NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Saturday, March 16, 2024


Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent 

1 Maccabees, Chapter 10, Verse 8

They were struck with FEAR when they heard that the king had given him authority to gather an army. 

The, they, in this verse were the Hellenized Jews who were losing their power which came from supporting Greece (King Demetrius). At once they were afraid for their lives, realizing that their power over Jonathan was gone, they decided to leave Jerusalem. Along comes Alexander Balas who claims to be the son of Antiochus and the rightful king, he has the backing of Rome. Jonathan plays these two opponents against each other to make Jerusalem great again. Jonathan then accepts from Alexander permission to become high priest which he accepts. There is just one problem; he is not a Levi, only Levis can be priests. Here is high stakes politicking.

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent[1]

Prayer. MAY our devotion be made fruitful by Thy grace, we beseech Thee, O Lord, for the fasts we have undertaken will become profitable to us only if they are pleasing to Thy mercy.

EPISTLE. Isaias xlix. 8-15.

Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee: and I have preserved thee, and given thee to be a covenant of the people, that thou mightest raise up the earth, and possess the inheritances that were destroyed : that thou mightest say to them that are bound : Come forth : and to them that are in darkness : Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in every plain. They shall not hunger, nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun strike them: for He that is merciful to them, shall be their shepherd, and at the fountains of waters He shall give them drink. And I will make all My mountains a way, and My paths shall be exalted. Behold these shall come from afar, and behold these from the north and from the sea, and these from the south country. Give praise, O ye heavens, and rejoice, O earth; ye mountains, give praise with jubilation: because the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy on His poor ones. And Sion said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and the Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? and if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee, saith the Lord Almighty.

GOSPEL. John viii. 12-20.

At that time: Jesus spoke to the multitudes of the Jews, saying I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said to Him: Thou givest testimony of Thy self: Thy testimony is not true. Jesus answered and said to them: Although I give testimony of Myself, My testimony is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go: but you know not whence I come, or whither I go. You judge according to the flesh: I judge not any man. And if I do judge, My judgment is true; because I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me. And in your law, it is written, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that gives testimony of Myself: and the Father that sent Me, giveth testimony of Me. They said therefore to Him: Where is Thy Father? Jesus answered: Neither Me do you know, nor My Father: if you did know Me, perhaps you would know My Father also. These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, teaching in the temple: and no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come.

Preparing for Battle[2] Keeping the Enemy Out of Your Camp

Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to save you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy.  DEUTERONOMY 23: 14. This principle of spiritual warfare must be emphasized: Don’t invite the Enemy into your camp. Look out for Trojan Horses, poisonous reptiles and be prepared to fight.

·         Trojan Horses. Sin is always wrapped in attractive packages. The simple pleasure of satisfying curiosity could be a Pandora’s Box. Stay away from all things of the occult, such as Ouija boards and fortunetelling; séances, channeling, and other forms of necromancy (attempts to contact the dead); substance abuse; sexual sin; and abortion. Seeking the attractive “gift” of pleasure, power, secret knowledge, or (in the case of abortion) even escape from responsibility. In addition, forgiveness is crucial to deliverance from the Evil One, because a bitter heart gives him a foothold in our lives. “Take heed lest anyone be lacking in the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it, many be defiled” (Heb 12: 15). Those especially who have suffered a grave injustice must seek the grace to let go of the offense and pray for the offender, so that resentment doesn’t ferment into malicious bitterness. If we’re ever tempted to invite the Enemy into our “camp” in any of these ways, we must recognize the Adversary’s deception and reject his offer firmly and immediately.

·         “Poisonous Reptiles” are the “little” sins that find their way into our hearts. We may ignore them or think them of no consequence as we try to stand guard over the carefully constructed fortifications of our spiritual life. To resist the temptations of ordinary demonic activity, we must guard our thoughts closely and reject immediately any thought that leads to sin. We must also carefully examine our thoughts to seek out assumptions or conclusions that may be false and contrary to faith, so that they lead us astray. Above all, we must engage in a frequent examination of conscience and then go regularly to Confession.

Here are three ways to beat the devil and continue to stay true to the season of Lent during these difficult times:

Faith: Through the virtue of faith, we believe in God and all that he has said to us. The saints stand as giants of faith that we can strive to imitate during this time. If you’re stuck at home these days, read the life of any saint (online or through a book) and you will see what I mean. It is abundantly clear how their faith kept them strong in the most challenging of situations. 

If we are living in undue fear right now, then we are not living in faith. Our faith starts with us trusting God in prayer and surrendering ourselves completely to him. If we trust that we have a father in heaven who knows our needs, before we even ask for them (Matthew 6:8), then we can trust that God will be with us during this tumultuous time and see us through it – even if the particular trials in our lives become especially burdensome. 

Hope: Hope keeps us from discouragement and is the quality by which we anchor our souls in Christ. We should certainly be prudent and careful during this time.

Throughout history, there have been countless natural and man-made disasters, but God has never forsaken his people. As the psalmist tells us:

“God is our refuge and our strength,

an ever-present help in distress.

Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken

and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.”

(Psalm 46:2-3)

In addition, never forget that we are not made for this world – we are made for heaven. And while we should certainly live in the hope of a better tomorrow in this world, we should also pray for a greater outpouring of the virtue of hope in our lives, so that we may even more ardently desire to one day enjoy the kingdom of heaven and eternal life.

Love: Among countless lessons that Jesus taught us through his Cross, two are particularly of value during this bank run. The first is that Jesus showed us that love is expressed in action. There are people all around us right now who are alone or who may need help in various ways. Love them in action. This may involve helping your elderly neighbor get groceries. Or it may require you to give your spouse a night off as he/she deals with the new reality of working from home (including possibly a home filled with screaming kids). It may also be a good idea to reflect on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy to see how else you can love others in action.

The second lesson I wish to highlight from the Cross is its sacrificial dimension. Jesus showed us his love through sacrifice – dying to himself – by dying on the Cross. Everyone’s nerves are a bit frayed as we continue to grapple with the unknowns and ever-changing situations related to this current bank run. Seize every opportunity you get to make sacrifices – big or small – for someone else in these days. 

Love is at the heart of the Christian faith and in these difficult times, we can witness to our faith in the way we love God and those around us. The greatest benefit of acting through the virtue of love is that the fruits of love are joy, peace and mercy (CCC 1829) – all of which are much-needed right now.

Living our lives rooted in faith, hope and love, especially during this recession, will root us more deeply in God, not just for the Lenten season, but for beyond it too. We don’t know how this monetary crisis will unfold and how it will continue to affect us. But we know God. We can trust and hope in God.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation. whom shall, I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life.

of whom shall I be afraid?”

(Psalm 27:1)

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

You shall not steal.

2401 The seventh commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one's neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods. It commands justice and charity in the care of earthly goods and the fruits of men's labor. For the sake of the common good, it requires respect for the universal destination of goods and respect for the right to private property. Christian life strives to order this world's goods to God and to fraternal charity.

Vinny’s Corner 

36th Annual Parade & Festival 

The 36th Annual St. Patrick's Day Festival brings the Irish spirit to Tucson in 2024!​​​ 

​The St. Patrick’s Day Festival begins at 10:00 a.m. in Armory Park in downtown Tucson, with live Irish music, dancers, entertainment, a children's area, and food and merchandise vendors.  The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at 17th Street and Stone Avenue, wending its way to Armory Park at 6th Avenue and 13th Street. ​ 

·         Visit the Railroad Station 

Coffee with Christ

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: For the Poor and Suffering

Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 30

·         Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan



[1]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[2]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.




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