Wednesday, June 5, 2024

 



First Wednesday-Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

 

Numbers, chapter 22, Verse 2-3

2 Now Balak, son of Zippor, saw all that Israel did to the Amorites, 3 and Moab FEARED the Israelites greatly because they were numerous. Moab was in dread of the Israelites.

 

Fear is listed by many theologians as the 8th deadly sin. God in making us a Holy people wants us to be free of fear. Is it any wonder that people without faith are plagued by fear? Fear Dominates Politics, Media and Human Existence in America—And It’s Getting Worse according to Don Hazen.

 

“Fear is the mind-killer” – Frank Herbert, Dune


 

People cannot think clearly when they are afraid. As numerous studies have shown, fear is the enemy of reason. It distorts emotions and perceptions, and often leads to poor decisions. For people who have suffered trauma, fear messages can sometimes trigger uncontrollable flight-or-fight responses with dangerous ramifications.

 

Yet over time, many interlocking aspects of our society have become increasingly sophisticated at communicating messages and information that produce fear responses. Advertising, political ads, news coverage and social media all send the constant message that people should be afraid—very afraid.

 

In addition, television and film are filled with extreme violence and millions of fictional deaths, far out of proportion to what happens in real life, as researchers have pointed out…All this, despite statistics indicating that in most parts of the country, the crime rate is actually on the decline.

 

Fear is so pervasive that experts have made the case we live in a generalized “culture of fear,” also the name of a book by Barry Glassner which underscores the fact that we often fear the wrong things, and incredibly out of proportion to reality. Statistics show you have a much higher chance of being killed by lightning than by a terrorist.[1]

 

First Wednesday

 

Meditate on the humility of Saint Joseph this day; ask for his assistance and special protection.

 

Saint Joseph[2]

 

ST. JOSEPH was descended from the kingly line of David and was a kinsman of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Matt. i. 1-16). The Gospel gives him the praise of being just (Matt. i. 19), that is, a man distinguished for all virtues. And surely, as he was chosen from all other men by God to be the foster-father of His Son, he undoubtedly excelled, in virtues and sanctity, all saints then living. Of his youth nothing certain is known to us, and of his later life we know only what the Gospel relates. He was a carpenter (Matt. xiii. 55), and lived at Nazareth, in Galilee (Luke ii. 4). Being espoused to Mary, he was inclined, upon learning that she was with child, to put her away privately, not wishing to expose her to public reproach but being instructed by an angel, he took her to himself, in obedience to the command of God, went with her to Bethlehem, and afterwards, with Mary and the new-born child, fled, without timidity, to Egypt (Matt. ii. 13). At the command of the angel, he returned thence, and again dwelt in Nazareth (Matt. ii. 23). From this place they went every year to the feast at Jerusalem, where it happened that Jesus, then twelve years old, remained behind them in the temple, and was anxiously sought for by them. More than this is not told us. At the time of the marriage at Cana it would seem that he was no longer living, since there is no mention made of him. Though little is said of him, that little is rich in profitable instruction. How worthy to be admired and imitated is his example his chastity, his tenderness towards Mary, his forbearing to pronounce a judgment in regard to her condition when he could not explain it, his quick and unreserved obedience towards God and the commands of authority, his love for Jesus, and his care for both the mother and the child. On account of his sanctity God has specially distinguished him by miracles, and the Church honors him in a particular manner. In the Litany of the Saints he is named among the patriarchs, and the feast of his patronage is celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter. Venerate, therefore, St. Joseph choose him for your protector in life and in death, and make yourself worthy of his protection by following his example.

 

Instruction

 

To encourage us to veneration for St. Joseph St. Teresa wrote “I do not remember to have asked St. Joseph for anything which he did not grant me. The great favors which God has granted me through him, and the many dangers of soul and body from which he has freed me, truly deserve admiration. It seems that God has granted to other saints the grace of assisting, in particular needs, those who invoke their intercession, but this glorious saint assists in all needs. The Lord seems thereby to indicate that, as He was subject to Joseph on earth, so now He grants him whatever he asks for. The same thing has been experienced by persons whom I have advised to recommend themselves to him.” “I would gladly advise everyone,” says St. Alphonsus, to have a great devotion towards this saint, since I have experienced what graces, he can obtain from God. For several years I have asked him, on his feast, for some particular grace, and every time my petition has been granted. As we all have to die, we should have a particular devotion towards St. Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death for all Catholic Christians consider him to be an intercessor for the dying, and that he assists, at the hour of death, those who venerate him; and this for three reasons

 

1. Because Jesus loves him, not only as a friend, but as a father, on which account his intercession is more powerful than that of any other saint.

 

2. Because St. Joseph obtained special power against the evil spirits who tempt us at the hour of death.

 

3. The assistance which Jesus and Mary gave to Joseph at the hour of his own death procured for him the right to obtain a holy and easy death for his dependents. If in their dying hour they invoke his aid, not only will he assist them, but he will obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary. “Ought not these words of a great saint encourage you to venerate St. Joseph every day? Should not the hope of dying one day under the protection of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, move you to devotion to the foster-father of Jesus?”

 

Prayer to St. Joseph.

 

O most chaste Joseph, who, by thy purity and other exalted virtues, wast worthy to be chosen for the spouse of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, I beseech thee, by the great graces of which thou wast made partaker, that thou wouldst, by thy intercession, obtain for all parents grace to rear their children piously; for all married persons who are distressed and afflicted through poverty and tribulations consolation and encouragement; for all unmarried persons who have devoted their chastity to God the grace of perseverance; and, finally, for all the dying the grace to come, after a happy death, to thy fosterchild, Jesus Christ, Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth one God, world without end. Amen.

St. Joseph Devotion[3]

In 1994, while a student in Manaus, Brazil, 22-year-old Edson Glauber received an apparition of the Blessed Mother with Jesus and St. Joseph. The apparitions continued when he returned to his hometown of Itapiranga which is about 650 miles southwest of Sao Paulo and about 880 miles from Rio de Janeiro. Another 770-plus miles southwest happens to be the site of other approved apparitions in San Nicolas, Argentina. Edson’s mother Maria do Carmo would also receive some apparitions. Bishop Gritti, who died this past June, met with them several times. He celebrated Mass publicly at the site of the apparitions and helped to build the sanctuary there. Mary appeared under the title of “Queen of the Rosary and of Peace.” Much like Fatima, her messages stressed the need for conversion, praying the Rosary, Mass, Confession and Holy Communion and penance to save the world mired in unbelief and sin. She and Jesus urged devotion to St. Joseph’s Most Chaste Heart.

Revelations and Promises

St. Josephs major revelations began Mar. 1, 1998. He spoke about devotion to his chaste heart and made the first of several promises. He began, “My dear son, Our Lord God has sent me to tell you about all the graces the faithful will receive from my Most Chaste Heart which Jesus and my blessed spouse wish to be honored…Through devotion to my Chaste Heart many souls will be saved from the hands of the Devil. God our Lord has allowed for me to reveal to you the promises of my Heart.

“Just as I am fair and righteous in the sight of God, all who have devotion to my Heart will also be chaste, righteous and holy in His sight. I will fill you with these graces and virtues, making you grow every day on the road of holiness.”

Next day, St. Joseph came with the Child Jesus who reclined on his heart. Joseph revealed that God wanted to give countless graces through devotion to his heart. “My son and Lord Jesus, that I brought up here on earth, with a father's love, desires that all men practice devotion to my Heart, for all those in need of graces from heaven.”

In prior apparitions, the Virgin Mary and Jesus affirmed to Edson that Joseph has been given great power and glory and, in these times, God wants people and the world consecrated to the Heart of St. Joseph.

Then came a second promise.

“I promise to all that honor this Most Chaste Heart of mine and who do here on earth good deeds in favor of the most needy, especially of the sick and dying for whom I am a consoler and protector, to receive in their last moment of their lives the grace of a good death. I myself will be to these souls their petitioner to my Son Jesus and, together with my spouse, Most Holy Mary, we will console them in their last hours here on earth, with our holy presence and they will rest in the peace of our hearts.

“Just as you saw my Son Jesus repose His head on my heart, this way myself and my spouse Holy Mary will take these souls to the glory of paradise, in the presence of their Savior, my Son Jesus Christ, so that they may repose, and incline themselves to His Sacred Heart…”

Dire Warnings


St. Joseph did not shy away from the state of humanity’s hearts. He explained “how sin spreads in a such a strong way! Men let themselves be led by the most insidious wiles of the Devil. The enemy of salvation wants to destroy all men so that, this way, all will be lost. He is envious and hates the entire human race. So many go through trials and temptations that the enemy of God throws at every moment, this way trying to destroy men’s mortal souls that were created by God.”

St. Joseph revealed a prime attack against us, something which has increased since 1998.

“The means that he most utilizes are the sins against holy purity, because purity is one of the virtues most beloved by God, and in this way, Satan desires to destroy the image of God present in each creature through this virtue. And it is because of this, that God asks all humanity to have devotion to my Chaste Heart. He wants to give men the grace to overcome the temptations and attacks of the Devil in their day-to-day lives.”

St. Joseph can protect us in these attacks. His litany calls him ‘most chaste” and “terror of demons.” St. Joseph made this promise. “The invocation of my name is enough to make demons flee! I promise to all the faithful that honor my most Chaste Heart with faith and love, the grace to live with holy purity of soul and body and the strength to resist all attacks and temptations by the Devil. I myself will preciously protect you.”

He said the grace would also be for their family members in need of divine help.

Hope for Sinners

St. Joseph desires all sinners to be converted and saved. “Many are those who are distant from God because of their grave sins. Many of those, my children, are in that state because they let themselves fall to the wiles of the Devil. The enemy of salvation makes them think there is no solution, nor return, because they have despaired and have not trusted in divine mercy. These will be easy targets for the Devil.”

But he says to “all sinners, even those who have committed the most terrible sins, to trust in the love and in the forgiveness of God and to trust in me also, in my intercession. All those who trustingly have recourse to me will have the certainty of my help to recover the divine grace and mercy of God.”

Not wanting sinners to despair, he promised those who trust in his most pure Heart and devotedly honor it, “the grace to be consoled by me in their greatest afflictions of the soul and in the danger of judgment, when by misfortune lose divine grace because of their grave sins. To these sinners, who have recourse to me, I promise the graces of my Heart for the purpose of amendment, of repentance and of sincere contrition of their sins. Now, I say to all sinners: Do not be afraid of the Devil and do not despair because of your crimes, but come throw yourselves in my arms and take refuge in my Heart so that you may receive all the graces for your eternal salvation.”

Help with Today’s Problems


St. Joseph focused on life’s difficulties and offered consolation. “My Son Jesus, through my Heart, wishes to impart to all men his divine blessings. I know many of you suffer many great difficulties because, in these last times, men no longer love or help one another but live with their hearts full of pride, falsehood, lies, intrigue, ambition, backbiting, pettiness, and many wrong things that are the consequences of living far from God.”

St. Joseph said to all who honor his Heart and trust in him and his intercession, “I promise they will not be abandoned in their difficulties and in the trials of life. I will ask Our Lord to help them with his Divine Providence in their material and spiritual problems.”

To mothers and fathers consecrating themselves and their families to his Heart, St. Joseph assured help in afflictions and problems, and assistance with raising up their children.

Sin: Consequences & His Protection

The spouse of Mary did not ignore the current world situation which in 1998 was still 18 years from the multitude of today’s multiplying spiritual chaos.

He emphasized, “[M]y Son Jesus is very indignant with the sins of humanity.

“He desires to pour his divine justice upon all men that do not want to repent and continue obstinately in their sins. Look, my son, I hold his right hand, preventing Him from pouring out his justice upon all humanity. I ask Him, through the graces of my Heart and for being worthy to live by his side, taking care of him with the love of a father in this world, and for Him having loved me with the love of a son, to not chastise the world for its crimes, but for all my little ones who honor and will honor this Chaste Heart of mine, should pour out his mercy upon the world.”

The world’s many sins call humanity to repent and do penance, he said, “because God receives continued offenses from ungrateful men. Today there are so many outrages, the sacrilege and indifference by all men. It is because of this that so many calamities like war, hunger and disease occur and so many other sad things man has suffered because of man’s rebellion against God.”

St. Joseph made clear rebellion’s consequences. “God lets men follow their own paths to show them all, without him, they will never be happy. He lets men go through so much suffering, to also show them the consequences sin brings to their lives and so then the divine justice punishes humanity because of their obstinance in not being obedient to God's Will.

He pointed out humanity is “increasingly obstinate in their crimes” because of concern for worldly pleasures “rather than the love of God and his Commandments. But God's justice is close at hand in a way never seen before and will come about suddenly upon the whole world.”

That should shake us, yet this most powerful saint extends a hope-filled solution. All those who honor his Chaste Heart “will receive the grace of my protection from all evils and dangers. For those who surrender to me will not be slaughtered by misfortunes, by wars, hunger, by diseases and other calamities, they will have my Heart as a refuge for their protection. Here, in my Heart, all will be protected against the divine justice in the days that will come. All who consecrate themselves to my Heart, honoring it, they will be looked upon by my Son Jesus with eyes of mercy, Jesus will pour out his love and will take to the glory of his Kingdom all those I put in my Heart.”

First Wednesdays — Request & Promise

When St. Joseph appeared on the first Wednesday of March 1998, he had a special request. With the First Friday and First Saturday devotions, he was giving us a companion devotion. He said,

“On every first Wednesday of the month, my Chaste Heart pours numerous graces on all who rely on my intercession. On these Wednesdays, men will not receive a shower of simple graces, but very strong torrents of extraordinary graces! I will share them with those who honor me and rely on me, all the blessings, all the virtues, and all the love I received from my Divine Son Jesus and my spouse the Blessed Virgin Mary while still living in this world and all the graces that I continue to receive in the glory of paradise.”

The request came with his great “promise to intercede before him for those who come to me, honoring this Heart of mine. I will give them the graces to be able to resolve the most difficult problems and urgent necessities, that to the eyes of man seem impossible, but that, through my intercession to God, will be possible. I grant the graces of my Heart to all sinners so they may convert.”

(St. Joseph had made this same request during Our Lady of America’s apparitions in March 1958, asking us to recite the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary in memory of his life with Jesus and Mary and the love he bore them and sorrow he suffered with them, plus receive Holy Communion with the love which he received the Savior and each time he held Jesus in his arms.)

Confirmed by Wife Mary

At the end of her husband’s appearances, the Blessed Virgin Mary made a promise herself. “All who honor the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph will benefit with my maternal presence in their lives in a special way.”

“To those who ask of his Heart with trust, I promise to intercede before the Eternal Father, my Divine Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I will obtain for them, from God, the grace to reach perfect sanctity in the virtues of St. Joseph, this way reaching the perfect love in which he lived. Men will learn to love my Son Jesus and myself with the same love as my Most Chaste Spouse Joseph, receiving the most pure love from our Hearts.

“My Son Jesus, my Chaste Spouse Joseph and I are at your side. Fear nothing, because our hearts will protect you always.”

Reward for Spreading Devotion to St. Joseph

There is yet something else St. Joseph said that’s we shouldn’t disregard.

“[A]ll those who propagate the devotion to my Heart, and practice it with love, have the certainty of having their names engraved on it just as my Son Jesus' cross and the "M" of Mary are engraved on it…”

After all, “That all may spread devotion to my Heart, it is God Himself who asks it.”

Saint Boniface[4]



A Benedictine monk was chosen by divine Providence to become Germany's great apostle and patron. In 724 he turned his attention to the Hessian people. near the village of Geismar on the Eder, he felled a giant oak that the people honored as the national sanctuary of the god Thor. Boniface used the wood to build a chapel in honor of St. Peter. This courageous act assured the eventual triumph of the Gospel in Germany. Conversions were amazingly numerous. In 732 Boniface devoted his time and talent to the organization of the Church in Germany. He installed bishops, set diocesan boundaries, promoted the spiritual life of the clergy and laity, held national synods (between 742 and 747), and in 744 founded the monastery of Fulda, which became a center of religious life in central Germany. The final years of his busy life were spent, as were his earlier ones, in missionary activity. Word came to him in 754 that a part of Frisia had lapsed from the faith. He took leave of his priests and, sensing the approach of death, carried along a shroud. He was 74 years of age when with youthful enthusiasm he began the work of restoration, a mission he was not to complete. A band of semi-barbarous pagans overpowered and put him to death when he was about to administer confirmation to a group of neophytes at Dockum. Patron: Brewers; Tailors; Germany; Prussia.

Things to Do

·         One tradition about Saint Boniface says that he used the customs of the locals to help convert them. There was a game in which they threw sticks called kegels at smaller sticks called heides. Boniface bought religion to the game, having the heides represent demons, and knocking them down showing purity of spirit. You might use your ingenuity to imitate this game for your children and tell them the story of St. Boniface. Sounds like bowling maybe go bowling in honor of St. Boniface.

·         St. Boniface was the uncle of St. Walburga.

·         St. Boniface, although an Englishman, planted the seeds of the Catholic Faith in Germany (at that time "Germany" included the domains of the Frankish monarchs, present-day Belgium, and the Netherlands), and now Germany calls St. Boniface her patron. Bake some special German cookies or treat and learn some of the religious customs that come from this country.

·         Menu for Feast of St. Boniface

·         German Meat Balls with Sour Cream Gravy


Catechism of the Catholic Church

PROLOGUE

IV. Structure of this Catechism

13 The plan of this catechism is inspired by the great tradition of catechisms which build catechesis on four pillars: the baptismal profession of faith (the Creed), the sacraments of faith, the life of faith (the Commandments), and the prayer of the believer (the Lord's Prayer).

Part One: The Profession of Faith

14 Those who belong to Christ through faith and Baptism must confess their baptismal faith before men. First therefore the Catechism expounds revelation, by which God addresses and gives himself to man, and the faith by which man responds to God (Section One). the profession of faith summarizes the gifts that God gives man: as the Author of all that is good; as Redeemer; and as Sanctifier. It develops these in the three chapters on our baptismal faith in the one God: the almighty Father, the Creator; his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior; and the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, in the Holy Church (Section Two).

Part Two: The Sacraments of Faith

15 The second part of the Catechism explains how God's salvation, accomplished once for all through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit, is made present in the sacred actions of the Church's liturgy (Section One), especially in the seven sacraments (Section Two).

Part Three: The Life of Faith

16 The third part of the Catechism deals with the final end of man created in the image of God: beatitude, and the ways of reaching it - through right conduct freely chosen, with the help of God's law and grace (Section One), and through conduct that fulfils the twofold commandment of charity, specified in God's Ten Commandments (Section Two).

Part Four: Prayer in the Life of Faith

17 The last part of the Catechism deals with the meaning and importance of prayer in the life of believers (Section One). It concludes with a brief commentary on the seven petitions of the Lord's Prayer (Section Two), for indeed we find in these the sum of all the good things which we must hope for, and which our heavenly Father wants to grant us.

Apostolic Exhortation[5]

Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling

of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Part III

Loving and Adoring the Eucharistic Lord

II. Go to daily Mass, if possible.

76. The beauty of the Lord’s Day is meant to spill over into the rest of the week. Saint Augustine wrote of his mother, Saint Monica: “She did not let a day pass without being present at the Divine Sacrifice before Your altar, O Lord”. Regarding the harsh deprivations during his nine-month imprisonment, Saint John of the Cross said that the worst suffering was not being able to celebrate Mass nor receive Holy Communion. Of course, daily duties can make daily Mass impossible for some. But for many of us, it is simply a question of appreciating the immeasurable value of the Mass and organizing our time accordingly.

77. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to ask Our Father to “give us this day our daily bread.” Like God raining down Manna in the wilderness with the morning dew, Christ nourishes his Church daily in the Mass. When we realize that the Lord desires to renew for us the gift of the Sunday Eucharist every day of the week, how can we not be overwhelmed with gratitude and a deeper spiritual hunger for more of the Bread of Life?

78. In this busy world, is it really possible to go to daily Mass? Or perhaps we are tempted to think that this is a luxury only for clergy or those persons who have extra time on their hands? Not at all. The Eucharist, as we have seen, fuels the mission of the members of Christ’s Body in the world. Christians who are active in the world have a great need for spiritual strength to bring Christ into the arena of their work. Perhaps we could even say that those who have the greatest demand in their secular pursuits are most in need of the great strength which comes from the daily Eucharist. Not long ago, the great Italian Saint Joseph Cottolengo encouraged daily Mass for the busiest of workers: doctors, nurses, manual laborers, teachers, parents, and so on. When they told him they didn’t have the time, he would tell them starkly that they had plenty of time – they just were not managing it properly. With so many distractions and demands competing for our attention, Mass can become a daily source of peace and strength. It turns us from “Marthas” into recollected “Mary’s”, who learn to choose the “better part” each day (cf. Lk 10:42). I challenge you to commit to at least one weekday Mass. I guarantee that you will notice within the next six months what a significant difference it will make in your life.

To be continued

Teaching the Faith[6]

PRACTICE OF THE MONTH—SIGN OF THE CROSS 

Do this at Meals-Insist on attendance of all for one meal a day-no phones.

The making of the Sign of the Cross, however, we must attend to carefully. We have not mentioned this before, thinking it just as well to leave it to the mothers to observe whether the little ones have imitated them in blessing themselves.

The only easy way to teach the Sign of the Cross is to have the baby imitate you. If you face him, he will go wrong. Stand alongside him, a little slanting, so that he can watch your hand when it moves to the left shoulder.

In the name of the Father (right hand to forehead) and of the Son (right hand to chest) and of the Holy (right hand to left shoulder) Ghost (right hand to right shoulder) Amen. (Both hands clasped).

Dara’s Corner-Get a house and make it a home.

National Homeownership Month lights up every June, celebrating the joys and benefits of owning a home.

It’s a special time when people across the United States reflect on homeownership’s significant role in fostering community ties and building personal wealth.

This month reminds us of the dream of owning a home, an aspiration that connects deeply with the pursuit of happiness and stability in American life.

The observance is important because it emphasizes how owning a home is more than just having a place to live. Homeownership encourages long-term financial growth, community involvement, and a stable environment for raising families. FHA loans.

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: True Masculinity

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary



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