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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

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

 

April 23

Saint of the day:

Saint George

Patron Saint of England 


Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Saint George 

Job, Chapter 9, Verse 33-10:1

33 Would that there were an arbiter between us, who could lay his hand upon us both 34 and withdraw his rod from me, So that his terrors did not frighten me; 35 that I might speak without being AFRAID of him. Since this is not the case with me, I loathe my life.

 

It certainly sounds as if Job is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. 

 

The Pained Spirit[1]

 

·         Job decides he won't take this lying down.

·         This is his "why me?" moment. He asks God why he specifically has become God's target. 

·         He's in such pain that even death would be better. 

·         Bildad (friend #2) tells Job to repent. Why? He thinks it could have been his kids who sinned and brought this misery upon Job.

·         Then he gets all poetic, comparing Job's suffering to a garden sown with bad seeds from his past or from his offspring.

·         Bildad is just trying to give the situation some sense for his buddy.

·         Job wants a mediator. Can't someone just judge who's right—him or God? Because really, if God is omniscient and omnipotent, then what he did was really, really mean.

·         He laments that there is no justice between mortals and immortals, and then he demands a trial with God. 

 

Trauma and Spirituality[2]

How does one discuss Spirituality in the same breath as Trauma? Can they both coincide?

The answer to these questions cannot be revealed in an article or by anyone else but the survivor. This article is about Spirituality and how the survivor can reclaim it in his or her life.

It is often said that "if there was a God, why did _____ happen?"

This article is not about philosophical answers and does not wish to push any religious agenda. It is not about God unless the survivor called his or her Higher Power God. It is about defining what spirituality in one's life and being able to draw strength from it. Trauma can cause a disconnection from various parts of a person's being. This disconnect happens as a defense mechanism again feeling the effects of the trauma. Unfortunately, this disconnect can also be prolonged and present itself in survivor's relationships with family, friends, and a Higher Power. In this complex world, it is best to have full access to all of them to survive. Many survivors of trauma become angry at God or the Entity they believe in. There are questions such as

"Where were you?" "Why didn't you protect me?" or simply, "Why me?"

Survivors may feel as if they are broken or not worthy of love. It seems like having a connection is for those who are able to have faith and trust. For many survivors, it is important to recapture their spirituality in order to aid their healing. It is essential that they be given permission to create a Higher Power of their understanding. It is possible to create a new connection, one that is based on love, acceptance, and safety. These qualities are often shaken when an individual experiences trauma. They are replaced with feelings of judgment and shame.

Here are some suggestions on reclaiming one's spirituality. It is not meant to be exhaustive, nor will it feel right for every individual. It is suggested that you do this with a friend, counselor, or spiritual advisor. It may help to confront one's trauma with someone else's help. It may be a place too scary to go alone.

Step One: Validate the effects the trauma has had on your life. Trauma affects lives in so many different ways. It is important to honor how it has affected you. It may have had an impact on your relationships, self-esteem, feelings of safety, and the list could go on ad nauseam. These are scars that only you know about and it's time to share them with others and lessen the shame associated with them.

Journal Exercise: Write a list of the effects the trauma has had on you in the following areas.

·         Physical

·         Emotional

·         Sexual

·         Relational

·         Self-esteem

·         Financial

·         Occupational

Step Two: Write a list of characteristics you want in a Higher Power or Spiritual practice. There are no boundaries here. You have the right and permission to create a Higher Power of your understanding who you always wanted and needed. One suggestion is to think of characteristics you want in a best friend or a parent.

Journal Exercise:

·         Write a list of characteristics of a friend or someone you know whom you admire or feel safe with.

·         Write out a list of characteristics of your new Higher Power.

Step Three: Surround yourself with a loving and understanding person with whom you can share your spiritual journey. This is a delicate matter; you want to choose someone you see practicing spirituality themselves. You want someone you can be honest with about your experience and how you are feeling.

Exercise:

·         Tell someone you trust that you need his or her help.

·         Share some of your journaling exercises with this individual.

·         Initiate a conversation on how they found spirituality.

Journal Exercise: Journal what it felt like to tell someone about what had happened and discuss the concept of spirituality and what you may have learned from this conversation.

Step Four: Recognize your Spirituality or Higher Power. Try and envision your Higher Power. Next, recognize where you see your Higher Power or witness Spirituality in the world. Make a list of characteristics that you see in daily life that is evidence of a spiritual presence. An example of this is seeing the concept of "peace" within the ocean or witnessing "strength" in the eyes of a child. Make your Spirituality or Higher Power something you can see in your daily life.

Journal Exercise:

·         Write out what your Higher Power looks like, feels like and smells like.

·         Write down some things that your Higher Power would say to you.

·         Recognize in the world where you see evidence of the characteristics of your Higher Power. There are an infinite number of answers to this question.

Step Five: Communicate with your Higher Power. Have a dialogue with this new Higher Power on a regular basis. Write letters if it best suits you. Remember, there is no wrong way to have a dialogue.

Journal Exercise:

·         Write out a few things you say on a daily basis. These can be "prayers" or take the form of affirmations. Type them up and put them in places where you will see them daily. Be specific. If there is something that you are struggling with, write a prayer or affirmation about it.

·         Note where you see your Higher Power work in your life. If you are able to get through something that was difficult and feel as if a Presence got you through it or may have contributed to your strength, then write it down. Perhaps you felt an instance of peace where you used to have none. Put it on paper. Feel the presence in your life.

This is not an easy journey. It may take time for you to develop this relationship. As with any relationship, it takes time and effort. I have witnessed strength in survivors where they thought there were none. I have seen them capture spirituality that they thought was beyond them. It starts with a willingness to believe in Something. Remember this is a journey, not a destination.

Saint George[3]



The traditional legends have offered a historicized narration of George's encounter with a dragon. The modern legend that follows below is synthesized from early and late hagiographical sources, omitting the more fantastical episodes. Saint George likely was born to a Christian noble family in Syria Palaestina, during the late third century between about 275 AD and 285 AD. He died in Nicomedia in Asia Minor. His father, Gerontios, was from Cappadocia, an officer in the Roman army; his mother, Polychronia, was a native of Lydda. They were both Christians from noble families, so their child was raised with Christian beliefs. They decided to call him Georgios, meaning "worker of the land" (i.e., farmer). At the age of 14, George lost his father; a few years later, George's mother, Polychronia, died. Eastern accounts give the names of his parents as Anastasius and Theobaste. George then decided to go to Nicomedia and present himself to Emperor Diocletian to apply for a career as a soldier. Diocletian welcomed him with open arms, as he had known his father, Gerontius — one of his finest soldiers. By his late 20s, George was promoted to the rank of Military Tribune and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia. On 24 February AD 303, Diocletian (influenced by Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods of the time. However, George objected, and with the courage of his faith, approached the emperor and ruler. Diocletian was upset, not wanting to lose his best tribune and the son of his best official, Gerontius. But George loudly renounced the emperor’s edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ. Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money, and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Roman gods; he made many offers, but George never accepted. Recognizing the futility of his efforts and insisting on upholding his edict, Diocletian ordered that George be executed for his refusal. Before the execution, George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords during which he was resuscitated three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia's city wall, on 23 April 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians, as well, so they joined George in martyrdom.

St. George, soldier-martyr.[4] Invoked for protection for domestic animals and against herpetic diseases. Also, patron of soldiers, England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Genoa and Venice. He is pictured striking down a dragon.

St. George is venerated by the Eastern Church among her "great martyrs" and "standard-bearers." He belonged to the Roman army; he was arrested and, probably, beheaded under Diocletian, c. 304. The Latin Church as well as the Greek honors him as patron of armies. He is the patron of England, since 800. Many legends are attached to Saint George. The most famous is the one in The Golden Legend. There was a dragon that lived in a lake near Silena, Libya. Not even armies could defeat this creature, and he terrorized flocks and the people. St. George was passing through and upon hearing about a princess was about to be eaten, he went to battle against the serpent, and killed it with one blow with his lance. Then with his great preaching, George converted the people. He distributed his reward to the poor, then left the area.

Troops of Saint George[5]

The Troops of Saint George (TSG) is a fraternal Catholic nonprofit apostolate for priests, men, and young men looking for a life of adventure coupled with virtue. Initially founded in 2013 by Catholic author and professor Dr. Taylor Marshall, we have become a collection of troops that do the following:

·         experience reverent and beautiful Masses on mountaintop vistas.

·         pray the Rosary with other men around fire pits in the freezing cold.

·         catch a Fish Friday meal by fly fishing for trout.

·         go to confession with our priests while kneeling on moss in the woods.

·         teach our sons archery, rock climbing, marksmanship, fishing, survival skills…and Catholic virtues.

·         foster a love for the priesthood and a reverence for the sacrament of Matrimony.

·         support our local parish, our priests, our bishops, and community by being available for works of mercy and service.

Mission Statement

“The Troops of Saint George apostolate aims to use the outdoors as our canvas and the sacraments as our path to light the way for the formation of Holy Catholic men and boys. Whether called to the vocation of the priesthood, the religious life, or that of Holy fatherhood, our fathers and sons will take a prayerful pilgrimage together to fulfill Christ’s desire for them to grow in virtue and in their Holy Catholic faith as they journey toward heaven.”

Saint George Trinitarian Salute

The Troops of Saint George salute their officers, the flag, banners of the saints and Our Lady, and crucifixes with the “Trinitarian Salute” – three fingers of the right hand (index, middle, ring) out, and with the pinky and thumb joined signifying that the divine nature of Christ is joined to His human nature: fully God and fully man as taught at the Catholic Council of Chalcedon in AD 431.

Prayer Customs: ad orientem

The cadets usually carry a compass with them. Even when they do not, they should be able to find East. Like the early Christians, the Troops of Saint George pray facing the East in response to Gospel according to Saint Matthew 24:27:

“For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appears even into the west: so, shall the coming of the Son of man be.”

The Church believed that Christ’s Second Coming would be revealed “from the east to the west.” The rising sun was an image of the Resurrected Christ.

So, at times of prayer (for example, at the Angelus at noon), the Captain or one of the boys should shout “ad orientem” and the men and boys should turn to face East, unless there is already a suitable image or crucifix erected nearby.

The Role of Proverbs for the Troops of Saint George

Each man or young man among the Troops of Saint George must study the biblical book of Proverbs, since it is the Book of the Bible that instructs men how to become wise and virtuous. There the man will learn why he should resist sexual impurity, alcoholism, quarreling, and financial debt – the chief ways by which men lapse. He will also learn from the Proverbs the riches of knowing God and the blessing of a godly wife and family.

While stationed in Mons we were chased by the Doudou

The Doudou of Mons[6]


 

Thousands of bystanders stand with necks craned, cheering on Saint George as he goes into battle with the ferocious dragon in a small circle in the middle of Mons’ Grand-Place. The curious scene is a highlight of the Belgian city’s Doudou festival, an ancient feast of lush parades, fights with wicker monsters, and buckets of crowd participation.


Up in the forested Belgian Ardennes, slightly bizarre folkloric celebrations have long been a part of the annual diet – just think of
Binche’s carnival with its white-masked, orange-pelting figures, or Andenne with its bear-filled streets. Local identity and pride in one’s cultural heritage play a major part in these festivities, and they are, in fact, the reason they still exist today, and this is no less true in Mons’ case. The 800-year-old Ducasse de Mons on Trinity Sunday, lovingly dubbed ‘le Doudou’ by locals, is perhaps the most raucous of them all. As Saint George on horseback and a giant wicker dragon make their way to the middle of the main square for their epic brawl, members of the crowd jump forward to try and grab a handful of straw from the mythical beast’s tail. A handful of its hairs, legend has it, will bring brave audience member’s luck. 

Before the meticulously choreographed “Battle of the Lumeçon” begins, however, visitors are reminded that the dragon isn’t the only adversity Mons has had to reckon with in its history. Indeed, true fans have started the day’s celebrations off much earlier in the Sainte-Waudru Collegiate Church. Here, the shrine of Sainte Waudru, foundress of the city and miracle worker, is taken out in the morning to meet a temple overflowing with worshippers. Believed to have saved Mons from a sweeping plague in the 14th century, the holy woman’s relics are loaded onto an elaborately decorated wagon called the Car d’Or (“the Golden Cart”).

A whole parade of local organizations dressed up in medieval garb join the procession, and when the draft horses pulling the ornate wagon invariably struggle on one particularly steep alley, the watchful masses never fail to reunite forces and help them up the slope. Locals especially have a stake in this: superstition has it that if the cart doesn’t get up in one try, bad things await the city. Meanwhile, the daredevils who plan on doing some tail-grabbing later have had the opportunity to gain a little liquid courage at the food and drink stalls lining the parade’s route. With each victory – getting the cart up the hill, the slaughter of the wicker dragon – the audience yells out joyously: “Et les Montois ne périront pas!” (“And the people of Mons will not perish!”). Folklore fans who are longing to join in know where and when to plan their next trip.


The next Ducasse de Mons takes place May 22-June 2

 

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

IN BRIEF

2644 The Holy Spirit who teaches the Church and recalls to her all that Jesus said also instructs her in the life of prayer, inspiring new expressions of the same basic forms of prayer: blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.

2645 Because God blesses the human heart, it can in return bless him who is the source of every blessing.

2646 Forgiveness, the quest for the Kingdom, and every true need are objects of the prayer of petition.

2647 Prayer of intercession consists in asking on behalf of another. It knows no boundaries and extends to one's enemies.

2648 Every joy and suffering, every event and need can become the matter for thanksgiving which, sharing in that of Christ, should fill one's whole life: "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thess 5:18).

2649 Prayer of praise is entirely disinterested and rises to God, lauds him, and gives him glory for his own sake, quite beyond what he has done, but simply because HE IS.

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Prayer after Meals[7] 

We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, who livest and reignest forever; and may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.


Full Pink Moon


 

According to the almanac today we are having a Full Pink Moon; plan to spend some with the women in your life and develop a true friendship.

Candace’s Corner

Today is St. George and on April 25th is the Feast of St. Mark the patron saint of Venice. Perhaps we should indulge in a little fantasy in Las Vegas with a Stay in the Excalibur Hotel followed by a stay in the Venetian with a stay at the Pink Flamingo due to a full pink moon with stop to marvel at the Hoover Dam.

Marvel at the Hoover Dam[8]

The Hoover Dam has been a popular Arizona attraction since it was constructed in 1935. The dam is an engineering marvel on the Colorado River. Visitors can either drive or walk across the dam that stretches across the river for 1,244 feet. Regarded as one of the greatest engineering wonders of the world, Hoover Dam is a popular destination for people visiting Northern Arizona and Las Vegas. If you have time, be sure to take one of the guided tours of the dam to witness its grandeur up close.

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: An end to the use of contraceptives.

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·         Pray Day 7 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

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan



[8]https://thegetaway.com/destinations/arizonas-10-must-visit-attractions-gallery/3/













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