Sunday, November 19, 2023

Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

WORLD TOILET DAY

 

Proverbs, Chapter 31, Verse 30

Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who FEARS the LORD is to be praised.

 

Woman is the key to the salvation of the world. It is the miracle of God that the salvation of mankind was deposited in the care of the Virgin Mary and likewise in the physical sense the material world through the modern woman who is faithful to the precepts of the Lord. Such a woman knows the secret to raising children to be happy and successful is to do it in a home overflowing with love. A woman of faith truly knows:

 

God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.

 

A woman of Influence[1]

“The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect, and a power never hitherto achieved. That is why, at this moment when the human race is undergoing so deep a transformation, women impregnated with a spirit of the Gospel can do so much to aid humanity in not falling.” (Closing speeches Vatican Council II, 12/8/65).

Mother Mary is a perfect role model for all women, of course, but for women who work in particular. According to St. Louis de Montfort, Mary has principle virtues, which when practiced help to lead us to her Son and create a home and world that celebrates the greatness of the Lord.

  • Ardent Charity:  How can you demonstrate great love at work? This is not the same love as spousal love, of course. How do you approach your employees? Your supervisors? Your clients? Your customers? Is your approach focused on valuing a relationship more than a material good? Are you able to articulate information and ideas in a mutually respectful way?
  • Heroic Patience:  Do you really listen at work? Are you able to rise above a situation in order to assist others as they learn new tasks? Do you hold your temper or your judgment about your supervisor when you disagree with them? Are you willing in your attitude to seek understanding of others, even when it is difficult?
  • Divine Wisdom:  Recalling your baptism, and especially your confirmation, do you recall and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in your work decisions? Do you pray for guidance? Do you seek Biblical and Church tradition answers and solutions? Do you show gratitude to God when you recognize divine wisdom at work?
  • Angelic Sweetness:  Is your approach nurturing and relational? Do you avoid the calumniation of fellow co-workers and supervisors? Even when difficult, do you respond to others at work by extending grace and mercy?
  • Profound Humility:  Are you focused on others more than yourself? Do you recognize the work of the team, or are you taking credit for the work? Do you care who gets the credit? Does this impact the way you treat others? 

Mary’s virtues bring us to a very feminine leadership style: one steeped in relationship building, not shying away from truth or faith, but approaching others in grace. When practiced at work, these virtues of Our Lady can lead us to Holiness and a fulfilled leadership at work.

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[2]

CHAPTER I

DIES DOMINI

The Celebration of the Creator's Work

"Shabbat": the Creator's joyful rest

11. If the first page of the Book of Genesis presents God's "work" as an example for man, the same is true of God's "rest”: “On the seventh day God finished his work which he had done" (Gn 2:2). Here too we find an anthropomorphism charged with a wealth of meaning.

It would be banal to interpret God's "rest" as a kind of divine "inactivity". By its nature, the creative act which founds the world is unceasing and God is always at work, as Jesus himself declares in speaking of the Sabbath precept: "My Father is working still, and I am working" (Jn 5:17). The divine rest of the seventh day does not allude to an inactive God but emphasizes the fullness of what has been accomplished. It speaks, as it were, of God's lingering before the "very good" work (Gn 1:31) which his hand has wrought, in order to cast upon it a gaze full of joyous delight. This is a "contemplative" gaze which does not look to new accomplishments but enjoys the beauty of what has already been achieved. It is a gaze which God casts upon all things, but in a special way upon man, the crown of creation. It is a gaze which already discloses something of the nuptial shape of the relationship which God wants to establish with the creature made in his own image, by calling that creature to enter a pact of love. This is what God will gradually accomplish, in offering salvation to all humanity through the saving covenant made with Israel and fulfilled in Christ. It will be the Word Incarnate, through the eschatological gift of the Holy Spirit and the configuration of the Church as his Body and Bride, who will extend to all humanity the offer of mercy and the call of the Father's love.

Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Prayer.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that, ever fixing our thoughts on reasonable things, we may perform, both in words and works, the things that are pleasing to Thee. Amen.

EPISTLE, i. Thess. i. 2-10.

Brethren: We give thanks to God always for you all: making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing, being mindful of the work of your faith, and labor, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of Our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father. Knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election: for our Gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fulness, as you know what manner of men, we have been among you for your sakes. And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that you were made a pattern to all that believe in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place, your faith which is towards God, is gone forth, so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven (Whom He raised up from the dead), Jesus Who hath delivered us from the wrath to come. Explanation. St. Paul wishes grace and peace to the Thessalonians; gives them the assurance of his prayers without ceasing and declares his joy at their having received the faith in Christ; at their being zealous in good works and firm in tribulation, and at their persevering in the hope of reward, whereby they became a pattern to others, who were led to embrace the true religion, and were confirmed in it by their example. Oh, that we could say the same of Christians of the present day! Such a life is- the glory of Christianity. Let us, therefore, endeavor to have a living faith, shining forth in all good works, with a firm hope of our salvation, that we too may be an example to unbelievers.

GOSPEL. Matt. xiii. 31-35.

At that time Jesus spoke to the multitudes this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard-seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: which is the least indeed of all seeds: but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and dwell in the branches thereof. Another parable He spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes: and without parables He did not speak to them. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open My mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.

"Why are the Church and the doctrines of Christ compared to a grain of mustard-seed?

Because they are very similar: the mustard-seed, though small, in Palestine grows to be very high, spreads wide, and is very prolific. In like manner the Church and doctrine of Christ, though at the beginning very small, increased so fast, and in time reached such a large growth, as to surpass all other religions, so that the princes and wise men of the world sheltered themselves under the protection of Christianity, as the bird? dwell under the branches of the tree.

Why are the Church and the doctrines of Christ compared to leaven?

Because as leaven in a short time penetrates and makes palatable a large measure of meal, so the Church and the doctrines of Christ penetrated most rapidly three quarters of the globe, corrected the foolish opinions of the heathen, and gave them a taste lor divine things and heavenly wisdom.

Prayer.

Most amiable Jesus, we thank Thee for having called us to Thy Church, and for having communicated to us Thy doctrine. Give us grace to become by it each day better and more pleasing to Thee, and finally to attain eternal happiness. Enlighten also the nations living in heresy and darkness, that they may know Thee, and be delivered from the wrath to come. Amen

Like a Drop of Water as It Falls into the Ocean[3]

The month of November opens with two Feast Days lived intensely by the Liturgy and by popular piety: All Saints and All Souls. These two feasts give depth to the month traditionally dedicated to praying for those who have crossed the threshold of hope. When we pray for the faithful departed, or better, for those living in the Next World, we are reminded of the ultimate realities of human existence. Authentic Christians are ever more keenly aware of this dimension as they pray for the souls in Purgatory, who are unable to help themselves and rely on our prayers.

O good Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and take all souls into Heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy.” With this brief and intense invocation, Our Lady in Fatima asked people to pray to Jesus for the holy souls in Purgatory. Each of us is called to holiness and if we were to take seriously the wonderful vocation to live here in earth in communion with the Lord Jesus, then death would be simply “departing” for Heaven.

Thinking of human freedom there comes to mind what Jesus said: “many are called but few are chosen” (Mt 22, 14). God calls everyone to holiness, but few heed the invitation to a banquet of intimate communion with Jesus, the banquet of eternal life which starts here on earth. We are too distracted by many things, like the guests in Gospel who make excuses with the host saying: “I have bought a piece of land and must go and see it. Please accept my apologies." Another said, "I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them out. Please accept my apologies." Yet another said, "I have just got married and so am unable to come." (Lc 14, 18-20).

We may feel we are entitled to live life without entrusting it day after day to the one who created and redeemed us, without spending it entirely for the Kingdom of God, because there are so many other important things on which apparently it can be spent: success, profit, so-called “well-being”, a career, power… in general anything which favors affirmation of self, among the wide range of opportunities presented by the world today.

And so, life is full of concerns which suffocate loving attention for our Lord and God, and interest for him disappears. The believer is tempted to put off prayer until 'after' his radical conversion: when I have more time I will pray, when I have less concerns I will give more thought to others, when I feel like it I will go more often to church…

The life which the saints lived was not about waiting until tomorrow simply because tomorrow does not belong to us. Ours is only the present moment and it is today that we must convert our hearts, refusing compromise with sin, which is the real enemy of happiness, earthly and heavenly. Grave sin stops supernatural life and, consequently, holiness, that is growth in Jesus Christ.

On life's horizon, the believer and every person, has to look at death. Certainly, we celebrate earthly birth, surrounding it with much attention, but not to be forgotten either, is the “birth” prelude to the great birth to Heaven! For the believer in Christ, life on earth runs towards eternal Life in God. The saints knew this and their funerals were celebrations, because their death was lived as their “birth” to Heaven.

Life on earth is like a drop of water as it falls down into the ocean waiting to embrace it. It falls in a very short time. What a wonderful, consoling truth for the believer, awareness, certainty that comes from faith, of the promises of the Risen Lord, life does not fall into nothingness, it is joined forever with the infinite love of God, plunged into the boundless sea of His Divine mercy! As the Holy Father Benedict XVI, said with these luminous words: “Today we confirm our hope in eternal life founded on the death and resurrection of Christ. ‘I am risen and will be with you forever, says the Lord, and my hand will support you. Whenever you fall, you will fall into my hands and I will be there even at the door of death. Where no one can accompany you and where you can take nothing with you. There I will be waiting to change the darkness into light” (Benedict XVI, Angelus, 2 November 2008).

— by Mgr Luciano Alimandi, Agenzia Fides

NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE

DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER

Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, through the intercession of Holy Mary, whose soul was pierced through by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of her Divine Son, we ask your help in making a perfect Novena of reparation with Jesus, united with all His sorrows, love and total abandonment.

We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Second Day

Psalm 51, 5-6a.
My offenses truly I know them; My sin is always before me. Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done.

Most Holy Face of Jesus, we are truly sorry that we have hurt you so much by constantly doing what is wrong; and for all the good works we have failed to do. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Saint Joseph, intercede for us, help us to console the Most Holy Face of Jesus. Pray that we may share in the tremendous love Thou hast for one another and for the most Holy and Blessed Trinity. Amen.

Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, Sanctifier, all powerful God of love, Thou who didst fill the Virgin Mary with grace, Thou who didst wonderfully transform the hearts of the apostles, Thou who didst endow all Thy martyrs with a miraculous heroism, come and sanctify us, illumine our minds, strengthen our wills, purify our consciences, rectify our judgments, set our hearts on fire and preserve us from the misfortune of resisting Thine inspirations. We consecrate to Thee our understanding, our heart and our will, our whole being for time and for eternity. May our understanding be always submissive to Thy heavenly inspirations and to the teachings of Thy Holy Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible guide; may our heart be ever inflamed with love of God and neighbor; may our will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may our whole life be a faithful imitation of the life and virtues of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and Thee be honor and glory forever. Amen

Pray one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)

World Toilet Day[4]

World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness of sanitation and hygiene issues around the world. Poor sanitation and hygiene refer to lack of access to clean drinking water, toilets and showers. Poor sanitation drastically increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children. Today, 2.6 billion people, about one-third of the population on the planet, do not have access to proper sanitation, a problem that kills nearly 1 million young children every year. World Toilet Day was designated by the United Nations in July 2013. It is celebrated annually on November 19 as people all over the world take action and support the basic human right of access to clean water and sanitation.

World Toilet Day Facts & Quotes

·         1 in 8 people in the world practices open defecation, meaning that the person must relieve him/herself without cover or shelter from other people.

·         The average person spends one hour and 42 minutes a week on the toilet, or nearly 92 days over his/her lifetime.

·         Diarrhea is the second leading cause of deaths in children under age 5 in developing countries. Diarrhea is primarily due to poor hygiene and sanitation.

·         The 2030 Agenda calls on us to renew our efforts in providing access to adequate sanitation worldwide. We must continue to educate and protect communities at risk, and to change cultural perceptions and long-standing practices that hinder the quest for dignity. – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

World Toilet Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Watch a movie about toilets and the importance of sanitation. Some suggestions are: Guts For Change (2015), A New Culture of Water (2004) and A Thirsty World (2012).

·         Spread awareness by using the hashtag #WorldToiletDay, #WeCantWait and #ToiletAccessIsARight.

·         Tour a local sanitation plant. Sanitation plants throughout the US exist to recycle and clean water while properly disposing of human excrement and other waste.

·         Donate to the World Toilet Organization. All proceeds are used by the organization to help break the taboo around the toilet and sanitation crisis. They help lobby governments, public and private sector stakeholders to prioritize sanitation on the agenda.

·         Read a book about toilets and the importance of sanitation. Some suggestions are: Sanitation & Water Supply in Low-Income Countries, Sitting Pretty An Uninhibited History of the Toilet and The Big Necessity.

·         Check out Earthship technology.

To Squat or Not That is the Question

Enter the Squatty Potty[5]

One time, I took a dump in my backyard because the toilet had been broken for two weeks (blame our absentee slumlord). My best friend never let me live it down, but you know what? I didn't care, because on that crisp fall day in 2007, when the gas station whose toilets I had been relying on was unexpectedly closed, I learned something. Specifically, I learned that pooping outside is… kind of pleasant. But it wasn't until the advent of the Squatty Potty that I really started to analyze why that was. Basically, if you use a Western toilet on the reg, you're fighting against your body's anatomy. But now, there's a way to poop optimally that doesn't involve squatting behind the shrubs and hoping a neighbor won't walk by (though I do recommend everyone try that at least once). Here it is.

You don't know squat. The Squatty Potty is a small footstool designed to fit a toilet's curves. The idea is to elevate your feet and knees, so your body is closer to a squatting angle -- a natural pooping position -- than the upright position imposed on it by a porcelain throne. This isn't just hippie BS, either. There's actual science as to why a squat is the way to go when moving your bowels. "Defecating is actually really complicated and involves a lot of nerves and muscles relaxing and moving," says Dr. Michelle Cohen, a gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai. "When you sit, the puborectalis muscle is pulled in around the colon to create an angle, so the stool can't drop out."

Think of a kinked hose and you might be able to picture what's happening in your colon as the puborectalis muscle stays tight around it. In some cases, particularly in people with constipation or dyssynergic defecation (when your muscles fail to relax, making pooping more difficult), sitting with your thighs perpendicular to the ground can make it much harder to poop. Enter the Squatty Potty

The Squatty Potty was born in 2010 because of this exact scenario. "They say necessity is the mother of invention," says Bobby Edwards, CEO and co-creator of the defecation device. "My mother was constipated. It was definitely out of need." Edwards says his mother's physical therapist explained that constipation is, in many cases, "an anatomical thing," and that if she elevated her feet while eliminating, it would change the angle of the colon and make the whole process work smoothly, the way nature intended. She propped her feet up on a stool and loved the results, but the process wasn't ideal. "She couldn't quite get comfortable with a regular stool, and it was in the way in the bathroom," Edwards says. "I was taking design classes, and she asked if I could design a stool for the toilet, with the height and width to simulate a natural squat."

Boy, could he. Edwards made five prototypes before hitting on the perfect model. Delighted, his mother gave proto-Squatty Potties to constipated friends for Christmas gifts. "She thought everybody needed to be squatting," Edwards says. Word of mouth spread, and in 2012, Edwards launched the website. A media blitz ensued, and the rest is history.

Putting the potty to the test. I was pretty intrigued by the "squatting is better" maxim, so much so that I tried literally squatting on my toilet. Surprisingly (or not?), a militant vegan has uploaded a YouTube video about how to do exactly that. It was a little weird, and there was some serious splash back when shit hit the water, but I could tell stuff was rearranging itself in my colon -- that's the medical terminology, right? It felt good and correct, and I understood why my cats wear such serene, noble expressions when they poop.

Not only is that method impractical, but it’s also probably dangerous for older folks, people with physical challenges or injuries, and, well, everyone, honestly. I needed to try the real deal. The Squatty Potty was delivered to my office in a freaking huge (but mercifully unmarked) brown cardboard box. I sneaked it out to my car, hoping to dodge co-workers and the inevitable, "Ooh, what's that?" The box contained the white plastic stool, a Burger King-like crown with the hashtag #pooplikeroyalty, and a button that read "I Pooped Today!" (Though Squatty Potty entreats its Twitter followers to "share your Poop Like Royalty pics! #pooplikeroyalty," only one brave soul had risen to the challenge as of press time.)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

CHAPTER THREE-THE SACRAMENTS AT THE SERVICE OF COMMUNION

Article 7-THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY

II. The Celebration of Marriage


1621 In the Latin Rite the celebration of marriage between two Catholic faithful normally takes place during Holy Mass, because of the connection of all the sacraments with the Paschal mystery of Christ. In the Eucharist the memorial of the New Covenant is realized, the New Covenant in which Christ has united himself for ever to the Church, his beloved bride for whom he gave himself up. It is therefore fitting that the spouses should seal their consent to give themselves to each other through the offering of their own lives by uniting it to the offering of Christ for his Church made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and by receiving the Eucharist so that, communicating in the same Body and the same Blood of Christ, they may form but "one body" in Christ.

1622 "Inasmuch as it is a sacramental action of sanctification, the liturgical celebration of marriage . . . must be, per se, valid, worthy, and fruitful." It is therefore appropriate for the bride and groom to prepare themselves for the celebration of their marriage by receiving the sacrament of penance.

1623 In the Latin Church, it is ordinarily understood that the spouses, as ministers of Christ's grace, mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the Eastern liturgies the minister of this sacrament (which is called "Crowning") is the priest or bishop who, after receiving the mutual consent of the spouses, successively crowns the bridegroom and the bride as a sign of the marriage covenant.

1624 The various liturgies abound in prayers of blessing and epiclesis asking God's grace and blessing on the new couple, especially the bride. In the epiclesis of this sacrament the spouses receive the Holy Spirit as the communion of love of Christ and the Church. The Holy Spirit is the seal of their covenant, the ever available source of their love and the strength to renew their fidelity.

Daily Devotions/Practice

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Conversion of Sinners

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary.

 






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