Monday Night at the Movies
Frank Borzage, Strange Cargo, 1940
FEAST OF ST. AGATHA-Winter Carnival
Psalm 115, Verse 11-13
Those who FEAR the LORD trust in the
LORD, who is their help and shield. 12 The LORD remembers us and will
bless us, will bless the house of Israel, will bless the house of Aaron, 13 Will
bless those who fear the LORD, small
and great alike.
115 is a response to the enemy taunt, “Where is your God?” This hymn to the
glory of Israel’s God ridicules the lifeless idols of the nations, expresses in
a litany the trust of the various classes of the people in God, invokes God’s
blessing on them as they invoke the divine name, and concludes as it began with
praise of God.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
FEAST of Saint AGATHA
came from Catania, a city in Sicily. I was stationed there while in the Navy
and lived in the small town of Nicolosi which was situated on the Volcano
(Etna) near the city of Catania. I was impressed and formed as a young man by
the faith and beauty of the people of Sicily.
was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. She belonged to a rich, important
family. When she was young, she dedicated her life to God and resisted any men
who wanted to marry her or have sex with her. One of these men, Quintian, was
of a high enough rank that he felt he could force her to acquiesce. Knowing she
was a Christian in a time of persecution, he had her arrested and brought
before the judge - - himself. He expected her to give in to when faced with
torture and possible death, but she simply affirmed her belief in God by
praying: "Jesus Christ, Lord of all,
you see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am. I am your sheep:
make me worthy to overcome the devil." Quintian imprisoned her in a
brothel in order to get her to change her mind.
He brought her back before him after she had suffered a month of assault and humiliation in the brothel, but Agatha had never wavered, proclaiming that her freedom came from Jesus. Quintian sent her to prison, instead of back to the brothel -- a move intended to make her more afraid, but which probably was a great relief to her. When she continued to profess her faith in Jesus, He had her tortured. He refused her any medical care, but God gave her all the care she needed in the form of a vision of St. Peter. When she was tortured again, she died after saying a final prayer: "Lord, my Creator, you have always protected me from the cradle; you have taken me from the love of the world and given me patience to suffer. Receive my soul." Because one of the tortures she supposedly suffered was to have her breasts cut off, she was often depicted carrying her breasts on a plate. It is thought that blessing of the bread that takes place on her feast may have come from the mistaken notion that she was carrying loaves of bread. Because she was asked for help during the eruption of Mount Etna, she is considered a protector against the outbreak of fire. She is also considered the patroness of bell makers for an unknown reason -- though some speculate it may have something to do with the fact that bells were used as fire alarms.
Prayer: Saint Agatha, you suffered sexual assault
and indignity because of your faith. Help heal all those who are survivors of
sexual assault and protect those women who are in danger. Amen
Bake an Agatha loaf! On St. Agatha's feast day
people would bake loaves attached to a picture of St. Agatha and prayers for
protection from fires. The parish priests would bless the loaves, and people
would keep them in their homes in case of a poor harvest and famine. The
prayers would then be hung above the main door of each home to invoke St.
Spanish tradition associates this feast day with
ancient fertility customs. Young men would visit many farms throughout the
countryside, singing songs of praise to St. Agatha and invoking God's blessing
upon people, animals, and fields. However, if they did not receive the
customary gifts of money or food for their services, they would call down a
'quick old age' upon the ungrateful inhabitants of that farm. Although most of
us do not live in such communities where this kind of custom would be practicable
or even understood, we can pray to St. Agatha for a greater openness to the
transmission of new life in our culture, and actively affirm and support young
couples with children whenever possible.
St. Agatha is the patron saint against fire.
Take this day to establish a fire escape plan for the family and to practice a
family fire drill. Also check the smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon
monoxide detectors to see if they are all working. Change the batteries on all
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
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
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)
The Very Powerful 54 Day Rosary Novena
Seeking Strength, Unity &
Unity in Truth
Cardinal Robert Sarah recently
wrote, "For the time foretold by Saint Paul has come, ‘when people
will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate
for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from
listening to the truth and wander into myths’ (2 Tim 4:3–4) … Church
unity is at stake because there is no unity apart from truth. Jesus told
us clearly: ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass
away’ (Mt 24:35). Let us trust in His word above any other
because ‘you have one master, the Christ’ (Mt 23:10). Church history
offers us the testimony of many Christians who preferred to say no to a world
of darkness, perversion, and moral decadence, even if it cost them their lives,
rather than to lose the treasure that they had discovered in Jesus (see Mt
13:44; Phil 1:21).” -Cardinal Robert Sarah, Catechism of the Spiritual Life.
We are engaged in a spiritual battle of historic proportions! We
are witnessing an overreach of evil never seen before. It is important to
understand Satan’s names: “diabolos” means “he who places division or
separation,” and “daio,” the root of “demon,” means “to divide.” We have all
seen how these outrageous demonic activities have caused great division in our
families and communities.
As Satan seductively coaxes more and more people away from the
designs of God, these separated people look back, pointing an accusatory finger
at those of us who choose to remain in the will of God, saying, “You are the
cause of division because you choose not to join us in the ways of the world!!”
We are called “extreme” and “fanatical” when we are simply remaining with our
Lord at the foot of the cross.
Yes! We all want UNITY! But, as Cardinal Sarah eloquently states,
“There is no unity apart from the truth.” Yet, we wonder if we will ever
restore this unity in truth again. What can we do?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “All are
called to Holiness…The way of perfection passes by way of the
Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual
We must call out to God in prayer. We must stay as close to God
and His will as possible. We must trust in God’s supernatural power. We must go
to Mary to seek her powerful intercession. We must become holy in God’s
supernatural strength. And, we must seek God’s supernatural protection during
these historic days of persecution against those of us who are simply choosing
to unite at the foot of the cross.
Ultimately, this 54 day "Unite at the Foot of the Cross"
prayer campaign is about seeking Strength, Unity and Protection:
President Ronald Reagan once famously stated, “We maintain
the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.”
St. Paul wrote, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).
But, how do we get to this place of peace? God has revealed the
prescription in so many ways that all boil down to: “When you are
well-connected with Me and supernaturally strong, you will
The "peace that surpasses all understanding" is what I
want for all of us, and why I wrote the Peace Through Strength Prayer Journal. This journal guides us into cultivating the very
best ways of the spiritual life; the ways of staying as close as possible to
our Lord; the ways of becoming strong in the Lord and in His mighty power (Eph.
I highly recommend using this journal - which was formulated with the
guidance of Fr. Chad Ripperger - for this 54 day "Unite at the Foot of the
Cross" prayer campaign. You can order your Peace Through Strength Prayer
As I said, this is a historic time. The devil is emboldened like
What do we do? UNITE!! Don’t get pulled into the temptation of
“in-fighting.” That’s a favorite tactic of the devil. He is the great divider.
I am 100% dedicated to UNITING all of us to our Eucharistic Lord
and each other. We need to grow our force; our light.
The devil is a totalitarian super power right now. We must do the
“David thing” and realize that size does not matter. What matters is trust in
the power of God, united as an obnoxiously loving family.
As it says in Psalm 57 ...
Have mercy on me, God, have mercy
for in you my soul has taken refuge.
In the shadow of your wings I take refuge
till the storms of destruction pass by.
There are many prayers and sacramentals, all of which I will get into
as we pray together, but the primary way to remain safe and protected is to
stay with Him - at the foot of the cross - in fervent love and devotion. Start
your day, just right, with the few short prayers that have been revealed to us
(these are found in the Peace Through Strength Prayer
Journal). Dedication to these revealed
prayers are a sign you are not lacking in fervent love of Him; that you want to
do it "His way"; that you seek His protection at all times.
PRAYER AND TRAINING IN HOLINESS!
This 54 day prayer campaign is also a Basic Training in Holiness.
Each day, along with praying your rosary and cultivating the very best habits
of prayer, holiness trainees will be provided with a 1-2 minute reflection
on the qualities of excellence. The first 27 days, trainees will read from
passages in scripture, quotes from saints and the catechism on one of the
following: Theological Virtues, Cardinal Virtues, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and
the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. The second 27 days will be excerpts from my very
first book entitled, Church Militant Field Manual: Special Forces Training for
the Life in Christ.
The daily reflections for this prayer and training campaign can be
found in these two places.
1) You can sign up to receive the 54 Day Rosary prayers with daily
reflection in your email. Click Here to Sign Up.
Party Adirondack style. Since its start back in 1897, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival has grown into one of the oldest winter carnivals in America. The 10-day event showcases plenty of winter magic, from an ice palace made from blocks of ice to the coronation of a winter carnival king and queen.
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 3-THE CHURCH, MOTHER AND TEACHER
II. The Precepts of the Church
2041 The precepts of the Church are
set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life.
the obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral
authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in
the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and
2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.") requires the faithful to participate in the Eucharistic celebration when the Christian community gathers together on the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord.
The second precept (“You shall
confess your sins at least once a year.") ensures preparation for the
Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues
Baptism's work of conversion and forgiveness.
The third precept (“You shall
humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter
season.") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord's Body and
Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian
2043 The fourth precept (“You shall
keep holy the holy days of obligation.") completes the Sunday observance
by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honor the mysteries
of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.
The fifth precept (“You shall
observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.") ensures the times
of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us
acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.
The faithful also have the duty of
providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his