NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Friday, March 22, 2024

Fifth Week of Lent Friday of Sorrows

AUGUST VON GALEN-WATER DAY 

1 Maccabees, Chapter 12, Verse 52

Thus, all Jonathan’s men came safely into the land of Judah. They mourned Jonathan and those who were with him. They were in great FEAR, and all Israel fell into deep mourning.

 

“All the nations round about sought to crush them. They said, “Now that they have no leader or helper, let us make war on them and wipe out their memory from the earth.”

 

This is true if you are sheep, and you look to the leadership of man to save you. To a true Israelite their leader was Yahweh. Israel knew that if they followed His covenant, He would never abandon them. All true leadership comes from God. 


A True Leader[1]



Jesus summoned the twelve and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.” 

Mark 10:42–44

This is certainly easier said than done.  This passage reveals one serious temptation that those “who are recognized as rulers” may fall into.  This is the temptation of an abuse of power and a lack of humble leadership.

For example, tradition states that at the heart of the fall of lucifer and the demons was a desire for power.  “I will not serve” are the words attributed to lucifer.  In other words, the desire for power and to be served by others was real and very powerful for these fallen angels.  So, it is with each one of us.

Though we may not be in a position of great power over others, we will most likely all struggle with the desire for power.  This can happen in just about any context.  Take, for example, a friendship.  Very often when there is the slightest disagreement on something, we want our own way.  We want to be in charge.  Or take the example of home life.  How many enter into family life with a desire to serve others and to humbly submit to the others’ wills?  This is hard to do.  It’s much easier to want to be the boss and to dictate to others what is to happen in this or that situation.

In the passage above, Jesus makes it clear to His Apostles that when they exercise their “authority” over others they are not to make it “felt” by others.  In other words, Jesus was not calling His Apostles to be leaders by brute force, intimidation, manipulation or by any other severe exercise of their authority.  The authority that Jesus wanted was much different.

Christian authority is centered in love and humility.  It’s a “leadership” that is lived in true humility.  This leadership wins over hearts, minds and wills of others and invites them to follow in charity and love.  This must happen within the family, among friends, at church and within society.

Reflect, today, upon how you lead others.  Do you expect to be the “boss” and expect others to follow you because of your authority?  Or do you lead others by humility and love drawing them to Christ through your goodness?  Commit yourself to Christian leadership as Jesus intended and you will be amazed at the effect it has within your family, among friends and within the larger community.

Lord, help me to be a humble leader.  Help me to let Your heart of love and mercy shine forth and to lead by the goodness and kindness of Your merciful heart.  Help me to set aside all pride and egotism and to become a servant of all.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Feast of the Seven Dolor’s of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(FRIDAY IN PASSION WEEK.)

THE part which the Blessed Virgin took in the sufferings and death of her beloved Son has induced the Church to give her the glorious title of Queen of Martyrs. The feast of the Seven Dolors was first instituted by the Council of Cologne, in the year 1423, in order to make amends for what the Hussites had done against the veneration of the Blessed Virgin, whom they, like all heretics, had assailed with many calumnies and insults; in particular, rejecting the image of the Mother of Dolors with the body of her dead Son resting upon her lap.

This feast was originally called the feast of the Compassion of

the Blessed Virgin.

At the presentation of Jesus in the temple Simeon had predicted that the suffering of the Son would be the suffering of the Mother also: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce (Luke ii. 34, 35). The ignominy, insults, and cruelties inflicted on Him were to be so many swords piercing her heart. Remember, therefore, on this day the seven dolors which the Blessed Virgin experienced:

1. At the circumcision of her Son.

2. At her flight into Egypt with Him.

3. On losing Him for three days in the temple.

4. At the sight of Him carrying the cross.

5. At His death.

6. When beholding His side pierced with a spear, and His body taken down from the cross.

7. At His burial. Make an act of contrition for your sins, which helped so much to cause the sufferings and death of Jesus, and resolve firmly that you will no more grieve the hearts of Jesus and Mary by sin. Ask her to assist you at your death by her powerful intercession, that then she may show herself to you as a mother, and obtain from her beloved Son grace for you.

The Introit of the Mass is as follows: “There stood by the cross of Jesus His Mother, and His Mother s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen” (John xix.). “Woman, behold thy son,” said Jesus, and to the disciple: “Behold thy mother.” Glory be to the Father…

Prayer. O Lord, in Whose passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow pierced the most sweet soul of Mary, mother and virgin, grant, in Thy mercy, that we may call to mind with veneration her transfixion and sufferings; and by the glorious merits and prayers of all the saints, who stood faithfully by the cross, interceding for us, may experience the happy effects of Thy passion. Amen.

EPISTLE. Judith xiii. 23-25.

The Lord hath blessed thee by His power, because by thee He hath brought our enemies to naught. And Ozias, the prince of the people of Israel, said to her, Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. Blessed be the Lord Who made heaven and earth, Who hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies. Because He hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord forever, for that thou hast not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and tribulation of thy people, but hast prevented our ruin in the presence of our God.

GOSPEL. John xix. 25-27.

At that time: There stood by the cross of Jesus His Mother, and His Mother s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen His Mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He saith to His Mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, He saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her to his own.

Friday of Sorrows[3] 

A special commemoration, one week before Good Friday, of Mary's compassion for (literally, "suffering with") Her innocent son.

The Friday of Sorrows is a solemn pious remembrance of the sorrowful Blessed Virgin Mary on the Friday before Palm Sunday held in the fifth week of Lent (formerly called "Passion Week"). In Divine Worship: The Missal it is called Saint Mary in Passiontide and sometimes it is traditionally known as Our Lady in Passiontide.

In certain Catholic countries, especially in Mexico, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Malta, Nicaragua and the Philippines, it is seen as the beginning of the Holy Week celebrations and termed as Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows). It takes place exactly one week before Good Friday, and concentrates on the emotional pain that the Passion of Jesus Christ caused to his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is venerated under the title Our Lady of Sorrows. In certain Spanish-speaking countries, the day is also referred to as Council Friday, because of the choice of John 11:47-54 as the Gospel passage read in the Tridentine Mass on that day (which is now read in slightly expanded form on Saturday of the fifth week of Lent), which recounts the conciliar meeting of the Sanhedrin priests to discuss what to do with Jesus. Like all Fridays in Lent, this Friday is a day of abstinence from meat, unless the national episcopal conference has indicated alternative forms of penance. A similar commemoration in sympathy with the Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Solitude is held on Black Saturday.

Prayers for the Dead[4]

 

Relationships never end and neither should our prayers for the dead. In addition to PRAYERS, we should also offer up Masses for them and offer indulgences for their benefit. The dead cannot pray for themselves but they can pray for us and we in turn should pray for them.
 

Fasting and Mortification[5]

 

Modern man and the media often portray persons that fast as deranged, passé or even ignorant. However, fasting and bodily discipline are truly the marks of a man or woman of mature intellect which has mastery over not only the mind but also the body and spirit. St. Paul put it in stronger terms, “put to death therefore what is earthly in you (Col. 3:5).” Jesus has also said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Christ knew we become attached to created things and to the pleasure they bring us. St. Augustine said that sin begins as a turning away from God and a turning toward lesser goods. When we sin, we don’t choose evil. We choose something less than God and His will. Our bodies want more than they need, so we must give them less than they want. Our bodies must be subject to our reason—or our reason will soon be subjected to our bodies. St. Paul went even further. “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Cor. 9:27). Nevertheless, our goal should be to let our reason/soul cooperate with the Holy Spirit.

 

Chassidic philosophy[6] demonstrates three ways in which the body and soul can interact:


 

Ø  The soul can try and mitigate the urges of the body. Things that look good, taste good and feel good are stimulating and addictive. Most of us live life with our body in the driver’s seat. The soul just can’t compete. And so, the soul tries to negotiate reasonably, and encourages moderation.

Ø  Or, the soul can choose to reject the body and abhor anything associated with materialism. The soul-driven person would then rebel against society’s shallow and false veneers. Simplicity and ascetism become the ultimate goals of the soul.

Ø  The third scenario is not a compromise between the first two. It is an entirely new approach, where the body and soul learn to work together. The soul neither leans towards the body nor rejects it. It does not react; it pro-acts. In a proactive position, the soul directs and channels the body’s inclination in a constructive way. In this last approach, instead of repressing the body’s needs, the soul views them as an opportunity to serve God in a whole new way.

Ø  Using the third approach we should fast with a purpose like Moses or Elijah for example before going into God’s presence or to strengthen us or for the benefit of others. Jesus fasted not because He needed to, but as a model for us. We should make self-sacrifices in an effort to make others happy or out of love for our God to share in his plan of salvation.

Lenten Calendar[7]

Read: Wherefore, we ask, urgently and prayerfully, that we, as people of God, make of the entire Lenten Season a period of special penitential observance. Following the instructions of the Holy See, we declare that the obligation both too fast and to abstain from meat, an obligation observed under a stricter formality by our fathers in the faith, still binds on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. No Catholic Christian will lightly excuse himself from so hallowed an obligation on the Wednesday which solemnly opens the Lenten season and, on that Friday, called Good because on that day Christ suffered in the flesh and died for our sins. . .. Gratefully remembering this, Catholic peoples from time immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they may one day be glorified with Him. This is the heart of the tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church.

 

(1966 USCCB Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence, no. 12 and no. 18)

 

Reflect: "If you have fasted two or three days, do not think of yourself better than others who do not fast. You fast and are angry; another eats and wears a smiling face." 
St. Jerome, Letters, 22.37

 

Pray: Pray that abstinence from some of your favorite things this Lenten season will help bring you closer to God long after the season is over. 

 

Act: Take note of the meatless meals you have enjoyed this Lent. Add your favorites to your familys regular meal rotation once Lent is over. 

Clemens August von Galen, Bishop of Münster

(16 March 1878 – 22 March 1946)[8]

In the summer of 1941, in answer to unwarranted attacks by the National Socialists, Bishop von Galen delivered three admonitory sermons between July and August. He spoke in his old parish Church of St Lambert and in Liebfrauen-Ueberlassen Church, since the diocesan cathedral had been bombed. In his famous speeches, Bishop von Galen spoke out against the State confiscation of Church property and the programmatic euthanasia carried out by the regime. The clarity and incisiveness of his words and the unshakable fidelity of Catholics in the Diocese of Münster embarrassed the Nazi regime, and on 10 October 1943 the bishop’s residence was bombed. Bishop von Galen was forced to take refuge in nearby Borromeo College. From 12 September 1944 on, he could no longer remain in the city of Münster, destroyed by the war; he left for the zone of Sendenhorst. In 1945, Vatican Radio announced that Pope Pius XII was to hold a Consistory and that the Bishop of Münster was also to be present.

T4: The Nazis' Euthanasia Solution[9]

He who is bodily and mentally not sound and deserving may not perpetuate this misfortune in the bodies of his children. — Hitler, Mein Kampf.

Beginning in 1939, the National Socialist regime begin systematically killing disabled children in "specially designated pediatric clinics" via starvation and overdose. By the end of World War II, an estimated 5,000 infants and children had been murdered by the Nazis. The program, code-named T4, was extended to adults beginning in 1940. Physicians working for the T4 program examined medical files (seldom the institutionalized patients themselves) and marked for death disabled and mentally ill adults, in most cases without the knowledge or consent of family members. Those selected for extermination were rounded up, processed, and directed into a facility for a "disinfecting shower." Instead, the victims were gassed to death via carbon monoxide. Their bodies were cremated, and the ashes sent to families with an official death certificate listing a fictitious cause of death.

By 1941 the program had become public knowledge, in part because of the opposition from German clergymen, including Bishop von Galen. Hitler officially halted the adult killings, but the child program continued. In 1942 adult killings resumed in secret and continued until the end of the war, with an ever-expanding range of victims, including the elderly, hospitalized war victims, and foreign laborers. In all, an estimated 200,000 people were executed as part of the Nazi "mercy killing" agenda.

Pray America may not continue in its own Euthanasia Solution, and we have a religious rise like the Lion of Munster!

World Water Day[10]

World Water Day serves to raise awareness about water issues such as sanitation problems and water shortages in many parts of the world. Today, 1 in 10 people lack access to safe and clean water, a problem which has a direct impact on the economy, health of the population and well-being of women and children worldwide. In 1992, World Water Day was proposed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.  The United Nations General Assembly responded to the proposition in 1993 by declaring March 22 as World Water Day. Each year, the UN-Water agency allocates a theme corresponding to a current or potential challenge for World Water Day.

World Water Day Facts & Quotes

 

·         In developing nations, nearly 80% of illnesses can be linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.

·         Russia's Lake Baikal and North America's Great Lakes hold about 40% of the world's fresh water supply, the large remainder of the freshwater supply is in the form of icecaps and glaciers.

·         According to UNICEF, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5 in the world.

·         You ain't gonna miss your water until your well runs dry. - Bob Marley

 

World Water Day Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Don't waste water!!! Make a conscious effort to use less water on World Water Day and on other days. Some ways to reduce water consumption include showers instead of baths, washing full loads of clothing only and turning off the tap while washing dishes and brushing teeth.

·         Donate to a charity or organization that supports water issues in developing nations. WaterAid is an organization that works in poor countries to set up and maintain water sources, UNICEF and UNCHR also provide support and relief efforts to improve water sanitation and hygiene globally.

·         Volunteer to help clean up trash and other debris along a beach or shore. This garbage and debris pollute the water that we need in our daily lives.

·         Watch documentaries about water-related issues such as pollution, contamination and diseases. Our top picks are Troubled Water, The Fight for Water, Flow for the Love of Water, Tapped, Thirst and Dhaka's Cholera Wars.

·         Take part in a local World Water Day celebration, such as a film screening or a water conservation event. One of the largest events, the White House Water Summit in Washington DC, will be live streamed. 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

CHAPTER TWO-YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

Article 7-THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT

VI. Love for the Poor

2443 God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them: "Give to him who begs from you, do not refuse him who would borrow from you"; "you received without pay, give without pay." It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen ones. When "the poor have the good news preached to them," it is the sign of Christ's presence.

2444 "The Church's love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition." This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor. Love for the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as to "be able to give to those in need." It extends not only to material poverty but also to the many forms of cultural and religious poverty.

2445 Love for the poor is incompatible with immoderate love of riches or their selfish use:

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not resist you.

2446 St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. the goods we possess are not ours, but theirs." "The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity":

When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.

2447 The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. the corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God:

He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has food must do likewise. But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?

2448 "In its various forms - material deprivation, unjust oppression, physical and psychological illness and death - human misery is the obvious sign of the inherited condition of frailty and need for salvation in which man finds himself as a consequence of original sin. This misery elicited the compassion of Christ the Savior, who willingly took it upon himself and identified himself with the least of his brethren. Hence, those who are oppressed by poverty are the object of a preferential love on the part of the Church which, since her origin and in spite of the failings of many of her members, has not ceased to work for their relief, defense, and liberation through numerous works of charity which remain indispensable always and everywhere."

2449 Beginning with the Old Testament, all kinds of juridical measures (the jubilee year of forgiveness of debts, prohibition of loans at interest and the keeping of collateral, the obligation to tithe, the daily payment of the day-laborer, the right to glean vines and fields) answer the exhortation of Deuteronomy: "For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor in the land.'" Jesus makes these words his own: "The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me." In so doing he does not soften the vehemence of former oracles against "buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals . . .," but invites us to recognize his own presence in the poor who are his brethren:

When her mother reproached her for caring for the poor and the sick at home, St. Rose of Lima said to her: "When we serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.

Fitness Friday-Sleeping Workout

 

Recognizing that God, the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength, mind, soul and heart.

 

Having trouble sleeping? Try some light catholic reading.

 

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries.”  This quote is by the famous philosopher Descartes.  Although I am not a fan of everything Descartes has to say, I don’t think he’s too far off here.  Reading a good book by a good author is indeed like having a conversation with them.  By reading their book you’re looking into their mind, experiencing their world, and learning their wisdom. In my opinion there are no greater people to have “conversations” with through their writing than Catholic saints.  Catholic saints have written some of the most beautiful literature which inspires, educates, encourages, and informs us how to live a holy and happy life.  Here is a list of ten classic Catholic books which any and every Catholic should read at some point in their life.


 

*If you’re not much of a reader, or if you don’t have much free time to pick up a book, many of these classic Catholic books have audio book versions.

 

·         The Imitation of Christ by St. Thomas a Kempis

·         Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

·         Dark Night of the Soul ­by St. John of the Cross

·         The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila

·         The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux

·         An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

·         City of God by St. Augustine

·         Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas

·         The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila

·         The Confessions by St. Augustine

As you can tell, this list of great Catholic books by wonderful Catholic saints is in no particular order.  These are just 10 of the many Catholic books written by wonderful saints who have so much timeless wisdom to share.  Who wouldn’t want to have a conversation with any of these wonderful saints?  What books would you add to this list of classic Catholic books?  What does your favorite classic Catholic books list look like?

NIC’s Corner


 


Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “Find the narrow way by asking me to direct your heart. Do not seek nor reject honor but seek only to do the will of the Father and there you will find peace. Give me your whole heart and seek to build my kingdom. Be soldier in my army and if others mock or deride you find your rest in my passion and holy wounds and there you will find refuge and discover the strength for the day of tribulation.” 

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.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         30 Days with St. Joseph Day 3

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Soup and Stations

·         Operation Purity




[4] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 40. Prayers for the Dead.

[5] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 27. Fasting and Mortification.

[8]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-03-22

[9]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-03-22





Comments