Skip to main content

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Thursday, April 11, 2024

 

2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 8

He urged his men not to FEAR the attack of the Gentiles, but mindful of the help they had received in the past from Heaven, to expect now the victory that would be given them by the Almighty. 

As an old, retired military man it was common for us to say while we were loading our magazines with bullets, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. We knew that without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Optimists see steppingstones where pessimists see stumbling blocks. 

Heavenly Intercession[1] 

"Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him, he said 'Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall crush your adversaries.' " —2 Maccabees 15:15-16 

Nicanor planned to slaughter the Jews on the Sabbath. Because they would not break the Sabbath by fighting, they would be easily killed. "Nevertheless, he did not succeed in carrying out his cruel plan" (15:5). "Maccabeus remained confident, fully convinced that he would receive help from the Lord" (15:7). He had a dream that Onias the high priest and Jeremiah the prophet were interceding in heaven for the Jews. "Nicanor and his men advanced to the sound of trumpets and battle songs. But Judas and his men met the army with supplication and prayers. Fighting with their hands and praying to God with their hearts, they laid low at least thirty-five thousand, and rejoiced greatly over this manifestation of God's power" (15:25-27). 

April 11

Saint of the day:

Saint Stanislaus

St. Stanislaus[2] 

I shall content myself with relating the history of St. Stanislaus, Bishop of Cracow, Poland, who restored to life a man who had been dead for three years, attended by such singular circumstances, and in so public a manner, that the thing is beyond the severest criticism.... This incident was known by countless persons and by all the court of King Boleslaus II (reigned 1058-1080) St. Stanislaus, bought from a man named Piotr [Peter] an estate situated on the banks of the Vistula in the territory of Lublin for the use of his church at Cracow. The Prelate gave the full price of it to the seller. This was done in the presence of witnesses, and with the solemnities required in that country, but without written deeds, for written accounts of transactions of this kind were seldom made in Poland at that time. They contented themselves with having witnesses. Stanislaus took possession of this estate, and his church enjoyed it peaceably for about three years. In the interim, Piotr, who had sold it, happened to die. The King of Poland, Boleslaus, had conceived an implacable hatred against the holy Bishop because he had frequently reproved him for his excesses. Therefore, seeking to cause him trouble, the King excited the three sons of Piotr, his heirs, against their father and told them to claim the estate which their father had sold, on the pretense that it had not been paid for. He promised to support their demand, and to cause the estate to be restored to them. Thus, these three men had the Bishop cited to appear before the King, who was then at Solec, occupied in rendering justice under some tents in the country, according to the ancient custom of the land, in the general assembly of the nation. The Bishop was cited before the King and maintained that he had bought and paid for the estate in question. The day was beginning to close, and the Bishop ran great risk of being condemned by the King and his counselors. Suddenly, as if inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Bishop promised the King to bring before him in three days Piotr, the deceased man who had sold it to him. The condition was accepted mockingly, as a thing impossible to be executed. The holy Bishop retired to his Church a distance away, where he prayed and fasted with his household for three days. On the third day, he went in his pontifical robes, accompanied by his clergy and a multitude of people, ordered the gravestone to be raised, and made them dig until they found the corpse of the defunct, all fleshless and corrupted. Then St. Stanislaus commanded him to come forth and bear witness to the truth before the King's tribunal. The Bishop touched the bones with his crosier, and they filled out with flesh. The dead Piotr rose; they covered him with a cloak. The Saint took him by the hand and led him alive to the feet of the King. No one had the boldness to interrogate him. But Piotr himself spoke out freely and declared that he had in good faith sold the estate to the Prelate and that he had received the value of it. After stating this, he severely reprimanded his sons, who had so maliciously accused the holy Bishop. Stanislaus asked Piotr if he wished to remain alive to do penance. Piotr thanked him and said he would not expose himself anew to the danger of sinning. Stanislaus re-conducted him to his tomb, where he again fell asleep in the Lord. It may be supposed that such a scene had numerous witnesses, and that all Poland was quickly informed of it. The King was only the more irritated against the Saint. Sometime after [on May 8, 1079], he killed the Bishop with his own hands as he was coming from the altar in Wawel Castle outside the walls of Cracow. He then ordered that the Prelate’s body be hacked into 72 pieces so that they might never be collected together to be paid the honor due to them as the body of a martyr for the truth and for pastoral liberty. St. Stanislaus was canonized in 1253 by Pope Innocent IV. He is the patron of Poland and of the city and Diocese of Cracow and is invoked in battle.

Things to Do:[3]

Sometimes evil has to be confronted boldly, whatever the consequences. Brave men like St. Stanislaus of Cracow risked death in facing evil. There is little chance today that we will ever be in that danger, but we must always be willing to defend the truth, and it should be very clear, in the face of genuine evil, where we stand. Christ our Lord can expect no less from us. Say an extra prayer today for the gift of fortitude.

Learn a little more about the city of Kracow where both St. Stanislaus and Pope John Paul II came from.

For those who are extremely interested in knowing more about Polish history this online book, Polish Americans and Their Communities of Cleveland may prove to be a good source of information.

The final work of Franz Liszt is the unfinished oratorio St. Stanislaus, for which he left two scenes (one and four) and two polonaises. Learn more about this oratorio here and if you are able find a copy and listen. 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

2558 "Great is the mystery of the faith!"

The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles' Creed (Part One) and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy (Part Two), so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Part Three).

This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.

WHAT IS PRAYER?

For me, prayer is a surge of the heart;
it is a simple look turned toward heaven,
it is a cry of recognition and of love,
embracing both trial and joy.

Prayer as God's gift

2559 "Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God."
But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or "out of the depths" of a humble and contrite heart?
He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer,
Only when we humbly acknowledge that "we do not know how to pray as we ought," are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer.
"Man is a beggar before God."

2560 "If you knew the gift of God!"
The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being.
It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God's desire for us.
Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him.

2561 "You would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."
Paradoxically our prayer of petition is a response to the plea of the living God:
"They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water!"
Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst of the only Son of God.

Prayer as covenant

2562 Where does prayer come from?
Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays.
But in naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times).
According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays.
If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain.

2563 The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place "to which I withdraw."
The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others;
only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully.
The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives.
It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death.
It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation:
it is the place of covenant.

2564 Christian prayer is a covenant relationship between God and man in Christ.
It is the action of God and of man, springing forth from both the Holy Spirit and ourselves, wholly directed to the Father, in union with the human will of the Son of God made man.

Prayer as communion

2565 In the New Covenant, prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit.
The grace of the Kingdom is "the union of the entire holy and royal Trinity . . . with the whole human spirit."
Thus, the life of prayer is the habit of being in the presence of the thrice-holy God and in communion with him.
This communion of life is always possible because, through Baptism, we have already been united with Christ.
Prayer is Christian insofar as it is communion with Christ and extends throughout the Church, which is his Body.
Its dimensions are those of Christ's love.

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

How to prepare for a Sick Call[4]


When a person is homebound, bedridden, or suffering from a severe ailment, Catholics are taught to call the priest. Decades ago the sacrament reserved for the very ill or dying was known as Extreme Unction (last anointing) or more commonly “Last Rites.” Today we know it as the Anointing of the Sick, and it is not given exclusively to those who are on their deathbed. It is one of the seven sacraments and invokes God’s divine aid for those suffering in a physical way.

In days when people more often died at home, there developed the custom of having a “sick call” crucifix on hand for emergency visits by a priest. This type of crucifix was hung on the wall of a person’s home (usually above the bed). The crucifix contained a hidden compartment, revealed by sliding the face of the cross downward. Within the compartment were two candles, a small bottle of holy water and sometimes a white cloth.

The purpose of the sick-call crucifix — they are still made today — is to facilitate the ritual connected to the Anointing of the Sick, making the bedside a sacred space for the sacrament. Interestingly, it used to be a popular wedding present, meant to be hung over the bed of a married couple, ready to be of used when a spouse was in need of an anointing. It reminded the couple of their commitment to be true to each other “in sickness and in health.”

Here is brief instruction on how to prepare for a home visit by a priest to celebrate the Anointing of the Sick.

Prepare a small table next to the bed

This can often be a nightstand or a collapsable table that is small and easy to move. The table will be there to hold all of the various elements of the ritual.

Place a white cloth on the table

It is appropriate to place a white cloth over the table, similar to the white cloth covers the altar at Mass. If the sick person is near death, or has requested to receive Holy Communion as part of the Anointing, the priest will bring a small container called a pyx with a consecrated Eucharistic host in it. The priest will place the pyx on the table and so the white cloth adds greater reverence and respect to the King of Kings who is truly present in the host. (This is also the case when an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion brings the Eucharist to a person who is hospitalized or homebound.)

Set up the crucifix on the table

A sick-call crucifix is constructed so that, when opened, the face of the crucifix can be set upright in a slot in the base. This creates a focal point of the sacrament, encouraging the sick person to unite their sufferings with Christ on the cross.

Place one candle on each side of the crucifix

The crucifix will also have two slots, one on either side. This is where the candles are to be placed and lit when the priest arrives. Again, this is to mimic the altar at Mass, reminding all present that Christ is truly present in the Eucharistic host that the priest brings with him.

Other (optional) items to have

The holy water bottle can be placed on the table as well, though often the priest will bring his own with him. This is used to bless the sick person. After the priest administers the anointing with the Oil of the Sick (which he will bring, from the parish’s store of oils consecrated at the Chrism Mass each year, in a container called a stock), he will need a white cloth or cotton ball to wipe his fingers. (Sock sick-call crucifixes include these items, or the priest may bring his own.) Another variation of the sick-call set has a small bell to be set on the table for use after confession, signaling that family members may return to the room.

The sick-call crucifix is a beautiful tradition, one that adds a greater solemnity for the occasion, reminding all in the room of God’s presence among them.

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[5] 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.

Best Places to Visit in April

Palm Springs, California[6]

I love this place for the sun and hot weather this month, as temperatures reach 31 degrees. It has always been famous as a retreat for showbiz stars, retirees, and snowbirds escaping cold winters.

There is entertainment, spas, and shopping aplenty, as well as many retro-styled hotels and about 100 golf courses. There are lots of other opportunities, especially for outdoor experiences.

The area is well-provided with hiking trails, but I highly recommend going on a fun Jeep adventure and cultural experiences like the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.

I would also suggest going on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which rotates on its short journey to the Monte San Jacinto State Park. 

Visitor’s Centre Address: Palm Springs Visitor Information Center, 2901 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262, Phone: 800-347-7746 | 760-778-8418 

My highlights…

Strolling down the city sidewalks to discover the famous Palm Springs Walk of Stars, created in 1992.

Checking out the Palm Springs Art Museum, which displays contemporary and modern art and I loved the stunning sculpture garden.

Wandering through the Sunnylands and explore 12 acres of beautiful botanic gardens.

 Today’s Menu is from Palm Springs

Palm Springs Cocktail

Moroccan Salmon Quinoa & Vegetable Sauté

Grain Bowl

After Dinner Cigars

Rachel’s Corner 

The working Mom’s need help. What about a Nanny?

How to Choose and Hire a Nanny For Your Family 

Now what about Hiring a Family Teacher to homeschool the kids. Catholic schools are iffy and public schools are a disaster.

 Before COVID, there was a little-known secret shared only by a few very busy parents. The secret was that with a little help, your child (or children) can achieve a well-rounded education or supplemental education experience at home — even when parents are too busy to be involved. How is this possible? Simple. Hire a private homeschool teacher to come to your house.



Daily Devotions

Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: End Sex Trafficking, Slavery

Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

Pray Day 6 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

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 23

Drops of Christ’s Blood

Universal Man Plan




[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-04-11

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




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thursday, May 27, 2021

  Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of  Mary Help of Christians  (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests. The Church teaches us that it is divided into the  Church Triumphant  (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the  Church Suffering  (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the  Church Militant  (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." ( Ephesians 6:12 ) The me

Monday, October 3, 2022

 Monday Night at the Movies Luis Bunuel, Simon of the Desert, 1965 SAINT MOTHER THEODORE GUERIN   Hebrews, Chapter 12, Verse 21 Indeed, so FEARFUL was the spectacle that Moses said, “I am terrified and trembling.”   Moses was the heir apparent to the throne of Egypt in his youth. As a member of the Egyptian court, he would have seen many fearful spectacles yet imagine what it must have been like to have been a witness of God descending on Mount Sinai to give the law. He was terrified and trembling. Again, now imagine if Moses was somehow resurrected and was able to walk into an ordinary catholic church that has a very modest Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Do you think his reaction would be any different than the first time he encountered the living God?  Be Still and Know that I am God [1]   On the evening of October 1995, John Paul II was scheduled to greet the seminarians at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. It had been a very full day that began with a Mass at Oriole Park in Camden Y

Friday, August 26, 2022

 Switch of Manliness Legacy OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA   Acts, Chapter 10, verse 1-4 1 Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, 2 devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come into him and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He looked intently at him and seized with FEAR , said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.   Cornelius’ Cohort was an auxiliary unit of archers, men who are expert at hitting a mark or target.   Sin is the act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God, or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as "to miss the mark" to have a harden

Thirty Days with Mary-Day 26-September 9

    30 Days of Women and Herbs – Frauendreissiger Mugwort   (Artemisia vulgaris) 2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 8 He urged his men not to  fear  the attack of the Gentiles, but mindful of the help they had received in the past from Heaven, to expect now the victory that would be given them by the Almighty.   As an old, retired military man it was common for us to say while we were loading our magazines with bullets, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." We knew that without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Optimists see steppingstones where pessimists see stumbling blocks.   Heavenly Intercession [1] "Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him, he said 'Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall crush your adversaries.' " —2 Maccabees 15:15-16   Nicanor planned to slaughter the Jews on th

Monday, August 12, 2019

Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast [1] After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

iFrame is not supported! Self-mastery. Manliness requires virtue. Yet “virtue” can seem like a vague concept. How do you make it concrete? What does virtue look like for a man, a husband, a father? Most of you who took our survey awhile back asked us to talk about this. Today’s video covers the basics. In The Catholic Gentleman+, you’ll grow in virtue through a monthly challenge. By accepting each challenge, you will: Break down self-mastery into achievable goals. Practice essential virtues like chastity, patience, and charity. Perfect your God-given masculinity. WATCH THE VIDEO NOW We launch tomorrow! Look for the next email with your signup link.  We’ll give you a special launch discount too. See you inside. In Jesus Through Mary, John PS: Through all of the excitement we continue to get asked what will be inside Catholic Gentleman+ so I thought it would be helpful to outline it here. Daily Saint Quotes for Meditation straight to your email or SMS 6 Pillar Vi

Spain-Las Fallas-St. Joseph

 

Is "The Warning" Imminent?

Friday, March 18, 2016 Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that the LORD had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.” Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him. Dire Straits [1] · At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. · If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up north: it'll be devastated, but the priests and prophets don't want

Thursday, February 8, 2024

  February 8 Thursday after Sexagesima- Carnival Saint Bakhita- Marriage Week   Psalm 119, Verse 46 I will speak openly of your testimonies without FEAR even before kings.   Professing Christians! Are we ready to bear our testimony for Jesus, against the sneer and ridicule of the ungodly? We are not likely to "be brought before kings and rulers for the Son of Man's sake." Yet no less do we need Divine help and strong faith in withstanding the enmity of a prejudiced relative or scornful neighbor. Young people! You are perhaps in especial danger of being ashamed of your Bible, your religion, your Savior. You may be brought under the snare of the "fear of man," and be tempted to compromise your religion, and to sacrifice your everlasting all from a dread of "the reproach of Christ." But remember him, who for your sake "before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession"; and shall the dread of a name restrain you from sharing h