1 Samuel, Chapter 28, Verse 5
Are we like Saul? Have we lost heart completely? Have we seen the camps of our enemies and come to despair?
God will not abandon us like we have abandoned him. Do not despair but call out to the Lord and listen. Pay attention and if today you hear His voice harden not your heart.
Comparing David with Saul, the one thing that distinguished them from each other was David’s humility and confidence in the Lord.
This we can see in David’s Psalm 23.
The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures he makes me lie down; to still waters he leads me; he restores my soul. He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. You set a table before me in front of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for endless days.
Feast of Saint Ann, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary
ALL that we know of St. Ann is that she was married to St. Joachim of the tribe of David, and lived with him in all virtue and piety, but for a long time was childless. This she bore with all patience, till at last the Lord heard her supplications, and made her the mother of the most blessed Virgin. This distinction on the part of God is praise enough for her. On this account the faithful have always shown great veneration for her, and continually invoke her intercession. “Let us all rejoice in the Lord, keeping festival in honor of St. Ann, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and with one voice praise the Son of God. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak my works to the King.”
O God, Who wast pleased to confer upon St. Ann the grace whereby she became the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we, who keep her festival, may, through her intercession, find help with Thee.
Aspiration to St. Ann.
Hail, O blessed mother Ann! Blessed art thou, who, for our consolation, didst bear the Mother of our Redeemer. With the greatest veneration, therefore, and full of confidence, we approach thee, beseeching thee that thou wouldst supplicate our divine Savior to bestow upon us the graces which we need to follow thy ardent devotion, thy fear of God, and to render us worthy one day to behold in heaven the blessed fruit of thy virgin daughter’s womb, Jesus, and to rejoice forever in the contemplation of Him.
The Mysterious Relics of Saint Anne
On Easter AD 792, Charlemagne discovered the relics of Saint Anne. Below is the account, preserved in the correspondence of Pope Saint Leo III, concerning the mysterious discovery of the relics of Saint Anne.
Fourteen years after Our Lord’s death, Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Martha, Saint Lazarus, and the others of the little band of Christians who were piled into a boat without sails or oars and pushed out to sea to perish — in the persecution of the Christians by the Jews of Jerusalem — were careful to carry with them the tenderly loved body of Our Lady’s mother. They feared lest it be profaned in the destruction, which Jesus had told them was to come upon Jerusalem.
When, by the power of God, their boat survived and finally drifted to the shores of France, the little company of saints buried Saint Anne’s body in a cave, in a place called Apt, in the south of France.
The church, which was later built over the spot, fell into decay because of wars and religious persecutions, and as the centuries passed, the place of Saint Anne’s tomb was forgotten.
The long years of peace, which Charlemagne’s wise rule gave to southern France, enabled the people to build a magnificent new church on the site of the old chapel at Apt. Extraordinary and painstaking labor went into the building of the great structure, and when the day of its consecration arrived, the beloved Charlemagne, little suspecting what was in store for him, declared himself happy indeed to have journeyed so many miles to be present for the holy occasion. At the most solemn part of the ceremonies, a boy of fourteen, blind, deaf and dumb from birth — and usually quiet and impassive — to the amazement of those who knew him, completely distracted the attention of the entire congregation by becoming suddenly tremendously excited. He rose from his seat, walked up the aisle to the altar steps, and to the consternation of the whole church, struck his stick resoundingly again and again upon a single step. His embarrassed family tried to lead him out, but he would not budge. He continued frantically to pound the step, straining with his poor muted senses to impart a knowledge sealed hopelessly within him.
The eyes of the people turned upon the emperor, and he, apparently inspired by God, took the matter into his own hands. He called for workmen to remove the steps. A subterranean passage was revealed directly below the spot, which the boy’s stick had indicated. Into this passage the blind lad jumped, to be followed by the emperor, the priests, and the workmen. They made their way in the dim light of candles, and when, farther along the passage, they came upon a wall that blocked further advance, the boy signed that this also should be removed. When the wall fell, there was brought to view still another long, dark corridor. At the end of this, the searchers found a crypt, upon which, to their profound wonderment, a vigil lamp, alight and burning in a little walled recess, cast a heavenly radiance. As Charlemagne and his afflicted small guide, with their companions, stood before the lamp, its light went out. And at the same moment, the boy, blind and deaf and dumb from birth, felt sight and hearing and speech flood into his young eyes, his ears, and his tongue.
“It is she! It is she!” he cried out. The great emperor, not knowing what he meant, nevertheless repeated the words after him. The call was taken up by the crowds in the church above, as the people sank to their knees, bowed in the realization of the presence of something celestial and holy. The crypt at last was opened, and a casket was found within it. In the casket was a winding sheet, and in the sheet were relics, and upon the relics was an inscription that read, “Here lies the body of Saint Anne, mother of the glorious Virgin Mary.” The winding sheet, it was noted, was of eastern design and texture. Charlemagne, overwhelmed, venerated with profound gratitude the relics of the mother of Heaven’s Queen.
Things to Do
· See more about the Shrine of Sainte Anne de Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. Several relics of St. Anne are also located in this shrine. Take a video tour of the Shrine here accompanied by beautiful Gregorian chant.
· Foods related to St. Ann and Joachim: It seems shellfish, particularly lobster, is one traditional type of food served in France for this feast day.
The Modern Church Also Honors Saint Joachim on this day.
St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Nazareth, a little town in Galilee. His parents, though occupying a humble position in the world, were descendants of the holy king David. It was not without inspiration that, at his circumcision, the name of Joachim was given him; it means “Preparation for the Lord,” or, as others translate it, a preparation for the arrival of the Lord. It has been understood by many to signify that he would have a daughter whom he would prepare, by a holy education, to be the mother of Our Lord. Arriving at the years of manhood, he married Anna, a virtuous and chaste maiden of Bethlehem, whom, without doubt, God gave special graces, as she was chosen by Him to be the mother of the Queen of Heaven. Joachim and Anna continued, after their union, to serve God with the greatest fidelity. The most perfect charity and harmony reigned in their dwelling. They had divided their possessions into three parts.
The first they devoted exclusively to the honor of God and to the adornment of the Temple; the second, to the poor; and the third they kept for themselves. One thing saddened the lives of Joachim and Anna. They had been married many years without being blessed with a child, and their advancing age made them despair of ever having one. Barrenness was considered a great disgrace and Joachim lived under that cross for many years. He never ceased to implore God with tears, prayers, and fasts to remove it from him; but it seemed that he was not heard, which gave him great grief. He, however, never murmured against the Almighty, but, submitting to His will, continued his prayer. It is also believed that he and his spouse made a vow that, if they were blessed with a child, they would consecrate it to His service. St. Epiphanius relates that, one day, while St. Joachim was praying, an angel appeared to him and assured him that God had heard his prayer, and that a daughter should be given him, who would become the mother of the promised Messiah. The angel informed him also of the name which God had destined for her. When he heard this, the joy of St. Joachim was beyond all description. He went immediately to tell his spouse of it, who, according to some authors, had received the same revelation. Both gave fervent thanks to the Almighty and praised His mercy. The angel’s prophecy was fulfilled, and St. Anna gave birth to a daughter, who was born free from the stain of original sin, full of the Holy Spirit, blessed above all women, and destined by heaven to be the mother of the only begotten Son of God. St. Joachim, renewing his thanks to the Almighty, redoubled his zeal in His service. As soon as the lawful time arrived, St. Joachim and his holy spouse carried their new-born child into the temple and offered her with great devotion to God, redeemed her again according to the custom, and returned with her to their home. Three years they kept their daughter with them, after which they brought the tender child, who was, however, gifted with the full use of mind, into the Temple of Jerusalem, and having consecrated her, with the usual ceremonies, to the service of the Almighty, gave her in charge of the priests for education and instruction. In this manner, St. Joachim fulfilled his vow and showed how truly he loved God. For although his love for his daughter, no doubt, surpassed the love of most parents for their children, yet he deprived himself of that which was most dear to him on earth and consecrated it to the Most High. It cannot be doubted that God rewarded his self-sacrificing love with great graces and favors. After having made this sacrifice to the Almighty, Joachim and Anna lived for many years in great sanctity. It is believed that St. Joachim expired in the eightieth year of his age.
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"
IV. The Spirit of Christ in the Fullness of Time
John, precursor, prophet, and Baptist
717 "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." John was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb" by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary's visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.
718 John is "Elijah (who) must come." The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of "[making] ready a people prepared for the Lord."
719 John the Baptist is "more than a prophet." In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the "voice" of the Consoler who is coming. As the Spirit of truth will also do, John "came to bear witness to the light." In John's sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. and I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.... Behold, the Lamb of God."
720 Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of "the divine likeness," prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John's baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth.
"Rejoice, you who are full of grace”!
721 Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin
Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the
fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his
Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and
his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church's Tradition has
often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary. Mary is
acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the "Seat of Wisdom."
In her, the "wonders of God" that the Spirit was to fulfill in Christ and the Church began to be manifested:
722 The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" should herself be "full of grace." She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the "Daughter of Zion": "Rejoice." It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son.
723 In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfills the plan of the Father's loving goodness. With and through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit's power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.
724 In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany. Filled with the Holy Spirit she makes the Word visible in the humility of his flesh. It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes him known.
725 Finally, through Mary, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men, the objects of God's merciful love, into communion with Christ. and the humble are always the first to accept him: shepherds, magi, Simeon and Anna, the bride and groom at Cana, and the first disciples.
726 At the end of this mission of the Spirit, Mary became the Woman, the new Eve ("mother of the living"), the mother of the "whole Christ." As such, she was present with the Twelve, who "with one accord devoted themselves to prayer," at the dawn of the "end time" which the Spirit was to inaugurate on the morning of Pentecost with the manifestation of the Church.
727 The entire mission of the Son
and the Holy Spirit, in the fullness of time, is contained in this: that the
Son is the one anointed by the Father's Spirit since his Incarnation - Jesus is
the Christ, the Messiah.
Everything in the second chapter of the Creed is to be read in this light. Christ's whole work is in fact a joint mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Here, we shall mention only what has to do with Jesus' promise of the Holy Spirit and the gift of him by the glorified Lord.
728 Jesus does not reveal the Holy Spirit fully, until he himself has been glorified through his Death and Resurrection. Nevertheless, little by little he alludes to him even in his teaching of the multitudes, as when he reveals that his own flesh will be food for the life of the world. He also alludes to the Spirit in speaking to Nicodemus, to the Samaritan woman, and to those who take part in the feast of Tabernacles. To his disciples he speaks openly of the Spirit in connection with prayer and with the witness they will have to bear.
729 Only when the hour has arrived for his glorification does Jesus promise the coming of the Holy Spirit, since his Death and Resurrection will fulfill the promise made to the fathers. The Spirit of truth, the other Paraclete, will be given by the Father in answer to Jesus' prayer; he will be sent by the Father in Jesus' name; and Jesus will send him from the Father's side, since he comes from the Father. the Holy Spirit will come and we shall know him; he will be with us for ever; he will remain with us. the Spirit will teach us everything, remind us of all that Christ said to us and bear witness to him. the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and will glorify Christ. He will prove the world wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment.
730 At last Jesus' hour arrives: he commends his spirit into the Father's hands at the very moment when by his death he conquers death, so that, "raised from the dead by the glory of the Father," he might immediately give the Holy Spirit by "breathing" on his disciples. From this hour onward, the mission of Christ and the Spirit becomes the mission of the Church: "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Let Freedom Ring Day 20 Freedom from Lack of Trust in God's Providence
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Olmsted, Reverend Thomas J. Manual for Men