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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

Saturday, April 13, 2024

 

April 13

Saint of the day:

Pope Saint Martin I

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

 T. JEFFERSON

 

John, Chapter 6, verse 19-20:

19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus’ walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be AFRAID 20 but he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”

 

After rowing three or four miles they must have been exhausted and there must have been no wind, for surely any sailor would have used the wind if it was blowing. The conditions on the sea that night had to have been unnerving but there must have been some light from the moon as they had seen our Lord nevertheless, they were afraid.  Then He said, “It is I” or literally “I AM” which was the name of God which no pious Jew was allowed to even say!

 

I wonder if they were thinking of the words of the Torah, 

 

“The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” (Genesis 4:2)

 

When they had seen and heard Christ.  They must have known at that point that here was the messiah because they believed. Immediately they arrived on shore and Christ spoke on the “Bread of Life” discourse stating.”

 

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” (John 6:54).

 

At this saying all but these 12 walked away because they believed!

 

We too are like the Apostles in that boat, the boat which we call the Holy Catholic Church.  Let us resolve like the Apostles to believe, follow the precepts of our church and row three or four miles if we must.

 

Thomas Jefferson[1] born this day 1743.


Thomas Jefferson (d. 1826) was – besides being a founding father of the United States and president – one of the most learned figures of his age. His education, through Episcopalian and Huguenot schoolmasters and then at William and Mary included a comprehensive classical approach in the Enlightenment tradition and fostered in him an appreciation for mathematics, philosophy, architecture, botany, science, music, and law. Philosophically, he was a dedicated Deist, meaning that he rejected the need for revelation and repudiated all forms of established or institutional religion beyond the obvious limits of reason. As such, he declared himself a Christian – chafing against charges that he was an atheist or infidel – but he had little patience with dogmas, finding especially unacceptable the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Nevertheless, he did not oppose organized religion, insisting that all religions be treated with toleration within the pluralistic society established by the Constitution. The best source for appreciating Jefferson’s self-identification with Christianity (again from the standpoint of the Deists) was his work The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, Extracted Textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French, and English, compiled a few years before his death. Called also the Jefferson Bible, it contains no personal writings by Jefferson, save for the Table of Contents. Rather, it is a collection of nearly 1,000 verses from the Gospels (Matthew and Luke chiefly), offering Jesus’ comprehensive moral philosophy, as Jefferson saw it. He thus omitted all references to the divinity of Jesus, the primacy of Peter, the Eucharist, comments by the evangelists, and miracles; in effect, Jefferson drained the Gospels of any form of mystery. The selection reveals Jefferson’s belief in God, the Commandments, practicing the virtues, and an afterlife in which the just are rewarded and the evil punished.

Deism:[2]

The term used to certain doctrines apparent in a tendency of thought and criticism that manifested itself principally in England towards the latter end of the seventeenth century. The doctrines and tendency of deism were, however, by no means entirely confined to England, nor to the seventy years or so during which most of the deistical productions were given to the world; for a similar spirit of criticism aimed at the nature and content of traditional religious beliefs, and the substitution for them of a rationalistic naturalism has frequently appeared in the course of religious thought. Thus, there have been French and German deists as well as English; while Pagan, Jewish, or Moslem deists might be found as well as Christian.

Because of the individualistic standpoint of independent criticism which they adopt, it is difficult, if not impossible, to class together the representative writers who contributed to the literature of English deism as forming any one definite school, or to group together the positive teachings contained in their writings as any one systematic expression of a concordant philosophy. The deists were what nowadays would be called freethinkers, a name, indeed, by which they were not infrequently known; and they can only be classed together wholly in the main attitude that they adopted, viz. in agreeing to cast off the trammels of authoritative religious teaching in favor of a free and purely rationalistic speculation. Many of them were frankly materialistic in their doctrines; while the French thinkers who subsequently built upon the foundations laid by the English deists were almost exclusively so. Others rested content with a criticism of ecclesiastical authority in teaching the inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures , or the fact of an external revelation of supernatural truth given by God to man. In this last point, while there is a considerable divergence of method and procedure observable in the writings of the various deists, all, at least to a very large extent, seem to concur. Deism, in its every manifestation was opposed to the current and traditional teaching of revealed religion.

Is there any truth to deism?[3]

·         Deism is the belief that a supernatural entity created the universe, but that this being does not intervene in its creation. The Church describes it like this: “Some admit that the world was made by God but as by a watchmaker who, once he has made a watch, abandons it to itself (CCC 285).”

·         It’s fair to say that many people today identify with this viewpoint, in that they believe there was some supernatural cause to the universe, but we have now been left to our own devices. This idea extends back to the beginning of human thought, but it developed significantly during the Enlightenment as critiques of religion, and Christianity in particular, became more prevalent. Many English deists placed considerable doubt on the supernatural character of miracles and prophecy, arguing that they were inconsistent with reason.

·         What emerged from this epoch was the notion that all religions were products of human invention, and that many Christian beliefs were farcical. God was no longer seen as a divine entity that interfered in the world but was instead, merely the first cause underlying the universe, being both unknowable and untouchable. The universe was defined as self-operating, self-regulating and self-explanatory and comprised of unvarying and inviolable physical laws.

·         While some deists believe that the creator of the universe is an abstract force, others hold that the entity is personal – that it has a mind, but simply has no interest in the endeavors of human beings. This is radically different from the Christian conception of God, which holds that God is not only personal, but created us so that we could know and love him.

·         What distinguishes deism and theistic religions like Christianity the most is the idea of God’s intervention in history. While deists hold that the creator is far away, Catholics believe that God is with us at all times, can hear us, and even answer our prayers. The Church refers to the creator as a “living God” who gives life and reveals himself to the world. This is perhaps best conveyed in the Incarnation, where Jesus became human, walked among us, and died for our sins.

·         “Creation is the foundation of ‘all God’s saving plans’, the ‘beginning of the history of salvation’ that culminates in Christ. Conversely, the mystery of Christ casts conclusive light on the mystery of creation and reveals the end for which ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’: from the beginning, God envisaged the glory of the new creation in Christ.” (CCC 280) While deists hold that God is apathetic towards his creation, Catholics rejoice in the fact that God interacts and truly cares about us.

·         Of course, there is common ground between deists and theists in that both believe in a creator of the universe. This mutual belief can act as the starting point for a conversation about who God is, and whether it’s plausible to believe that he intervenes in the world.

 

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 1-IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

2568 In the Old Testament, the revelation of prayer comes between the fall and the restoration of man, that is, between God's sorrowful call to his first children: "Where are you? . . . What is this that you have done?" and the response of God's only Son on coming into the world: "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God." Prayer is bound up with human history, for it is the relationship with God in historical events.

Creation - source of prayer

2569 Prayer is lived in the first place beginning with the realities of creation. the first nine chapters of Genesis describe this relationship with God as an offering of the first-born of Abel's flock, as the invocation of the divine name at the time of Enosh, and as "walking with God. Noah's offering is pleasing to God, who blesses him and through him all creation, because his heart was upright and undivided; Noah, like Enoch before him, "walks with God." This kind of prayer is lived by many righteous people in all religions.
In his indefectible covenant with every living creature, God has always called people to prayer. But it is above all beginning with our father Abraham that prayer is revealed in the Old Testament.

God's promise and the prayer of Faith

2570 When God calls him, Abraham goes forth "as the Lord had told him"; Abraham's heart is entirely submissive to the Word and so he obeys. Such attentiveness of the heart, whose decisions are made according to God's will, is essential to prayer, while the words used count only in relation to it. Abraham's prayer is expressed first by deeds: a man of silence, he constructs an altar to the Lord at each stage of his journey. Only later does Abraham's first prayer in words appear: a veiled complaint reminding God of his promises which seem unfulfilled. Thus one aspect of the drama of prayer appears from the beginning: the test of faith in the fidelity of God.

2571 Because Abraham believed in God and walked in his presence and in covenant with him, the patriarch is ready to welcome a mysterious Guest into his tent. Abraham's remarkable hospitality at Mamre foreshadows the annunciation of the true Son of the promise. After that, once God had confided his plan, Abraham's heart is attuned to his Lord's compassion for men and he dares to intercede for them with bold confidence.

2572 As a final stage in the purification of his faith, Abraham, "who had received the promises," is asked to sacrifice the son God had given him. Abraham's faith does not weaken (“God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering."), for he "considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead." and so the father of believers is conformed to the likeness of the Father who will not spare his own Son but will deliver him up for us all. Prayer restores man to God's likeness and enables him to share in the power of God's love that saves the multitude.

2573 God renews his promise to Jacob, the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel.17 Before confronting his elder brother Esau, Jacob wrestles all night with a mysterious figure who refuses to reveal his name, but he blesses him before leaving him at dawn. From this account, the spiritual tradition of the Church has retained the symbol of prayer as a battle of faith and as the triumph of perseverance.

Moses and the prayer of the mediator

2574 Once the promise begins to be fulfilled (Passover, the Exodus, the gift of the Law, and the ratification of the covenant), the prayer of Moses becomes the most striking example of intercessory prayer, which will be fulfilled in "the one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

2575 Here again the initiative is God's. From the midst of the burning bush he calls Moses. This event will remain one of the primordial images of prayer in the spiritual tradition of Jews and Christians alike. When "the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob" calls Moses to be his servant, it is because he is the living God who wants men to live. God reveals himself in order to save them, though he does not do this alone or despite them: he caLls Moses to be his messenger, an associate in his compassion, his work of salvation. There is something of a divine plea in this mission, and only after long debate does Moses attune his own will to that of the Savior God. But in the dialogue in which God confides in him, Moses also learns how to pray: he balks, makes excuses, above all questions: and it is in response to his question that the Lord confides his ineffable name, which will be revealed through his mighty deeds.

2576 "Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." Moses' prayer is characteristic of contemplative prayer by which God's servant remains faithful to his mission. Moses converses with God often and at length, climbing the mountain to hear and entreat him and coming down to the people to repeat the words of his God for their guidance. Moses "is entrusted with all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly, not in riddles," for "Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth."

2577 From this intimacy with the faithful God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, Moses drew strength and determination for his intercession. He does not pray for himself but for the people whom God made his own. Moses already intercedes for them during the battle with the Amalekites and prays to obtain healing for Miriam. But it is chiefly after their apostasy that Moses "stands in the breach" before God in order to save the people. The arguments of his prayer - for intercession is also a mysterious battle - will inspire the boldness of the great intercessors among the Jewish people and in the Church: God is love; he is therefore righteous and faithful; he cannot contradict himself; he must remember his marvellous deeds, since his glory is at stake, and he cannot forsake this people that bears his name.

David and the prayer of the king

2578 The prayer of the People of God flourishes in the shadow of God's dwelling place, first the ark of the covenant and later the Temple. At first the leaders of the people - the shepherds and the prophets - teach them to pray. the infant Samuel must have learned from his mother Hannah how "to stand before the LORD" and from the priest Eli how to listen to his word: "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening." Later, he will also know the cost and consequence of intercession: "Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way."

2579 David is par excellence the king "after God's own heart," the shepherd who prays for his people and prays in their name. His submission to the will of God, his praise, and his repentance, will be a model for the prayer of the people. His prayer, the prayer of God's Anointed, is a faithful adherence to the divine promise and expresses a loving and joyful trust in God, the only King and Lord. In the Psalms David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the first prophet of Jewish and Christian prayer. the prayer of Christ, the true Messiah and Son of David, will reveal and fulfill the meaning of this prayer.

2580 The Temple of Jerusalem, the house of prayer that David wanted to build, will be the work of his son, Solomon. the prayer at the dedication of the Temple relies on God's promise and covenant, on the active presence of his name among his People, recalling his mighty deeds at the Exodus. The king lifts his hands toward heaven and begs the Lord, on his own behalf, on behalf of the entire people, and of the generations yet to come, for the forgiveness of their sins and for their daily needs, so that the nations may know that He is the only God and that the heart of his people may belong wholly and entirely to him.

Elijah, the prophets and conversion of heart

2581 For the People of God, the Temple was to be the place of their education in prayer: pilgrimages, feasts and sacrifices, the evening offering, the incense, and the bread of the Presence (“shewbread") - all these signs of the holiness and glory of God Most High and Most Near were appeals to and ways of prayer. But ritualism often encouraged an excessively external worship. the people needed education in faith and conversion of heart; this was the mission of the prophets, both before and after the Exile.

2582 Elijah is the "father" of the prophets, "the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob." Elijah's name, "The Lord is my God," foretells the people's cry in response to his prayer on Mount Carmel. St. James refers to Elijah in order to encourage us to pray: "The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective."

2583 After Elijah had learned mercy during his retreat at the Wadi Cherith, he teaches the widow of Zarephath to believe in the Word of God and confirms her faith by his urgent prayer: God brings the widow's child back to life. The sacrifice on Mount Carmel is a decisive test for the faith of the People of God. In response to Elijah's plea, "Answer me, O LORD, answer me," the Lord's fire consumes the holocaust, at the time of the evening oblation. the Eastern liturgies repeat Elijah's plea in the Eucharistic epiclesis.
Finally, taking the desert road that leads to the place where the living and true God reveals himself to his people, Elijah, like Moses before him, hides "in a cleft of the rock" until the mysterious presence of God has passed by. But only on the mountain of the Transfiguration will Moses and Elijah behold the unveiled face of him whom they sought; "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God [shines] in the face of Christ," crucified and risen.

2584 In their "one to one" encounters with God, the prophets draw light and strength for their mission. Their prayer is not flight from this unfaithful world, but rather attentiveness to the Word of God. At times their prayer is an argument or a complaint, but it is always an intercession that awaits and prepares for the intervention of the Savior God, the Lord of history.

The Psalms, the prayer of the assembly

2585 From the time of David to the coming of the Messiah texts appearing in these sacred books show a deepening in prayer for oneself and in prayer for others. Thus the psalms were gradually collected into the five books of the Psalter (or "Praises"), the masterwork of prayer in the Old Testament.

2586 The Psalms both nourished and expressed the prayer of the People of God gathered during the great feasts at Jerusalem and each Sabbath in the synagogues. Their prayer is inseparably personal and communal; it concerns both those who are praying and all men. The Psalms arose from the communities of the Holy Land and the Diaspora, but embrace all creation. Their prayer recalls the saving events of the past, yet extends into the future, even to the end of history; it commemorates the promises God has already kept, and awaits the Messiah who will fulfill them definitively. Prayed by Christ and fulfilled in him, the Psalms remain essential to the prayer of the Church.

2587 The Psalter is the book in which the Word of God becomes man's prayer. In other books of the Old Testament, "the words proclaim [God's] works and bring to light the mystery they contain." The words of the Psalmist, sung for God, both express and acclaim the Lord's saving works; the same Spirit inspires both God's work and man's response. Christ will unite the two. In him, the psalms continue to teach us how to pray.

2588 The Psalter's many forms of prayer take shape both in the liturgy of the Temple and in the human heart. Whether hymns or prayers of lamentation or thanksgiving, whether individual or communal, whether royal chants, songs of pilgrimage or wisdom meditations, the Psalms are a mirror of God's marvelous deeds in the history of his people, as well as reflections of the human experiences of the Psalmist. Though a given psalm may reflect an event of the past, it still possesses such direct simplicity that it can be prayed in truth by men of all times and conditions.

2589 Certain constant characteristics appear throughout the Psalms: simplicity and spontaneity of prayer; the desire for God himself through and with all that is good in his creation; the distraught situation of the believer who, in his preferential love for the Lord, is exposed to a host of enemies and temptations, but who waits upon what the faithful God will do, in the certitude of his love and in submission to his will. The prayer of the psalms is always sustained by praise; that is why the title of this collection as handed down to us is so fitting: "The Praises." Collected for the assembly's worship, the Psalter both sounds the call to prayer and sings the response to that call: Hallelu-Yah! (“Alleluia"), "Praise the Lord!"

What is more pleasing than a psalm? David expresses it well: "Praise the Lord, for a psalm is good: let there be praise of our God with gladness and grace!" Yes, a psalm is a blessing on the lips of the people, praise of God, the assembly's homage, a general acclamation, a word that speaks for all, the voice of the Church, a confession of faith in song.

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified[4] 

Here I am, good and gentle Jesus, kneeling before you. With great fervor I pray and ask you to instill in me genuine convictions of faith, hope and love, with true sorrow for my sins and a firm resolve to amend them. While I contemplate your five wounds with great love and compassion, I remember the words which the prophet David long ago put on your lips: "They have pierced my hands and my feet, I can count all my bones." (Psalm 22/17-18).

Vinny’s Corner

Discover National Parks Fortnight invites everyone to join in on an adventure – exploring the stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity of national parks. This fantastic outdoor-themed event spans two weeks each year.

This period is the ideal opportunity to reconnect with the great outdoors and appreciate the environmental treasures within the parks.

Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation's largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.

Event:

Annual Horse Expo at Frying Pan Farm Park’s Equestrian Center.

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

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

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         30 Days with St. Joseph Day 26

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

 



[1]http://www.ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage.asp?number=370234

[3] https://www.irishcatholic.com/is-there-any-truth-to-deism/

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