NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Wednesday, March 13, 2024


Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

LA FALLA

 

1 Maccabees, Chapter 7, Verse 30

When he became aware that Nicanor had come to him with deceit in mind, Judas was AFRAID of him and would not meet him again.

 

Have you ever had someone you trusted betray you?

 

We all have. In Maccabees 2 it is explained that Nicanor and Judas become friends for a time. It seems Nicanor might have come to Judea to work out a peace plan and it is rumored he even persuaded Judas to settle down and marry. Later the Hellenizing (progressive) party forces Nicanor to betray Judas. Having been warned Judas avoids further contact with Nicanor. [1]

 

Why was Judas afraid?

 

He was a man of courage perhaps he now saw that he may have to take the life of a friend.

 

Is there any greater fear?

 

Nicanor eventually attacks Judas and indeed dies in the ensuing battle.

 

Aids in Battle[2] Words of Warning in Battle

The Enemy is crafty and powerful. Heed these warnings to avoid his ambush.

·         Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the Devil, like a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith. 1 Peter 5: 8– 9

·         Satan himself disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Cor 11: 14

·         But I fear lest, as the serpent seduced Eve by his guile, so your minds may be corrupted and fall from a pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor 11: 3

·         Wisdom that is from above is first of all chaste, then peaceable, moderate, docile, in harmony with good things, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation. The fruit of justice is sown in peace by those who make peace. Jas 3: 13– 18

·         Be angry and do not sin do not let the sun go down upon your anger; do not give place to the Devil. Eph 4: 26– 27.

 

Wednesday Of the Fourth Week of Lent[3]

 

Prayer.

 

O God, Who grantest to the just the reward of their merits, and to sinners pardon, by means of fasting, have mercy on Thy supplicants, that the confession of our guilt may enable us to receive the forgiveness of our sins. Amen.

 

EPISTLE. Isaias i. 16-19.

 

Thus, saith the Lord God: Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from My eyes: cease to do perversely, learn to do well: seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge for the fatherless, defend the widow. And then come, and accuse Me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool. If you be willing, and will hearken to Me, you shall eat the good things of the land, saith the Lord Almighty.

 

GOSPEL. John ix. 1-38.


 

At that time: Jesus passing by, saw a man who was blind from his birth: and His disciples asked Him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind? Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of Him that sent Me, whilst it is day: the night cometh when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When He had said these things, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and spread the clay upon his eyes, and said to him: Go, wash in the pool of Siloe, which is interpreted, Sent. He went therefore, and washed, and he came seeing. The neighbors, therefore, and they who had seen him before that he was a beggar, said: Is not this he that sat, and begged? Some said: This is he. But others said: No, but he is like him. But he said: I am he. They said therefore to him: How were thy eyes opened? He answered: That man that is called Jesus, made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me: Go to the pool of Siloe, and wash. And I went, I washed, and I see. And they said to him: Where is He? He saith, I know not. They bring him that had been blind to the Pharisees. Now it was the Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Again, therefore the Pharisees asked him how he had received his sight. But he said to them: He put clay upon my eyes, and I washed, and I see. Some therefore of the Pharisees said: This man is not of God, Who keepeth not the Sabbath. But others said: How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say therefore to the blind man again: What sayest thou of Him that hath opened thy eyes? And he said: He is a prophet. The Jews then did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight, and asked them, saying: Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said: We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but how he now seeth, we know not: or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: ask himself; he is of age, let him speak for himself. These things his parents said, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had already agreed among themselves, that if any man should confess Him to be Christ he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore, did his parents say: He is of age, ask him. They therefore called the man again that had been blind and said to him: Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner. He said therefore to them: If He be a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see. They said then to him: What did He to thee? How did He open thy eyes? He answered them: I have told you already, and you have heard: why would you hear it again? will you also become His disciples? They reviled him therefore and said: Be thou His disciple; but we are the disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses: but as to this man, we know not from whence He is. The man answered, and said to them: Why, herein is a wonderful thing that you know not from whence He is, and He hath opened my eyes. Now we know that God doth not hear sinners: but if a man be a server of God, and doth His will, him He heareth. From the beginning of the world, it hath not been heard, that any man hath opened the eyes of one born blind. Unless this man were of God, He could not do anything. They answered and said to him: Thou wast wholly born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out: and when He had found him, He said to him: Dost thou believe in the Son of God? He answered, and said: Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him? And Jesus said to him: Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee. And he said: I believe, Lord. And falling down he adored. 


Dara’s Corner

World Glaucoma Week

Glaucoma is a group of fairly common medical conditions affecting the optic nerve. When this nerve that runs from the eye to the brain gets damaged, this can result in vision loss or even complete blindness. In fact, glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable, irreversible blindness on the planet.

World Glaucoma Week is here to create conversations and increase awareness so that more people can know about, understand, and work toward prevention of this disease of the eyes.

La Falla de San Chusep[4]

Italy is not the only country that claims great love for Saint Joseph. Here's an explanation of the festivities in Valencia, Spain.

·         Among the many folk festivals of Spain which each year attract large numbers of tourists, Saint Joseph's Day in Valencia takes a unique position. La Falla de San Chusep, as it is called in the local dialect, has been celebrated for centuries, and it is perhaps the most spectacular, the most colorful of all Spanish holidays. It starts on March 13 and attains its gala climax six days later, after a solid week of fun and festivities.

·         San Chusep (St. Joseph) is the patron saint of Valencia, and since the sixteenth century his day has been celebrated by the city's artisans and craftsmen with a great deal of zest, humor, and originality. In the Valencian dialect, falla means "pyre." It seems that the term originated in the annual custom of the carpenters who cleaned their shops of shavings and discarded wood at this time of the year and burned the debris with a short ceremony. With the scraps, a comical wooden figure depicting the most inept and backward of the carpenter's apprentices was thrown into the flames. Eventually this developed into a local tradition with all the guilds participating in the burning of humorous and satirical effigies of animals, people, or subjects of local or national ridicule and scorn. Apparently the falla figures are also a product of Baroque art, with its emphasis on painting on wood, for which Valencia's craftsmen became justly famous.

·         Today, each guild, club, or association builds a falla of wood or papier-mâché. A queen, la reine del Falla, is chosen, and a band accompanies the queen, her court, and the falla to the contest on the main plaza of Valencia. The lavish preparations for the festival attract artists and musicians from the provinces who help the various groups build and exhibit their entries to the contest of falla. During the week, bullfights are held every day. The streets are jammed with visitors admiring the fallas. In decorated booths and pavilions food and drinks are being served. And in the streets and on the city squares people dance to the music of the innumerable bands which accompany the fallas.

·         The best productions in art and music are judged for subject matter and presentation and awarded prizes. The most outstanding falla is transferred to a special museum which harbors the prize winners of previous years. On March 19, at midnight, all the other fallas, some towering three stories in height, are burned in huge bonfires. Strings of firecrackers explode around the plaza, and elaborate fireworks illuminate the scene with brilliant flashes of color. As each falla crumbles into ashes, the crowds shout with glee amidst the furiously burning pyres. As the fires slowly burn down to the last embers, the merrymakers leave the scene, exhausted and jubilant, already dreaming of next year, of the next falla.


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

III. The Love of Husband and Wife

2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."

Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, "Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety." So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, "Blessed are you, O God of our fathers.... You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.' I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together." and they both said, "Amen, Amen." Then they went to sleep for the night.

2362 "The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude." Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:

The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.

2363 The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.
The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.

Conjugal fidelity

2364 The married couple forms "the intimate partnership of life and love established by the Creator and governed by his laws; it is rooted in the conjugal covenant, that is, in their irrevocable personal consent." Both give themselves definitively and totally to one another. They are no longer two; from now on they form one flesh. the covenant they freely contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique and indissoluble. "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."

2365 Fidelity expresses constancy in keeping one's given word. God is faithful. the Sacrament of Matrimony enables man and woman to enter into Christ's fidelity for his Church. Through conjugal chastity, they bear witness to this mystery before the world.

St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us.... I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.

The fecundity of marriage

2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So, the Church, which "is on the side of life" teaches that "each and every marriage act must remain open 'per se' to the transmission of life." "This particular doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act."

2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God. "Married couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian responsibility."

2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:

When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.

2369 "By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man's exalted vocation to parenthood."

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:

Thus, the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality.... The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.

2371 "Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can be understood only in reference to man's eternal destiny."

2372 The state has a responsibility for its citizens' well-being. In this capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demography of the population. This can be done by means of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures. The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children. It is not authorized to intervene in this area with means contrary to the moral law.

The gift of a child

2373 Sacred Scripture and the Church's traditional practice see in large families a sign of God's blessing and the parents' generosity.

2374 Couples who discover that they are sterile suffer greatly. "What will you give me," asks Abraham of God, "for I continue childless?" and Rachel cries to her husband Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall die!"

2375 Research aimed at reducing human sterility is to be encouraged, on condition that it is placed "at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, and his true and integral good according to the design and will of God."

2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses' "right to become a father and a mother only through each other."

2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. the act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that "entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children." "Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses' union .... “Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person."

2378 A child is not something owed to one but is a gift. The "supreme gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception."

2379 The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord's Cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others.

Plan ahead for:

 

·         Bird Watching- With about 10,000 species of birds and only a handful of people who can claim having seen over 7000 of them, bird watching is become a popular recreation activity. It’s believed that bird watching is an expression of the male hunting instinct while others links it with the male tendency for “systemizing”. Either way, bird watching is a great, safe way to enjoy nature. 

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph 

Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “Seek the good of your neighbors in ways that will help to make them live to their fullest; build up the Kingdom in them and then help them to build the Kingdom in others.  Start with family. Be there during their hours of need. If all families did this the Kingdom would begin to shape even in this world. Time for others is greater than token gifts. It took my mother five days of travel just to get to her aunt Elizabeth to aid her in the birth of my cousin John. Be willing to suffer for others in all humility. This is what it means to give and not count the cost.”  

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Victims of clergy sexual abuse

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 27

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan




[1]The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.

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

[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.










 

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