NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

 

FEAST OF ST. LUKE

 

Fear the LORD, you his holy ones, for nought is lacking to those who fear him.

 

1 Maccabees, Chapter 3, Verse 6-7

6The lawless were cowed by FEAR of him, and all evildoers were dismayed. By his hand deliverance was happily achieved, 7and he afflicted many kings. He gave joy to Jacob by his deeds, and his memory is blessed forever.

 

Judas Maccabees was a defender of the weak that were oppressed by renegades and by the kings of the region. To understand this better let’s look at the words’ meaning.

 

renegades[1] a person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles.

1.     A person who behaves in a rebelliously unconventional manner.

2.     Archaic a person who abandons religion, an apostate.

How many of us have at times been cowed by the fleshes weakness or the world as professed by the media and given in to false prophets that spout the culture of death. We must stand with the Church and not be cowed and show ourselves as people trusting in God in the midst of troubles.

Trusting in God in the Midst of Troubles[2]


Saint Augustine, 354 –430 A.D. had something to say about the private storms in our lives. St. Augustine was a philosopher and theologian who tells us, “Don't forget the presence of Christ. When you have to listen to abuse, that means you are being buffeted by the wind; when your anger is roused, you are being tossed by the waves. So when the winds blow and the waves mount high, the boat is in danger, your heart is imperiled, your heart is taking a battering. On hearing yourself insulted, you long to retaliate; but the joy of revenge brings with it another kind of misfortune—shipwreck. Why is this? Because Christ is asleep in you. What do I mean? I mean you have forgotten His presence. Rouse him, then; remember Him, let Him keep watch within you, pay heed to Him. Now what was your desire? You wanted to get your own back. You have forgotten that when Christ was being crucified, He said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Christ, the sleeper in your heart, had no desire for vengeance in his. Rouse Him, then, call him to mind.” There will be encounters we cannot envision; cannot see for they lie around the bend in the roads of our life. Sometimes it takes only the ringing of the telephone to change an entire well-made plan, bringing us to truths we hope we never hear such as the death of a beloved relative or the news that someone we care deeply for has an incurable illness. There might be a knock on the door that brings life-changing news that will break our hearts.  But it is in the midst of uncertainty and trials, as we teeter on the brim of a chasm wondering what to do, imploring God with weakening hope to come forth for us, that we can see we are stronger than we thought.  Through faith, we are able to pull ourselves up from the edge of unspeakable hardship to keep ploughing forward on our heaven bound journey. It is a time when we can understand and measure our capacity to endure, to assess our strength and continue through life’s fiercest turbulence. We look at those who are surviving terrible calamities and adversities, and we cannot understand how they persevere, how they can put one foot in front of the other and move on, running toward a goal that others cannot see. These are the people with great faith, who are willing to "let go of the branch" and depend on Jesus Christ and His promises. “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!” -Psalm 46: 1-3.

Do not let your faith be swallowed up by fear.  Do not wallow in self-pity, for Almighty God knows your circumstances and what you are going through.  Take your supplications to God and find the solace and comfort you need to overcome.  Be always mindful that in the middle of the violent storms that steal away your joy, batter your dreams, and flatten your hopes, you will find the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ Who says "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” -Hebrews 13:5. 

Feast of Saint Luke[3] 

This day celebrates the life of St. Luke, one of Jesus' disciples.  Luke was thought to be an educated Gentile, or non-Jew, and may have even been a physician.  Some biblical historians believe he may have even been a slave. Luke wrote two books in the New Testament -- the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. The Gospel of Luke focuses on converting non-Jews to Christianity. 

St Luke Facts 

·       Luke worked with the apostle Paul, and traveled with him throughout Asia Minor, proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.

·       The Gospel of Luke describes a popular passage referred to as the 'The Parable of the Good Samaritan'.   In it a traveling man is attacked by robbers who strip and beat him.  A priest and a Levite pass by without helping him.  A Samaritan stops and cares for him, taking him to an inn where the Samaritan pays for his care. (Luke 10:25-37)

·       What became of Luke is unclear.  Some accounts say he was martyred, while others say that he lived to an old age and died in Greece.

·       The feast Day for St. Luke is held on October 18 in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox Church and some Protestant churches.  The Orthodox Church refers to this day as the Feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke. 

St Luke Top Events and Things to Do 

·       Read the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke.  This is the story that is most often read at Christmas time about the birth of Jesus Christ.

·       Read the popular 'Parable of the Good Samaritan'.  Use this to inspire you to go out of your comfort zone to help someone in need.

·       Some traditions believe that St. Luke, in addition to being a writer and physician, was a painter.  Do a little artwork today to honor the saint.

·       Go get a checkup.  Luke was a physician. Take care of your body in honor of St. Luke.

·       Pray for doctors and those who care for the sick through the intercession of St. Luke, patron of physicians.

·       Foods this day to honor St. Luke would include some beef dish, as he is known as the "ox" and is the patron of butchers. For dessert, bake some raisin Banbury Tarts to evoke the festivals of England on this day, or a cake in the shape of a book with decorations of a calf or ox for this evangelist.

·       Today is also known as "Sour Cakes Day" in Scotland, because baked cakes were eaten with sour cream in Rutherglen.

St. Luke’s Little Summer

Lovely, summerlike days that occur around October 18 are called Saint Luke’s Little Summer in honor of the saint’s feast day. Around this time, Saint Luke’s feast day, there is a period brief period of calm, dry weather. Of course, it’s difficult to generalize today across the vast continent of North America, but the temperature is usually mild, and the leaf colors are turning a gorgeous color. It’s a good time for a brief vacation or visit to a park. In Venice, Italy, they say: “San Luca, El ton va te la zuca” (Pumpkins go stale on St Luke’s Day), but here in North America, pumpkins are enjoying their finest hour. Saint Luke is the patron saint of physicians and surgeons, so it seems only fitting that the good doctor give us these calm days. In olden days, St. Luke’s Day did not receive as much attention in the secular world as St. John’s Day (June 24) and Michaelmas (September 29), so it was to keep from being forgotten that St. Luke presented us with some golden days to cherish before the coming of winter, or so the story goes. Some folks call this Indian Summer, but that officially occurs between November 11 and November 20.

Cyprus’s Painted Churches[4] 

Above seaside Lemosos and on the eastern flank of 6,500-foot Mt. Olympus, you’ll also find ten magnificent medieval churches and monasteries, whose modest exteriors stand in contrast to their rich interiors, embellished with some of the finest Byzantine frescoes and icons in the Mediterranean. At the ornate 11th-century Kykkos Monastery, even the cloisters are richly frescoed, and a golden icon of the Virgin ascribed to St. Luke is said to work miracles. Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis (St. Nicholas of the Roof) is covered entirely in wall paintings. The monks who lived here were not only gifted artists but also master vintners, following a 5,500-year-old wine-making tradition in Cyprus. Stop at Chrysorrogiatissa Monastery for a visit to the region’s oldest wine-making site. The dark amber– colored Commandaria, a sweet wine that was a favorite elixir of medieval crusaders, is thought to be the world’s oldest appellation and is made from centuries-old vines in the Troodos foothills. For something with a little more kick, stop in any village bar for a glass of zivania, a centuries-old Cypriot beverage produced from the residue of grapes. With a 45 percent (and up) alcohol content, it is also used to treat wounds and sore throats.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

CHAPTER TWO-THE SACRAMENTS OF HEALING

Article 4-THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION

IV. Interior Penance

1430 Jesus' call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, "sackcloth and ashes," fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.

1431 Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one's life, with hope in God's mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart).

1432 The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart. Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: "Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored!" God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God's love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. the human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced:

Let us fix our eyes on Christ's blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out for our salvation it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.

1433 Since Easter, the Holy Spirit has proved "the world wrong about sin," i.e., proved that the world has not believed in him whom the Father has sent. But this same Spirit who brings sin to light is also the Consoler who gives the human heart grace for repentance and conversion.

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.

·       Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·       Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan?

 

Why is St. Joseph the “Terror of Demons”?[5] 

Though we know little about St. Joseph from the Gospels, what we read there demonstrates that his righteous character and behavior served as a defense for his beloved wife and foster Son. The Holy Family was a little city under perpetual siege by the Devil. But Joseph was chosen by God to guard the city walls. 

When he first learned that Mary was carrying a Child who was not his own, he naturally concluded that she had committed adultery. But so great was his love for Mary and even for her unborn Child that his primary intention was to protect them. Rather than publicly exposing the situation—which would have led to terrible consequences for both mother and Child—he “resolved to send her away quietly” (see Mt 1:18—19). 

When the angel revealed to him the truth of the situation and told him not to fear to take her as his wife, his great faith in God prompted him to do that immediately (Mt 1:20—5). Though he knew that such obedience would come at a great cost, his impulse, again, was to protect Mary and the Babe. 

Yet once more, when the angel warned him to take his little Family and flee to Egypt because Herod planned to kill the Child, he obeyed right away, in the middle of the night. With extraordinary courage he left for a foreign land without preparations, without telling their extended family, without a job or home waiting for them, and despite numerous dangers on the highways because of robbers and worse (see Mt 1:13—15). His compelling desire was to defend them, and that desire led him to choose Nazareth as their home when they returned, to avoid the possible wrath of Herod’s son in Judea (Mt 1:19—22). 

Our last glimpse of Joseph comes when Jesus was twelve years old, and he and Mary couldn’t find Him in Jerusalem. When they did, after three days of separation, Mary’s words reveal Joseph’s heart as well as her own when she said to the Boy, “Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously” (Lk 2:48). 

I think we can conclude that whatever attacks the Devil may have attempted in the “hidden years” of the Holy Family at Nazareth, those attacks were unsuccessful in large part because of Joseph’s protection, who served as their divinely appointed defender. 

After Joseph left this world for the next, he went on to take on the mantle of a defender, not just of the Holy Family, but of the extended family of Jesus and Mary—that is, the whole Church. He has in fact been declared “Patron of the Universal Church.” Many titles ascribed to him in the litany that bears his name remind us of this role: Guardian of Virgins, Pillar of Families, Patron of the Dying, Protector of Holy Church. But none among them is more fitting than the title that reveals his might as a spiritual warrior: Terror of Demons. 

Joseph may well have been a man of few words; Sacred Scripture has recorded nothing from his lips. But this title suggests that when we call on him for rescue from our diabolical adversaries, he need not even speak to them: His very presence terrifies them and sends them fleeing. (More about Joseph’s role in the apostolic exhortation of Pope St. John Paul II Redemptoris Custos: On the Person and Mission of St. Joseph in the Life of Christ and of the Church.

 With the war in the Gaza Strip let us ask Joseph who traveled with Mary and Jesus through this land in his flight to Egypt to have all the idols fall down and all be converted to the peace only Christ can give.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Absent Fathers (physically & spiritually)

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: October

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Catholic Recipe: Beef Bourguignon

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       What? Fasting on a Feast Day?

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Pasta Day

·       Rosary



[4]Schultz, Patricia. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

[5]https://angelusnews.com/voices/spiritual-warfare-and-the-saints-who-help/


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