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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

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

April 24

October 22 (Old Feast date)

Saint of the day:

Saint Mary Salome

Her name derives from the word Shalon which means peace

after I eat this I am at peace

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

feast of saint fidelis

 

Job, Chapter 11, Verse 15

Surely then you may lift up your face in innocence; you may stand firm and UNAFRAID.

Now Jobs’ other friend speaks saying that “If iniquity is in your hand, remove it, and do not let injustice dwell in your tent” then you may be unafraid. Yet, Job has not been immoral, he hates his life and what is happening to him.

Job Detests His Life[1]

·         Job continues his bumming out session, asking God why he would oppress the people who love him. Doesn't really seem like a good business model.

·         Time for more thoughts from the peanut gallery. 

·         Zophar says that Job must have done something wrong; God is unfathomable, sure, but he always punishes people less than they deserve. 

·         Some friend.

10 Steps to Make You Stop Despising your Life[2]

Life can and is hard and tough and painful at times. That doesn’t mean it can’t change. Life goes through ebbs and flows all the time and the key to getting through it all without cutting off your social circle and eating your local grocery store out of Ben & Jerry’s, is to cultivate some techniques and methods of going through life with some stability and grace. It’s not a guarantee against life’s hardships but take the steps you want to use, and you won’t dislike life.

Step 1) Get plenty of sleep.

Seriously, you’re obviously going to be grouchy as hell and more inclined towards the more miserable side, if you’re not getting your recommended seven or more hours of sleep a night. Start checking how much you sleep and then start taking steps to go to bed earlier and sleep for longer. It might cure every problem but at least you’ll be well-rested and less likely to nap throughout the day. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, try eating right.

Step 2) Eat healthily.

Eating a lot healthier improves mood and makes you feel better.

Step 3) Write it all down.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is let it all out. Keeping things that are making you hate life all bottled up is neither helpful to getting out of that cycle nor healthy for your overall wellbeing. Grab yourself a notebook, a journal, a diary, a bit of paper, whatever, and just start writing down how you feel. As soon as you’ve done that, start thinking about what you could do in theory to stop this from happening or to stop you from feeling like this.

Step 4) Get some fresh air.

It’s underrated and we all take it for granted, but really, getting out of your home and going for a walk can be really beneficial. It gets you outside in the (hopefully) sunshine and getting to see the whole of life as you walk around can be really grounding and calming. Believe me, if you’re stuck inside mulling over on the bad things of your life, grab a pair of sneakers and go for a walk. Plus, it’s free. Can’t say better than that, can you?

Step 5) Get some exercise.

This is practically Part II of the previous step, but as someone who used to look at the gym as something people did when they were feeling particularly masochistic, I can actually say I enjoy it now. You don’t even have to subscribe to a fancy gym—go for a run around the block with your headphones in or lift some heavy boxes to build up muscle tone.

Step 6) Treat yourself.

Hating your life can be exhausting, and I mean that literally. It drains the energy from you until all you want to do is lie in bed with a pint of ice cream and the last five seasons of a TV show on Netflix. Therefore, a good thing to keep your spirits up can be to treat yourself. Life is too short, after all, to deny yourself some treats. Go see that movie that looks awesome in the cinema, grab a gelato with a friend, paint your nails, whatever makes you happy, do it. You deserve it.

Step 7) Cut out those negative triggers.

Chances are that if you hate life, something is setting off those triggers in your head. Until you’re able to deal with them without turning all misanthropic, the best thing might be just to get rid of all of those negative triggers. If you’re suffering from what AllGroanUp refer to as “Obsessive Comparison Disorder” (i.e. obsessively checking out the lifestyles of all your “successful” friends), then stop using Facebook and Twitter as much. Social media can be a fantastic way to connect, but it can also be a toxic environment for neuroses and comparisons to breed. Trust me, I know. If it sets you off, cut it out.

Step 8) Dance.

Yes, you can dance. No, really, you can. It doesn’t matter if you’re not some breakdancing dynamo or ballroom extraordinaire, everyone can dance. It’s programmed into the human race, the ultimate expression of emotion. Dance like no one’s watching, dance like you don’t care. Tap your feet, sway your hips, go as mad or as wild as you want to your favorite songs. Nothing quite shakes the cobwebs off than losing yourself in rhythm and dancing to a song you love.

Step 9) Get organized.

A great way to start moving forward and looking at what you can change in your life to make it better, is to get organized. Spend a weekend going through your home and clearing the hell out of it. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need or don’t want anymore and start to give everything a space. It doesn’t have to look like it’s stepped off the pages of Good Housekeeping, but clearing a lot of space and making sure that your home has a bit of harmony can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.

Step 10) Pay it forward.

Life is a mystery, and it can be a minefield to get through. Sometimes you stumble, sometimes you fall. The important part is picking yourself back up and keeping walking forward. Paying it forward is simply helping others. Charity is something that is often thrown around as an accessory to human behavior—how many celebrities have you read about who have done something heinous, but are defended by the phrase “but [they] do charity work”?

Go volunteer. If you think you’re at the breaking point, go help other people. People in the world out there will be going through the same things that you are going through and while you might not run into someone who’s going through the exact same circumstances, you will be helping people who need help. Helping out a soup kitchen, or at a church bake sale, or at a homeless shelter or wherever needs help, can make a huge difference to the lives of those individuals involved, and believe me, it’ll do a hell of a lot for your state of mind.

1274 The Holy Spirit has marked us with the seal of the Lord ("Dominicus character") "for the day of redemption." "Baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life." The faithful Christian who has "kept the seal" until the end, remaining faithful to the demands of his Baptism, will be able to depart this life "marked with the sign of faith," with his baptismal faith, in expectation of the blessed vision of God - the consummation of faith - and in the hope of resurrection.

Saint Fidelis[3] 

Saint Fidelis became a martyr and was murdered for his faith in 1622, while traveling back to his home church after preaching in Seewis, Switzerland to former Catholics who had converted to Calvinism. Saint Fidelis on the day of his martyrdom preached with great energy, he exhorted the Catholics to constancy in the faith. 

After a Calvinist had discharged his musket at him in the Church, the Catholics entreated him to leave the place. He answered that death was his gain and his joy, and that he was ready to lay down his life in God's cause. On his road back to Grüsch, he met twenty Calvinist soldiers with a minister at their head. They called him a false prophet, and urged him to embrace their sect. He answered: "I am sent to you to confute, not to embrace your heresy. The Catholic religion is the faith of all ages, I fear not death." One of them beat him down to the ground by a stroke on the head with his backsword. Fidelis rose again on his knees and stretching forth his arms in the form of a cross, said with a feeble voice "Pardon my enemies, O Lord: blinded by passion they know not what they do. Lord Jesus, have mercy on me. Mary, Mother of God, succor me!" 

Another sword stroke clove his skull, and he fell to the ground and lay in a pool of his own blood. The soldiers, not content with this, added many stab wounds to his body with their long knives, and hacked-off his left leg, as they said, to punish him for his many journeys into those parts to preach to them.

Men Seek Heroes[4]

God has created men by nature and vocation with a natural desire for Himself and men can only find happiness in God.  But men become lost as they seek God due to ignorance and sin.  Realizing real dangers in the world and the God-implanted understanding of the need for salvation, men aspire to heroic deeds and seek courageous heroes to protect and lead them through the challenges of life.  The desire and need for true heroes is perennial in the hearts of men across time and cultures. From an early age, boys naturally seek heroes.  They look up to their fathers, older boys and other men as role models and as defenders/protectors.  Boys are intrigued by the heroic deeds of fictional characters (e.g. Superheroes in movies, TV and books, videogame heroes, sports heroes, etc.).  Boys admire and seek those with heroic virtues. When grown, men continue to seek heroes.  Some continue on with the fictional heroes of youth, trading comic books for the action/superheroes and celebrities in the media.  Most men also look up to heroes in real life.  Many follow and celebrate sports teams and athletes.  Others admire and follow politicians, social activists or business leaders.  Still others look up to and follow real life heroes in the military (Medal of Honor winners), religion (saints) and people who perform extraordinary deeds in the face of tough challenges (911 responders, those who battle life-challenging illnesses).   All men, in some way, desire to be heroes and to associate themselves with heroic leaders.

From the catechism:

27 The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:

 

The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.

44 Man is by nature and vocation a religious being. Coming from God, going toward God, man lives a fully human life only if he freely lives by his bond with God.

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

Men fall for false heroes.

Many men are confused about the definition and true nature of heroism.  Heroism is confused with celebrity.  Heroism is confused with self-serving athleticism, political opportunists, charlatans who deceive, “anti-heroes” or outright scoundrels.   The meaning of the word “hero” has been dumbed down to the point of being almost meaningless.   Doing an Internet search for websites, news articles or images provides ample evidence of the misuse of the word “hero”.  Heroism is associated with movie stardom, video games (Guitar Hero), relatively routine athletic accomplishments and even a sandwich.  Sadly, many of the real-life men who masquerade as heroes, fail, and fail spectacularly.

The Definition of “Hero”

The word “hero” comes from the Latin, hero, meaning, “defender, protector” and “to save, deliver, preserve, protect.”  Closely related is the word, “Savior” which comes from the Latin, salvatorem, meaning “one who delivers or rescues from peril” or “heals.”  Modern definitions of the word “hero” provide other characteristics of a hero.  A hero: faces danger or adversity with courage; sacrifices self for the greater good of humanity; displays moral excellence”; “is placed high above his fellows.”

Jesus – The True Hero

·         Jesus is infinitely higher above all other heroes – He is the Son of God; there can be no hero that compares.  Heroes come and go, but only Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah.  No hero, except Jesus, was anticipated for thousands of years before His birth and remains a hero two millennia after His death (and Resurrection).

·         He physically protects people on earth – He saves the Disciples who are in fear of drowning.  He stands up to the bloodthirsty mob that is going to stone the adulterous woman. He protects the disciples from the violent legion when He is taken in the Garden.  He is the ultimate protector.

·         Jesus is the perfect demonstration of virtue – He demonstrates prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude and charity with perfection that no man has met, or can ever, match.

·         He heals people from sickness, madness and death – Jesus healed the multitudes of every illness and raises them from the dead.

·         He stands for Truth against falsehood – Repeatedly, He confronts the Pharisees and the Sadducees and corrects their falsehoods, despite their collusion to kill Him.  He refuses to yield to Pilate, even as Pilate threatens Him with death.  Jesus is Truth itself.

·         Jesus defeats man’s greatest foe, Satan – There is no greater enemy of man than Satan.  Jesus defeats Satan when tempted in the Wilderness, by casting out demons, and by using the Satan-inspired evil of Judas for the Glory of the Cross and Resurrection (CCC 2853).  He defeats Satan on his home turf (Hell) when Jesus descends to offer His “redemptive works to all men of all times and all places…” (CCC 634).  Only Jesus delivers us from evil.

2853 Victory over the "prince of this world" was won once for all at the Hour when Jesus freely gave himself up to death to give us his life. This is the judgment of this world, and the prince of this world is "cast out." "He pursued the woman" but had no hold on her: the new Eve, "full of grace" of the Holy Spirit, is preserved from sin and the corruption of death (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God, Mary, ever virgin). "Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring." Therefore, the Spirit and the Church pray: "Come, Lord Jesus," since his coming will deliver us from the Evil One.

634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead." The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment. This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

·         He defeats man’s greatest scourge, Sin – He saves people from sin (CCC 2854).  For example, He tells the sinful woman at Simon the Pharisee’s house, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”.

2854 When we ask to be delivered from the Evil One, we pray as well to be freed from all evils, present, past, and future, of which he is the author or instigator. In this final petition, the Church brings before the Father all the distress of the world. Along with deliverance from the evils that overwhelm humanity, she implores the precious gift of peace and the grace of perseverance in expectation of Christ's return By praying in this way, she anticipates in humility of faith the gathering together of everyone and everything in him who has "the keys of Death and Hades," who "is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

 

·         Deliver us, Lord, we beseech you, from every evil and grant us peace in our day, so that aided by your mercy we might be ever free from sin and protected from all anxiety, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

·         He sacrifices Himself for others – Jesus makes an infinite sacrifice, for His life is of infinite value and he gives it for the sins of all mankind.  He chooses a horrible death freely, saying, “Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

·         He offers salvation for all mankind – His Name means “God saves” (CCC 430) and it is only the name of Jesus that can actually save.  “Christ’s whole life is a mystery of redemption. Redemption comes to us above all through the blood of His cross…” (CCC 517).  “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned”.  “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

430 Jesus means in Hebrew: "God saves." At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, "will save his people from their sins". In Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.

517 Christ's whole life is a mystery of redemption. Redemption comes to us above all through the blood of his cross, but this mystery is at work throughout Christ's entire life:

- Already in his Incarnation through which by becoming poor he enriches us with his poverty.

- In his hidden life which by his submission atones for our disobedience.

- In his word which purifies its hearers.

- In his healings and exorcisms by which "he took our infirmities and bore our diseases”.

- And in his Resurrection by which he justifies us.

·         He is recognized as a Savior during His life on earth – The Samaritans profess, “It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER TWO-THE TRADITION OF PRAYER

2650 Prayer cannot be reduced to the spontaneous outpouring of interior impulse: in order to pray, one must have the will to pray. Nor is it enough to know what the Scriptures reveal about prayer: one must also learn how to pray. Through a living transmission (Sacred Tradition) within "the believing and praying Church," The Holy Spirit teaches the children of God how to pray.

2651 The tradition of Christian prayer is one of the ways in which the tradition of faith takes shape and grows, especially through the contemplation and study of believers who treasure in their hearts the events and words of the economy of salvation, and through their profound grasp of the spiritual realities they experience.

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

The Angelus[5]

V/. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R/. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

V/. Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
R/. Be it done unto me according to your Word.
Hail Mary…

V/. And the Word was made flesh,
R/. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary…

V/. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R/. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts: that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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.

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

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

Dara’s Corner

Modern populations are increasingly overfed, malnourished, sedentary, sunlight-deficient, sleep-deprived, and socially isolated.[6]

Q. What is the relationship between sunlight and depression?

Sunlight has a complex relationship with depression. On the one hand, sunlight can help to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. On the other hand, too much sunlight exposure can also have negative consequences for mental health. One of the most well-known effects of sunlight on mood is its ability to increase levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood, sleep, and appetite. When serotonin levels are low, people may experience symptoms of depression, such as sadness, fatigue, and loss of interest in activities.

Importance of Sunlight for Mind, Body, and Soul[7]

By Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD

A sunny day can be the ultimate mood-booster, especially after a long, cold winter. Many people notice a shift in mood and energy when the color outside turns from dreary to bright but may not know just how many benefits sunshine provides.

From impacts on vitamin D levels, circadian rhythms, and even weight management, the many benefits of sunlight are explored in this post.

How Sunlight Affects Vitamin D

Basking in the sunshine can have physiological effects in your body. In fact, the best way to get adequate vitamin D is from sun exposure. When sun hits your skin, it triggers a series of events that lead to vitamin D production. There’s a reason vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin” after all!

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s essential for many bodily functions, including maintaining healthy bones and regulating calcium status. A deficiency of this nutrient may lead to bone diseases, such as rickets in children, or contribute to osteoporosis in adults.

Other Impacts of Sunlight

Exposure to sunlight also impacts circadian rhythm by helping your body reset its internal clock and distinguish day from night. Getting sunlight about an hour after you wake up in the morning will help you feel alert during the day and fall asleep more easily at night.

Finally, sunshine may have a significant influence on mood. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), marked by depression, sleep problems, and low energy, is thought to be related to lack of sun exposure. Sunlight helps regulate the production of serotonin, a hormone tied to mood. Plus, sun exposure is necessary for vitamin D production, which may promote serotonin activity. Getting sunlight may therefore help boost mood and possibly improve symptoms of SAD.

Sunlight and Weight

Due to the number of benefits sun exposure provides for the mind and body, it can have positive effects on weight control. When you have sufficient levels of nutrients, sleep well, and feel happy, your weight loss efforts tend to be more successful than when you feel off in any of these areas.

In addition, research has linked light exposure in the morning to reductions in body fat and levels of hormones that increase appetite. One study in 54 adults found that those who were exposed to bright light early in the morning were slimmer than those who were not.

Safe Sun Exposure

It’s clear that getting sunlight can have numerous health benefits. However, it’s important to also protect the skin from sun damage.

Current recommendations suggest that about 15 minutes of daily sun exposure on your hands, arm, and face during the middle of the day is sufficient for vitamin D production in light-skinned people. You can certainly stay in the sun for longer to reap other benefits, but remember to take precautions.

Apply sunscreen and/or wear protective clothing after getting your 15 minutes of daily sun exposure to maintain vitamin D levels. If you have dark skin or are at a high risk of skin cancer, speak with your doctor about the best course of action, what you should wear in the sun, and whether you should take a vitamin D supplement instead.

Note from Healthy For Life Meals: You take care of getting sunshine, and we’ll take care of your meals! Our diet meal delivery provides done-for-you meals that are nutritionally balanced and taste delicious, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time outside. Check out our menus and order today.

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Protection of Life from Conception until natural death.

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

 



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