Israel. Probably many of them thought, “What we really need is a king. A king would solve our problems.” Now they have a king and the problems are still there. We often think things will “fix” problems when they won’t at all. “And hereby God intended to teach them the vanity of all fleshly confidence in men; and that they did not one jot less need the help and favor of God now than they did before, when they had no king.” [1]

 

Men are foolhardy things when faith and trust in God leaves; fear and pride enters. We see this in the response of the Jew’s to Pilate. When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!” They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:13-15)

 

Seven Holy Brothers[2]



Although there are passed down stories about the Seven Holy Brothers and their mother, the current Roman Martyrology only mentions the brothers by name (Felix, Philip, Vitalis, Martialis, Alexander, Silanus, and Januarius) and where they were buried. Older Acts include the mother named Felicitas or Felicity as also a martyr. We are including the older version of their martyrdom here:

Saint Felicity was a noble Roman matron, distinguished above all for her virtue. This mother of seven children raised her sons in the fear of the Lord, and after the death of her husband, served God in continence, concerning herself only with good works. Her good examples and those of her children brought a number of pagans to renounce their superstitions, and also encouraged the Christians to show themselves worthy of their vocation. The pagan priests, furious at seeing their gods abandoned, denounced her. She appeared with her pious sons before the prefect of Rome, who exhorted her to sacrifice to idols, but in reply heard a generous confession of faith.

Wretched woman, he said to her, how can you be so barbarous as to expose your children to torments and death? Have pity on these tender creatures, who are in the flower of their age and can aspire to the highest positions in the Empire! Felicity replied, My children will live eternally with Jesus Christ, if they are faithful; they will have only eternal torments to await, if they sacrifice to idols. Your apparent pity is but a cruel impiety. Then, turning to her children, she said: Look towards heaven, where Jesus Christ is waiting for you with His Saints! Be faithful in His love, and fight courageously for your souls.

The Judge, taking the children one by one, tried to overcome their constancy. He began with Januarius but received for his answer: What you advise me to do is contrary to reason; Jesus, the Savior, will preserve me, I hope, from such impiety. Felix, the second, was then brought in. When they urged him to sacrifice, he answered: There is only one God, and it is to Him that we must offer the sacrifice of our hearts. Use all artifices, every refinement of cruelty, you will not make us betray our faith! The other brothers, when questioned, answered with the same firmness. Martial, the youngest, who spoke last, said: All those who do not confess that Jesus Christ is the true God, will be cast into a fire which will never be extinguished.

When the interrogation was finished, the Saints underwent the penalty of the lash and then were taken to prison. Soon they completed their sacrifice in various ways: Januarius was beaten until he died by leather straps capped with lead; Felix and Philip were killed with bludgeons; Sylvanus was thrown headfirst from a cliff; Alexander, Vitalis and Martial were beheaded. Felicity, the mother of these new Maccabees, was the last to suffer martyrdom. 

Let Freedom Ring-Day 4 “Freedom from Predation” 

(See Character is Destiny for opposing virtue: SELF CONTROL)

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, at a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror. You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength. By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord; To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels to defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces. Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church, so that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation; We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust. Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done. 

Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray. Amen 

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us

St. Joseph ... pray for us

St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us

(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us

(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us 

"Freedom from Predation"

by Fr. Bill Peckman 

The Devil is the ultimate predator. St. Peter warns his readers, "Stay sober and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) The devil is always looking for any opening in which he can pounce and destroy. He uses everything from occult practices to our concupiscence (our predilection to sin) to gain a beachhead. He will also teach us how to follow him as predators ourselves. 

We live in a society that encourages predation. From the mobster who shakes down the local merchant for protection to the sex trafficker and pornographer to the predatory interest charged in so many loans to the endless scams used to bilk people out of money to the common bullying (cyber and otherwise) to those engaged in domestic violence, our society is full of predators looking for their mark, looking for their next meal. Many hide behind the cover of darkness, anonymity, or even behind the law. 

Our Church has been rocked over the past half century by predation. The most obvious examples have stemmed from the scandals in which clerics preyed on their own flocks for sexual gratification, heinously even preying on the lambs of their flock. Others have preyed on their flock through financial malfeasance by defrauding their parishes or dioceses of funds. Many are also complicit in withholding from their flocks the means by which to stave off predation. In abandoning their flocks to the wolves, they are every bit as guilty as the wolves they allowed access to their flocks. 

Certainly, we can extend these behaviors to the most basic building block of the Church known as the domestic church or the family. In these places we can see domestic violence, molestation, and other nefarious abuses of power that have their roots in the diabolic. From all levels of the Church the demonic mimicking of the predatory behaviors of the Devil must be purged. 

All predatory behavior stems from selfishness: its needs or wants are so very important that any and all means to satisfy them must be done. For a predator, its satiation is of far greater value than your happiness, security, or life. While a predator may be infatuated by their prey, they cannot love their prey for they mean to eventually destroy their prey or discard their prey when they have taken all they want. What force could possibly stand up against such an insatiable beast?! 

We look to Christ the Good Shepherd for our answer! Christ does not prey on His flock. No, He places Himself between His flock and that which would destroy His flock. He stands in that breech, sacrificing Himself for the salvation of the flock. Jesus tells us, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep" (John 10:11). Why?  Because He loves them. You cannot love someone and prey on them at the same time. Hence, the virtue we cultivate to conquer any and all desires to be a predator is the theological virtue of love. Love, divine love (or agape) is completely selfless. Instead of focusing on one's own desires and satiation, one instead looks to the good of others even when in doing so incurs suffering or sacrifice. Love, because it is of God, chases away the devil and his minions. It helps us to, as St. Paul says of himself, to be 'poured out like an oblation' (II Timothy 4:6) 

Prayer of Reparation 

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to prey on those we deem weaker or disposable. We have stilled our tongues in the face of such evil. We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing selfish desires to suffocate your love that is to dwell within us. In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to you Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg your forgiveness for our selfishness and silence. We beg for the grace of your goodness to teach us to shepherd rightly those you place in our care and the courage to stand in the breech between them and the demonic. Help us to love as you love. We know, Lord, if you will it, it will be done. Trusting in you, we offer our prayer to you who live and reign forever.
Amen. 

Prayer of Exorcism 

Lord God of Heaven and Earth, in your power and goodness, you created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of your arm and Word of your mouth; Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil; Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to selfishness and predation. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will. Send your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of predation have planted in your church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in your goodness Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever. Amen. 

Litany of Humility


O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,                                Hear me. 

From the desire of being esteemed,               Deliver me, O Jesus. 

From the desire of being loved,                     Deliver me, O Jesus. 

From the desire of being extolled, 

From the desire of being honored, 

From the desire of being praised, 

From the desire of being preferred to others, 

From the desire of being consulted, 

From the desire of being approved, 

From the fear of being humiliated,                 Deliver me, O Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, 

From the fear of suffering rebukes, 

From the fear of being calumniated, 

From the fear of being forgotten, 

From the fear of being ridiculed, 

From the fear of being wronged, 

From the fear of being suspected, 

That others may be loved more than I, 

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. 

That others may be esteemed more than I, 

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. 

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase 

and I may decrease,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen, and I set aside,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised, and I go unnoticed,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I,

provided that I may become as holy as I should,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

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 4-"JESUS CHRIST SUFFERED UNDER PONTIUS PILATE, WAS CRUCIFIED, DIED AND WAS BURIED"

Paragraph 1. JESUS AND ISRAEL

574 From the beginning of Jesus' public ministry, certain Pharisees and partisans of Herod together with priests and scribes agreed together to destroy him. Because of certain acts of his expelling demons, forgiving sins, healing on the sabbath day, his novel interpretation of the precepts of the Law regarding purity, and his familiarity with tax collectors and public sinners--some ill-intentioned persons suspected Jesus of demonic possession. He is accused of blasphemy and false prophecy, religious crimes which the Law punished with death by stoning.

575 Many of Jesus' deeds and words constituted a "sign of contradiction", but more so for the religious authorities in Jerusalem, whom the Gospel according to John often calls simply "the Jews", than for the ordinary People of God. To be sure, Christ's relations with the Pharisees were not exclusively polemical. Some Pharisees warn him of the danger he was courting; Jesus praises some of them, like the scribe of Mark 12:34, and dines several times at their homes. Jesus endorses some of the teachings imparted by this religious elite of God's people: the resurrection of the dead, certain forms of piety (almsgiving, fasting and prayer), The custom of addressing God as Father, and the centrality of the commandment to love God and neighbor.

576 In the eyes of many in Israel, Jesus seems to be acting against essential institutions of the Chosen People: - submission to the whole of the Law in its written commandments and, for the Pharisees, in the interpretation of oral tradition; - the centrality of the Temple at Jerusalem as the holy place where God's presence dwells in a special way; - faith in the one God whose glory no man can share.

I. JESUS AND THE LAW

577 At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus issued a solemn warning in which he presented God's law, given on Sinai during the first covenant, in light of the grace of the New Covenant:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets: I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law, until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

578 Jesus, Israel's Messiah and therefore the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, was to fulfil the Law by keeping it in its all embracing detail - according to his own words, down to "the least of these commandments". He is in fact the only one who could keep it perfectly. On their own admission the Jews were never able to observe the Law in its entirety without violating the least of its precepts. This is why every year on the Day of Atonement the children of Israel ask God's forgiveness for their transgressions of the Law. the Law indeed makes up one inseparable whole, and St. James recalls, "Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it."

579 This principle of integral observance of the Law not only in letter but in spirit was dear to the Pharisees. By giving Israel this principle they had led many Jews of Jesus' time to an extreme religious zeal. This zeal, were it not to lapse into "hypocritical" casuistry, could only prepare the People for the unprecedented intervention of God through the perfect fulfilment of the Law by the only Righteous One in place of all sinners.

580 The perfect fulfilment of the Law could be the work of none but the divine legislator, born subject to the Law in the person of the Son. In Jesus, the Law no longer appears engraved on tables of stone but "upon the heart" of the Servant who becomes "a covenant to the people", because he will "faithfully bring forth justice". Jesus fulfils the Law to the point of taking upon himself "the curse of the Law" incurred by those who do not "abide by the things written in the book of the Law, and do them", for his death took place to redeem them "from the transgressions under the first covenant".

581 The Jewish people and their spiritual leaders viewed Jesus as a rabbi. He often argued within the framework of rabbinical interpretation of the Law. Yet Jesus could not help but offend the teachers of the Law, for he was not content to propose his interpretation alongside theirs but taught the people "as one who had authority, and not as their scribes". In Jesus, the same Word of God that had resounded on Mount Sinai to give the written Law to Moses, made itself heard anew on the Mount of the Beatitudes. Jesus did not abolish the Law but fulfilled it by giving its ultimate interpretation in a divine way: "You have heard that it was said to the men of old. . . But I say to you. . ." With this same divine authority, he disavowed certain human traditions of the Pharisees that were "making void the word of God".

582 Going even further, Jesus perfects the dietary law, so important in Jewish daily life, by revealing its pedagogical meaning through a divine interpretation: "Whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him. . . (Thus he declared all foods clean.) . . . What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts. . ." In presenting with divine authority the definitive interpretation of the Law, Jesus found himself confronted by certain teachers of the Law who did not accept his interpretation of the Law, guaranteed though it was by the divine signs that accompanied it. This was the case especially with the sabbath laws, for he recalls, often with rabbinical arguments, that the sabbath rest is not violated by serving God and neighbor, which his own healings did.

II. JESUS AND THE TEMPLE

583 Like the prophets before him Jesus expressed the deepest respect for the Temple in Jerusalem. It was in the Temple that Joseph and Mary presented him forty days after his birth. At the age of twelve he decided to remain in the Temple to remind his parents that he must be about his Father's business. He went there each year during his hidden life at least for Passover. His public ministry itself was patterned by his pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feasts.

584 Jesus went up to the Temple as the privileged place of encounter with God. For him, the Temple was the dwelling of his Father, a house of prayer, and he was angered that its outer court had become a place of commerce. He drove merchants out of it because of jealous love for his Father: "You shall not make my Father's house a house of trade. His disciples remembered that it was written, 'Zeal for your house will consume me.'" After his Resurrection his apostles retained their reverence for the Temple.

585 On the threshold of his Passion Jesus announced the coming destruction of this splendid building, of which there would not remain "one stone upon another". By doing so, he announced a sign of the last days, which were to begin with his own Passover. But this prophecy would be distorted in its telling by false witnesses during his interrogation at the high priest's house, and would be thrown back at him as an insult when he was nailed to the cross.

586 Far from having been hostile to the Temple, where he gave the essential part of his teaching, Jesus was willing to pay the Temple-tax, associating with him Peter, whom he had just made the foundation of his future Church. He even identified himself with the Temple by presenting himself as God's definitive dwelling-place among men. Therefore his being put to bodily death presaged the destruction of the Temple, which would manifest the dawning of a new age in the history of salvation: "The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father."

III. JESUS AND ISRAEL'S FAITH IN THE ONE GOD AND SAVIOR

587 If the Law and the Jerusalem Temple could be occasions of opposition to Jesus by Israel's religious authorities, his role in the redemption of sins, the divine work par excellence, was the true stumbling-block for them.

588 Jesus scandalized the Pharisees by eating with tax collectors and sinners as familiarly as with themselves. Against those among them "who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others", Jesus affirmed: "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." He went further by proclaiming before the Pharisees that, since sin is universal, those who pretend not to need salvation are blind to themselves.

589 Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God's own attitude toward them. He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet. But it was most especially by forgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authorities of Israel on the horns of a dilemma. Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself God's equal, or is speaking the truth and his person really does make present and reveal God's name.

590 Only the divine identity of Jesus' person can justify so absolute a claim as "He who is not with me is against me"; and his saying that there was in him "something greater than Jonah,. . . greater than Solomon", something "greater than the Temple"; his reminder that David had called the Messiah his Lord, and his affirmations, "Before Abraham was, I AM", and even "I and the Father are one."

591 Jesus asked the religious authorities of Jerusalem to believe in him because of the Father's works which he accomplished. But such an act of faith must go through a mysterious death to self, for a new "birth from above" under the influence of divine grace. Such a demand for conversion in the face of so surprising a fulfilment of the promises allows one to understand the Sanhedrin's tragic misunderstanding of Jesus: they judged that he deserved the death sentence as a blasphemer. The members of the Sanhedrin were thus acting at the same time out of "ignorance" and the "hardness" of their "unbelief".

IN BRIEF

592 Jesus did not abolish the Law of Sinai, but rather fulfilled it (cf Mt 5:17-19) with such perfection (cf Jn 8:46) that he revealed its ultimate meaning (cf Mt 5:33) and redeemed the transgressions against it (cf Heb 9:15).

593 Jesus venerated the Temple by going up to it for the Jewish feasts of pilgrimage, and with a jealous love he loved this dwelling of God among men. the Temple prefigures his own mystery. When he announces its destruction, it is as a manifestation of his own execution and of the entry into a new age in the history of salvation, when his Body would be the definitive Temple.

594 Jesus performed acts, such as pardoning sins, that manifested him to be the Savior God himself (cf Jn 5:16-18). Certain Jews, who did not recognize God made man (cf Jn 1:14), saw in him only a man who made himself God (Jn 10:33), and judged him as a blasphemer.

Daily Devotions

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

·       Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Day 4

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Monday: Litany of Humility

·       National Pina Colada Day

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary




[2]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2023-07-10


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