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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent 


1 Maccabees, Chapter 7, Verse 18

Then FEAR and dread of them came upon all the people, who said: “There is no truth or justice among them; they violated the agreement and the oath that they swore.”

This verse is referring to Alcimus who was a descendant of the Biblical Aaron, brother of Moses, but not in the high-priestly line; and being ambitious for the office of high priest, he traveled to Antioch to secure the assistance of the Seleucid king Demetrius I Soter, who had just overthrown Antiochus. Alcimus was of the Hellenizing party, and therefore bitterly opposed by the Maccabees. Demetrius sent an army under Bacchides to establish Alcimus in the high priesthood at Jerusalem. The favor with which Alcimus was received by the Jews at Jerusalem on account of his Aaronic descent was soon turned to hate by his cruelties. When Bacchides and his army returned to Antioch, the Hasmonean Judah Maccabee attacked and overcame Alcimus, and drove him also to Syria. There he secured from Demetrius another army, led by Nicanor, who, failing to overcome Judah by treachery, attacked him directly, but was defeated and killed. A third and greater army, under Bacchides again, was dispatched to reinstall Alcimus. Judah was defeated and killed, Alcimus established as high priest and a strong garrison left in Jerusalem to maintain him. But he did not long enjoy his triumph, since he died soon after, while he was pulling down the wall of the temple that divided the court of the Gentiles from that of the Israelites.[1]

Strife breeds Strife-Love breed’s love therefore; be always open to forgiving injuries. 


Christ tells us to love our enemy which is much easier to say than to do. Yet as much as possible we are to not fear them but strive to love them. Often, we find it difficult to love even our family and neighbors let alone our enemies. In fact, the opposite of fear is not courage but love. Paul illustrates for us the following ways of living to demonstrate true love or charity. (Hebrews, Chapter 13, Verse’ 1-6)

 

·         In all that you do be an agent of hospitality. That is to be generous. Even the poor can be rich in their praise and love of others. Share not only your time, talent and treasure but truly give of yourself to others of your intellect, emotional support, and physical presence. A good guide is the spiritual works of mercy: instruct the ignorant; counsel the doubtful; admonish sinners; bear wrongs patiently; forgive offences willingly; comfort the afflicted; pray for the living and the dead.

 

·         Do what you can to free others of their prisons whether these are self-imposed i.e. addictions or through ignorance. A good guide is the corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; harbor the harbor-less; visit the sick; ransom the captive; bury the dead.

 

·         Marriage is the physical reality of our soul’s marriage to God through the Holy Spirit; therefore. If married love and honor your wife; be chase in spirit whether married or single knowing that marriage is the physical sign of your union with God. Disdain any kind of sexual defilement.

 

·         Avoid the love of money. Seek simplicity and contentment. Treat all the wealth you have as if it were Gods; on loan to you to build the Kingdom; which it is. You can do this if you know, and trust God will never forsake you or abandon you. 

The proper meaning of love is to seek the good of the other as other.   

Not Holding a Grudge[2]

St. John Gualbert was the son of a noble Florentine, who had only one other and older son, Hugh. When Hugh was murdered by a man supposed to be his friend, John swore vengeance and, in spite of the warnings and sorrow of his father, he set out to destroy him. Well might his father sorrow more over John than over his murdered son, for the motive of revenge is not excusable even in the punishment of a murderer. Still less is it acceptable before God to try to right one injury with another or one murder with another. By chance one day John met his enemy in a very narrow passage and, having the advantage, drew his sword to run him through. The enemy, knowing he had no chance to save himself, fell to his knees, crossed his hands over his breast (let us hope he made a good act of contrition) and awaited the death blow. John advanced in a fury — halted and remembered Christ had prayed for His murderers as He hung on the cross. He put up his sword, gave his enemy his hand and, drawing him to his feet, embraced him. They parted in peace.

As he went down the road, filled with contrition for the terrible deed he had intended to do, he came to the monastery of San Miniato, entered it, and kneeling before the Crucifix he poured out his heart in contrition. As he prayed, the Crucifix miraculously bowed its head as though to bless John's victory over revenge and John was filled with the desire to serve only Christ. He went to the abbot to ask permission to wear the habit, and, when the abbot hesitated for several days for fear of the displeasure of John's father, John hacked off his hair and put on a borrowed habit. This convinced Father Abbot that the young penitent was a serious prospect and he received him into the community.

Tuesday Of the Fourth Week of Lent[3]

Prayer. WE beseech Thee, O Lord, that the fasts of this holy observance may procure us an increase of piety in our lives, and the continual help of Thy mercy.

EPISTLE. Exodus xxxii. 7-14.

In those days the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Go, get thee down: thy people, which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, hath sinned. They have quickly strayed from the way which thou didst show them: and they have made to themselves a molten calf, and have adored it, and sacrificing victims to it, have said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt. And again, the Lord said to Moses: I see that this people are stiff-necked: let Me alone, that My wrath may be kindled against them, and that I may destroy them, and I will make of thee a great nation. But Moses besought the Lord his God, saying: Why, O Lord, is Thy indignation enkindled against Thy people, whom Thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, with great power, and with a mighty hand?

Let not the Egyptians say, I beseech Thee: He craftily brought them out, that He might kill them in the mountains, and destroy them from the earth: let Thy anger cease and be appeased upon the wickedness of Thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom Thou sworest by Thy own self, saying: I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven: and this whole land that I have spoken of, I will give to your seed, and you shall possess it forever. And the Lord was appeased from doing the evil which He had spoken against His people.

GOSPEL. John vii. 14-31.

At that time: About the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews wondered, saying: How doth this man know letters, having never learned?

Jesus answered them and said: My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do the will of Him: he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself. He that speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh the glory of him that sent him, he is true, and there is no injustice in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why seek you to kill Me? The multitude answered, and said: Thou hast a devil; who seeketh to kill Thee?

Jesus answered and said to them: One work I have done; and you all wonder: therefore, Moses gave you circumcision (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers); and on the Sabbath-day you circumcise a man. If a man receive circumcision on the Sabbath-day, that the law of Moses may not be broken; are you angry at Me because I have healed the whole man on the Sabbath-day?

Judge not according to the appearance but judge just judgment. Some therefore of Jerusalem said: Is not this He Whom they seek to kill?

And behold He speaketh openly, and they say nothing to Him. Have the rulers known for a truth that this is the Christ?

But we know this man whence He is but when the Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is. Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying: You both know Me, and you know whence I am, and I am not come of Myself; but He that sent Me is true, Whom you know not. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He hath sent Me. They sought therefore to apprehend Him: and no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come. But of the people many believed in Him.

Lenten Calendar[4]

Read: The Seven Penitential Psalms, Day Seven:

(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 from 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 143.

Reflect: Read a reflection of Psalm 143—A Prayer in Distress.

 

Pray:Hasten to answer me, LORD; for my spirit fails me. Do not hide your face from me, lest I become like those descending to the pit. In the morning let me hear of your mercy, for in you I trust. Show me the path I should walk, for I entrust my life to you. (Ps 143:7-8) 

Act: The psalmist pleads his case before the Lord: he is surrounded by enemies, his spirit is faint, and he has nothing left to withstand them. And so, he begs for mercy, that the Lord would show his face and be his refuge in his time of great need.

 

The Church’s Calendar[5]

 

We often learn our doctrine much more deeply and effectively simply by celebrating the feasts and fasts of the Church.

 

In fact in Orthodox Judaism the calendar is the catechism of Israel. According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, “On the pinions of time which bear us through life, God has inscribed the eternal words of His soul-inspiring doctrine, making days and weeks, months and years the heralds to proclaim His truths. Nothing would seem more fleeting than these elements of time, but to them God has entrusted the care of His holy things, thereby rendering them more imperishable and more accessible.”

 

CCC2698. The Tradition of the Church proposes to the faithful certain rhythms of praying intended to nourish continual prayer. Some are daily, such as morning and evening prayer, grace before and after meals, the Liturgy of the Hours. Sundays, centered on the Eucharist, are kept holy primarily by prayer. The cycle of the liturgical year and its great feasts are also basic rhythms of the Christian's life of prayer.

 

No one knows human nature better than the God who created it. The book of Genesis tells us that the Lord God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. He rested not because he was weary-God does not tire-but because He wanted to provide a model for human labor and rest. The Church calendar coincides with the cosmic rhythms of God. The Church calendar reflects this fact: That Christ rose from the dead in payment for our sins and is the Jewish Messiah that was hoped for. 


Stations of the Cross[6] 

Though technically only the last fourteen days of Lent explicitly consider the sufferings of our Lord, the Stations of the Cross (a.k.a. the Way of the Cross) have long been a popular Lenten devotion for any or all of the forty days (though they tend to be done on Fridays). These fourteen scenes from the via dolorosa, the sorrowful path that Christ took while carrying His cross to Golgotha, help direct one's heart to the mysterium fidei of our Lord's selfless sacrifice.

 

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 6-THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT

II. The Vocation to Chastity

2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.
The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.

The integrity of the person

2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.

2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. the alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. "Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end."

2340 Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God's commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer. "Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into multiplicity."

2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.

2342 Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life. The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.

2343 Chastity has laws of growth which progress through stages marked by imperfection and too often by sin. "Man . . . day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth."

2344 Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is "an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society." Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.

2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort. The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.

The integrality of the gift of self

2346 Charity is the form of all the virtues. Under its influence, chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to become a witness to his neighbor of God's fidelity and loving kindness.

2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends, who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.
Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one's neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.

The various forms of chastity

2348 All the baptized are called to chastity. the Christian has "put on Christ," The model for all chastity. All Christ's faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity.

2349 "People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or single." Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence:

There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others.... This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.

2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity.

Offenses against chastity

2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action." "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."
To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral culpability.

2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.

2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

2355 Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. the one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women, but also men, children, and adolescents (The latter two cases involve the added sin of scandal.). While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.

2356 Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.

Chastity and homosexuality

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Candace’s Corner

  


timeout ~ "Castle Hot Springs | Arizona

Castle Hot Springs is an all-inclusive resort set against the Bradshaw Mountains, a mere 50 miles from Phoenix. The 19th-century-era, 1,110-acre wellness-centric desert oasis is—you guessed it—renowned for the namesake hot springs. Surrounded by stunning saguaro, towering palms, more lush flora, and gorgeous red-hued rocks, the springs have attracted countless individuals over the years (from Native American tribes, explorers, and more). Today, these magnificent thermal waters are only accessible to resort guests; however, they’re still laden with the same minerals (think: lithium, copper, and magnesium, to name a few) that first put them on the map.

Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “Strive to live in the joy of the Father’s presence. There is a time for everything, sleep and rest in His presence, trust with all humility. Seek to be good to all; even those who use and despise you.”   

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Holy Priests, Consecrated, & Religious

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·         Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 26

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan







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