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NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Monday, April 22, 2024

 Monday Night at the Movies

Roberto Rossellini, Stromboli, 1950

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter

EARTH DAY Passover begins at Sundown.

 

Job, Chapter 6, Verse 21

It is thus that you have now become for me; you see a terrifying thing and are AFRAID.

 

Job is a horrifying thing to look upon. He is just plain nasty. Full of oozing sores and covered in filth. He kind of looks like our savior on the way to pay for our sins. Job is scaring his neighbors, and they find no fun in fear. Can you run away from your fears? 

 

Taking Courage[1]

 

The words “Be Not Afraid” are written more than 365 times in the Bible. God has reminded us continuously throughout Sacred Scripture to have no fear and trust in Him. Sometimes circumstances let our fear take the lead while our faith in God lags.

St. John Paul II reminds us to “Be Not Afraid”.

“Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”

We must remember the greatness of our God and trust in His plan, even during times when it seems like He is not there.

1.      Here are three important tips to keep in mind:

Remember that Christ has defeated sin and death so that we can have an abundant life in Him.

John 10:10 says that “A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Christ came into this world, vulnerable and susceptible to suffering, so that we may be freed from the bondage of sin through His death. His Resurrection from the dead should be a cause of great joy for us. Our fears should shrink from the realization of Christ’s Redemption.

2.      Get out of your comfort zone.

This saying may sound cliche, but it is imperative! As Neale Donald Walsch has said: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” It is not until we face our fears that we will truly start living our lives to the full.

3.      Do not become discouraged!

Bad times are bound to happen, but It is important to have faith during those times, though it may be difficult. Deuteronomy 31:8 says that “It is the LORD who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” It is important to remember God’s presence in our lives. Although there is bound to be hard times throughout life, we must recognize that God is with us more than ever during those tumultuous times, even if His Presence is not felt. When confronted with unforeseen circumstances, we have two choices to make. We can either allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear, or we can surrender ourselves to God. In the end, the choice to have faith in the face of fear will deepen our trust in God. Let us not run away from fear, but face it head on, knowing that God is in control. He will not allow our fears to get the better of us, but He will use them for our own benefit, drawing us closer and closer to Himself.

1805 Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called "cardinal"; all the others are grouped around them. They are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. "If anyone loves righteousness, [Wisdom's] labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice, and courage." These virtues are praised under other names in many passages of Scripture.

Earth Day[2]

Earth Day seeks to highlight and promote efforts dedicated to the protection of the environment.  We face many environmental crises, including global warming, deforestation, endangered wildlife, shortages of potable water and widespread pollution, all which negatively affect our planet’s resources and can have adverse effects on our long-term lifestyle and health. In 1970, a US Senator named Gaylord Nelson was inspired to bring about mass public awareness of environment problems. He heavily promoted the day across the nation in an effort to gather the largest amount of public support possible and ultimately, in the hopes of elevating environmental protection onto the national political agenda. This day in 1970 marked the creation of United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.   Today, Earth Day is celebrated by billions of people around the world and is observed in over 190 countries. Worldwide, Earth Day celebrations utilize educational programs to inform people of ways that can help protect the environment and its natural resources. It is observed annually on April 22nd and is celebrated as International Earth Day.

Earth Day Facts & Quotes

·         Energy Star rated LED light bulbs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.  Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

·         In the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history. - U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.

·         We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. - Native American Proverb

Earth Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Organize a group of volunteers to help clean up and restore a green space. Some suggestions include planting trees and adding waste receptacles.

·         Try to go the whole day without creating any garbage, • Try not to use your car for the entire day. Instead, use public transit, walk or ride your bicycle.

·         Change your traditional incandescent light bulbs to energy saving LED or CFL light bulbs.

·         Watch a documentary or movie that touches on an ecological issue. Our favorites are: An Inconvenient Truth (2006), the Burning Season (1993, 2008), Elemental (2012) and The Day after Tomorrow (2004).

·         Read one of many books that relate to environmental issues such as, The World Without Us (Alan Weisman), Hell and High Water (Joseph Romm) and Natural Capitalism (Hawken, Lovins and Lovins)

Care for Creation[3]

We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.

Scripture

·         Genesis 1:1-31  
        God made the heavens and the earth and it was good.

·         Genesis 2:15  
         Humans are commanded to care for God’s creation.

·         Leviticus 25:1-7  
         The land itself must be given  a rest and not abused.

·         Deuteronomy 10:14  
         All of heaven and earth belong to the Lord.

·         Psalm 24:1-2
        All the earth is the Lord’s.

·         Daniel 3:56-82  
         Creation proclaims the glory of God.

·         Matthew 6:25-34  
         God loves and cares for all of creation.

·         Romans 1:20  
         Creation reveals the nature of God.

·         1 Corinthians 10:26  
         Creation and all  created things are inherently good because they are of the Lord.

Tradition  

The environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole. . . Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. (Pope Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth [Caritas in Veritate], nos. 48, 51)

Changes in lifestyle based on traditional moral virtues can ease the way to a sustainable and equitable world economy in which sacrifice will no longer be an unpopular concept. For many of us, a life less focused on material gain may remind us that we are more than what we have. Rejecting the false promises of excessive or conspicuous consumption can even allow more time for family, friends, and civic responsibilities. A renewed sense of sacrifice and restraint could make an essential contribution to addressing global climate change. (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good)
  
Equally worrying is the  ecological question which accompanies the problem of consumerism and which  is closely connected to it. In his desire to have and to enjoy rather than to be and to grow, man consumes the resources of the earth and his own life in an excessive and disordered way. . .. Man, who discovers his capacity to transform and in a certain sense create the world through his own work, forgets that this is always based on God's prior and original gift of the things that are. Man thinks that he can make arbitrary use of the earth, subjecting it without restraint to his will, as though it did not have its own requisites and a prior God-given purpose, which man can indeed develop but must not betray.  Instead of carrying out his role as a co-operator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a  rebellion on the part of nature, which is more tyrannized than governed by him. (St. John Paul II, On the Hundredth Year [
Centesimus Annus], no. 37)

The dominion granted to man by the Creator is not an absolute power, nor can one speak of a freedom to "use and misuse," or to dispose of things as one pleases. The limitation imposed from the beginning by the Creator himself and expressed symbolically by the prohibition not to "eat of the fruit of the tree" (cf. Gen 2:16-17) shows clearly enough that, when it comes to the natural world, we are subject not only to biological laws but also to moral ones, which cannot be violated with impunity. A true concept of development cannot ignore the use of the elements of nature, the renewability of resources and the consequences of haphazard industrialization - three considerations which alert our consciences to the moral dimension of development.(St. John Paul II, On Social Concerns [Sollicitudo rei Socialis], no. 34)

Passover[4] 

Passover (Hebrew: פסח) is a seven-day Jewish festival which celebrates the Israelites fleeing from Egypt about 3300 years ago.  Passover is called such because the Israelites marked their door frames with a sign.  It is believed because of this sign God passed over their houses during the plague of the firstborn. The Israelites were servants from the days of Jacob until Moses.  They lived through famine in most of Mesopotamia, including Israel.  The Israelites built store cities for grain in Egypt (possibly, the pyramids).  After 210 years of servitude in Egypt, the Israelites had become 'servant-minded' and did not believe that they could flee.  They fled via the Wilderness of Sinai, where they resided for forty years. 

Passover Facts 

·         Traditionally, in accordance with Biblical Law, all Orthodox Jews remove all leaven bread, cakes, flour-containing products, and flour-derived products from the Jewish home in the weeks before Passover.  These products include beer, whiskey, flour, and all patisseries produce.  Any products remaining on the Eve of Passover are given away to non-Jews, sold or burnt.

·         On Passover, Jews are to eat only unleavened bread (Matzah), baked from flour and water and prepared (mixed and baked) within eighteen minutes.  Unleavened bread symbolizes Israelites leaving Egypt in such haste they could not wait for their bread dough to rise.

·         On the first day of Passover, it is customary to hold a Seder Night celebration with family and friends.  During this celebration, the Haggadah is typically read and sang. The Haggadah includes telling the story of fleeing of the Israelite slaves from Egypt, the fact that their dough could not rise due to the hurried exit, blessings over Matzah, and songs of praise and happiness.

·         Traditionally, for Seder a plate is prepared containing the following: an egg - symbolizing the Chaggigah sacrifice;  a shankbone, symbolizing Passover Lamb;  salt water, symbolizing the tears of the Israelite slaves;  a bitter herb, symbolizing the bitterness of enslavement;  charoset (a mixture of ground apple, cinnamon, wine and sugar) signifying the cement used in the building works;  a vegetable to be dipped in the salt water.

·         The first and seventh days of Passover are considered festivals in which work is not permitted. The intermediate days are Chol Hamoed in which families typically go on hikes and tours or visit friends. 

Passover Top Events and Things to Do 

·         Attend a Seder dinner or learn how to make your own Seder.

·         Make Matzahs.  You can watch how to make Matzahs on youtube.

·         Watch a movie that depicts Passover.  Our picks: The Ten Commandments (1956) and The Prince of Egypt (1998).

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER ONE-THE REVELATION OF PRAYER - THE UNIVERSAL CALL TO PRAYER

Article 3-IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH

V. Prayer of Praise

2639 Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS. It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing him in glory. By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirits to bear witness that we are children of God, testifying to the only Son in whom we are adopted and by whom we glorify the Father. Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward him who is its source and goal: the "one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist."

2640 St. Luke in his gospel often expresses wonder and praise at the marvels of Christ and in his Acts of the Apostles stresses them as actions of the Holy Spirit: the community of Jerusalem, the invalid healed by Peter and John, the crowd that gives glory to God for that, and the pagans of Pisidia who "were glad and glorified the word of God."

2641 "[Address] one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart." Like the inspired writers of the New Testament, the first Christian communities read the Book of Psalms in a new way, singing in it the mystery of Christ. In the newness of the Spirit, they also composed hymns and canticles in the light of the unheard - of event that God accomplished in his Son: his Incarnation, his death which conquered death, his Resurrection, and Ascension to the right hand of the Father. Doxology, the praise of God, arises from this "marvelous work" of the whole economy of salvation.

2642 The Revelation of "what must soon take place," the Apocalypse, is borne along by the songs of the heavenly liturgy but also by the intercession of the "witnesses" (martyrs). The prophets and the saints, all those who were slain on earth for their witness to Jesus, the vast throng of those who, having come through the great tribulation, have gone before us into the Kingdom, all sing the praise and glory of him who sits on the throne, and of the Lamb. In communion with them, the Church on earth also sings these songs with faith in the midst of trial. By means of petition and intercession, faith hopes against all hope and gives thanks to the "Father of lights," from whom "every perfect gift" comes down. Thus faith is pure praise.

2643 The Eucharist contains and expresses all forms of prayer: it is "the pure offering" of the whole Body of Christ to the glory of God's name and, according to the traditions of East and West, it is the "sacrifice of praise."

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Prayer before Meals[5]

Bless us Oh Lord, and these thy gifts,

which we are about to receive,

from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Christopher’s Corner

Mount Vernon District Environmental Expo
April 27, 2024

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.

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

 



[1]http://www.catholicstand.com/not-afraid-faith-despite-fear/

[3]https://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/care-for-creation

[4]http://www.wincalendar.com/Passover

[5]https://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=209









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