NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Thursday, February 22, 2024

 


WASHINGTONS BIRTHDAY-BE HUMBLE-BILLY GRAHAM

 Judith, Chapter 16, Verse 15-16

15 For the mountains to their bases are tossed with the waters; the rocks, like wax, melt before your glance. “But to those who FEAR you, you will show mercy. 16 Though the sweet fragrance of every sacrifice is a trifle, and the fat of all burnt offerings but little in your sight, one who fears the Lord is forever great.

 

With victory come the spoils of war and Judith as Heroin of the people get the spoils from Holofernes tent. She is rich indeed but because she is truly a servant of God; all of the booty she receives she keeps none sending it all to the temple in Jerusalem.

 

“Only those that see the invisible can do the impossible.” Tyrese

 

Victory[1]

 

·         Material gains from victory are turned back to God.

·         People’s joy and exultation are also returned to God in celebration.

·         The Lord is God; he crushes warfare.

·         The Lord shatters the enemy by a women’s hand.

·         Yahweh sends heroes to deliver the people when they cry out for help. The victory of Judith confirms that premise.

·         Judith’s victory is symbolic of God’s victory over evil, preservation of the sanctuary, and the deliverance of the people.

·         The beheading of Holofernes is the symbolic defeat of the devil. Judith is a precursor of Mary the Lord’s mother who will defeat the devil as he defeated Eve our first mother.

·         God’s message in Judith is when you face evil beyond your strength; persevere in hope.

 

Judith gave all her wealth to the temple of Jerusalem; Mary, Queen of heaven gave us her Son to complete the work of God making our bodies and soul the true temple of the Lord. Today’s Saint St. Josemaria founded Opus Dei whose goal is to aid us in being a living temple for God.

 

St. Faustina[2]

 

On February 22, 1931, Jesus appeared to Faustina as the King of Divine Mercy. Jesus chose her to deliver to the modern world a message as old as eternity. It is the message of his love for all people, especially sinners. Jesus said to Faustina, "Today I am sending you with my mercy to the people of the whole world." It is his desire to heal the aching world, to draw all people into his merciful heart of love.

 

He asked her to have a picture painted of him as she saw him — clothed in white, with red and white rays of light streaming from his heart. The rays represent the blood and water that flowed from the side of Jesus on the cross. Under the image are the words, "Jesus, I trust in you." Many people did not believe Faustina at first. The sisters in her own convent thought that Jesus could not possibly have selected her for this great favor. After all, she was an uneducated peasant girl. Her superiors often refused to give her permission to carry out Jesus' requests. Church theologians, too, doubted her word. Jesus told Faustina that he loved her obedience and that his will would be done in the end. Faustina was canonized by the first Polish pope, John Paul II, on April 30, 2000. The first Sunday after Easter was declared Divine Mercy Sunday.

Thursday First Week of Lent[3]

EPISTLE. Ezech, xviii. 1-9.

IN those days: The word of the Lord came to me, saying: What is the meaning, that you use among you this parable as a proverb in the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of the children are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, this parable shall be more to you a proverb in Israel. Behold all souls are Mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is Mine: the soul that sinneth, the same shall die. And if a man be just, and do judgment and justice, and hath not eaten upon the mountains, nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel: and hath not defiled his neighbor’s wife, nor come near to a menstruous woman: and hath not wronged any man: but hath restored the pledge to the debtor, hath taken nothing away by violence: hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment: hath not lent upon usury, nor taken any increase: hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, and hath executed true judgment between man and man: hath walked in My commandments, and kept My judgments, to do according to truth : he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord Almighty.

GOSPEL. Matt. xv. 21-28.

At that time: Jesus went from thence and retired into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And behold a woman of Canaan who came out of those coasts, crying out, said to Him: Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David: my daughter is grievously troubled by a devil. Who answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought Him, saying: Send her away, for she crieth after us. And He answering, said: I was not sent but to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel. But she came and adored Him, saying: Lord, help me. Who answering, said: It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs. But she said: Yea, Lord, for the whelps also eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters. Then Jesus answering, said to her: O woman, great is thy faith: be it done to thee as thou wilt: and her daughter was cured from that hour.

Prayer. Look, O Lord, upon the devotion of Thy people, that we, who are afflicted in body by abstinence, may be refreshed in mind by the fruit of good works.

Lenten Calendar[4]

Read: In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, also called confession, we meet the Lord, who wants to grant forgiveness and the grace to live a renewed life in him. In this sacrament, he prepares us to receive him free from serious sin, with a lively faith, earnest hope, and sacrificial love in the Eucharist. The Church sees confession as so important that she requires that every Catholic go at least once a year.

Pray: If you have anger in your heart towards someone, say a prayer for him or her today as a step towards healing.

Act: Make going to confession a priority during Lent this year.

Washington’s Birthday[5] 

In John McCain’s book Character is Destiny the 1st President of the United States is McCain’s example of a man who demonstrates for us the characteristic of SELF CONTROL.

(Do you think this is what lent is all about?) 

Self-control is the ability to control one's emotions, behavior, and desires in the face of external demands in order to function in society. (Matt DeLisi) 

George Washington was a warrior and a mensch. Washington was a self-made man who learned to govern himself before he governed our great country. Washington was a passionate man by nature, yet he was famous for his reserve and graciousness to others. Washington worked on himself very hard to control his temper and to not be sensitive to criticism. It was a lifelong struggle and at times he was given to fits of anger. His passion was a two-edged sword that either cut for him or against him. His passion was also the source of his great courage. History records his fury in battle where he wore out two horses and stood in defiance of withering fire and having his coat tore by four musket balls. Washington did not just tell his men to stand fast and face the enemy but set the example; leaping headlong into battle and the men followed. Washington disciplined his passionate nature with iron will and self-control. Washington wrote, “Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect, to those that are present” and, “Labor to keep alive in your breast the little spark of celestial fire called conscience.” 

He strove to be a man of unquestionable dignity and manners. He was modest and wore clothes that were fine and neat but never showy. He was consciously groomed and was seldom discourteous to anyone, of higher or lower station in life. He knew his strengths as well as his weaknesses; there was no hubris in him. 

“He understood the nature of his countrymen as well as he understood his own. He knew we are all flawed, that we must always be alert to the danger of ungoverned appetites and must strive to control and improve our nature. He understood his country at its birth needed a leader of towering honor, wisdom, and selflessness, whose appearance must fit the role as well as his character, did. And through the constant application of his self-control, he inhabited that role as no one has again, and became, in fact, the father of our country. He imprinted his character on this nation, and in that sense, we are all his descendants, a people famous for our constant struggle to improve. We are never so removed from the failings of our nature that we cannot stand more improvement, but neither are we so removed from Washington’s magnificent example that we dare not dream we can achieve it.” 

Son of the Republic[6] 

In America, we have until now had no fear in worshiping our God in holiness and righteousness. In fact, the model in America since its founding has been one of “Many religions, but one covenant”.  

We are certainly a blessed people because we as a whole have not abandoned the covenant, nor shall we if the vision of George Washington at Valley Forge is true. In it he saw that Americans would remain true to our creator.

 

"Son of the Republic…Three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful is the third, but in this greatest conflict the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land and the Union."

 

With these words the vision vanished, and I (Washington) started from my seat and felt that I had seen a vision wherein had been shown to me the birth, progress, and destiny of the United States. 


Be Humble Day[7]

Humility may be the most difficult of all the virtues to truly attain. There seems to be a paradox in that claiming to have humility may be an act of pride. Some people might be prideful in their humility… or something like that. Either way, Be Humble Day focuses on humbling yourself. There is no boasting allowed on Be Humble Day. Choosing not to brag about your successes and abilities can prove to be much more difficult than one might anticipate, as the culture surrounding us is often centered on self and the successes achieved by an individual. Throughout the age’s philosophers and the average Joe alike have pondered humility and what it means to be truly humble. It is a difficult question to answer and the final answer may never fully present itself. But perhaps the seeking of humility is more important than the achieving. In a fascinating twist of irony, the person responsible for the founding of Be Humble Day is unknown. Whoever it was clearly took humility seriously and didn’t bother to brag about starting a recognized day of celebration. Perhaps the person was so humble that they didn’t even stop to think they might have instigated something that would reach so far.

Observing Be Humble Day

The observance of Be Humble Day can be gone about in many ways, but all the avenues of observance should maintain the quietness associated with humility. There should be no loud proclamations of the fact that you’re celebrating Be Humble Day, as that would ruin the point. The first step is simply to bear in mind to be humble. If you keep that focus, then the rest may follow along after quite simply. Remember: don’t focus on your own greatness and the achievements you’ve made. Be Humble Day is also about encouraging others and focusing on their achievements and giving a friend or co-worker the props, they deserve is an excellent way to keep in the spirit of Be Humble Day. If you’re looking for further inspiration and more ways to dig deeper into humility on Be Humble Day then perhaps considering these quotes from some great minds (a title foisted upon them by others, not one they themselves took in keeping with humility) will assist you in your journey.

The Christian thinker C.S. Lewis, best known for his beloved Chronicles of Narnia book series, said that “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” A perfect quote for Be Humble Day. Criss Jami, an American poet and philosopher observed that “The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it.” And if you think you know something then stop for a minute and consider the words of Albert Einstein: “A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.” If Albert Einstein can admit that he knows nothing, then perhaps there is hope for all of us to be humbler in our everyday lives. Opportunities to humble ourselves pass us by every day, and Be Humble Day is the perfect inspiration to sit up and notice these chances to better ourselves and to make the world a more pleasant place for the people around us.

Billy Graham[8] b. 11-07-1918—d. 02-22-2018

·         The devil certainly wants you to give in to temptation and do what is wrong, because his main goal is to turn us away from God. When we yield to temptation, you can be sure we make the devil happy.

·         But the devil isn’t directly responsible for every temptation we face, nor can we blame him when we give in and do wrong. Temptations come to us in many ways—but when we give in to them, we alone are responsible for what we’ve done. The Bible says, “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:14).

·         Remember, it isn’t a sin to be tempted; even Jesus was tempted by the devil to turn away from God’s plan (see Matthew 4:1-11). But it is sin to give in to temptation and go our own way instead of God’s way. Every sin is an act of rebellion on our part, telling God we think our way is better than His way. But that is a lie, for God’s way is always best.

·         Don’t fight your temptations alone; if you do, you will fail. Instead, ask God to help you by giving you the courage and inner strength to turn away. Begin by asking Christ to come into your life, forgiving and cleansing your sins and coming to live within you by His Spirit.

·         Then learn to walk with God every day, through prayer and fellowship with other believers and reading the Bible. The Bible says, “God is faithful. … When you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). `

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

CHAPTER ONE-YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND

Article 3 THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.

The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.

Thursdays are Sacred.

Why not made Thursdays Catholic Family Night thus making adequate time for God with the family.

Thursdays are next to Sundays the holiest day of the week. Pope John Paul knew this when he created the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. It was also on Thursday that our Lord instituted the Mass and last celebrated with the apostles. In a week also our Lord Ascended into heaven to intercede for us with the Father. It would be a pious practice to make Thursdays a little special by being in the Lord’s presence and celebrate Mass.

Feast of the day: soup Mushroom a la Mary-Louise main dish Tuna Melt Stuffed Bell Peppers salad Rainbow Bean Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing desert Crepes Saint-Gwenole Drink sweet white wine

·         Stations of the Cross: Thursday before First Friday Devotion

·         Reflection on making adequate time for God during Lent.

DIRECTIONS

In seed time the sluggard plows not; when he looks for the harvest it is not there (Proverbs 20:4).

This Lent make time for God. Adequate time. Ordinarily we assign only minutes a day to him. He knocks at the door of our hearts. Like the inhospitable inns of Bethlehem, we seemingly have no welcome. If we let God in, we crowd him into a corner. Yet we need him so badly in every area of life.

It is difficult to find time for family Lenten renewal. Father works overtime and comes home exhausted. Or he has a pressing evening meeting to attend. Mother is exhausted, the children cranky.

Frequently mothers work outside their homes. Finding ten or fifteen minutes a day for Lenten projects or prayer with the family seems an impossibility. I worked when our children were small — and remember. But somehow living the Church Year remained paramount. My mother, fretting over Lenten activities, would say, "How can you cut out Biblical mobiles when your closets look so? And it's almost Easter!" The closet may have been hastily tidied later. Those precious minutes spent with the children are theirs for time and eternity.

Mothers go out to work because they have to as a rule. In certain professions some have time for children and home. A few work to escape.

Mother is happy turning a crank That increases the money in somebody's bank; And I feel satisfaction that mother is free From the sinister task of attending to me.

    — G. K. Chesterton, Song for a Crèche

Still others work to give their children "every advantage." A secular writer recently passed judgment on the children now "emerging from school, church, and the station wagon." For him "they face us eloquent with the tormenting discontent of American youth for which everything is being done, to which everything is being given, except a reason for living."

St. Paul and again Pius X have outlined a way of changing this for our children. We are to restore things in Christ. How many Catholics use only part of the Church's spiritual riches! This Lent why not take time to tap for your children the treasuries of its liturgy?

Activity Source: Holy Lent by Eileen O'Callaghan, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1975

Daily Devotions 

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Increase of Vocations to the Holy Priesthood.

·         On February 22, 1931, Jesus appeared to Faustina as the King of Divine Mercy.

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 7

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary




[1]The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.

[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[5] McCain, John; Salter, Mark. Character Is Destiny.

[7]https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/be-humble-day/

[8]https://billygraham.org/answer/does-the-devil-cause-every-temptation-we-face/

 


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