NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

SAINTS FILICITY AND PERPETUA

 

1 Maccabees, Chapter 3, Verse 25

Then Judas and his brothers began to be FEARED, and dread fell upon the Gentiles about them.

The Battle of Beth Horon 

was fought in 166 BC between Jewish forces led by Judas Maccabaeus and an army of the Seleucid Empire under the command of Seron. The rebel army led by Judas Maccabeus was growing in strength. They had just inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Seleucid General Apollonius and now they faced the forces of the Syrian Governor Seron, who was widely overconfident. With Maccabeus' superior knowledge of the terrain, he prepared his forces to ambush the larger Seleucid force. Seron had anticipated this and spread out his force, but the Maccabees exhibited superior tactical skill by decimating the general's leading unit and killing Seron himself. With their leader dead, the shocked and disconcerted remnants of the Seleucid army took to the hills and ran. The stubborn Seleucids refused to give up their slow phalanx-based tactics when compared to the lightweight and quick Maccabean militia thus always creating problems for them on the battlefield. Another force was soon sent against Maccabaeus, which led to the Battle of Emmaus.[1]

Reflecting on this constant struggle between the culture of death and the culture of life; I have just received a communique that my UNION is endorsing a PRO-CHOICE candidate. Ah now comes the rub. So begins the battle of sorts. I called 3 times to get a call back. The answer well union dues are not used to support the candidate (killing of children) but if I want to quit the union 1) I must draft a letter stating I want out and 2) ask for a window (2 weeks) of when I can request again the stoppage of my union dues. (We got your money-ha, ha, ha) or I can divorce myself and remain silent because I am not responsible. Hmm. I would appreciate getting feedback on this from my readers. My feeling it is like being silent during the holocaust but please let me know your thoughts. 

On the "Pro-Choice" Position on Abortion[2]

 

Papal Teaching

But responsibility likewise falls on the legislators who have promoted and approved abortion laws, and, to the extent that they have a say in the matter, on the administrators of the health-care centers where abortions are performed. ... In this sense abortion goes beyond the responsibility of individuals and beyond the harm done to them and takes on a distinctly social dimension. It is a most serious wound inflicted on society and its culture by the very people who ought to be society's promoters and defenders. 

Pope John Paul II, Evangelium vitae (1995), no. 59.

When a parliamentary or social majority decrees that it is legal, at least under certain conditions, to kill unborn human life, is it not really making a 'tyrannical' decision with regard to the weakest and most defenseless of human beings?....While public authority can sometimes choose not to put a stop to something which – were it prohibited – would cause more serious harm, it can never presume to legitimize as a right of individuals – even if they are the majority of the members of society – an offense against other persons caused by the disregard of so fundamental a right as the right to life. Id., nos. 70, 71.

Laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every individual; they thus deny the equality of everyone before the law. Id., no. 72.

Utilitarianism is a civilization of production and of use, a civilization of "things" and not of "persons", a civilization in which persons are used in the same way as things are used. In the context of a civilization of use, woman can become an object for man, children a hindrance to parents, the family an institution obstructing the freedom of its members. To be convinced that this is the case, one need only look at certain sexual education programmes introduced into the schools, often notwithstanding the disagreement and even the protests of many parents; or pro-abortion tendencies which vainly try to hide behind the so-called "right to choose" ("pro-choice") on the part of both spouses, and in particular on the part of the woman. Pope John Paul II, Letter to Families, February 2, 1994, no. 13

On "social sin":

Also social is every sin against the rights of the human person, beginning with the right to life and including the life of the unborn or against a person's physical integrity...The term social can be applied to sins of commission or omission-on the part of political, economic or trade union leaders, who though in a position to do so, do not work diligently and wisely for the improvement and transformation of society according to the requirements and potential of the given historic moment...Whenever the church speaks of situations of sin or when the condemns as social sins certain situations or the collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even of whole nations and blocs of nations, she knows and she proclaims that such cases of social sin are the result of the accumulation and concentration of many personal sins. It is a case of the very personal sins of those who cause or support evil or who exploit it; of those who are in a position to avoid, eliminate or at least limit certain social evils but who fail to do so out of laziness, fear or the conspiracy of silence, through secret complicity or indifference; of those who take refuge in the supposed impossibility of changing the world and also of those who sidestep the effort and sacrifice required, producing specious reasons of a higher order. The real responsibility, then, lies with individuals. Pope John Paul II, Reconciliation and Penance (1984), no. 16

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent[3]

 

Prayer. MAY heavenly propitiation increase Thy people subject to Thee, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and make them ever servants of Thy commandments.

EPISTLE. Jer. vii. 1-7.

In those days the word of the Lord came to me, saying Stand in the gate of the house of the Lord, and proclaim there this word, and say: Hear ye the word of the Lord, all ye men of Juda, that enter in at these gates, to adore the Lord. Thus, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Make your ways and your doings good: and I will dwell with you in this place. Trust not in lying words, saying: The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, it is the temple of the Lord. For if you will order well your ways, and your doings: if you will execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, and walk not after strange gods to your own hurt, I will dwell with you in this place: in the land which I gave to your fathers from the beginning and forever, saith the Lord Almighty.

GOSPEL. Luke iv. 38-44.

At that time Jesus, rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever, and they besought Him for her. And standing over her, He commanded the fever, and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them. And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers’ diseases brought them to Him. But He laying His hands on every one of them, healed them. And devils went out from many, crying out and saying: Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them He suffered them not to speak, for they knew that He was Christ. And when it was day, going out He went into a desert place, and the multitudes sought Him, and came unto Him: and they stayed Him that He should not depart from them. To whom He said: To other cities also I must preach the kingdom of God: for therefor am I sent. And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

Lenten Calendar[4]

Read: The Seven Penitential Psalms, Day Three:

(During times when we wish to express repentance, and especially during Lent, it is customary to pray the seven penitential psalms. The penitential designation of these psalms’ dates back to the seventh century. Prayerfully reciting these psalms will help us to recognize our sinfulness, express our sorrow and ask for God’s forgiveness.) Today we will focus on Psalm 38. 

Reflect: Read this reflection on Psalm 38—Prayer of an Afflicted Sinner.

Pray: “LORD, do not punish me in your anger, in your wrath do not chastise me!” (Ps 38:2)

Preparing for Battle[5] Know Your Weapons

 

The weapon of Sacred Sacraments

 

1.      Baptism. Baptism is a sacrament of liberation and deliverance from Satan and his realm.

2.      Reconciliation. Each time we sin, the Devil strengthens his grip on us; that is why it’s so important to go to sacramental Confession regularly.

3.      The Eucharist. Mass is a great defense against the assault of the Devil. Before Him the all-conquering power, the demons must flee. “We must return from that Table like lions breathing fire, having become terrifying to the Devil!”

4.      Confirmation. To confirm means to make strong.

5.      Anointing of the Sick. Illness, especially serious illness, can be a trial in which Satan comes to tempt us to be overcome by fear, discouragement, doubt, and even despair.

6.      Matrimony. The Devil’s first attack on the human race was focused on a married couple. The home must become a sanctuary, a holy place, a fortress against Satan’s assaults.

7.      Holy Orders. The sacrament through which Christ’s mission for the Church continues to be exercised until the end of the world.

Holy Order of Porters[6]

In the last 50 years, various minor orders in the church, including porter, exorcist, and the major order of subdeacon simply no longer exist in the Latin Church who no longer felt they were necessary [all of the minor orders and the subdiaconate are still used within the Independent Sacramental Movement]. What is the theology behind these orders and why were they abolished?

As early as the third century, certain roles of service, including deacon, subdeacon, lector, and acolyte, were present in the church. These orders over time became linked to preparation for the priesthood and were divided between “minor orders” (porter, exorcist, lector, and acolyte) and “major orders” (subdeacon, deacon, and priest). Each order was received, and its function performed for a suitable time before a man was ordained to the priesthood. 

The roles were varied but served a legitimate purpose in the early church, usually related to the Mass. For instance, the porter was the doorkeeper, responsible for opening and closing the church and guarding the door during the celebration of Mass. 

Together the orders constituted ministries of service that developed in the church according to need. Yet over time, many of them lost their function. The orders, especially porter and exorcist, became symbolic. The loss of these functions occasioned a revision of the orders after the Second Vatican Council.

The Ordination of Porters.

This order confers the office of caring for the dignity of the house of God and of maintaining order therein. During the early persecutions it was necessary to indicate to the faithful the time and place of divine service, and to keep the doors of the place of meeting locked against intruders. This was the duty of the “porters” and “messengers of God.” The duties of this office are pointed out by the bishop to be: “To strike the cymbal and ring the bell, to open the church and the sanctuary, and the book of him who preaches.” These duties are symbolic for the still higher duty “of closing to the devil and opening to God, by their word and example, the invisible house of God, namely, the hearts of the faithful.” 

The matter of this order is the presenting of the keys of the church to the clerics to be touched by their right hand, and the form is the accompanying admonition: “Conduct yourselves as having to render an account to God for those things which are kept under these keys.” 

The bishop then invites all present to pray with him “that these porters may be most diligent in their care of the house of God.”

Although the Ostiariate is no longer a distinct institution in the Church, still for that very reason every pastor ought to be a true ostiary, consumed with zeal for the house of God. He must love the church, frequently visit it, banish from it all uncleanliness, disorder, and irreverence, procure decent vestments and ornaments, and guard against the loss or profanation of anything consecrated to divine service. He must himself be punctual and urge others to punctuality in divine service. 

Still greater care must he bestow on the “invisible house of God, the hearts of the faithful,” that they may be closed to the devil and opened to the graces and blessings of God, promoting thus the interior service of God by word and deed.

The Porters Today

MISSION STATEMENT

The Porters of Saint Joseph is a volunteer apostolate with the mission to imitate St. Joseph as the Protector of the Holy Church, Pillar of Families, and Terror of Demons.

We do this by providing a safe environment at our parishes so the faithful can worship God in peace and security. We build teams of faithful men who have felt the call to get involved but have not yet found the opportunity to put their courageous, heroic, masculine heart at the service of their parish, while at the same time, forming a bond of Christian brotherhood with like-minded men.

Fulfill our successor to the apostle’s call to step into the breach and join the Porters of St. Joseph!

SERVING & PROTECTING

    PHOENIX

    SAN DIEGO

    TUCSON

    “The Porters of St. Joseph are a very active and important ministry for men in our parish. They provide support to the parish and to me as the Pastor in many ways, most especially as security and medical assistance during Masses. Recently we had two instances where members of the parish had medical emergencies during Mass. The Porters of St. Joseph immediately assisted these parishioners, getting them to safety and assessing their need for treatment without a disruption to the congregation or the Mass. The Porters of St. Joseph also provided our parish with a safety assessment and a plan to increase safety on our parish campus. I highly recommend this ministry to any Pastor who would love to mobilize the men of their parish to grow in their spirituality and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, while providing a much needed ministry.” Fr. John Muir // Vicar General // Diocese of Phoenix

ESTABLISH YOUR CHAPTER

Contact us and let us get you everything you’ll need to start a chapter and schedule training for your Porters.   

Martyrdom of Felicity and Perpetua[7]



Perpetua was twenty-two, well born, married and the mother of a tiny son still at her breast. Felicitas, an expectant mother, was a slave. They were among five catechumens whose arrest and imprisonment were meant as a warning to the other Christians in Carthage in the year 203. Tormented by her father who was a pagan and wanted her to apostatize, terrified by the darkness and stifling heat of the dungeon where they were imprisoned, Perpetua's greatest suffering nevertheless was for her baby who was with her.

Baptism, however, drove away her fears and with the coming of the Holy Spirit she was at peace and the prison became to her as a palace; in visions she learned the manner of their martyrdom and caught glimpses of what awaits souls in the life after death. Among these was a vision of Purgatory where she saw her little brother Dinocratus suffering.

Dinocratus had died when he was only seven, painfully ulcerated about the face. Perpetua saw him "coming out of a dark place where there were many others," dirtily clad, pale, with the wound still on his face, and he was very hot and thirsty. Near him was a fountain but its brim was higher than he could reach and, though he stood on tiptoe, he could not drink. By this vision she knew he needed her prayers, and she prayed for him night and day. On the day the Christians were put in stocks, she had another vision and saw Dinocratus freed. This time he was clean and finely clothed, on his face was a clean scar and beside him a low fountain reaching only to his waist. On the edge of the fountain was a golden cup ever full of water, and Dinocratus drank. "And when he had drunk, he came away — pleased to play, as children will."

In the meantime, Felicitas was worried for fear her baby would not be born in time for her to die for Christ with her companions. There was a law which forbade throwing even a Christian woman to the wild beasts if she was with child. Three days before they were to go to the arena, they prayed God would permit the birth of her child, and as soon as their prayers were done, her labor began. She gave birth to a little girl who was afterward adopted by her sister.

At last, the scene of their martyrdom and in its Perpetua and Felicity were told to put on the garments of pagan priestesses, the two refused and so were stripped naked, covered with nets, and sent to face assault by a maddened cow said to have been used in insult to their womanhood and their maternity. Strangely enough the audience — screaming for blood though it was — yet was touched by the sight of these two so young and so valiant, and the people shuddered.

Perpetua and Felicitas were called back and clothed in loose robes. Now Perpetua was thrown, her garment rent, and her thigh gored. Regaining her feet, she gathered her tunic over her thigh so in suffering she would not appear immodest and looking about found her fallen hair ornament and repinned her hair least one soon to be a martyr seem to grieve in her glory. Looking for Felicitas, she gave assistance to her and standing together they awaited another attack. But the mob cried, "Enough," and the two were led off to the headsman's block. Catching sight of her brother, Perpetua cried out: "Stand fast in the faith and love one another; and do not let our sufferings be a stumbling block to you." Felicitas was struck down first then Perpetua — but only after the nervous swordsman had struck her once and failed to sever her head. The second time she guided his sword with her own hands. So brave, and so full of love; perhaps if she were dying now, she would exhort us to be brave and full of love in slightly different words. Perhaps she would cry out, "Stand fast in the faith and love one another; and do not let our color be a stumbling block to you." Perpetua was white, and Felicitas was black.

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 5-THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT

II. Respect for the Dignity of Persons

Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.

2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible." This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"

Respect for health

2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God.
We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.
Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.

2289 If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value.
It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for it's sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports.
By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.

2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

Respect for the person and scientific research

2292 Scientific, medical, or psychological experiments on human individuals or groups can contribute to healing the sick and the advancement of public health.

2293 Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a significant expression of man's dominion over creation. Science and technology are precious resources when placed at the service of man and promote his integral development for the benefit of all. By themselves however they cannot disclose the meaning of existence and of human progress. Science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they take their origin and development; hence they find in the person and in his moral values both evidence of their purpose and awareness of their limits.

2294 It is an illusion to claim moral neutrality in scientific research and its applications. On the other hand, guiding principles cannot be inferred from simple technical efficiency, or from the usefulness accruing to some at the expense of others or, even worse, from prevailing ideologies. Science and technology by their very nature require unconditional respect for fundamental moral criteria. They must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, of his true and integral good, in conformity with the plan and the will of God.

2295 Research or experimentation on the human being cannot legitimate acts that are in themselves contrary to the dignity of persons and to the moral law. the subjects' potential consent does not justify such acts. Experimentation on human beings is not morally legitimate if it exposes the subject's life or physical and psychological integrity to disproportionate or avoidable risks. Experimentation on human beings does not conform to the dignity of the person if it takes place without the informed consent of the subject or those who legitimately speak for him.

2296 Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks incurred by the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Donation of organs after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a manifestation of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or those who legitimately speak for him have not given their explicit consent.
It is furthermore morally inadmissible directly to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.

Respect for bodily integrity

2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity.
Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.

2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

Respect for the dead

2299 The dying should be given attention and care to help them live their last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by the prayer of their relatives, who must see to it that the sick receive at the proper time the sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God.

2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. the burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.

2301 Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific research. the free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious.
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.

Thursday Feast

Thursday 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[8] 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 is from IOWA

After Dinner Cigars

 Rachel's Corner

Brain Tumor Awareness Month



Full Worm Moon 

According to the almanac we are having a Full Worm Moon-plan to take your family or grandchildren fishing! Hummingbirds are migrating North now; look for them. 


Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Holy Bishops and Cardinals

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 21

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan




[2]www.usccb.org

[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

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

[8] Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations (p. 770). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition












 

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