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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

Thursday, May 9, 2024

May 9
The month of Mary: A Marian Month

Saint of the day:

Prophet Isaiah 

Tunisian stew 

Meatballs and broth served with beans and spinach over couscous.

Thursday Ascension of the Lord

 

Job, Chapter 39, Verse 22

He laughs at FEAR and cannot be terrified; he does not retreat from the sword. 

Here is the full response of God to Job about his creation of the horse. 

Do you give the horse his strength, and clothe his neck with a mane? Do you make him quiver like a locust, while his thunderous snorting spreads terror?

 

He paws the valley, he rejoices in his strength, and charges into battle. He laughs at fear and cannot be terrified; he does not retreat from the sword. Around him rattles the quiver, flashes the spear and the javelin. Frenzied and trembling he devours the ground; he does not hold back at the sound of the trumpet; at the trumpet’s call he cries, “Aha!” Even from afar he scents the battle, the roar of the officers and the shouting. 

If only men could have the fearlessness of the horse. 

Feast of the Ascension[1] 

Forty days after Easter, our Lord ascends into heaven. The Paschal candle is extinguished.

AT the Introit of the Mass the Church sings the words spoken by the angels to the apostles when Jesus ascended to heaven: “Ye men of Galilee, why wonder ye, looking up to heaven? Alleluia. He shall so come as you have seen Him going up into heaven, alleluia! alleluia! alleluia! Oh, clap your hands, all ye nations, shout unto God with the voice of joy.”

Prayer. Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who believe that Thy only begotten Son, our Redeemer, ascended this day into heaven, may ourselves also, in mind, dwell in heavenly things.

EPISTLE. Acts i. 1-11.

The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Ghost to the apostles whom He had chosen, He was taken up: to whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And eating together with them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard, saith He, by my mouth: for John, indeed, baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. They therefore who were come together asked Him, saying:

Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

But He said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father hath put in His own power. But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth. And when He had said these things, while they looked on, He was raised up: and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they were beholding Him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments, who also said:

Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven?

This Jesus Who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen Him going into heaven.

Explanation.

For forty days after His resurrection, Jesus remained with His disciples, to convince them of the truth of His resurrection, to teach them in regard to His kingdom, that is, His Church, and their vocation; and as they were still thinking of an earthly kingdom to be established by Christ, He referred them to the instruction of the Holy Ghost, and then ascended to heaven, whence He shall come to be our judge. Rejoice over the instructions which are preserved for you through the Church; but rejoice especially that Jesus has taken possession of the glory gained by His most profound humiliations, for now He is there an intercessor for you; there He prepares for you a mansion; there is now your home. To-day look up to heaven where Christ is, hope, suffer, love, and pray.

GOSPEL. Mark xvi. 14-20.

At that time, as the eleven were at table, Jesus appeared to them and He upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart: because they did not believe them who had seen Him after He was risen again. And He said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In My name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues: they shall take up serpents: and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. And the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. But they going forth preached everywhere, the Lord working withal, and con firming the word with signs that followed. “Let us ‘says St. Augustine, “in spirit, ascend with Christ, that when the time comes, we may follow Him in body also. But we must know, dear brethren, that neither pride, nor avarice, nor impurity can ascend with Christ, our Lord, for pride does not keep company with the teacher of humility, nor wickedness with the source of all good, nor impurity with the Son of the Virgin.”

Aspiration.

O King of glory! Who didst on this day ascend victoriously above the heavens, leave us not orphans, but send us, from the Father, the Spirit of truth Whom Thou hast promised, and receive us all into Thy glory.

Why, on this day, is the Easter-candle extinguished and carried away after the gospel?

It is done in remembrance of the hour in which Christ, Who is typified by the Easter-candle, left this earth.

Ascension Thursday Customs[2]

Ascension Plays 

In the early centuries the Church celebrated the Feast of the Ascension with elaborate processions that imitated Christ's conducting His Apostles to Bethany (Lk. 24.50). Eventually, however, these liturgical processions became nonliturgical pageants, and the pageants, in turn, became plays. Ascension Thursday was a day for special effects. This could happen in a dignified way during the Mass, as when in Germany the priest would lift a crucifix during the Gospel at the words, "He was taken up into heaven," or it could happen in a dramatic way after Mass with a theatrical representation of the Ascension event. Statues of the risen Christ would be hoisted by pulleys into the air and then either concealed by white silk representing clouds or pulled through an opening in the ceiling. The audience would then be showered with roses, lilies, and wafers. The flowers symbolized the various gifts of the Holy Spirit promised by Christ before He left, while the wafers reminded all that Jesus is still present to us in the Blessed Sacrament. 

·         Traditional banquets on this day would gastronomically imitate Christ's ascension by making the main course something that could fly to heaven. Birds of almost every feather - pigeons, pheasants, partridges, and even crows - eventually found their way to the Ascension Day table. 

Hiking 

In Central Europe Ascension Thursday is a popular day for mountain climbing or picnicking on hilltops. No doubt this is in commemoration of the summit of the Mount of Olives from which Christ ascended and the heights to which he soared. A similarly inspired tradition is eating some kind of bird for the Feast since on this day Christ "flew" to Heaven.

Rest 

Like any other solemnity, Ascension Thursday is supposed to be a day of rest and liberal leisure. For some reason or another, however, traditional folklore treats this observance for today with particular severity. Popular superstitions warned against working in field or garden, and special punishments were purportedly reserved for women who sewed. Any needle, it was thought, that was used for work on Ascension Thursday would soon attract lightning! 

Ascension Thursday[3] 

Ascension commemorates the day that Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:1-11) after spending 40 days appearing to his disciples after his resurrection.  The disciple’s thought Jesus was going to restore the earth to the Kingdom of Heaven, but instead, as he promised to send the Holy Spirit to give them power, he ascended into Heaven and disappeared in a cloud.  Ascension is the 40th day after Easter, celebrated on the sixth Sunday of the Easter season in Protestant churches and on the 40th day after Easter in Roman Catholic churches. 

Ascension Facts & Quotes

 

·         The Apostle's Creed, one of the statements of faith in the Christian Church, mentions Jesus' ascension:

·         I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. The third day he rose from the dead.  He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

·         An ancient custom in England, called the Beating of the Bounds, is often performed on or near Ascension.  Before maps, this was the day that people would mark the boundaries of their property with stones marked with chalk.  Some English churches still perform the custom, led by the vicar.  Church members carry sticks to wick at weeds as they process.

·         In the Orthodox tradition, celebration of the Jesus' Ascension starts with an all-night vigil or vespers (evening) service beginning on Saturday. 

Ascension Top Events and Things to Do

 

·         Johann Sebastian Bach wrote several pieces related to both Easter and the Ascension.  Listen to Bach's the Ascension Oratorio, Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen (Praise God in His Kingdoms) on YouTube.

·         Go bird watching.  A custom in Sweden, is to get up early in the morning of Ascension and venture out into the woods to listen for the call of a cuckoo.  It is considered good luck to hear one on this holiday.

·         Go to church and learn about why Jesus' ascension is important to the Christian faith.  Jesus is considered to be both human and divine, and the ascension is an illustration of Christ's divine nature.

·         View paintings that depict the ascension.  One of the most famous works is The Ascension of Christ by Rembrandt Van Rijn.

·         Have a picnic. 

Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Chinese Chicken Salad

(It is traditional to eat some sort of bird since Jesus "flew" to heaven.)

Strawberries

(The fruit represents Christ, the first fruit of all men.)

Cream Puffs

(Symbolizing the clouds that were in the sky.)

Sparkling Grape Juice

(Chosen for the "rising" bubbles.)

Preparing for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit[4]

 

On Ascension Day the Lumen Christi is taken from the dining room table to signify that the Lord has ascended. In the days when the Faith was flourishing, the Sunday after the feast of the Ascension was called "The Sunday of the Roses," the name given from the custom of strewing the pavements of the churches with roses, as an homage to Christ who ascended into heaven when the earth was in the season of flowers. Why cannot we in our day have roses in our homes, make an offering of flowers to our church, or take roses from our gardens to one infirm or sick?

 

Here are some prayers and meditations to be said in the family between the Ascension and Pentecost Sunday.

 

One of the simplest ways we have found for young children to prepare for Pentecost is by meditating on the mysteries of the Chaplet of the Holy Spirit. We reflect on one mystery a day.

 

Opening Prayer: Sign of the Cross-Act of Contrition

 

First Mystery: Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary.

 

Meditation: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. Therefore, the Holy One to be born shall be called the Son of God (Luke 11:35).
Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

 

Second Mystery: The Spirit of the Lord rests upon Jesus.

Meditation: When Jesus was baptized, He immediately came up from the water. And behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a Dove and coming upon Him (Matthew 3:16). Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

 

Third Mystery: Jesus is led by the Spirit into the desert.

Meditation: Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit about the desert for forty days, being tempted the while by the devil (Luke 4:11). Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

 

Fourth Mystery: The Holy Spirit in the Church.

 

Meditation: Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak of the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:2, 4, 11). Prayers: One Our Father and Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

 

Fifth Mystery: The Holy Spirit in the souls of the Just.

 

Meditation: Or, do you not know that your members are the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Do not extinguish the Spirit. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Thess. 5:19; Eph. 4:30).
Prayers: One Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary; seven Glory be to the Father.

Devotions for Holy Communion[5]

HOW WE OUGHT TO COMMUNICATE.

 

PREPARE yourself for holy communion the evening before by many thoughts of love, retiring earlier, that you may rise sooner in the morning. Should you awake in the night, raise your heart to God immediately, and make some ardent aspirations, in order to prepare your soul for the reception of her Spouse, Who, being awake whilst you were asleep, prepares a thousand graces and favors for you, if, on your part, you are disposed to receive them.

 

In the morning, rise up with eagerness to enjoy the happiness you hope for; and having confessed, go with a great but humble confidence to receive this heavenly food, which nourishes your soul to immortality: and after repeating thrice, “Lord, I am not worthy,” cease to move your lips to pray, or to sigh, but opening your mouth gently and moderately, and lifting up your head as much as is necessary, that the priest may see what he is about, full of faith, hope, and charity, receive Him, in Whom, by Whom, and for Whom you believe, hope, and Whom you love. Represent to yourself that as the bee, after gathering from the flowers the dew of heaven, and the choicest juice of the earth, reducing them into honey, carries it into her hive, so the priest, having taken from the altar the Savior of the world, the true Son of God, Who, as the dew, is descended from heaven, and the true Son of the Virgin, Who, as a flower, is sprung from the earth of our humanity, puts Him as delicious food into your mouth and body.

 

Having received Him in your breast, excite your heart to do homage to the author of your salvation; treat with Him concerning your internal affairs; consider that He has taken up His abode within you for your happiness; make Him then as welcome as you possibly can, and conduct yourself in such a manner as to make it appear by all your actions that God is with you.

 

But when you cannot enjoy the benefit of really communicating at holy Mass, communicate at least spiritually, uniting yourself by an ardent desire to this life-giving flesh of Our Savior. Your principal intention in communicating should be to advance in virtue, to strengthen yourself in the love of God, and to receive comfort from this love; for you must receive through love that which love alone caused to be given to you. You cannot consider Our Savior in an action either more full of love, or more tender than this, in which He annihilates Himself, or, as we may more properly say, changes Himself into food, that so He may penetrate our souls, and unite Himself most intimately to the heart, and to the body of His faithful.

 

If worldlings ask you why you communicate so often, tell them it is to learn to love God, to purify yourself from your imperfections, to be delivered from your miseries, to be comforted in your afflictions, and supported in your weaknesses.

 

Tell them that two sorts of persons ought to communicate frequently: the perfect, because, being well disposed, they would be greatly to blame not to approach to the source and fountain of perfection; and the imperfect, to the end that they may be able to aspire to perfection; the strong, lest they should become weak; and the weak, that they may become strong; the healthy, lest they should fall into sickness; and the sick, that they may be restored to health: that for your part, being imperfect, weak, and sick, you have need to communicate frequently with Him Who is your perfection, your strength, and your physician.

 

Tell them that those who have not many worldly affairs to look after ought to communicate often, because they have leisure; that those who have much business on hand should also communicate often, for he who labors much and is loaded with toil ought to eat solid food, and that frequently.

 

Tell them that you receive the Holy Sacrament, to learn to receive it well; because one can hardly perform an action well which he does not often practice. Communicate frequently, then, and as frequently as you can, with the advice of your ghostly father; and, believe me, by approaching to and eating beauty, purity, and goodness itself, in this divine sacrament, you will become altogether fair, pure, and virtuous.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER

SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

CHAPTER THREE-THE LIFE OF PRAYER

Article 2-THE BATTLE OF PRAYER

III. Filial Trust

2734 Filial trust is tested - it proves itself - in tribulation. The principal difficulty concerns the prayer of petition, for oneself or for others in intercession. Some even stop praying because they think their petition is not heard. Here two questions should be asked: Why do we think our petition has not been heard? How is our prayer heard, how is it "efficacious"?
Why do we complain of not being heard?

2735 In the first place, we ought to be astonished by this fact: when we praise God or give him thanks for his benefits in general, we are not particularly concerned whether or not our prayer is acceptable to him. On the other hand, we demand to see the results of our petitions. What is the image of God that motivates our prayer: an instrument to be used? or the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?

2736 Are we convinced that "we do not know how to pray as we ought"? Are we asking God for "what is good for us"? Our Father knows what we need before we ask him, but he awaits our petition because the dignity of his children lies in their freedom. We must pray, then, with his Spirit of freedom, to be able truly to know what he wants.

2737 "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions." If we ask with a divided heart, we are "adulterers"; God cannot answer us, for he desires our well-being, our life. "Or do you suppose that it is in vain that the scripture says, 'He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us?'" That our God is "jealous" for us is the sign of how true his love is. If we enter into the desire of his Spirit, we shall be heard.

Do not be troubled if you do not immediately receive from God what you ask him; for he desires to do something even greater for you, while you cling to him in prayer.

God wills that our desire should be exercised in prayer, that we may be able to receive what he is prepared to give.

How is our prayer efficacious?

2738 The revelation of prayer in the economy of salvation teaches us that faith rests on God's action in history. Our filial trust is enkindled by his supreme act: the Passion and Resurrection of his Son. Christian prayer is cooperation with his providence, his plan of love for men.

2739 For St. Paul, this trust is bold, founded on the prayer of the Spirit in us and on the faithful love of the Father who has given us his only Son. Transformation of the praying heart is the first response to our petition.

2740 The prayer of Jesus makes Christian prayer an efficacious petition. He is its model, he prays in us and with us. Since the heart of the Son seeks only what pleases the Father, how could the prayer of the children of adoption be centered on the gifts rather than the Giver?

2741 Jesus also prays for us - in our place and on our behalf. All our petitions were gathered up, once for all, in his cry on the Cross and, in his Resurrection, heard by the Father. This is why he never ceases to intercede for us with the Father. If our prayer is resolutely united with that of Jesus, in trust and boldness as children, we obtain all that we ask in his name, even more than any particular thing: the Holy Spirit himself, who contains all gifts.

THIS WE BELIEVE

PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Prayer before Mass

Lord, Jesus Christ, I approach your banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner, and dare not rely on my own worth but only on your goodness and mercy. I am defiled by many sins in body and soul, and by my unguarded thoughts and words. Gracious God of majesty and awe, I seek your protection, I look for your healing, poor troubled sinner that I am, I appeal to you, the fountain of all mercy. I cannot bear your judgment, but I trust in your salvation. Lord, I show my wounds to you and uncover my shame before you. I know my sins are many and great, and they fill me with fear, but I hope in your mercies, for they cannot be numbered. Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King, God and man, crucified for mankind, look upon me with mercy and hear my prayer, for I trust in you. Have mercy on me, full of sorrow and sin, for the depth of your compassion never ends. Praise to you, saving sacrifice, offered on the wood of the cross for me and for all mankind. Praise to the noble and precious blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord Jesus Christ and washing away the sins of the whole world. Remember, Lord, your creature, whom you have redeemed with your blood. I repent my sins, and I long to put right what I have done. Merciful Father, take away all my offenses and sins; purify me in body and soul, and make me worthy to taste the holy of holies. May your body and blood, which I intend to receive, although I am unworthy, be for me the remission of my sins, the washing away of my guilt, the end of my evil thoughts, and the rebirth of my better instincts. May it incite me to do the works pleasing to you and profitable to my health in body and soul, and be a firm defense against the wiles of my enemies. Amen.

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[6] 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 May-New Orleans, Louisiana[7]


I love this ever-chirpy and easygoing city where I always experience southern hospitality, fantastic live music and incredible food.

This month, it celebrates the mild weather with many special events, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

While the days get warmer with relatively less humidity, you can enjoy pleasant weather with average daily highs of 84 degrees.

I recommend exploring the city on foot, taking a tour of the French Quarter’s beautiful homes and taking a memorable Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez. 

My favorite highlights…

·         Visiting Cinco de Mayo which was a lively and fun week of music, tacos, and margaritas. 

  • Hopping on a sightseeing tour and checking out all the major city attractions in one go.
  • Riding on an airboat tour and going on a fast, exciting trip across the nearby swamps.

Today’s Menu

·                     Drink: Cajun lemonade

·                     Salad:  Cajun Salad

·                     Main dish: Cajun Shrimp boil in foil

·         Desert: Creole Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce Recipe

o    After Dinner Cigars

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Purity

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         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

 



[1]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[5] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

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





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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