February 8 Thursday after Sexagesima-Carnival
Saint Bakhita-Marriage Week
119, Verse 46
I will speak openly of your testimonies without FEAR even before kings.
Are we ready to bear our testimony for Jesus, against the
sneer and ridicule of the ungodly?
We are not likely to "be
brought before kings and rulers for the Son of Man's sake." Yet no less do
we need Divine help and strong faith in withstanding the enmity of a prejudiced
relative or scornful neighbor.
You are perhaps in especial danger of being ashamed of your
Bible, your religion, your Savior. You may be brought under the snare of
the "fear of man," and be tempted to compromise your religion, and to
sacrifice your everlasting all from a dread of "the reproach of
But remember him, who for your sake "before Pontius
Pilate witnessed a good confession"; and shall the dread of a name
restrain you from sharing his reproach, and banish the obligations of love and
gratitude from your hearts? Have you forgotten that you once owned the service
of Satan? And will you not be as bold for Christ, as you were for him? Were you
once "glorying in your shame; "and will you now be ashamed of your
Oh! Remember who hath said,
"Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, in this adulterous and
sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh
in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." Think much and often of
this word. Think about this day. Think of the station of "the fearful and
unbelieving" on the left hand on that day. Think of their eternal doom.
What is a prison compared to hell?
What need to pray and tremble! If
you are sincere in your determination, and simple in your dependence, then will
the. "Love of Christ constrain you”, not to a cold, calculating, reluctant
service; but to a confession of your Savior, bold, unfettered, and
"faithful even unto death." Every deviation from the straight path
bears the character of being ashamed of Christ. How much have you to speak on
behalf of his testimonies, his ways, his love! When in danger of the influence
of "the fear of man," look to him for strength. He will give to you,
as he gave to Stephen—"a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries
shall not be able to gainsay or resist." Thus, will you, like them, be
strengthened "to profess a good profession before many witnesses."
Thursday after Sexagesima-Carnival
It might sound odd that during the period of "Carnival" there occurs some of the most decadent feasting of the liturgical year. There is, however, a pious (if not somewhat convoluted) logic behind this consumption. Because not only meat but lacticinia (dairy products) were originally prohibited during Lent, Christians knew that they had to eat these foods before Ash Wednesday, or they would spoil. The last days before Lent were thus spent in eating copious amounts of fat dishes. From this necessity comes England's famous Shrove Tuesday Pancakes and northern England's Collop Monday (a collop is made of sliced meat and eggs fried in butter). This also gave rise to the most famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Christian party of all: Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday," is the French celebration of the final day before Lent. In this country it is associated mostly with the Cajun and Creole cuisine of New Orleans, two culinary traditions that provide a myriad of spicy, delicious dishes. One of the more interesting customs of the New Orleans Mardi Gras is the baking of a King's Cake, in which is placed a small doll of the Infant Jesus. The person whose piece of cake has the doll must provide the cake for next year's party.
How to Party like a Catholic
Postmodern man—and postmodern woman—don’t know how to give a good party.
It’s up to us Catholics to reclaim this lost art and share it with the world.
Why? Because good parties are
intrinsic to our Catholic faith. The liturgical year is punctuated with a wide
array of feast days and celebrations, many of which are Christianized versions
of holidays that once closely tracked the agricultural calendar of planting and
harvesting. The two largest and best-known feasts are, of course, Christmas and
Easter, but there are also the two Christmas and Easter spin-offs, Epiphany and
Pentecost. In addition, there’s the feast of Mary, Mother of God (New Year’s
Day); Ascension Thursday; Corpus Christi; the feast of the Immaculate
Conception; All Saints Day (with Halloween and the Day of the Dead); and, the
most famous party of all, Mardi Gras, which has strayed far from its Catholic
origin as the last celebration before the Lenten fast but still embodies a
certain Catholic sensibility. Above all, every Sunday for Catholics is a feast
day on which we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. Only in Lent and the mini-Lent
of Advent is it not party time, but even in these two seasons, there are
exceptions for St. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, St. Nicholas’s Day, and
Of course, as the Church wisely
realizes, feasts are more fun if preceded by fasts. The stricter the fast, the
merrier the feast. Truly the Catholic tradition has mastered the art of
well-timed, heavily scheduled, carefully orchestrated good times.
The occasion of a sacrament—baptism,
confirmation, or matrimony—is the best possible opportunity for a good party.
In fact, many Catholics take it for granted that a wedding should be marked by
a grand feast. The bigger and more elaborate the feast, the more it conforms to
the biblical model in John 2:1-11 of the wedding feast at Cana. Mary, Jesus,
and His disciples all attend. In the middle of the party, the wine runs out.
Mary explains this difficult situation to her son; after all, the gospel
implies, it won’t be much of a party without wine. After an exchange with His
mother, Jesus asks those in charge to fill six stone pots with water. "And
they filled them to the brim," John says. When the host tastes the water,
he is startled to discover that Jesus has changed it to wine, and not just any
wine but the best they will have all night. Hence, Jesus’ first miracle was not
a solemn occasion, as one might expect, but a celebration.
You might expect that such a
remarkable story as this, one that recounts Jesus’ first public display of
divine power, would be standard fare in evangelical Protestant pulpits, where
the words of the Bible take precedence over any liturgical design. Not so. If
you have ever attended a Southern Baptist wedding, for example, you know why:
There is no feast. The ceremony lasts perhaps 20 minutes at most, and then the
entire crowd descends to the social hall under the church to eat pastel butter
mints and cake and sip a tiny cup of fizzy, pink, nonalcoholic punch. Wine is
forbidden by tradition, so no one is looking for any. The whole affair is over
in less than an hour. Baptists may be people of the Book, but they certainly
are not people of the party. So much for living the words of Scripture.
How did the wedding feast, so
joyously celebrated at Cana, come to be the dreary occasion that it is in the
Like members of other
non-liturgical faiths, Southern Baptists tend to reject regularly scheduled
intervals of joy, sadness, celebration, and suffering, less for explicit
doctrinal reasons than because it all just seems too, well, Catholic.
Protestants have traditionally found
the Catholicity of Christian holidays deeply problematic. During the colonial
period, Massachusetts actually outlawed Christmas, and the controversy about
whether to put up a lighted tree in church still erupts in evangelical
congregations. If Protestant Americans had been left to their own devices, we
would celebrate only Thanksgiving (which is actually a version of St. Martin’s
Day, November 11) and the Fourth of July.
This aspect of the Catholic faith is
as conspicuous to outsiders as it is taken for granted by us: One day we are
eating pancakes and throwing parties for Fat Tuesday, and the next day, Ash
Wednesday, we are walking around with ashes on our foreheads repenting for our
What is it about us Romanists and
The Bible, it turns out, is filled with
fabulous parties. Think of the parable of the prodigal son. When he returns to
his father’s home with a contrite heart after living the high life, he is not
given broth and sent to bed. No, his father says, "bring hither the fatted
calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son," as if to
show that home is where the high life actually is. St. Clement of Alexandria
wrote: "The repentant son came to the pitying father, never hoping for these
things—the best robe, and the ring, and the shoes—or to taste the fatted calf,
or to share in gladness, or enjoy music and dances; he would have been
contented with obtaining what in his own estimation he deemed himself
worthy." Instead, he got it all. Given this spirit of liberality in one of
Jesus’ own parables, a good Catholic should be prepared to throw a great party
whenever the opportunity arises. Now, it’s true that merrymaking cannot be the
sum total of the way we live. The ever-stern St. Francis de Sales, in his Introduction
to the Devout Life, warns against excessive frivolity. But he does affirm
that balls and festivities are not evil in themselves and can even be used for
good. "It is lawful to amuse yourself, to dance, dress, feast, and see
seemly plays," he affirms. The proviso is that the good times must not
hinder, but help, devotion.
What is striking about modern life is how dull
our attempts at frivolity often turn out to be, not only because they are not
interrupted by fasting and prayer, as they should be, but also because we have
lost the art of how to throw a good party.
We’ve all had the experience of walking into a
party where we know only a few people, and all the rest are talking among
themselves. We find someone we know and hope he doesn’t mind if we talk
exclusively to him for, oh, the entire length of the party.
We know we are supposed to mingle with the
others, but no matter how many tips on that we’ve heard or read, mingling never
seems to work. Some people resent intrusions into their conversations, and in
any case, there usually doesn’t seem to be much to talk about. The most we can
hope for is a good opportunity to make an inconspicuous exit.
Thousands of parties like this come and go
without leaving any impression on the guests. The host is left with a huge mess
and not much else to show for it. It’s no wonder that many people are
disinclined to hold parties, or that they do it only when they have to, or that
they invite only the in-crowd when they can get away with it, or that they
never attempt much in the way of food and drink beyond chips and beer.
Find a Reason to Party
It doesn’t have to be this way. All
parties should have an ostensible reason for being. This is what makes them
communal occasions and provides a reason why all these people should be
together in one spot at the same time. With a theme, people have a mental hook,
so that they can later think: "I loved that St. Cecilia party"
Fortunately, our liturgical calendar provides plenty of ideas for themes.
Saints’ days are the perfect excuses for celebrations, and it helps that these
days rarely step on the more conventional party excuses of everyone else.
Here’s why theme parties are out of
fashion: We live in a culture obsessed with the fear of violating someone
else’s conscience. We don’t impose our values on others, and we never assert
the superiority of our own or point out problems with others’ points of view.
If we happen to have values, that’s fine, but we dare not suggest that others
should adopt them. That would be bad form. A theme party is typically seen as
an imposition on the conscience. For example, say you invite guests to your
house to celebrate the feast of St. Blaise on February 3.
What if they don’t like this saint,
or they think saints are generally weird? What if they aren’t in the mood? Why
should your priorities trump theirs? Isn’t it manipulative to tell people how
they should feel?
These are the kinds
of deconstructionist fears that tacitly haunt us and keep us from setting a
theme for an evening. The Catholic liturgy, however, assigns themes to
practically every day. We are supposed to mourn on Good Friday and then two
days later shout, "Alleluia."
Is this manipulative?
Not at all.
Theologian Michael Foley of Boston College points out that the purpose of
gathering together is to experience something together. He writes in his online
liturgy manual (www.holytrinitygerman.org): "From the exilic pining
of Septuagesima to the austerity of Lent, from the grief of Passiontide to the
jubilance of the Pasch, the Church, by staggering its feasts and observances in
a particular order, enables the faithful to experience a number of holy
feelings as one. Indeed, the emotional range of the traditional Roman rite is
perhaps the most variegated in all of Christendom."
Liturgical themes for parties are
great, especially if they involve a sacrament. But the theme doesn’t have to be
solemn and liturgical. It can be a mere excuse: to celebrate the opening of a
great bottle of wine, to commemorate the hanging of a new painting, to mark the
first day of summer, to eat an unusual food, to blow off steam after final
exams. It takes very little creativity to come up with a good idea for a party.
Even foolish themes are fun, like the "white elephant" parties of the
1950s, to which guests brought worthless gifts.
The Big Moment
Even more important than the theme of the party
is the central moment of the party: Someone clinks a glass and makes an
announcement that unifies the guests as a group. Ninety-nine percent of parties
do not include this crucial feature, which is why most are unsatisfying. A
group event of some sort underscores the reason for the party and gives people
something to remember about it besides a few isolated conversations.
Toasts are invaluable for this purpose. When
making a toast, don’t worry about being eloquent. Something as simple as
"To St. Joseph the Worker" is enough.
Whatever happened to dinner
They are becoming
ever rarer. Today, food at parties mostly consists of snacky things you can
pick up with your fingers, the better to stay on the move with. But the whole
premise of moving around a party is wrong. It’s important that people be able
to sit, so they can listen and share a group moment. Try having a dinner party
and see what happens. You don’t have to have a huge dining table. Even if
everyone is sitting on folding chairs eating chili, it is far better than yet
another round of chips, dips, and existential isolation. And by the way,
today’s emphasis on the quality of food at parties is wildly misplaced. You can
hire the best catering service in town or knock yourself out cooking for days,
but if you have no theme, no central moment, and no place for your guests to
sit, the best snacks on the planet are not going to save your party.
Pick Your Poison
It happens all the time. You walk into
your friends’ house for a party. They ask you what you want to drink and then
run through a list of options: orange juice, diet and regular Coke and Sprite,
Miller Lite, Bud Lite, sparkling water, V8, cran-apple juice, Fresca, coffee,
ten more unappealing liquids, and, finally, water. You suddenly get this vague
sense that maybe the V8 has been around awhile, or the Sprite may be flat, or
the coffee not made, or the Fresca—do they even make that anymore? In the end,
someone finally says, "Oh, I’ll just have a glass of water." Someone
else concurs. Folks, when that happens, the party is over before it begins.
The way to avoid this catastrophe is
to have one official drink of the evening. "Tonight," you announce,
"I am serving champagne cocktails" Who wouldn’t cheer? Serve them
with a cherry or an orange slice, and you have created a memorable drink. Alternatively,
you could serve martinis, or mint juleps, or some slushy, fruity concoction
from the freezer. Whatever it is, stick to it. If someone doesn’t drink, he’ll
say so. You should always have some fancy water available for nondrinkers and
throw in a slice of lemon or lime for good measure.
What to Wear?
What people should
wear to a party is a tricky subject. This much is an incontrovertible fact: The
best parties feature people dressing up, or at least not wearing torn cutoffs
and worn sneakers. But if you tell your guests to come casual, cutoffs and sneakers
is what you will get. Such is the nature of the times. Just look at what people
wear to Mass these days! You can hardly expect them to show up at your party
dressed any better.
People act nicer and smarter, however,
when they wear nice clothes. They sit straighter and generally feel as though
something special is taking place. Grubby clothes and truly memorable times
just don’t mix, unless you are at the lake or repairing a house or in some
other situation that specifically calls for casual attire.
Dress codes can seem like an
imposition to some these days. I handle it by telling guests, "Feel free
to dress up" or, "I’ll be in a coat and tie." It’s a way of
leaving their options open while delivering a strong hint. Finally, don’t rule
out telling your guests that the dress is black tie. If it’s New Year’s Eve,
this can make the evening even more joyful.
Can we have a break from rock
Classical music is
perfectly festive. Try Schubert’s Trout Quintet, Mozart’s string
quintets, Bach’s orchestral works, or even light operas. Chamber music works
better at parties than symphonies. Pre-World War II jazz has an endless
capacity to charm. Old and new movie soundtracks are always fun. How about
bluegrass? The idea is to play something that is not too intrusive but isn’t
boringly familiar either.
Catholic liturgical music is great,
but it should be reserved for Mass and Vespers, not parties. Always remember
Pope St. Clement’s dictum from the first century: no pagan music at liturgy and
no liturgical music at minstrel shows or other non-sacred occasions. That
doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to and enjoy Machaut and Byrd at home, but
parties aren’t the right times to push this repertoire.
My final musical note: If someone in
the group can play the piano and there’s one in your home, it should be
compulsory that he play.
More important than the specifics of a
party are the spirit. The spirit of a good party is a variant of the spirit of
good liturgy: a work of a community of people that follows a plan. "Every
religion has its feasts," the Catholic Encyclopedia says, "but
none has such a rich and judiciously constructed system of festive seasons as
the Catholic Church."
It’s time we lived up to our religious
tradition by putting some effort and thought into our parties. Given the
generally dull tenor of the times, you will suddenly become a famous and
much-heralded host or hostess by making a little effort at being countercultural.
And you will also help demonstrate to others, in the tradition of Cana, that we
Catholics are not always dour and penitent, but also, at the right time, fun
and hospitable people who display our hope that someday we will join the
heavenly banquet, the most wonderful party of all. It’s part of our heritage
and our faith.
5 Best Mardi Gras Celebrations Not in New Orleans
With over-the-top parades, festive music and delicious king cake, it’s easy to see why New Orleans is synonymous with Mardi Gras. You may be surprised to learn, however, that Fat Tuesday, the French translation of Mardi Gras, is actually just one day in a much longer celebration known as Carnival, which spans from the Epiphany (January 6) to Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent).
New Orleans has hosted an official Mardi Gras parade nearly every year since 1837, with only 13 cancellations due mostly to war. With a yearly attendance around 1.4 million, it’s the largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. Size isn’t everything though. Cities around the globe celebrate Carnival in their own special way and we’ve highlighted five of the most unique below.
1: Mobile, Alabama
If you head two hours east from New Orleans you’ll land in Mobile, Alabama, the original home of Mardi Gras in the United States. Mobile’s first Fat Tuesday celebration took place in 1703 and the first masked ball began the following year. At that time, Mobile was the capital of French Louisiana but due to fear of hurricane damage, the capital was moved to New Orleans along with the Mardi Gras tradition in 1718. Nearly 150 years later, the Mardi Gras celebration returned to Mobile and it’s now the second largest Fat Tuesday gathering in the country.
2: Venice, Italy
Estimated to have originated in the 12th century, Venetian Carnival draws millions of visitors each year. The festival is perhaps best known for the elaborate masks worn and sold on the streets of Venice. The expressive masks were worn during Carnival as early as the 13th century and they remain a symbol of the city to this day. The highlight of the Venetian Carnival is the Maschera piu Bella contest, which takes place in Saint Mark’s Square. In the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras, masked contestants dressed head-to-toe in decorative costumes are judged by a panel of experts and the winner is chosen on Fat Tuesday.
3: Nice, France
With a history that dates back to 1294, the original Carnival celebration is located in sun-soaked Nice, France. Nice Carnival is the premiere winter event on the French Riviera and draws over a million people each year. The celebration, which has a different theme every year, lasts for 15 days and visitors are treated to an array of floats and over 1,000 musicians and dancers from around the world. Not to be missed are the flower battles in which mimosas, gerberas and lilies are tossed to spectators from decorated floats.
4: Binche, Belgium
The Carnival of Binche is one of Europe’s oldest surviving street carnivals (dating back to the 14th century) and in 2003, it was recognized as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. The town begins celebrating several weeks before Ash Wednesday, but the carnival officially begins on the Sunday before and culminates on Mardi Gras when masked men known as Gilles parade through town in their traditional costumes consisting of wooden clogs, wax masks and ostrich-feather hats. After the dressing ceremony in the early hours of Mardi Gras, the Gilles lead a procession through town with musicians, dancers and other costumed participants in tow. The highlight of the day, though, is in the evening when the Gilles head to Binche’s Grand Place to dance under a fireworks display.
5: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Known as the Carnival capital of the world, Rio de Janeiro welcomes approximately 500,000 visitors every year looking to experience one of the most colorful and artistic celebrations in the world. Rio Carnival is a five-day celebration that begins with the Rio mayor handing an oversized key to the city to someone dressed as King Momo (a mythical character based off Greek mythology and Brazilian folklore). The party takes over the city and eventually culminates with the Samba Parade at the Sambodromo, a stadium specifically built in 1984 for this event. The parade is essentially a competition between samba schools (social clubs with their own colors, flag and supporters) that involves months of preparation. The highly orchestrated events takes place over the span of a few days and schools are judged in 10 categories with the results being revealed on Ash Wednesday.
Saint Bakhita-Slave to Saint-Quotes
I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured
me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not
be a Christian and Religious today... The Lord has loved me so much: we must
love everyone... we must be compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself, 'Who could be the Master of
these beautiful things?' I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to
pay him homage." ~ Josephine Bakhita
Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone...we must be
compassionate!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
· "O Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of your goodness at the top of my voice, oh how many souls would be won!" ~ Josephine Bakhita
Marriage Week-Male-Female Complementarity
God created man in his image in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. (Gn 1:27) The two creation stories in the book of Genesis communicate two important truths about the identity of man and woman and the relationship between them. In the first account, God creates both male and female at the same time and in the divine image. This act completes creation, and God judges it to be ―very good (Gn 1:31). In this way, Sacred Scripture affirms the fundamental equality and dignity of man and woman as persons created in God ‘s image. The second creation account emphasizes that both sexes are necessary for God ‘s plan. Having created Adam, God says, ―It is not good for the man to be alone (Gn 2:18).
So, God creates a helpmate who is suitable for him and matches him. ―Helpmate (ezer) is a word reserved in the Bible not for inferiors but most often for God himself, who is Israel ‘s ―helper.
Indeed, after God creates all of the animals and brings them to Adam to name, it becomes clear that none of them is―the suitable partner for the man (Gn 2:20). Then God puts Adam under a deep sleep and, using one of his ribs, builds up a woman for him as a suitable partner or helpmate. When he sees the woman, Adam cries out in wondrous joy: This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called―woman, for out of ―her man this one has been taken. (Gn 2:23) Adam and Eve were literally made for each other. Man and woman have been made to come together in the union of marriage. The text of Genesis continues: That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body [flesh] (Gn 2:24).
Marriage, this clinging together of husband and wife as one flesh, is based on the fact that man and woman are both different and the same. They are different as male and female, but the same as human persons who are uniquely suited to be partners or helpmates for each other. The difference between man and woman, however, cannot be restricted to their bodies, as if the body could be separated from the rest of the human person. The human person is a union of body and soul as a single being. Man and woman are two different ways of being a human person.
While man and woman are different, their differences serve to relate them to each other. They are not different in a parallel way, as two lines that never meet. Man and woman do not have separate destinies. They are related to each other precisely in their differences. The differences between male and female are complementary. Male and female are distinct bodily ways of being human, of being open to God and to one another—two distinct yet harmonizing ways of responding to the vocation to love.
While human persons are more than biological organisms, the roots of marriage can be seen in the biological fact that a man and a woman can come together as male and female in a union that has the potential for bringing forth another human person. This kind of union fills the need for the continuation of the human race. Since human beings exist at more than a biological level, however, this union has further personal and spiritual dimensions. Marriage does not exist solely for the reproduction of another member of the species, but for the creation of a communion of persons. To form a communion of persons is the vocation of everyone.
As Pope John Paul II teaches, all human persons are created in the image of God, who is a communion of love of three persons, and thus all are called to live in a communion of self-giving love: ―to say that man is created in the image and likeness of God means that man is called to exist ̳for ‘others, to become a gift.
Marriage, however, is a unique communion of persons. In their intimate union as male and female, the spouses are called to exist for each other. Just as Genesis describes Eve as a helper for Adam, we can see that in marriage, a husband and wife are meant to help each other through self-giving. ―In the ̳unity of the two, ‘man and woman are called from the beginning not only to exist side by side ‘or together, ‘but they are also called to exist mutually one for the other. ‟This communion of persons has the potential to bring forth human life and thus to produce the family, which is itself another kind of communion of persons and which is the origin and foundation of all human society. It is precisely the difference between man and woman that makes possible this unique communion of persons, the unique partnership of life and love that is marriage. A man and woman united in marriage as husband and wife serve as a symbol of both life and love in a way that no other relationship of human persons can.
Prayer for Married Couples
Almighty and eternal God, You blessed the union of married couples so that they might reflect the union of Christ with his Church: look with kindness on them. Renew their marriage covenant, increase your love in them, and strengthen their bond of peace so that, with their children, they may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
O 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.
Psalm 5 1, 10-11.
Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may revive. From my sins turn away your Face and blot out all my guilt.
Holy Face of Jesus, Sacred
Countenance of’ God, how great is your patience with humankind, how infinite
your forgiveness. We are sinners, yet you love us. This gives us courage. For
the glory of your Holy Face and of the Blessed Trinity, hear and answer us.
Mary our Mother intercede for us, Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Through the merits of your
precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and
Prayer to Saint Joseph
Dear Saint Joseph! Adopt
us as thy children, take charge of our salvation; watch over us day and night;
preserve us from occasions of sin; obtain for us purity of body and soul, and
the spirit of prayer, through thy intercession with Jesus, grant us a spirit of
sacrifice, of humility and self-denial; obtain for us a burning love for Jesus
in the Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet, tender love for Mary, our Mother.
Saint Joseph, be with us
in life, be with us in death and obtain for us a favorable judgment from Jesus,
our merciful Savior. Amen.
one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)
The Devil and
There are many and varied
ways in which sin and evil are presented to us in an attractive way.
Curing Sickness by Superstition
("Curanderos" And "Santeros")
It doesn't matter if there are statues,
holy water, crucifixes, prayers to Jesus, Mary and the saints, if there is any
superstitious practice it is evil. These are some examples:
using charms or a tomato to wash one's
body, putting the remainder under the bed,
cleaning one's body with eggs or lemons and
burning the materials with charcoal,
Using rose water and alcohol for healing.
(In one case this was prepared by placing a skeleton in the water for six
hours, followed by singing and praying over the water.)
Sometimes a "curandero" gives a
special vitamin to take or even prescribes "Catholic" prayers to be
said. None of these "prayers" should be said in these circumstances
because they were prepared under the influence of evil. Other examples include:
Taking a special bath prepared with wine,
flowers, bread, cinnamon, black sugar, and water from a river.
Wrapping a person in a special bandage,
cutting off piece by piece, and burying it in a recent grave in the cemetery.
· Sometimes people pray to God and to the saints and then go off seeking relief through the kingdom of darkness. Many times, God does not heal through prayer or doctors because He wants the soul to be healed first of hatred, jealousy, or some other sin. God knows what He is doing. We have to choose either the power of God or the power of evil. If you have any objects used in these false cures, destroy them. Renounce Satan, renounce this sin, ask God's forgiveness and confess your sin to a priest.
Rule of Traditional Catholic Fasting
All members of this sodality agree to commit to the Tier 1, which is beyond the minimum required by Church law. Members may also privately commit to Tier 2 or Tier 3 at their own or their spiritual director’s discretion. This is open to Catholics of any Rite.
This Tier takes the 1917 Code of Canon Law as a minimum (adding a few extra changes that occurred in the decades following its promulgation), but removes partial abstinence, which was instituted in 1741 as a direct attack to Lenten discipline.
No flesh meat (i.e., meat from mammals or fowl) is to be consumed on any Friday in the year with no exceptions.
No flesh meat is
to be consumed throughout all of Lent from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday
inclusive (including Sundays)
No flesh meat is to be consumed on any Ember Day, the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul (June 28), Vigil of the Assumption (August 14), the Vigil of All Saints (October 31), the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception (December 7), the Vigil of Christmas (December 24), the Vigil of Pentecost, and January 22 (transferred to January 23 when the 22nd falls on a Sunday) for the National Day of Penance for Human Life.
No sweets may be consumed for the duration of Lent (e.g., cake, cookies, pie, candies, gummies, chocolate/candy bars, pastries, cupcakes, chocolate muffins, pudding/custard, ice cream, Nutella, fudge, truffles, pralines, bonbons, mochi)
Fasting is defined as one meal only a day that may not be consumed earlier than noon but preferably is consumed after 3 PM or even after sunset. If necessary, an optional evening collation and an optional morning frustulum is allowed.
Fasting is to be observed for the entirety of Lent (except for Sundays), the Ember Days, the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul (June 28), Vigil of the Assumption (August 14), the Vigil of All Saints (October 31), the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception (December 7), the Vigil of Christmas (December 24), the Vigil of Pentecost, and January 22 (transferred to January 23 when the 22nd falls on a Sunday) for the National Day of Penance for Human Life.
above in Tier 1 with the following additions:
No flesh meat
(i.e., meat from mammals or fowl) is to be consumed on any Saturday in the year
unless that day is a First-Class Feast or a former Holy Day of Obligation
all of Lent (including Sundays) includes abstaining from all seafood (e.g.,
fish, shellfish) and all dairy products (e.g., milk, eggs, cheese). Hence, Lent
is a vegan fast – not a vegetarian one.
No flesh meat is to be consumed during St. Martin’s Lent from November 12 until Christmas Day – except for Sundays, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (unless it falls on a Friday), and Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America
Everything as above in Tier 1 with the following additions: The entirety of St. Martin’s Lent in Advent (except for Sundays) are days of abstinence from flesh meat.
In this tier, the fast and abstinence that is omitted in years when a day falls on a Sunday is transferred to the preceding Saturday (as it was done before the 1917 Code of Canon Law changes).
above in Tier 1 & 2 with the following additions:
Abstinence for the Vigil of the Purification of our Lady (February 1), the Vigil of Corpus Christi, the Vigil of St. Lawrence (August 9), the Vigil of St. Bartholomew (August 23), the Vigil of Ss. Simon and Jude (October 27), and for the duration of the Apostles Fast (except on Sundays) and the Assumption Fast (except on Sundays).
Everything as above in Tier 1 & 2 with the following additions: Fasting for the duration of Apostles Fast in June (except on Sundays) and the Assumption Fast in August (except on Sundays) along with the Vigil of St. Lawrence (August 9), the Vigil of St. Bartholomew (August 23), the Vigil of Ss. Simon and Jude (October 27).
In this tier,
like the one above, the fast and abstinence that is omitted in years a day
falls on a Sunday is transferred to the preceding Saturday (as it was done
before the 1917 Code of Canon Law changes).
is the day of the week that our Lord gave himself up for consumption. Thursday
commemorates the last supper. Some theologians believe after Sunday Thursday is
the holiest day of the week. We should then try to make this day special by
making a visit to the blessed sacrament chapel, Mass or even stopping by the
grave of a loved one. Why not plan to count the blessing of the week and thank
our Lord. Plan a special meal. Be at Peace.
According to Mary Agreda
in her visions it was on a Thursday at six o'clock in the evening and at the
approach of night that the Angel Gabriel approached and announced her as Mother
of God and she gave her fiat.
Today’s Menu for Mardi Gras
Pot Red Beans and Rice
Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
- After Dinner Cigars
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
what must I do . . .?"
"Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" To the
young man who asked this question, Jesus answers first by invoking the
necessity to recognize God as the "One there is who is good," as the supreme
Good and the source of all good. Then Jesus tells him: "If you would enter
life, keep the commandments." and he cites for his questioner the precepts
that concern love of neighbor: "You shall not kill, You shall not commit
adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your
father and mother." Finally, Jesus sums up these commandments positively:
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
2053 To this
first reply Jesus adds a second: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what
you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and
come, follow me." This reply does not do away with the first:
following Jesus Christ involves keeping the Commandments. the Law has not been
abolished, but rather man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his
Master who is its perfect fulfillment. In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus'
call to the rich young man to follow him, in the obedience of a disciple and in
the observance of the Commandments, is joined to the call to poverty and
chastity. The evangelical counsels are inseparable from the Commandments.
acknowledged the Ten Commandments, but he also showed the power of the Spirit
at work in their letter. He preached a "righteousness [which] exceeds that
of the scribes and Pharisees" as well as that of the
Gentiles. He unfolded all the demands of the Commandments. "You have
heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not kill.' . . . But I say
to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to
someone asks him, "Which commandment in the Law is the
greatest?" Jesus replies: "You shall love the Lord your God with
all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest
and first commandment. and a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as
yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the
prophets." The Decalogue must be interpreted in light of this twofold
yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law:
The commandments: "You shall not commit adultery, You
shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other
commandment, are summed up in this sentence: "You shall love your neighbor
as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the
fulfilling of the law.
Decalogue in Sacred Scripture
word "Decalogue" means literally "ten words." God
revealed these "ten words" to his people on the holy mountain. They
were written "with the finger of God," unlike the other
commandments written by Moses. They are pre-eminently the words of God.
They are handed on to us in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. Beginning
with the Old Testament, the sacred books refer to the "ten words," but
it is in the New Covenant in Jesus Christ that their full meaning will be
Decalogue must first be understood in the context of the Exodus, God's great
liberating event at the center of the Old Covenant. Whether formulated as
negative commandments, prohibitions, or as positive precepts such as:
"Honor your father and mother," the "ten words" point out
the conditions of a life freed from the slavery of sin. the Decalogue is a path
If you love the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and
by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall
live and multiply.
liberating power of the Decalogue appears, for example, in the commandment
about the sabbath rest, directed also to foreigners and slaves:
You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of
Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with a mighty hand and an
"ten words" sum up and proclaim God's law: "These words the Lord
spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the
cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. and he
wrote them upon two tables of stone, and gave them to me." For this
reason these two tables are called "the Testimony." In fact, they
contain the terms of the covenant concluded between God and his people. These
"tables of the Testimony" were to be deposited in "the
"ten words" are pronounced by God in the midst of a theophany (“The
LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the
fire."). They belong to God's revelation of himself and his glory. the
gift of the Commandments is the gift of God himself and his holy will. In
making his will known, God reveals himself to his people.
gift of the commandments and of the Law is part of the covenant God sealed with
his own. In Exodus, the revelation of the "ten words" is granted
between the proposal of the covenant and its conclusion - after the
people had committed themselves to "do" all that the Lord had said,
and to "obey" it. The Decalogue is never handed on without first
recalling the covenant (“The LORD our God made a covenant with us in
Commandments take on their full meaning within the covenant. According to
Scripture, man's moral life has all its meaning in and through the covenant.
the first of the "ten words" recalls that God loved his people first:
Since there was a passing from the paradise of freedom to
the slavery of this world, in punishment for sin, the first phrase of the
Decalogue, the first word of God's commandments, bears on freedom "I am
the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house
Commandments properly so-called come in the second place: they express the
implications of belonging to God through the establishment of the covenant.
Moral existence is a response to the Lord's loving initiative. It is the
acknowledgement and homage given to God and a worship of thanksgiving. It is cooperation
with the plan God pursues in history.
covenant and dialogue between God and man are also attested to by the fact that
all the obligations are stated in the first person (“I am the Lord.") and
addressed by God to another personal subject (“you"). In all God's
commandments, the singular personal pronoun designates the recipient. God makes
his will known to each person in particular, at the same time as he makes it
known to the whole people:
The Lord prescribed love towards God and taught justice
towards neighbor, so that man would be neither unjust, nor unworthy of God.
Thus, through the Decalogue, God prepared man to become his friend and to live
in harmony with his neighbor.... the words of the Decalogue remain likewise for
us Christians. Far from being abolished, they have received amplification and
development from the fact of the coming of the Lord in the flesh.
Decalogue in the Church's Tradition
fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with the example of Jesus, the
tradition of the Church has acknowledged the primordial importance and
significance of the Decalogue.
since St. Augustine, the Ten Commandments have occupied a predominant place in
the catechesis of baptismal candidates and the faithful. In the fifteenth
century, the custom arose of expressing the commandments of the Decalogue in
rhymed formulae, easy to memorize and in positive form. They are still in use
today. the catechisms of the Church have often expounded Christian morality by
following the order of the Ten Commandments.
division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of
history. the present catechism follows the division of the Commandments
established by St. Augustine, which has become traditional in the Catholic
Church. It is also that of the Lutheran confessions. the Greek Fathers worked
out a slightly different division, which is found in the Orthodox Churches and
2067 The Ten
Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbor.
the first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor.
comprises the two commandments to which the Lord related the whole Law and the
prophets . . . so the Ten Commandments were themselves given on two tablets.
Three were written on one tablet and seven on the other.
Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for
Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; The
Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles,
receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of
preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation
through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments."
The unity of
Decalogue forms a coherent whole. Each "word" refers to each of the
others and to all of them; they reciprocally condition one another. The two
tables shed light on one another; they form an organic unity. To transgress one
commandment is to infringe all the others. One cannot honor another person
without blessing God his Creator. One cannot adore God without loving all men,
his creatures. the Decalogue brings man's religious and social life into unity.
Decalogue and the natural law
2070 The Ten
Commandments belong to God's revelation. At the same time they teach us the
true humanity of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore,
indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person.
the Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law:
From the beginning, God had implanted in the heart of man
the precepts of the natural law. Then he was content to remind him of them.
This was the Decalogue.
commandments of the Decalogue, although accessible to reason alone, have been
revealed. To attain a complete and certain understanding of the requirements of
the natural law, sinful humanity needed this revelation:
A full explanation of the commandments of the Decalogue
became necessary in the state of sin because the light of reason was obscured
and the will had gone astray.
God's commandments through the divine revelation proposed to us in the Church,
and through the voice of moral conscience. the obligation of the Decalogue
they express man's fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbor, the
Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They
are fundamentally immutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can
dispense from them. the Ten Commandments are engraved by God in the human
Obedience to the Commandments also implies obligations in matter which is, in
itself, light. Thus abusive language is forbidden by the fifth commandment, but
would be a grave offense only as a result of circumstances or the offender's
intention. "Apart from me you can do nothing."
says: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in
him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do
nothing." The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of a
life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ,
partake of his mysteries, and keep his commandments, the Savior himself comes
to love, in us, his Father and his brethren, our Father and our brethren. His
person becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our
activity. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have
 Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations (p. 770). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition