HOG DAY-4 CHAPLINS
Hebrews, Chapter 2, Verse 14-15
Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that
is, the devil, 15
and free those who through FEAR of death had been subject to
slavery all their life.
today’s date science by the use of a heart and lung transplant was able to save
the life of Jamie Gavin who was recorded as the youngest transplant patient.
Jamie Gavin made
headlines worldwide in 1985 when he became the world's youngest heart and lung
transplant patient in Harefield hospital, Middlesex. Jamie's surgery was
regarded as a success, and he returned to Dublin to his brother John and his
three sisters Leslie, Katie and Melanie. He was able to live a normal life to a
certain extent and attended school with his friends, despite having to
regularly return to England for tests and checkups, as well Crumlin hospital in
Dublin. The bravery of Jamie was recognized a year after his surgery when
Princess Diana presented him with a child of courage award. Tragedy
struck the household when Jamie passed away from lymphoma at the age of 11.
Science is a great gift to
mankind, yet it does not erase the fear of death; only Christ can do this. In fact,
we are engaged in a great spiritual battle where our fears are the very chains
that enslave us. Napoleon Hill writes in his tale “Outwitting the Devil”
his thoughts on fear during an imaginary interview with the devil to obtain his
Go ahead and describe your clever tricks, Your Majesty.
A. One of my cleverest
devices for mind control is fear. I plant the seed of fear in the minds of
people, and as these seeds germinate and grow, through use, I control the space
they occupy. The six most effective fears are the fear of poverty, criticism,
ill health, loss of love, old age, and death.
Q. Which of
these six fears serves you most often, your majesty?
The first and the last-poverty and death! At one time or another during life I
tighten my grip on all people through one or both of these. I plant these fears
in the minds of people so deftly that they believe them to be their own
creation. I accomplish his end by making people believe I am standing just
beyond the entrance gate of the next life, waiting to claim them after death
for eternal punishment. Of course, I cannot punish anyone, except in that
person's own mind, through some form of fear-but fear of the thing which does
not exist is just as useful to me as fear of that which does exist. All forms
of fear extend the space I occupy in the human mind.
Although Napoleon Hills thoughts may not be
theologically correct; he still makes a strong case as does our God that fear is the root of sin.
prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus .
. . which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins." To
those who show him love and who make reparation for sins, however, our Lord
made a great pledge: "I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of
my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for
all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month;
they will not die in my disfavor, or without having received the sacraments,
since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their
this grace, we must:
Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays.
the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching final
each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offenses against the Blessed
fullness of God is revealed and given to us in Christ, in the love of Christ,
in Christ's heart. For it is the heart of him in whom "the whole fullness
of deity dwells bodily." Were one to lose sight of this great plan of
God-the overflow of love in the world through the Incarnation, the Redemption
and Pentecost-he could not understand the refinement with which our Lord deals
with us. So, when we talk about the heart of Jesus, we stress the certainty of
God's love and the truth of his commitment to us. When we recommend devotion to
the Sacred Heart, we are recommending that we should give our whole selves to
Jesus, to the whole Jesus-our souls, our feelings and thoughts, our words and
actions, our joys. That is what true devotion to the heart of Jesus means. It
is knowing God and ourselves. It is looking at Jesus and turning to him,
letting him encourage and teach and guide us. The only difficulty that could
beset this devotion would be our own failure to understand the reality of an
incarnate God. But note that God does not say: "In exchange for your own
heart, I will give you a will of pure spirit." No, he gives us a heart, a
human heart, like Christ's. I don't have one heart for loving God and another
for loving people. I love Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit and our
Lady with the same heart with which I love my parents and my friends. I shall
never tire of repeating this. We must be very human, for otherwise we cannot be
divine. . ..
we don't learn from Jesus, we will never love. If, like some people, we were to
think that to keep a clean heart, a heart worthy of God, means "not mixing
it up, not contaminating it" with human affection, we would become
insensitive to other people's pain and sorrow. We would be capable of only an
"official charity," something dry and soulless. But ours would not be
the true charity of Jesus Christ, which involves affection and human warmth. In
saying this, I am not supporting the mistaken theories-pitiful excuses-that
misdirect hearts away from God and lead them into occasions of sin and
perdition. . ..
I have still a further consideration to put before you. We have to fight
vigorously to do good, precisely because it is difficult for us to resolve
seriously to be just, and there is a long way to go before human relations are
inspired by love and not hatred or indifference. We should also be aware that,
even if we achieve a reasonable distribution of wealth and a harmonious
organization of society, there will still be the suffering of illness, of
misunderstanding, of loneliness, of the death of loved ones, of the experience
of our own limitations. Faced with the weight of all this, a Christian can find
only one genuine answer, a definitive answer: Christ on the cross, a God who
suffers and dies, a God who gives us his heart opened by a lance for the love
of us all. Our Lord abominates injustice and condemns those who commit it. But
he respects the freedom of each individual. He permits injustice to happen
because, as a result of original sin, it is part and parcel of the human
his heart is full of love for men. Our suffering, our sadness, our anguish, our
hunger and thirst for justice . . .
took all these tortures on himself by means of the cross. . ..
is part of God's plans. This is the truth; however difficult it may be for us
to understand it. It was difficult for Jesus Christ the man to undergo his
passion: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me;
nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." In this tension of
pleading and acceptance of the Father's will, Jesus goes calmly to his death,
pardoning those who crucify him. This supernatural acceptance of suffering was,
precisely, the greatest of all conquests. By dying on the cross, Jesus overcame
death. God brings life from death. The attitude of a child of God is not one of
resignation to a possibly tragic fate; it is the sense of achievement of
someone who has a foretaste of victory. In the name of this victorious love of
Christ, we Christians should go out into the world to be sowers of peace and
joy through everything we say and do. We have to fight-a fight of peace-against
evil, against injustice, against sin.
do we serve notice that the present condition of mankind is not
definitive. Only the love of God, shown in the heart of
Christ, will attain our glorious spiritual triumph. Devotion to the Sacred
Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary
Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1675, within the
octave of the feast of Corpus Christi, our Lord appeared to her and said:
"Behold this heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with
which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most
Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the
sacrament of my love [the Eucharist].
what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by
persons especially consecrated to my service." The great promise of the
Sacred Heart is most consoling: the grace of final perseverance and the joy of
having Jesus' heart as our sure refuge and Infinite Ocean of mercy in our last
hour. Almighty and everlasting God look upon the heart of your well-beloved Son
and upon the praise and satisfaction which he offers to you in the name of all
sinners; and grant them pardon when they seek your mercy. We ask this in the
name of Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you for ever and
1. Love is revealed to us in
the Incarnation, the redemptive journey which Jesus Christ made on our earth,
culminating in the supreme sacrifice of the cross. And on the cross, it showed
itself through a new sign: "One of the soldiers pierced his side with a
spear, and at once there came out blood and water." This water and blood
of Jesus speak to us of a self-sacrifice brought to the last extreme:
finished"-everything is achieved, for the sake of love. . .
2. Let us realize all the
richness hidden in the words "the Sacred Heart of Jesus." When we
speak of a person's heart, we refer not just to his sentiments, but to the
whole person in his loving dealings with others. In order to help us understand
divine things, Scripture uses the expression "heart" in its full
human meaning, as the summary and source, expression and ultimate basis, of
one's thoughts, words and actions. One is worth what one's heart is worth.
. . .
3. Jesus on the cross, with his
heart overflowing with love for us, is such an eloquent commentary on the value
of people and things that words only get in the way. Men, their happiness and
their lives, are so important that the very Son of God gave himself to redeem
and cleanse and raise them up. "Who will not love this heart so
wounded?" a contemplative asks in this connection. "Who will not
return love for love? Who will not embrace a heart so pure? We, who are made of
flesh, will repay love with love. We will embrace our wounded One, whose hands
and feet ungodly men have nailed; we will cling to his side and to his heart.
Let us pray that we be worthy of linking our heart with his love and of
wounding it with a lance, for it is still hard and impenitent. . .."
The Sacred Heart of the First Friday
AMONG those who make
profession of piety, but few know Jesus Christ and the treasures of His mercy;
for this cause they give themselves up imperfectly to His love. Nothing can be
more pleasing to the loving heart of Jesus than the childlike and unlimited
confidence which we testify towards Him. It is related in the life of St.
Gertrude that one day, as she reflected on the extraordinary graces which she
had received, she asked herself how the revelations with which she had been
favored could be made known to mankind with the greatest profit to their souls.
Our Lord vouchsafed her this reply:
It would be good for
men to know, and never to forget, that I, their God and Savior, am always
present in their behalf before My heavenly Father. This should never be
forgotten, that when through human frailty their hearts incline to sin I offer
for them my merciful heart; and when they offend God by their works, I present
to Him My pierced hands and feet in order to appease the anger of divine
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
says the great Apostle, is the mediator between God and man. He is now ascended
into heaven in order to aid our prayers by His powerful mediation. Fail not,
says the devout Blosius, to offer your good works and pious exercises to the
most sweet heart of Jesus, in order that He may purify and perfect them; for
His heart, so full of tenderness, takes delight in so divine a work. He is
always ready to perfect in you whatever He sees imperfect or defective.
Confidence is a key to the heart of Jesus. What may we not obtain from our
fellow-creatures by the confidence we place in them? How much more, then, will
it not obtain from God? How marvelous will be its effects if united with an
absolute dependence on Him!
Thus, when animated by
faith, Peter walked on the waters as on dry land; but from the moment that fear
entered his mind the waters lost their sustaining power, and his compassionate Master,
extending His hand, said to him,
thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?”
On another occasion also
the tempest threatened to ingulf the apostles; but Jesus said to them, having
commanded the winds and the sea:
is your faith? Why are you fearful? Have you, then, no faith?
order to inspire us with a more lively confidence Our Lord Jesus Christ
vouchsafed Himself to teach us the prayer which we address to God; so that our
heavenly Father, touched by the words of His own Son, might refuse us nothing
which we ask in His name; for this He would have us call Him by the sweet name
of Father. But as this is not enough, in order to dispel all our diffidence, He
carries His condescension even so far as to promise by a solemn oath to be
always ready to listen to us.
amen, I say to you, whatever ye shall ask I will do.
Timid souls, He would say,
I swear to you by Myself, Who am the Way and the eternal Truth; by Myself, Who
hate falsehood, and Who will punish perjury with eternal damnation; by Myself,
Who can no more lie or deceive than I can cease to be that which I am, I swear promises,
to you that I will grant what you ask of Me. These are Thy O my God, says St.
Augustine; and who can fear being deceived when he relies on the promises made
by uncreated Truth? When an upright man pledges you his word, you would believe
that you erred if you showed after this any doubt or fear but if we receive the
testimony of man, says St. John, the testimony of God, is it not greater? Our
divine Savior holds Himself so honored by this confidence that in a thousand
passages in the Gospel He attributes more to the miraculous efficacy of prayer
than to His own mercy. Not saying to those who have recourse to Him, it is My
goodness and My power; but It is thy faith, thy confidence, which has saved
thee. Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to St. Gertrude that he who prayed to Him
with confidence was sure to obtain his request that He could not do otherwise
than listen to his prayers. Whatever may be the grace you request, says Our
Lord, be sure of obtaining it, and it will be granted you. This it is which St.
John Climachus expresses in a like manner when he says, every prayer offered up
with confidence exercises over the heart of God a kind of violence, but a
violence which is sweet and pleasing to Him. St. Bernard compares the divine
mercy to an abundant spring, and our confidence to the vessel which we make use
of in order to draw these saving waters. The larger the vessel the greater the
abundance of the grace we shall bring away. Moreover, this is conformable to
the prayer of the psalmist, who sues for mercy in proportion to His confidence:
Let Thy mercy be upon us, O Lord, according to the hopes we have placed in
Thee. God has declared that He will protect and save all those who put their
trust in Him. Let them be glad, then, exclaims David; let all those rejoice who
hope in Thee, O my God; for they shall be happy for all eternity, and Thou wilt
never cease to dwell in them. He elsewhere says, He who places his trust in the
Lord shall dwell under the protection of the God of heaven. Yes, Lord, says St.
Bernard, it is hope alone which opens to us the treasure of Thy mercies. The
efficacy of prayer, says St. Thomas, is drawn from faith which believes in the
promises of God, and confidence in the holy promises which He has made to us.
We see, in short, in the sacred writings that the Son of God seems to take the
faith of those who address themselves to Him as the rule for the help and the
graces which He grants them, not only doing what they wish, but in the manner
in which they ask it. Grace is attached to confidence; it is a kind of axiom
that he who puts his trust in God shall never be confounded. And the wise man
defies a contrary example to be cited amongst all the nations of the world. Our
souls should be filled with consolations, says St. Ambrose, when we remember
that the graces which God grants us are always more abundant than those which
we ask; also, that the fulfilment of His promises always exceeds our hopes, as
says Ecclesiastes. Let us have, then, a firm confidence, as St. Paul recommends
us, since the Lord has promised to protect whosoever hopes in Him; and when
obstacles present themselves which seem very difficult to overcome let us say
with the Apostle, I can do all things in Him Who strengtheneth me. Who, indeed,
was ever lost after having placed his trust in God? But we need not always seek
a sensible confidence it will suffice if we earnestly desire it, for true
confidence is an utter dependence on God, because He is good, and wishes to
help us; because He is powerful, and able to help us; because He is faithful
and has promised to help us.
Example. The venerable
Mary of the Incarnation relates that it was revealed to her on a certain
occasion that the Eternal Father was insensible to her prayer. She sought to
know the cause, and an interior voice said to her: Petition Me through the
heart of My Son, through which I will hear thee. Address yourselves to the
heart of Jesus, the ocean of love and mercy, and He will obtain for you, pious
soul, and also for all poor sinners, the most signal graces. Sometime before
her death St. Mechtilde earnestly asked of Our Lord an important grace in
behalf of a person who had asked her to pray for her. Seized with fear at the
sight of the terrible judgments with which the justice of God would visit this
soul, she was weeping bitterly, when Our Lord addressed to her these consoling
daughter, teach the person for whom you pray that she must seek all she desires
through My heart. There is no heart so hard as not to be softened by the heart
of Jesus, nor any soul so disfigured by the leprosy of sin that His love cannot
purify, console, and heal.
Until 1969, the ancient feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, which is of
Oriental origin, was known in the West as the feast of the Purification of Our
Lady, and closed the Christmas Cycle, forty days after the Lord's birth. This
feast has for long been associated with many popular devotional exercises. The
participate in the processions commemorating the Lord's entry into the
Temple in Jerusalem and His encounter with God, whose house He had come to
for the first time, and then with Simeon and Anna. Such processions, which
in the West had taken the place of licentious pagan events, always had a
penitential character, and were later identified with the blessing of
candles which were carried in procession in honor of Christ, 'the light to
enlighten the Gentiles' (Lk 2, 32);
sensitive to the actions of the Blessed Virgin in presenting her Son in
the Temple, and to her submission to the Law of Moses (Lk 12, 1-8) in the
rite of purification; popular piety sees in the rite of purification the
humility of Our Lady and hence, 2 February has long been regarded as a
feast for those in humble service.
Popular piety is sensitive to the
providential and mysterious event that is the conception and birth of new life.
Christian mothers can easily identify with the maternity of Our Lady, the most
pure Mother of the Head of the mystical Body — notwithstanding the notable
differences in the Virgin's unique conception and birth.
These too are mothers in God's plan
and are about to give birth to future members of the Church. From this
intuition and a certain mimesis of the purification of Our Lady, the
rite of purification after birth was developed, some of whose elements reflect
negatively on birth.
The revised Rituale Romanum
provides for the blessing of women both before and after birth, this latter
only in cases where the mother could not participate at the baptism of her
It is a highly desirable thing for
mothers and married couples to ask for these blessings which should be given in
accord with the Church's prayer: in a communion of faith and charity in prayer
so that pregnancy can be brought to term without difficulty (blessing before
birth), and to give thanks to God for the gift of a child (blessing after
In some local Churches, certain
elements taken from the Gospel account of the Presentation of the Lord (Lk 2,
22-40), such as the obedience of Joseph and Mary to the Law of the Lord, the
poverty of the holy spouses, the virginity of Our Lady, mark out 2 February as
a special feast for those at the service of the brethren in the various forms
of consecrated life.
The feast of 2 February still retains
a popular character. It is necessary, however, that such should reflect the
true Christian significance of the feast. It would not be proper for popular
piety in its celebration of this feast to overlook its Christological
significance and concentrate exclusively on its Marian aspects. The fact that
this feast should be 'considered [...] a joint memorial of Son and Mother'
would not support such an inversion. The candles kept by the faithful in their
homes should be seen as a sign of Christ 'the light of the world' and an
expression of faith.
Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
Commonly Called Candlemas-Day.
ON this day the Church solemnly celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the temple, and the obedience and humility both of Mary and her divine Son, who, though not subject to the law in regard to purification and presentation yet subjected themselves to it. Hence this feast is called the Purification of the Virgin Mary.
In common speech we call it also Candlemas, because on this day the candles required for the divine service are blessed and carried in procession. What is the design of this custom?
1. It is to remind us that Jesus, the light of the world, was offered up to His heavenly Father, by Mary, in the temple at Jerusalem, where He was called by Simeon “a light for the revelation of the gentiles, and the glory of the people of Israel.”
2. To remind us, also, of several important truths, to which the priest refers in the prayers at the blessings. Thus he prays that as the earthly light dispels the darkness of night, so Jesus, with the light of His divine doctrine, may clear away our spiritual blindness and ignorance, and lead us in the way of virtue; that as the Holy Ghost enlightened Simeon, so He may also enlighten us to acknowledge Jesus as the true light, to love Him and follow Him, to keep our hearts from the way of sin, and to guide them in the way of virtue, and to kindle them with the fire of holy love; finally, that God may preserve, in soul and body, those who use blessed candles with devotion, may hear their prayers, and grant them entrance into the kingdom of the eternal and ever-blessed light. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple; according to Thy name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth; Thy right hand is full of justice. Great is the Lord and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain.”
Almighty, everlasting God, we suppliantly beseech Thy majesty that, as Thy only begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so Thou wouldst grant us to be presented to Thee with purified souls.
EPISTLE. Mai iii. 1-4.
Thus, saith the Lord: Behold I send My angel, and he shall prepare the way before My face. And presently the Lord Whom you seek, and the angel of the testament whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts: and who shall be able to think of the day of his coming? and who shall stand to see him? for he is like a refining fire, and like the fullers herb: and he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice. And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years, saith the Lord Almighty.
GOSPEL. Luke ii. 22-32.
At that time: After the days of Mary’s purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they carried Jesus to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord; and to offer a sacrifice according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law: he also took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, in peace: because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to the revelation of the gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.
The Blessed Virgin presented herself and her divine Son at the temple so as not to give scandal to such as were ignorant of their being exempt from the law, to show from the first that Jesus was come to redeem sinners, and to leave us an example of humility and obedience. Mary offered the gift of a pair of doves, like the poor, because she was poor, and was not ashamed to acknowledge it before the world.
INSTRUCTION FOR WOMEN AFTER CHILDBIRTH.
The law of purification in the Old Testament, it is true, no longer applies to Christian women, because the Church has done away with Jewish ceremonies. But the spirit and intention of that law the Church would yet have complied with. She permits women, therefore, to remain at home, with a good conscience, for six weeks after childbirth, or so long as circumstances may require, without attending divine service, in order to care for their health. This permission is, at the same time, an excellent admonition to women, that, in order to their recovery, they should refrain from anger, from exposure, from hard labor, from injurious food; to men, not to refuse their wives during this period, set apart by God Himself under the Old Law, the rest and attention which their nature requires. But when this time is past the Church desires that women should, after the example of Mary, repair to the church with their children, to procure the blessing of the priest, to give thanks to God for their safe delivery, to dedicate their children to Him, and to implore of Him, with the priest, grace to bring up their offspring in piety and holiness. In this consists the so-called “churching of women”; and, from what has been said, it is evident, not only that it contains nothing to be ashamed of, but that it should by no means be omitted by such as desire God’s blessing. The feeble health of both women and children after childbirth is almost always owing to their having injured themselves by want of care.
Prayer for Women after Childbirth.
and merciful God, Who didst lay upon our mother Eve the fit punishment for her
disobedience that she should bear children in sorrow, I offer to Thee all the
pains of my child-bearing in propitiation for my sins; and I thank Thee that,
through Thy help, the fruit of my womb has been safely brought forth into the
world, and new-born in Baptism. According to the example of the Mother of Thy only
begotten Son, I also offer to Thee my child for Thy holy service, and will
earnestly strive to bring it up to Thy honor. To this end give me, through the
intercession of the most blessed Virgin, thy grace; bless me and my child, and
grant that we may live according to Thy will here, and hereafter may obtain
everlasting happiness. Amen.
Things to Do
your parish priest to bless the candles that you will be using on your
home altar this year.
Luke 2:22-35, the account of the presentation including the Canticle of
on the constant fiat of Our Lady of Sorrows, who embraced the will
of God even as Simeon predicted that a sword would pierce her heart.
Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life.
of the grandest feasts of the Middle Ages and one of only three feasts in the
English language verbally denoted by a Mass (Christmas and Michaelmas being the
other two), Candlemas, or the Feast of
the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorates Our Lady's visit
to the Temple in humble obedience to that clause of the Old Law which requires
a woman to be ritually purified forty days after bearing a son. On the
assumption that Our Lord was born on December 25, the date of Mary's visit to
the Temple would be February 2. It was on this day that Simeon the aged
prophet, upon seeing the infant Jesus, proclaimed him to be "a Light to
the gentiles" (Lk. 2.32). Hence the day has always involved a celebration
of light. The most famous of these customs -- and the one from which the feast
takes its common name -- is the blessing
of, and procession with, candles. The day begins with five beautiful blessings of candles that invoke God's
aid in living out allegorically what the light and fire of a candle symbolize:
wisdom and illumination, purification and charity, and so on. A solemn and
penitential procession (in which the
celebrant wears purple) exits and then re-enters the church, at which point the
purple is cast aside for the jubilance of white and a joyful Mass is offered.
One of the more distinctive features of this Mass is that the candles are held lighted in the hand during the
Gospel and from the Sanctus to the Communion. Candles used in the
procession are not the only ones blessed on this day. Many families
traditionally had most or all of their special candles -- for Advent, St.
Lucy's Day, Christmas, or the family shrine -- blessed on this day.
Feast's association with light also made it a great day for predicting the
weather. According to an old legend, if the sun shines bright for the better
part of the day, it means forty more days of winter. Subsequently this quaint
superstition became Groundhog Day. Finally,
Candlemas is the absolute last day for ending
the Christmas season. Any Christmas items that had not been taken down on
Epiphany or its Octave were now carefully put away.
A lot of Christians will also bring candles with them to their local
church. They will then have their candles blessed, and they will use them for
the rest of the year. This is especially the case for Roman Catholics,
Orthodox, Lutherans, Methodists, and Anglicans. The candles are essential, as
they are viewed as a symbol of Jesus Christ. If you’re familiar with the
teachings of the Bible, you will know that Jesus often referred to Himself as
the Light of the World.
There are different celebrations that take place all around the world
on this date. It is certainly interesting to learn about the various ways that
countries celebrate this occasion, and you can easily find this information
online if you would like to learn more. For example, in Peru, one of the
biggest festivals of dancing, music, and culture takes place during the first
fortnight of February. There are many different events taking place, which are
in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, which is considered the patron saint of Puno,
a city in Peru.
In Mexican tradition, some of the important celebrations on this day
include enjoying family meals with tamales, which is a classic dish from
Mesoamerican cuisine. The adoration and dressing of the child Jesus also plays
a role in this symbolic day. In Puerto Rico, the end of Christmas is celebrated
on this day. There are a number of different festivities that will occur on
This includes a statue of the “Virgen de la Candelaria” carried on the
shoulders, with people following behind with lit candles. In Luxembourg, this
day is very much centered on the children. Small groups of children and adults
will roam the streets, singing traditional songs to every house that they pass
and holding a homemade wand or lantern. In exchange for singing songs, it is
hoped that the children will receive some sort of reward. Today, this is
typically some loose change or sweets. Traditionally, it was biscuits, peas, or
There are also celebrations across Swiss Romandy, Belgium, and France.
It is considered the day of crepes here! Not only does everyone enjoy some
delicious crepes, but everyone is prompted to light all of the candles in the
house. Tradition also indicates that manger scenes should be kept out until
74. THE LITANIES
The Litanies commonly called " Litanies of our Lady" are named "Litanies of Loretto" in the Constitutions of several Sovereign Pontiffs, - viz. Reddituri, of Sixtus V., July11, 1687; Sanctissimus, of Clement VIII., Sept. 6, 1601; and In supremo, of Alexander VII., May 28, 1664 - by reason of their being sung with great solemnity every Saturday in the Holy House of Loretto. They are composed of humble supplications and devout prayers to Almighty and (this being the meaning of the word "Litanies"), offered up through the intercession of our Blessed Lady, who is honoured therein by the application to her of the mystic figures, high titles, and glorious appellations whereby she is invoked. That these Litanies, when said by the faithful, in church in public, or at home in private, might always remain word for word exactly as they have been handed down to us from ancient tradition, Pope Alexander VII., in the Constitution above named, strictly forbade the making of any alteration in them.
To encourage the faithful often to have recourse to the intercession of most holy Mary in their behalf with Almighty (and, and at the same time to do her honor, Pope Sixtus V., in the above-named Constitution, granted –
i. An indulgence of 200 days, every time these
Litanies are said with devotion and contrition. Pope Benedict XIII., by a
decree of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, Jan. 12, 1728, confirmed this
Indulgence; and Pope Pius VII., confirming it afresh by a decree of the same S.
Congr. of Sept 30, 1817, extended it to 300 days.
He granted, moreover, to all who say them daily –
ii. A plenary Indulgence on the five Feasts of our Blessed Lady, of Obligation according to the Roman Calendar, viz, the Immaculate Conception, the Nativity, the Annunciation, the Purification, and the Assumption, on condition that, being truly contrite for their sins, and after Confession and Communion, they visit a public church, and pray according to the intention of the Pope.
Ground Hog Day
I ask Christ if he has seen the movie, “Ground Hog Day”. He laughs and says playfully, “No, but I
inspired it”. I continue, well today is Ground Hog Day and tradition say that
if the ground hog sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. Christ asks, “So what happens in the movie?”
I state it is a story of a cranky young man who keeps magically repeating his
ground hog day until he has a life changing attitude toward people and life in
general. Christ says that is the reason for His coming to these coffee clutches
with me and that He wants to give me a whole new view of life. This is what I
referred to when I told Nicodemus that a person must be born again to enter the
kingdom. That is, you must awaken or give birth to the Spirit of the Father
that is in you-the spirit of love, and you must also live in the truth. Your actions
and behavior must be true to the spirit the Father reveals to you.
John McCain in his book “Character is Destiny” portrays the life of “The Four Chaplains” as a model of great religious tolerance that allowed them to risk all to protect others of a different faith or race.
It was the evening of Feb. 2, 1943, and the U.S.A.T. Dorchester was crowded to capacity, carrying 902 service men, merchant seamen and civilian workers. Once a luxury coastal liner, the 5,649-ton vessel had been converted into an Army transport ship. The Dorchester was one of three ships steadily moving across the icy waters from Newfoundland toward an American base in Greenland.
Hans J. Danielsen, the ship’s captain, was concerned and cautious because he knew he was in dangerous waters. German U-boats were constantly prowling these vital sea lanes, and several ships had already been blasted and sunk. The Dorchester was now only 150 miles from its destination, but the captain ordered the men to sleep in their clothing and keep life jackets on. Many soldiers sleeping deep in the ship’s hold disregarded the order because of the engine’s heat. Others ignored it because the life jackets were uncomfortable.
On Feb. 3, at 12:55 a.m., a periscope broke the chilly Atlantic waters. Through the cross hairs, an officer aboard the German submarine U-223 spotted the Dorchester. The U-223 approached the convoy on the surface, and after identifying and targeting the ship, he gave orders to fire the torpedoes, a fan of three were fired. The one that hit was decisive–and deadly–striking the starboard side, amid ship, far below the water line. Captain Danielsen, alerted that the Dorchester was taking water rapidly and sinking, gave the order to abandon ship.
In less than 20 minutes, the Dorchester would slip beneath the Atlantic’s icy waters. Aboard the Dorchester, panic and chaos had set in. The blast had killed scores of men, and many more were seriously wounded. Others stunned by the explosion were groping in the darkness. Those sleeping without clothing rushed topside where they were confronted first by a blast of icy Arctic air and then by the knowledge that death awaited. Men jumped from the ship into lifeboats, over-crowding them to the point of capsizing, according to eyewitnesses. Other rafts, tossed into the Atlantic, drifted away before soldiers could get in them. Through the pandemonium, according to those present, four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness.
Those chaplains were Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed. Quickly and quietly, the four chaplains spread out among the soldiers. There they tried to calm the frightened, tend the wounded and guide the disoriented toward safety. “Witnesses of that terrible night remember hearing the four men offer prayers for the dying and encouragement for those who would live,” says Wyatt R. Fox, son of Reverend Fox. One witness, Private William B. Bednar, found himself floating in oil-smeared water surrounded by dead bodies and debris. “I could hear men crying, pleading, praying,” Bednar recalls. “I could also hear the chaplain’s preaching courage. Their voices were the only thing that kept me going.” Another sailor, Petty Officer John J. Mahoney, tried to reenter his cabin but Rabbi Goode stopped him. Mahoney, concerned about the cold Arctic air, explained he had forgotten his gloves. “Never mind,” Goode responded. “I have two pairs.” The rabbi then gave the petty officer his own gloves.
retrospect, Mahoney realized that Rabbi Goode was not conveniently carrying two
pairs of gloves, and that the rabbi had decided not to leave the Dorchester. By
this time, most of the men were topside, and the chaplains opened a storage
locker and began distributing life jackets. It was then that Engineer
Grady Clark witnessed an astonishing sight. When there were no more lifejackets
in the storage room, the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to four
frightened young men. “It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this
side of heaven,” said John Ladd, another survivor who saw the chaplains’
selfless act. Ladd’s response is understandable. The altruistic action of the
four chaplains constitutes one of the purest spiritual and ethical acts a
person can make. When giving their life jackets, Rabbi Goode did not call out
for a Jew; Father Washington did not call out for a Catholic; nor did the
Reverends Fox and Poling call out for a Protestant. They simply gave their life
jackets to the next man in line. As the ship went down, survivors in nearby
rafts could see the four chaplains–arms linked and braced against the slanting
deck. Their voices could also be heard offering prayers. Of the 902 men aboard
the U.S.A.T. Dorchester, 672 died, leaving 230 survivors. When the news reached
American shores, the nation was stunned by the magnitude of the tragedy and
heroic conduct of the four chaplains.
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE
CHAPTER THREE-GOD'S SALVATION: LAW AND
Article 2-GRACE AND JUSTIFICATION
grace of the Holy Spirit confers upon us the righteousness of God. Uniting us
by faith and Baptism to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the Spirit
makes us sharers in his life.
conversion, justification has two aspects. Moved by grace, man turns toward God
and away from sin, and so accepts forgiveness and righteousness from on high.
Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal
of the inner man.
Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted
us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies
us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal
life. It is the most excellent work of God's mercy.
Grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his
adopted sons. It introduces us into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life.
divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free
response of man. Grace responds to the deepest yearnings of human freedom,
calls freedom to cooperate with it, and perfects freedom.
Sanctifying grace is the gratuitous gift of his life that God makes to us; it
is infused by the Holy Spirit into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify
Sanctifying grace makes us "pleasing to God." Charisms, special
graces of the Holy Spirit, are oriented to sanctifying grace and are intended
for the common good of the Church. God also acts through many actual graces, to
be distinguished from habitual grace which is permanent in us.
can have merit in God's sight only because of God's free plan to associate man
with the work of his grace. Merit is to be ascribed in the first place to the
grace of God, and secondly to man's collaboration. Man's merit is due to God.
grace of the Holy Spirit can confer true merit on us, by virtue of our adoptive
filiation, and in accordance with God's gratuitous justice. Charity is the
principal source of merit in us before God.
one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by
the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces
needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.
"All Christians . . . are called to the fullness of Christian life and to
the perfection of charity" (LG 40 # 2). "Christian perfection has but
one limit, that of having none" (St. Gregory of Nyssa, De vita Mos.: PG
"If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his
cross and follow me" (Mt 16:24).
When the fast is over make some Minestrone di riso.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Devout Instructions, 1896.