NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Monday, August 7, 2023

 Monday Night at the Movies

M. Knight Shyamalan, Wide Awake, 1998.

1 Kings, Chapter 17, Verse 13

Elijah said to her, “Do not be AFRAID. Go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Afterwards you can prepare something for yourself and your son.

 

Anyone can be for the Lord during the good times; but can you still have a heart of faith and love during the worst of times. Here Elijah asked the widow of Zarephath not to be afraid and to make a cake for him from the last of her food during the worst famine in her lifetime. What she did was just that and by her faith Elijah was able to multiply the oil and flour and later even raise her son back to life. The lesson here is sin brings suffering and fidelity brings nourishment. The power of Yahweh to take away life and to restore it is here demonstrated, as is Elijah’s confidence in the Lord.[1]

 

The Widow’s Generosity[2] 

The widow of Zarephath was challenged by the prophet Elijah to share what little she had, despite her desperate circumstances. Because of this poor woman’s generosity and goodness, and Elijah’s faithfulness, God strengthened the prophet’s faith and renewed his capacity for ministry. The Lord used the prophet to bring consolation and peace of mind and heart to the widow and her son.  Authentic ministry is always mutual: we set out to help others and we end up being helped and blessed by the very people we set out to help! The Lord will provide for us, beyond outward appearances of weakness, failure, fatigue, trepidation, and fear. God always does far more than we can ever ask for or imagine! This striking Old Testament story forces us to ask some serious questions of our own lives. 

How have I responded to the needs of those around us when we've felt that we’ve got little or nothing to give? Do we worry that there will not be enough for us if we give away our money or our time? 

Elijah exhorted the widow with the words, "Do not be afraid." This same admonition is repeated in the Gospels and was also the refrain of St. John Paul II's long, fruitful, prophetic Petrine ministry: "Be not afraid!" 

How does fear affect our lives and keep us from obeying the spirit of the Lord? Do we cling to those things that cannot help us, forgetting to trust in the goodness of God? 

The widow of Zarephath was generous to Elijah. She gave to the limit of her resources, and God rewarded both the widow and her son. 

Do we have that same radical faith and trust? Do we behave as if we are owners of our talents and resources or simply as if we are God's steward? 

This reading causes us to make some firm resolves with our own lives. Let me suggest a few concrete actions based on this story from the First Book of Kings. It is important to consider our own willingness to be generous with both material goods and with our very being. Perhaps this week we can ask God for the grace to respond charitably to those who ask of us, whether it is a worthwhile charity or the neighbor, friend or colleague who simply needs to talk and to be heard. The well-to-do who put money in the treasury were never condemned by Jesus; he simply pointed out the nature of their contribution. They gave from their surplus, and thus it did not "cost" them as much to give. 

Do we have a surplus from which to contribute? If so, do we use this money in the best way possible? How do we consider our charitable giving? Are we concerned with the poor, the sick, the homeless, refugees and those on the peripheries of society? Do we use our wealth to help create a culture of life? Or are we more interested in building up our personal security? 

Perhaps we can pray this week for wisdom and a spirit of generosity so that we will use our money to help further the kingdom of God.

 

The Mighty Men of David[3]



Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and carried it to David. But he would not drink of it. He poured it out to the LORD. 2 Samuel 23:16

The Old Testament contains some of the most remarkable stories. Many of these tales revolve around a young shepherd boy named David who grew up to become the great King of Israel. His ascension to the throne was not without difficulties. Shortly after he was anointed by the prophet Samuel, David fell out of favor with the establishment and had to flee for his life. He hid out in the wilderness outside of Jerusalem with a group of his loyal followers. The Bible calls this group “David’s mighty warriors.” C. David Jones, in his book David’s Mighty Men, describes David’s entourage as a magnificent, special elite force of fearless warriors. They were extraordinarily strong, courageous, unflinchingly brave, and completely committed to David. They were thirty-seven of the most fierce and dedicated warriors that ever lived. Jones writes,

They were a combination of combat commandos, stealth rangers, navy seals, green beret, special ops, and Delta forces who had acquired the skills of battle demanded to survive and conquer in hand-to-hand warfare. They engaged in clandestine operations and were often outnumbered by staggering odds pitted against them, yet they stood their ground. Time after time on fields of battle they were the last men standing.

One story in 2 Samuel recounts a time when David’s mighty men overheard King David say, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” (2 Samuel 23:15). At this point in time, Israel’s hated enemies, the Philistines, had taken control of the city of Bethlehem. It was heavily guarded. The three mighty men, on their own, went down and fought their way through the lines of the Philistines. They made their way to the well in Bethlehem, where they drew water to take back to the young King. They eluded the pursuing Philistines, returned to their hideout, and presented the water to David. To their surprise, David would not drink the water they had risked their lives to retrieve. He poured it on the ground instead. David was not rejecting the sacrifice of the men who had gotten water for him. Rather, he was pronouncing their sacrifice too holy for him to selfishly consume. What an inspiring picture of the way Christians are called to live their lives. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:15 that because Christ died for us, “…those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” This Old Testament story vibrantly illustrates the fact that we should not selfishly live our lives for ourselves. David poured the water out on the ground as a sacrifice to the Lord. Likewise, we are to take the priceless gifts that God has given us and pour them out as a sacrifice in service to Him and to our fellow man. This is what the Bible calls stewardship.

Stewardship is one of the most important and practical themes laid out in the Bible, and yet is often overlooked or minimized by Christians today. The Bible says a great deal about stewardship because this concept touches every area of our lives.

The Disciple’s Study Bible defines stewardship as, a way of living that involves one’s daily activities, values and goals for life, and the use of all possessions. It begins with God and His plans for creation and purposes for humankind. The steward is God’s responsible representative and manager of all creation.

Afternoon Tea Week[4]

My mother loved everything about tea, so I posted this.

Sometimes the wait for dinner is just way too long, and lunch has passed far too many hours ago. It’s obvious that the length of the day is starting to wear on everyone!

When this happens, it’s time to heat the kettle and then get started with a warm cup of tea and some light sandwiches–and perhaps something sweet to finish it off. This is the opportunity to take some time to appreciate the day, and bolster up for the rest of the evening!

Afternoon Tea Week taps into the British Tradition of having afternoon tea. It is meant to help bring a bit of elegance and pomp to an otherwise unremarkable time of day in the later part of the afternoon.

History of Afternoon Tea Week

Afternoon Tea Week was established to help secure a tradition that has graced British afternoons since the 1840’s. In those days, dinner often wasn’t served until 8pm. Since a full lunch wasn’t actually a thing, what was a hungry person to do in the hours of the afternoon? Create a new mini-meal in the middle of the day of course!

Even though it is called “tea”, there is far more than just a beverage being served in the afternoon! Traditionally this light meal contains tiny finger sandwiches, as well as scones with jam and clotted cream. Plus, this time is also likely to reveal sweet dainties such as cakes and pastries to help lift the spirits, bolster energy, and see people through the rest of the day.

After a while, what started out as a simple afternoon meal grew into a social event, especially for those who spent their lives in the upper echelons of the day’s society. This became even more prominent once Queen Victoria herself took part in this tradition. At that point the concept of the ‘tea reception’ was born. This type of event included lavish and fancy afternoon repasts that could host anywhere from a close collection of friends to a couple hundred of society’s most important faces.

As the name suggests, drinking hot tea was a very important part of this meal, which was a tradition started by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. She often found herself feeling weary or worn down in the middle of the day, and a pot of tea with a snack just seemed to be the best way to take care of it. She soon invited friends to join her for walks in the field, and thus began the tradition that would eventually turn into Afternoon Tea.

The tradition continues and it is time, once again, to celebrate Afternoon Tea Week!

How to Celebrate Afternoon Tea Week

Celebrating Afternoon Tea Week is simple. For the length of a week, simply commit to taking a pause for Afternoon Tea as a part of each day. Enjoy warm tea, a few sweets, and a small repast that will help lift those spirits and drive the momentum for the rest of the day. Or try these other ideas for celebrating:

Host an Afternoon Tea Week Event

Those who really want to go all out can organize and host a special tea reception where friends and family can be invited. Gather those tea pots filled with loose leaf English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea, and get started! It might be fun to even go so far as to wear a Victorian Costume to honor the delightful history of this day.

Enjoy a Restaurant for Afternoon Tea

Those who don’t have time to prepare a formal (or simply don’t feel like it!) may be able to find a local restaurant that provides a formal or semi-formal afternoon tea experience.

Traditional Afternoon Tea is usually served based on the number of people joining. A reservation might be made as a tea for two or tea for four. The meal will be served with a pot of tea as well as three different courses of food that are usually displayed on a tall, three-tiered stand.

Typically, the stand will contain tea sandwiches, which are meant to be eaten first. After this, traditional scones will be eaten and usually served with clotted cream as well as fresh jam. Finally, after this, a plate full of sweets and pastries will be available.

Visit England for Afternoon Tea



No one can challenge the fact that the best place to have afternoon tea is in England. Sure, it might be a bit overpriced, but why not pop over to London to enjoy some of the best afternoon tea that can be found at one of these places:

  • The Tea Rooms at Harrods Department Store. Served in style, sandwiches here will often include smoked salmon or salt beef. Since Harrods began as a shop with a special interest in tea, the pot is the star of the show here.
  • Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason. Since this company has been selling tea for more than 300 years, it is safe to say this is a trustworthy experience. The tea room is decorated in the style of a Georgian Drawing Room and boasted a visit from Queen Elizabeth herself on its opening in 2012.
  • BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. An alternative to the traditional, this tea room offers a slightly more casual feel as it takes place on a vintage London Bus as it moves about the city!

But even for people who only have time for a simple cup of tea each day, remember Afternoon Tea Week. And, of course, it’s the perfect occasion to take a few breaths in the very British tradition that lets people “Keep Calm, and Carry On.”

National Lighthouse Day[5]

National Lighthouse Day celebrates the important role lighthouses have played throughout history. Being symbolic beacons of hope and safety, lighthouses have not only guided sailors to safe shores but have also represented the unwavering spirit of the maritime community. This commemorative day aims to raise awareness about the preservation of these historical structures and their significance in American culture.

The origin of National Lighthouse Day dates back to August 7, 1789, when the U.S. Congress enacted a law transferring lighthouses from individual states to the federal government, which led to the establishment of the United States Lighthouse Service. Since then, lighthouses have played a crucial role in the nation's development and expansion by ensuring the safety and navigation of countless ships. In 1989, as part of the 200th anniversary celebration, President George H. W. Bush officially designated August 7th as National Lighthouse Day. The observance pays homage to the dedicated services of lighthouse keepers and the rich maritime heritage of America.

On National Lighthouse Day, people across the United States come together to celebrate and appreciate these iconic structures. Lighthouse preservation organizations and maritime museums host various events, including open houses, guided tours, and educational presentations. Communities gather to share stories, engage in historical discussions, and promote the efforts to preserve the nation's lighthouses for future generations to cherish. Mark your calendars for August 7th and join the celebrations honoring the enduring legacy of American lighthouses.

National Lighthouse Day facts

  • The first lighthouse to be built in the world is believed to be the Pharos of Alexandria. According to howstuffworks, it is thought to have been constructed around 270 B.C in ancient Egypt. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and is believed to have been the tallest structure on the planet at the time, 450 feet (137.16 meters) tall.
  • The oldest and still functioning lighthouse in the world is the Tower of Hercules. It was built by the Romans in northern Spain during the 1st century A.D.
  • The US Congress passed an act in 1789 that provided for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers. By 1900 the US had built more than 1,000 lighthouses. National Lighthouse Day was established in 1989 in celebration of the 200th anniversary of this act. It was also the day of the first federally commissioned lighthouse. National Lighthouse Day would again be recognized in 2013 but only as an unofficial holiday.
  • The US National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 detailed a process in which the coast guard can transfer decommissioned lighthouses to nonprofit groups and other organizations. This method allows the history and aesthetics of lighthouses in the US to be preserved. If no organizations claim the lighthouse, it goes up for auction to the public.

Top things to do in the US for National Lighthouse Day

  • Visit a lighthouse. Some of the most notable are the Boston Light on Little Brewster Island, Massachusetts, and the Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. Another notable lighthouse is the St. George Reef in Crescent City, California. It is one of the most expensive lighthouses ever built in the US ($700,000).
  • Watch a special edition video from the US Lighthouse Society. The video looks at Congress' act of 1789 which established lighthouses. It also celebrates National Lighthouse Day.
  • Watch a movie about lighthouses and the struggles that come from maintaining one. Here are our suggestions:
    The Lighthouse (2019)
    The Vanishing (2018)
    The Light Between Oceans (2016)

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 5. THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS

946 After confessing "the holy catholic Church," the Apostles' Creed adds "the communion of saints." In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of the preceding: "What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?" The communion of saints is the Church.

947 "Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others.... We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head.... Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments." "As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund."

948 The term "communion of saints" therefore has two closely linked meanings: communion in holy things (sancta)" and "among holy persons (sancti).

"Sancta sancti's! ("God's holy gifts for God's holy people") is proclaimed by the celebrant in most Eastern liturgies during the elevation of the holy Gifts before the distribution of communion. the faithful (sancta) are fed by Christ's holy body and blood (sancta) to grow in the communion of the Holy Spirit (koinonia) and to communicate it to the world.

I. COMMUNION IN SPIRITUAL GOODS

949 In the primitive community of Jerusalem, the disciples "devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers."
Communion in the faith. the faith of the faithful is the faith of the Church, received from the apostles. Faith is a treasure of life which is enriched by being shared.

950 Communion of the sacraments. "The fruit of all the sacraments belongs to all the faithful. All the sacraments are sacred links uniting the faithful with one another and binding them to Jesus Christ, and above all Baptism, the gate by which we enter into the Church. the communion of saints must be understood as the communion of the sacraments.... the name 'communion' can be applied to all of them, for they unite us to God.... But this name is better suited to the Eucharist than to any other, because it is primarily the Eucharist that brings this communion about."

951 Communion of charisms. Within the communion of the Church, the Holy Spirit "distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank" for the building up of the Church. Now, "to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."

952 "They had everything in common." "Everything the true Christian has is to be regarded as a good possessed in common with everyone else. All Christians should be ready and eager to come to the help of the needy . . . and of their neighbors in want." A Christian is a steward of the Lord's goods.

953 Communion in charity. In the sanctorum communio, "None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself." "If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it." "Charity does not insist on its own way." In this solidarity with all men, living or dead, which is founded on the communion of saints, the least of our acts done in charity redounds to the profit of all. Every sin harms this communion.

II. THE COMMUNION OF THE CHURCH OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

954 The three states of the Church. "When the Lord comes in glory, and all his angels with him, death will be no more and all things will be subject to him. But at the present time some of his disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating 'in full light, God himself triune and one, exactly as he is"':

All of us, however, in varying degrees and in different ways share in the same charity towards God and our neighbours, and we all sing the one hymn of glory to our God. All, indeed, who are of Christ and who have his Spirit form one Church and in Christ cleave together.

955 "So it is that the union of the wayfarers with the brethren who sleep in the peace of Christ is in no way interrupted, but on the contrary, according to the constant faith of the Church, this union is reinforced by an exchange of spiritual goods."

956 The intercession of the saints. "Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness.... They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus.... So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped."

Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.

I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.

957 Communion with the saints. "It is not merely by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven; we seek, rather, that by this devotion to the exercise of fraternal charity the union of the whole Church in the Spirit may be strengthened. Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself":

We worship Christ as God's Son; we love the martyrs as the Lord's disciples and imitators, and rightly so because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master. May we also be their companions and fellow disciples!

958 Communion with the dead. "In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and 'because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins' she offers her suffrages for them." Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.

959 In the one family of God. "For if we continue to love one another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity - all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ - we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church."

IN BRIEF

960 The Church is a "communion of saints": this expression refers first to the "holy things" (sancta), above all the Eucharist, by which "the unity of believers, who form one body in Christ, is both represented and brought about" (LG 3).

961 The term "communion of saints" refers also to the communion of "holy persons" (sancti) in Christ who "died for all," so that what each one does or suffers in and for Christ bears fruit for all.

962 "We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always [attentive] to our prayers" (Paul VI, CPG # 30).

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Protection of Traditional Marriage

·       Let Freedom Ring Day 31 Freedom from Materialism

·       Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: August

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Monday: Litany of Humility

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary


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