Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
NATIONAL CHEESECAKE DAY
“Do not be AFRAID,” David said to him, “I will surely be kind to you for the sake of Jonathan your father. I will restore to you all the lands of Saul your grandfather, and you shall eat at my table always.”
David is showing compassion to Mephibosheth; Jonathan’s disabled son following the civil war between Israel and Judah. In the end David reigns over all of Israel. Israel with David’s leadership then quickly defeats the Jebusites taking Jerusalem; defeats the Philistines and brings the Ark to Jerusalem and God makes his Covenant with David. Thus David’s heart was full of gratitude. David now can return the favor of his old friend Jonathan to his son and restores his lands and David orders his servants to cultivate Mephibosheth’s lands, providing him with food, income and a place in the court. Gratitude cultivates generosity. This is the law of the Picture.
The law of the picture summarizes what is often observed in human nature. People tend to mimic the behaviors of their leaders. When a leader demonstrates behaviors that lead to success, people that follow mimic those behaviors and succeed as well. The picture consists of vision, mission, and strategy. When the leader lives the vision, the leader models the vision making it real and alive.
Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day – Arthur Gordon
Good leaders recognize the importance of the example they set. 
1. People watch what you do. As a leader, recognize that people tend to model behaviors that you display. People tend to believe what they see not necessarily what they hear. You convince people by what you do not by what you say.
2. Teaching what is right is easier than doing what is right. Leaders must be willing to make sacrifices that are painful and personal.
3. Change yourself before trying to improve others. As a leader, you need to lead yourself first. Set high standards of excellence for yourself. Work the hardest and longest on improving yourself. Failing to lead by example creates a fuzzy picture to those you intend to lead.
4. A leader’s example is the most value gift a leader can give. People desire leaders where espoused beliefs and actions align. People learn best from watching good leaders in action. Many leaders emerge by observing and replicating the behaviors of leaders that mentored them.
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday
The Sunday obligation
46. Since the Eucharist is the very heart of Sunday, it is clear why, from the earliest centuries, the Pastors of the Church have not ceased to remind the faithful of the need to take part in the liturgical assembly. "Leave everything on the Lord's Day", urges the third century text known as the Didascalia, "and run diligently to your assembly, because it is your praise of God. Otherwise, what excuse will they make to God, those who do not come together on the Lord's Day to hear the word of life and feed on the divine nourishment which lasts forever?". The faithful have generally accepted this call of the Pastors with conviction of soul and, although there have been times and situations when this duty has not been perfectly met, one should never forget the genuine heroism of priests and faithful who have fulfilled this obligation even when faced with danger and the denial of religious freedom, as can be documented from the first centuries of Christianity up to our own time.
In his first Apology addressed to the Emperor Antoninus and the Senate, Saint Justin proudly described the Christian practice of the Sunday assembly, which gathered in one place Christians from both the city and the countryside. When, during the persecution of Diocletian, their assemblies were banned with the greatest severity, many were courageous enough to defy the imperial decree and accepted death rather than miss the Sunday Eucharist. This was the case of the martyrs of Abitina, in Proconsular Africa, who replied to their accusers: "Without fear of any kind we have celebrated the Lord's Supper, because it cannot be missed; that is our law"; "We cannot live without the Lord's Supper". As she confessed her faith, one of the martyrs said: "Yes, I went to the assembly and I celebrated the Lord's Supper with my brothers and sisters, because I am a Christian".
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost-The necessity of being faithful to the end.
Call upon God for help and assistance against all temptations of your enemies, both visible and invisible, and say with the priest, in the Introit of the Mass, “Behold, God is my helper, and the Lord is the protector of my soul; turn back the evils upon my enemies, and cut them off in Thy truth, O Lord, my protector. Save me, O God, by Thy name, and deliver me in Thy strength” (Ps. liii.).
Prayer. Let the ears of Thy mercy, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy suppliants, and that Thou mayest grant what Thy petitioners desire, make them ask those things which are pleasing to Thee.
EPISTLE, i. Cor. x. 6-13.
Brethren: We should not covet evil things, as they also coveted. Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them: as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents. Neither do you murmur as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human: and God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.
Can we sin by thought and desire alone?
Certainly, if we desire evil and unlawful things, or of our own free will dwell upon them with pleasure.
What is it to tempt God?
It is presumptuously to expect signs of God s omnipotence, benignity, providence, and justice. Such a sin it would be,
1, to desire that matters of faith should be made known and confirmed by new miracles.
2, to expose ourselves unnecessarily to danger of body or soul, expecting God to deliver us;
3, to reject the ordinary and natural means of deliverance in sickness or other peril, trusting in God s immediate assistance.
GOSPEL. Luke xix. 41-47.
At that time, when Jesus drew near Jerusalem, seeing the city, He wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace, but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round: and straiten thee on every side: and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee, and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, He began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: It is written: My house is the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves. And He was teaching daily in the temple.
Why did the Savior weep over the city of Jerusalem?
Because it had not known and profited by its time of visitation and through impenitence was hastening to destruction.
What was the time of its visitation?
The period in which God sent to the Jews one prophet after another, whom they derided and calumniated, stoned and put to death (Matt, xxiii. 34). But especially was it the time of the ministry of Christ, who so often proclaimed His life-giving doctrine; pointed out and demonstrated, by the greatest miracles, that He was the Messias and the Savior of the world, and yet was despised by this hardened and impenitent city, and even put to death on the cross.
Does God hide from the wicked the truths of salvation?
No; but sinners so blind themselves by their sins that the divine inspirations fail to move them to penance.
What do we learn by Jesus casting out of the temple those who sold and bought?
We learn how severely He will punish those who in church forget where they are; forget that Jesus Christ is present in the tabernacle; who laugh, talk, amuse themselves, cherish sinful thoughts, and give scandal by their improper dress and unbecoming behavior.
Prayer: O Jesus, who didst weep over the city of Jerusalem because it knew not the time of its visitation, I beseech Thee enlighten my heart, that I may know and profit by the season of grace; and grant that I may always behave with reverence in Thy church, and never turn it into a resort for evil thoughts and desires or for worldly cares.
LESSONS UPON DEATH-BED REPENTANCE
Can the sinner rely upon being converted at the end of his life?
No for this would be to sin against the mercy of God, which is much the same as the sin against the Holy Ghost. Says St. Augustine, “usually punishes such sinners by allowing them at the last to forget themselves, who in the days of their health and strength have allowed themselves to forget Him. “God Himself also says: They have turned their back to Me and not their face, and in the time of their affliction they will say, Arise and deliver us. Where are thy gods whom thou hast made thee? Let them arise and deliver thee in the time of thy affliction” (Jer. ii. 27, 28). It is true we have a consoling example of conversion at the moment of death in the penitent thief, but, as St. Augustine further says, while this one example is given so that no sinner may despair, it is the only one, so that no sinner may defer repentance through presumption.
What may we hope for those who are converted at the close of life?
Everything that is good, if they be really converted; but this is a most rare thing. (Of the hundreds of thousands whose lives have been wicked,” writes St. Jerome, “hardly one will be converted at the hour of death and obtain forgiveness of his sins.” And St. Vincent Ferrer says it would be a greater miracle for a person who has lived wickedly to die well than for one who is dead to be restored to life. And no wonder; for repentance at the hour of death is generally but an extorted repentance. It is not so much that the sinner forsakes his sins as that his sins forsake him; and the resolution of amendment is one which he would hardly make, were he not driven to it by the agonies of death.
What is there to expect from such repentance? When, therefore, ought we to do penance?
While we are in possession of our reason and strength; for, as St. Augustine says, the repentance of the sick is a sickly repentance. In time of sickness, as experience teaches, the pains of disease, the hope of recovery, the fear of death, the torments of conscience, the temptations of the devil, and the care of all depending on him, so continually distract a man that he can hardly collect his thoughts at all, much less bestow them upon a work of a true repentance. If to many it is so difficult to do penance while they are yet in health and hindered by nothing from raising their thoughts to God, how much more difficult will it be when the body has already become weak! We have heard a number of persons who had been sick admit after their recovery that they had no knowledge of what happened to them during their illness, and even had no recollection of having received the holy sacraments. Accordingly, Isaias admonishes us: “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near (Isaias Iv. 6). And Christ says: You shall seek Me and shall not find Me, and you shall die in your sin” (John vii. 34; viii. 21). If, therefore, you have committed mortal sin, delay not to return to God, by perfect contrition and a good confession. Put it not off from one day to another; for repentance thereby becomes more and more difficult; for, as St. Gregory says, one unrepented sin by its own weight impels a man to still further sins, and all the while makes him the weaker, and his adversary, the devil, the stronger; so that at last he cannot be converted without the extraordinary grace of God.
But how can the presumptuous sinner expect such grace?
God will laugh in his destruction, in like manner as he has despised His instruction, counsel, and reproof (Prov. i. 26-28). “Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good.” (Gal. vi. 10), for who knows whether we may not be suddenly prevented, by severe sickness, from working out our salvation!
Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney
Horror of Sin
Saint John Mary Baptist Vianney, you were so adamant against sin, yet so sympathetic and so ready to welcome the sinner. I come to you today as if you were still alive, as if I were kneeling at your feet and you could hear me. Bend towards me, listen to the repentant confidence for the weaknesses and miserable deeds of mine. Priest of the Lord, inexhaustible Confessor, obtain for me the horror for sin. You wanted us First to avoid the occasion of sin. I want to take your advice and make the resolution to break bad habits and to avoid the dangerous occasions of sin. Help me today to examine my conscience. Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be
National Cheesecake Day
National Cheesecake Day is a day of appreciation for the cheesecake dessert. Based on the discovery of cheese molds, it is believed that cheesecake originated in ancient Greece. Athenaeus, a Greek writer, is credited with the first cheesecake recipe, which only used basic ingredients such as cheese, flour and honey. After the Romans conquered Greece, cheesecake recipes began to include eggs and baking time. With the passing of time, cheesecake ingredients were modified to resemble the finished product we know today. However, the use of cream cheese is an entirely American version of the cheesecake, one that has evolved to consist of an uncooked cream cheese filling on top of cookie or graham crackers, while English cheesecakes are cooked to completion and have a dry texture. This scrumptious national holiday occurs every year on July 30th.
National Cheesecake Day Facts & Quotes
· According to Guinness World Records, the largest cheesecake ever made weighed 6,900 pounds and was created by Philadelphia Cream Cheese in Lowville, New York, USA.
· Arnold Reuben, owner of the Turf Restaurant in NYC, created the New York Style cheesecake in 1929. This cheesecake is not served with any fruit or sauce but has a smooth taste from the extra number of egg yolks that are added in the cream cheese mixture.
· Pretty in Pink Cheesecake by Elegant Cheesecakes of Saks Fifth Avenue is one of the most expensive American cheesecakes. The cheesecake weighs 8 pounds and is shaped as a stack of gift boxes, each made of edible chocolate wrapping, while the cheesecake is made of chocolate decadence layered with health crunch in vanilla and chocolate butter cream. The price tag for this cheesecake is $325.
· In 1972, Evelyn and Oscar Overton moved to Los Angeles and opened The Cheesecake Factory Bakery to sell Evelyn's cheesecakes. Today, The Cheesecake Factory has become a $2 billion global company with restaurants all across the States and in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Mexico.
· Because you don't live near a bakery doesn't mean you have to go without cheesecake - Hedy Lamarr - Golden Age Actress
National Cheesecake Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Try baking a Japanese or English cheesecake. Japanese cheesecakes have a soft, light and cottony texture, while English cheesecakes are cooked and served with a fruit compote.
· Enjoy a discounted or free cheesecake from your favorite cheesecake restaurant. Many restaurants offer discounts and samples of cheesecake on National Cheesecake Day.
· Host a cheesecake potluck. Each guest must bring one cheesecake of his/her own creation. All guests may then indulge in each other's delicious creations and try a wide new variety of cheesecake flavors.
· According to the USDA, every 100g of cheesecake contains 321 calories with a total fat content of 23g. To try a healthier alternative, bake a cheesecake using Greek yogurt instead of cheese.
· Participate in the Kona Cheesecake Run, held on April 17, 2016, in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Cheesecake samples at the run are provided by The Cheesecake Factory Novi.
Baileys Cheesecake tends to be an ubiquitous - but very popular - feature of many pubs and restaurant menus in Ireland. Much more unusual, and dare we say, probably even nicer is a cheesecake make with Irish whiskey. Try this foolproof Jameson version at home.
- 165g / 5.5oz butter
- 15 digestive biscuits or graham crackers
- 225g / 8oz icing sugar
- 275ml /10 fl oz (½ pint) fresh whipping cream
- 450g / 1lb Philadelphia cheese
- 4 caps (bottle caps) of Jameson Whiskey
· White and dark chocolate for decoration
· Preparation method
- Place digestive biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- Melt the butter and add the biscuits.
· Put into a 23cm (9 inch) loose bottom cake tin (do not press the mixture into the tin too much or your base will be too hard). Leave it in the fridge to set.
· Beat the Philadelphia and add the icing sugar.
· Lightly whip the cream and mix into the cheese mixture.
· Add the Jameson whiskey to the cheese and cream mixture and mix well. Pour over the biscuit base. Leave at least a few hours in the fridge and decorate with grated dark and white chocolate.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION TWO-I. THE CREEDS
CHAPTER THREE-I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
ARTICLE 8-"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT"
Paragraph 1. THE CHURCH IN GOD'S PLAN
I. NAMES AND IMAGES OF THE CHURCH
751 The word "Church" (Latin ecclesia, from the Greek ek-ka-lein, to "call out of") means a convocation or an assembly. It designates the assemblies of the people, usually for a religious purpose. Ekklesia is used frequently in the Greek Old Testament for the assembly of the Chosen People before God, above all for their assembly on Mount Sinai where Israel received the Law and was established by God as his holy people. By calling itself "Church," the first community of Christian believers recognized itself as heir to that assembly. In the Church, God is "calling together" his people from all the ends of the earth. the equivalent Greek term Kyriake, from which the English word Church and the German Kirche are derived, means "what belongs to the Lord."
752 In Christian usage, the word "church" designates the liturgical assembly, but also the local community or the whole universal community of believers. These three meanings are inseparable. "The Church" is the People that God gathers in the whole world. She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ's Body.
Symbols of the Church
753 In Scripture, we find a host of interrelated images and figures through which Revelation speaks of the inexhaustible mystery of the Church. the images taken from the Old Testament are variations on a profound theme: the People of God. In the New Testament, all these images find a new center because Christ has become the head of this people, which henceforth is his Body. Around this center are grouped images taken "from the life of the shepherd or from cultivation of the land, from the art of building or from family life and marriage."
754 "The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ. It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave his life for his sheep.
755 "The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again. That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator. Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ, without whom we can do nothing.
756 "Often, too, the Church is called the building of God. the Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the comer-stone. On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God in which his family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling-place of God among men; and, especially, the holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones, we here on earth are built into it. It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
757 "The Church, further, which is called 'that Jerusalem which is above' and 'our mother', is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ 'loved and for whom he delivered himself up that he might sanctify her.' It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly 'nourishes and cherishes.'"
II. THE CHURCH'S ORIGIN, FOUNDATION AND MISSION
758 We begin our investigation of the Church's mystery by meditating on her origin in the Holy Trinity's plan and her progressive realization in history.
A plan born in the Father's heart
759 "The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe and chose to raise up men to share in his own divine life," to which he calls all men in his Son. "The Father . . . determined to call together in a holy Church those who should believe in Christ." This "family of God" is gradually formed and takes shape during the stages of human history, in keeping with the Father's plan. In fact, "already present in figure at the beginning of the world, this Church was prepared in marvelous fashion in the history of the people of Israel and the old Advance. Established in this last age of the world and made manifest in the outpouring of the Spirit, it will be brought to glorious completion at the end of time."
The Church - foreshadowed from the world's beginning.
760 Christians of the first centuries said, "The world was created for the sake of the Church." God created the world for the sake of communion with his divine life, a communion brought about by the "convocation" of men in Christ, and this "convocation" is the Church. the Church is the goal of all things, and God permitted such painful upheavals as the angels' fall and man's sin only as occasions and means for displaying all the power of his arm and the whole measure of the love he wanted to give the world:
Just as God's will is creation and is called "the world," so his intention is the salvation of men, and it is called "the Church."
The Church - prepared for in the Old Covenant
761 The gathering together of the People of God began at the moment when sin destroyed the communion of men with God, and that of men among themselves. the gathering together of the Church is, as it were, God's reaction to the chaos provoked by sin. This reunification is achieved secretly in the heart of all peoples: "In every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable" to God.
762 The remote preparation for this gathering together of the People of God begins when he calls Abraham and promises that he will become the father of a great people. Its immediate preparation begins with Israel's election as the People of God. By this election, Israel is to be the sign of the future gathering of All nations. But the prophets accuse Israel of breaking the covenant and behaving like a prostitute. They announce a new and eternal covenant. "Christ instituted this New Covenant."
The Church - instituted by Christ Jesus
763 It was the Son's task to accomplish the Father's plan of salvation in the fullness of time. Its accomplishment was the reason for his being sent. "The Lord Jesus inaugurated his Church by preaching the Good News, that is, the coming of the Reign of God, promised over the ages in the scriptures." To fulfill the Father's will, Christ ushered in the Kingdom of heaven on earth. the Church "is the Reign of Christ already present in mystery."
764 "This Kingdom shines out before men in the word, in the works and in the presence of Christ." To welcome Jesus' word is to welcome "the Kingdom itself." The seed and beginning of the Kingdom are the "little flock" of those whom Jesus came to gather around him, the flock whose shepherd he is. They form Jesus' true family. To those whom he thus gathered around him, he taught a new "way of acting" and a prayer of their own.
765 The Lord Jesus endowed his community with a structure that will remain until the Kingdom is fully achieved. Before all else there is the choice of the Twelve with Peter as their head. Representing the twelve tribes of Israel, they are the foundation stones of the new Jerusalem. The Twelve and the other disciples share in Christ's mission and his power, but also in his lot. By all his actions, Christ prepares and builds his Church.
766 The Church is born primarily of Christ's total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross. "The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus." "For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth the 'wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.'" As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam's side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross.
The Church - revealed by the Holy Spirit
767 "When the work which the Father gave the Son to do on earth was accomplished, the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in order that he might continually sanctify the Church." Then "the Church was openly displayed to the crowds and the spread of the Gospel among the nations, through preaching, was begun." As the "convocation" of all men for salvation, the Church in her very nature is missionary, sent by Christ to all the nations to make disciples of them.
768 So that she can fulfill her mission, the Holy Spirit "bestows upon [the Church] varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs her." "Henceforward the Church, endowed with the gifts of her founder and faithfully observing his precepts of charity, humility and self-denial, receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is on earth the seed and the beginning of that kingdom."
The Church - perfected in glory
769 "The Church . . . will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven," at the time of Christ's glorious return. Until that day, "the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world's persecutions and God's consolations." Here below she knows that she is in exile far from the Lord, and longs for the full coming of the Kingdom, when she will "be united in glory with her king." The Church, and through her the world, will not be perfected in glory without great trials. Only then will "all the just from the time of Adam, 'from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect,' . . . be gathered together in the universal Church in the Father's presence."
III. THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH
770 The Church is in history, but at the same time she transcends it. It is only "with the eyes of faith" that one can see her in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality as bearer of divine life.
The Church - both visible and spiritual
771 "The one mediator,
Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth his holy Church, the
community of faith, hope, and charity, as a visible organization through which
he communicates truth and grace to all men." The Church is at the
- a "society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical body of Christ;
- the visible society and the spiritual community;
- the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches."
These dimensions together constitute "one complex reality which comes together from a human and a divine element":
The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible but endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action and dedicated to contemplation, present in the world, but as a pilgrim, so constituted that in her the human is directed toward and subordinated to the divine, the visible to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, the object of our quest.
O humility! O sublimity! Both tabernacle of cedar and sanctuary of God; earthly dwelling and celestial palace; house of clay and royal hall; body of death and temple of light; and at last both object of scorn to the proud and bride of Christ! She is black but beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem, for even if the labor and pain of her long exile may have discolored her, yet heaven's beauty has adorned her.
The Church - mystery of men's union with God
772 It is in the Church that Christ fulfills and reveals his own mystery as the purpose of God's plan: "to unite all things in him." St. Paul calls the nuptial union of Christ and the Church "a great mystery." Because she is united to Christ as to her bridegroom, she becomes a mystery in her turn. Contemplating this mystery in her, Paul exclaims: "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
773 In the Church this
communion of men with God, in the "love [that] never ends," is the
purpose which governs everything in her that is a sacramental means, tied to
this passing world.
"[The Church's] structure is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ's members. and holiness is measured according to the 'great mystery' in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom." Mary goes before us all in the holiness that is the Church's mystery as "the bride without spot or wrinkle." This is why the "Marian" dimension of the Church precedes “Petrine."
The universal Sacrament of Salvation
774 The Greek word mysterion was translated into Latin by two terms: mystenum and sacramentum. In later usage the term sacramentum emphasizes the visible sign of the hidden reality of salvation which was indicated by the term mystenum. In this sense, Christ himself is the mystery of salvation: "For there is no other mystery of God, except Christ." The saving work of his holy and sanctifying humanity is the sacrament of salvation, which is revealed and active in the Church's sacraments (which the Eastern Churches also call "the holy mysteries"). the seven sacraments are the signs and instruments by which the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Christ the head throughout the Church which is his Body. the Church, then, both contains and communicates the invisible grace she signifies. It is in this analogical sense, that the Church is called a "sacrament."
775 "The Church, in Christ, is like a sacrament - a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men." The Church's first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God. Because men's communion with one another is rooted in that union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race. In her, this unity is already begun, since she gathers men "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues"; at the same time, the Church is the "sign and instrument" of the full realization of the unity yet to come.
776 As sacrament, the Church is Christ's instrument. "She is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all," "the universal sacrament of salvation," by which Christ is "at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God's love for men." The Church "is the visible plan of God's love for humanity," because God desires "that the whole human race may become one People of God, form one Body of Christ, and be built up into one temple of the Holy Spirit."
777 The word "Church" means "convocation." It designates the assembly of those whom God's Word "convokes," i.e., gathers together to form the People of God, and who themselves, nourished with the Body of Christ, become the Body of Christ.
778 The Church is both the means and the goal of God's plan: prefigured in creation, prepared for in the Old Covenant, founded by the words and actions of Jesus Christ, fulfilled by his redeeming cross and his Resurrection, the Church has been manifested as the mystery of salvation by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. She will be perfected in the glory of heaven as the assembly of all the redeemed of the earth (cf Rev 14:4).
779 The Church is both visible and spiritual, a hierarchical society and the Mystical Body of Christ. She is one, yet formed of two components, human and divine. That is her mystery, which only faith can accept.
780 The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it"
· Let Freedom Ring Day 24 Freedom from Consumerism
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
Today is my Grandson Joshua’s birthday,
please pray for his intentions.
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.