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Saints, Feast, Family - Traditions passed down with Cooking, Crafting, & Caring  - July 23   Saint of the day: Saint Bridget Patron ...

Sunday, June 23, 2024


June 23

Saint of the day:

Saint Audrey (Etheldreda)

Patron Saint of throat complaints

Moelleux aux Groseilles
This Red Currant Cake is perfect for English tea time.

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

ST. JOHN’S EVE-Widows Day


Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, Verse 5-6

5 So you must know in your heart that, even as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD, your God, disciplines you.  6 Therefore, keep the commandments of the LORD, your God, by walking in his ways and FEARING him.


When we fear the Lord our contentment does not come from any absence of problems but from knowingly choosing how to respond to them righteously. God does not want to squash our dreams with His commandments. No, he listens and smiles like we do when we see and hear the dreams of a child. Yet, He knows that all dreams must be founded in reality and the truth. When our dreams work against His commandments; our dreams work against us. Every dream must have a foundation of love and in some way must increase the life, liberty, or the happiness of others.


Yes, on the Day of Judgment the homes of the poor will be honored more than the great mansions of the rich. Simple obedience to His laws will be more highly praised than the brilliance of all the Kings, Presidents, and couriers throughout the world. Strive therefore for dreams which provide earthly gain without the surrender to sin. So, the only real wealth is a clear conscience; of a life well lived. To live righteously, to love chastely, to learn the truth and to leave a legacy to others is the only true riches.


Jesus experienced the utmost depths of human fear. Yet he found the strength even in that hour to trust the Father. “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this chalice from me; yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mk. 15:34) Can we at the final hour have the peace of Christ to say, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”. (Lk . 23:46)[1]




The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday

The table of the Body of Christ

42. The table of the word leads naturally to the table of the Eucharistic Bread and prepares the community to live its many aspects, which in the Sunday Eucharist assume an especially solemn character. As the whole community gathers to celebrate "the Lord's Day", the Eucharist appears more clearly than on other days as the great "thanksgiving" in which the Spirit-filled Church turns to the Father, becoming one with Christ and speaking in the name of all humanity. The rhythm of the week prompts us to gather up in grateful memory the events of the days which have just passed, to review them in the light of God and to thank him for his countless gifts, glorifying him "through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit". The Christian community thus comes to a renewed awareness of the fact that all things were created through Christ (cf. Col 1:16; Jn 1:3), and that in Christ, who came in the form of a slave to take on and redeem our human condition, all things have been restored (cf. Eph 1:10), in order to be handed over to God the Father, from whom all things come to be and draw their life. Then, giving assent to the Eucharistic doxology with their "Amen", the People of God look in faith and hope towards the eschatological end, when Christ "will deliver the kingdom to God the Father ... so that God may be everything to everyone" (1 Cor 15:24, 28).

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost[3]

The importance of forgiving injuries. Again, there is a Petrine motif because of the proximity to the feast on June 29th. (This Sunday was originally known as the "First Sunday after the Feast of the Apostles.")[4]

WITH the priest in the Introit of the Mass, let us implore God’s assistance, and say: “Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to Thee; be Thou my helper, forsake not, do not Thou despise me, O God, my Savior. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” (Ps. xxvi. 7, 9, 1.)

Prayer. O God, Who hast prepared invisible goods for them that love Thee, infuse into our hearts the affection of Thy love, that loving Thee in all things and above all, we may obtain Thy promises which surpass every desire.

EPISTLE, i. Peter iii. 8-15.

Dearly Beloved: Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble: not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing: for unto this are you called, that you may inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him decline from evil, and do good: let him seek after peace, and pursue it: because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers: but the countenance of the Lord upon them that do evil things. And who is he that can hurt you, if you be zealous of good? But if also you suffer anything for justice sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled; but sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts. How may and ought we to sanctify the Lord Jesus in our hearts? By faithfully imitating Him; for thereby we become His true and faithful disciples, honor Him, sanctify ourselves and edify others, who by our good example are led to admire Christianity, and Christ its founder, and to become His followers.

GOSPEL. Matt. v. 20-24.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: I tell you, unless your justice abounds more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you: that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whoso ever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee: leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother, and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.

In what did the justice of the Pharisees consist?

They were very pious in outward appearance, and avoided those vices which caused temporal disgrace and injury; but, on the other hand, they were full of malice in their hearts, and this Christ often reproached them with, calling them hypocrites.

How are we to understand what Christ says about anger and using abusive words?

The meaning of His words is, “You have heard from your teachers and doctors of the law, that whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment of men; but I say to you, who think it no sin to be angry or envious, that whosoever is angry with his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment of God. You have heard that whosoever calls his brother fool, shall be brought before the council and punished; but I say to you, that God punishes with hell fire every grievous offence against your neighbor, as also the hatred and enmity of your heart towards Him.”

Why must one first be reconciled to his brother before he offers his gift at the altar, or undertakes any good work?

Because no offering, or other good work, can be pleasing to God so long as we are living in enmity, hatred, and strife with our neighbor, and thereby going directly against His will and example.

Remedies for Anger.

The first and best means to overcome anger is humility; to become thus humble, gentle, and patient, one must often consider the example of Christ, Who endured so many contradictions, persecutions, and insults, without reviling again when reviled Himself, and without threatening vengeance to any one for all He suffered. An excellent preventive to anger is, to think over in the morning what causes will be likely to draw us into anger at any time during the day, and to guard ourselves against them beforehand, by a firm resolution to bear everything patiently for the love of God; and then, when anything vexatious occurs and excites our anger, to say and do nothing so long as the anger lasts.

How shall we be reconciled with our enemies?

Not only with the lips but from the heart, and with sincerity and promptness. “Is he absent whom you have wronged,” says St. Augustine, “so that you cannot easily reach him? humble yourself then before God, and ask His pardon before you offer your gift, with a firm resolution to be reconciled with your enemy as soon as possible.”


To swear is to call upon God, upon His truth, His justice, or other attributes, or upon His creatures, in the name of God, as witnesses of the truth.

Is swearing lawful, and when?

Yes, when necessity demands it, and when the matter sworn to is true and just: when a man thus swears he imitates God, honors Him as all-holy, all-wise, all-just, and contributes to the triumph of justice and innocence. On the other hand, great sins are committed:

1.       By those who swear in a false and unjust cause, which may be, besides, of little moment; for they call upon God as a witness to falsehood and wrong, thus violating His truth and justice.

2.       By those who swear in a good cause, but without necessity or a sufficient reason; for it is certainly unseemly to call God as witness on every trivial occasion.

3.       In like manner, they sin grievously and constantly who have become so habituated to swearing as to break out into oaths, without so much as knowing or thinking whether the thing is true or false, whether they will keep their word or not; where by they expose themselves to great danger, both because they run the risk of swearing falsely, and also because they frivolously abuse the name of God, of His saints, and of His works.

Everyone, says St. Chrysostom, who swears often sometimes swears falsely; just as lie who talks a great deal sometimes utters things unseemly and improper. For this reason, according to the opinion of St. Augustine, the Savior forbade Christians to swear at all (Matt. v. 34), that they might not fall into a habit of swearing, and, by reason of that, into swearing falsely. Whoever has this habit should take the greatest pains to overcome it. To accomplish which, it will be useful to him to reflect:

1.       That if we have to render an account for every idle word we speak, how much more strictly will we be judged for needless, idle, and false oaths! “Remember thy last end, and thou shalt not sin,”

2.       To remember that persons who swear so lightly are generally less believed than others.

3.       To repent each time that he swears, and to punish himself by a penance.

Orthodox Pentecost[5]

Fifty days after the Resurrection, on the excising Jewish feast of Pentecost, while the disciples and many other followers of Jesus Christ were gathered together to pray, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of "cloven tongues of fire," with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and they began to speak in languages that they did not know. There were many visitors from the Jewish diaspora to Jerusalem at that time for the Jewish observance of the feast, and they were astonished to hear these untaught fisherman speaking praises to God in their alien tongues. This account is detailed in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2.

The number fifty, as in the fiftieth day after Pascha, stands for eternal and heavenly fulfillment, seven times seven, plus one.

Feast of Pentecost

The Orthodox Church sees Pentecost as the final fulfillment of the mission of Jesus Christ and the first beginning of the messianic age of the Kingdom of God, mystically present in his Church. It is traditionally called the beginning of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Besides celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit, the feast also celebrates the full revelation of the divine Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hymns of the Church, celebrate the sign of the final act of God's self-disclosure to the world of His creation.

To Orthodox Christians, the feast of Pentecost is not just a celebration of an event in history. It is also a celebration their membership in the Church. They have lived Pentecost and received "the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit" in the sacrament of chrismation.

Celebration of the feast

For the feast of Pentecost the icon of the Holy Trinity, the three angelic figures who appeared to Abraham, is placed in the center of the church for veneration. This icon is used with the traditional Pentecost icon. The church building is decorated with flowers and the green leaves of the summer to show that God's divine breath comes to renew all creation. Green vestments and coverings are also used.

In many parishes the feast is celebrated starting the evening before with Great Vespers. Some parishes also serve Matins on the morning of the feast before the Divine Liturgy.

The Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom with special hymns replacing the standard Antiphons. The hymns O Heavenly King and We have seen the True Light are sung for the first time since Easter, calling the Holy Spirit to "come and abide in us," and proclaiming that "we have received the heavenly Spirit."

An extraordinary service called the Kneeling Vespers, is observed on the evening of Pentecost. This is a Vespers service to which are added three sets of long poetical prayers, the composition of Saint Basil the Great, during which everyone makes a full prostration, touching their foreheads to the floor (prostrations in church having been forbidden from the day of Pascha (Easter) up to this point). In many parishes, this service is done immediately after the Liturgy.

After Pentecost

The Monday after Pentecost is the Feast of the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Church, and the Sunday after Pentecost is the Feast of All Saints.

Even though the start of the Church year is considered to start in September, the liturgical center of the annual cycle of Orthodox worship is the feast of Pascha, preceded by Great Lent, and pre-lent, and followed by the fifty days of paschal celebration until the feast of Pentecost. Until the start of the next Great Lent, the Sundays and weeks following Pentecost, are numbered from Pentecost. Liturgical readings and hymns will be based on the "weeks after Pentecost" as listed in the Octoechos, Apostolos, and Lectionary arranged Gospel.

International Widows Day[6]

International Widows' Day serves to recognize widows and their unique situations worldwide. Widows are women whose husbands have died. After their husbands have passed, many widows are forced to fight for their human rights and overcome many obstacles to ensure their social and economic development. It is estimated that there are over 245 million widows worldwide, nearly half of which live in extreme poverty and are subject to cruel violence.

Top Events and Things to Do

  • Watch a movie about the life of a widow. Some suggestions are: Water (2005), Black Widow (1987), and Passionada (2002).
  • Read a book about the lives and struggles of widows. Some suggestions are: The Amish Widow’s Secret, A Widow’s Story, and The Writings and Later Wisdom Books.
  • Use the hashtags #InternationalWidowsDay, #IWD and #WidowsDay on social media to help spread awareness of the holiday.
  • Visit an old age or retirement home. Retirement homes are often home to many widows who receive no visits and little interaction with people outside of the homes. They will appreciate your visit.

Widowhood in Judaism-Mary Our Queen was a Widow.

Widowhood in Judaism is treated as a distinct state of being, for a woman. If the widow's husband had died after the start of the actual marriage (Hebrew: nissuin), rather than merely dying after the betrothal (Hebrew: erusin), she became a legally independent individual; the Talmud states that a woman became independent from her father upon her marriage (nissuin), and she would become independent from her husband when he dies. It was said that a formerly married widow was tantamount to an orphan.

Though Judaism takes a somewhat benign attitude towards widows, historically it has also imposed a small number of odious requirements on them. For example, if a widow's husband had appointed her to be the guardian of his children, and some were still infants, her husband's heirs had a Talmudic right to demand an oath from the widow, concerning her management of the children; however, her husband could, before dying, remove this task, by means of written revocation of it.


The Book of Isaiah argues that one should judge the fatherless, plead for the widow; in Judaism, it consequently became customary to give cases raised by any widow the second highest priority (the fatherless having the highest), when scheduling cases for a rabbinic court. The later Deuteronomic Code takes up this principle, commanding that the fatherless (and resident aliens) should not be deprived of justice, and forbidding people from taking a widow's cloak as a pledge; in Judaism this command was regarded as referring to all movable property belonging to a widow, rather than merely her outer clothing.

In the second prologue of the Book of Deuteronomy, which scholars regard as a later prefix to the Deuteronomic Code, it is said that such protection is also provided by God himself, judging the (cases of the) fatherless and the widow. Similarly, a psalm argues that God was a father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows. The Talmud permits a widow to remain resident in her husband's house.


The Deuteronomic Code legislates the requirement for gleanings to be left for consumption by widows (and by the fatherless, and by resident aliens); according to the Holiness Code, which scholars attribute to a different author and time period, gleanings were actually to be left to the poor, and to strangers. The Deuteronomic Code also expects widows (and the fatherless, and resident aliens) to be treated as guests at Shavuot and Sukkot, and permits them (and the fatherless, and resident aliens), every third year, to eat from the proceeds of the Levite Tithe.

More substantive and continual means of support are provided for widows by the Talmud, which allows a widow to claim support from her husband's estate, even after the estate had been inherited by his heirs; as with married life, if the woman made such a claim, she had to surrender all her earnings to the owners of the estate, in order to offset their duty to support her.

As with an absent husband, it was argued that a widow should be allowed to sell any parts of her former husband’s property, if necessary to sustain herself. She was not required to make such sales via rabbinic courts; however, the Talmud argues that if she did not involve a rabbinic court, and sold land for this purpose, for less than it was actually worth, the sale would be void.


In Judaism, alimony for a widow is a right written into most Jewish marriage contracts (Hebrew:ketubah); the alimony itself is often referred to as the ketubah, in consequence of this. There was no statue of limitations against a widow collecting her alimony, as long as she possessed the ketubah for the marriage in question; if she no longer possessed this ketubah, and had re-married since the death, the statute of limitations for the claim was 25 years since the death. However, in the Talmud's opinion, once a widow had claimed her alimony, or had agreed to receive it, she should no longer be allowed to claim support from her husband's estate, nor to live in his former home.

The Talmud sets the minimum amount for this alimony as 200 zuzim for a bride who had been a virgin when the marriage began, and a mere 100 zuzim for a non-virgin bride; 200 Zuzim is generally considered [by whom?] to have been enough for a woman to financially support herself for a full year. These minimum amounts were not the upper limit, meaning that the groom could, if he wished, increase the amount of alimony that the bride would receive. Any property which came into the marriage as a dowry-like gift, was legally possessed by the husband during the marriage, but it eventually returned to the widow's ownership, as part of her alimony (at least according to the classical rabbis).

The right of a widow to claim the alimony could be transferred by her to absolutely anyone, for any reason, including selling the right. If she died before completely obtaining the alimony, her heirs could inherit the right to claim the outstanding amount; the Talmud argues that such inheritance would carry with it an obligation to pay for the proper burial of the woman.

There are, though, several things which Jewish tradition regards as sufficient to cause the alimony to be forfeited, should the bride have committed them. These included immodest behavior, adultery, having sexual intercourse with her husband while she was ritually impure due to menstruating, given her husband food that was ritually forbidden, and obdurate refusal, for more than a month, to have sex with her husband. It could even be forfeited if the wife had failed to inform her husband, prior to the marriage, of all of her physical defects which were not already known about by him.

The chained wife

As the classical rabbis do not allow a man to be presumed dead merely on the basis of a prolonged absence, the wife of a man who has travelled to foreign locations and become lost (such as explorers in the Amazon, and soldiers in World War II), or of a man who has deliberately abandoned his wife and become uncontactable, would continue to be married to him, according to the views of Jewish tradition. A woman trapped into a marriage in this way was referred to as an agunah, literally meaning a chained/anchored wife; in modern times, the term agunah has also come to refer to women trapped into a marriage for other reasons, such as being refused a divorce by their husband.

In order to mitigate the hardship arising from being an agunah, Judaism has traditionally been willing to also accept a much more lax standard of evidence about a husband's fate, compared to its requirements for other questions. To prevent the situation arising in the first place, some Jewish husbands provisionally divorce their wives before undertaking long journeys, or taking part in warfare; such divorce only takes effect if the husband goes missing for more than a certain period of time. Provisional divorce has been used by some Jewish American soldiers, during World War II, but other Jewish groups, such as the Chief Rabbinate of the modern State of Israel, have completely rejected the method.


According to Jewish tradition, as soon as a widow remarried, she would no longer have the right to reside in her former husband's home, nor to claim support from his estate. Remarriage, though, was not entirely a free choice, and was subject to several restrictions.

Waiting period

The classical rabbis forbade all widows from remarrying, until at least 90 days had passed since the death of their previous spouse; the delay existed to reduce doubt about the paternity of any subsequent children, by making it easier to discover whether the widow was pregnant. A similar waiting requirement, known as iddah, exists in Islamic society, for similar reasons. Purely for the sake of bureaucratic standardization, the classical rabbis insisted upon a woman waiting the 90 days even when it was obvious that she could not be pregnant.

A widow was also forbade from remarriage if she became visibly pregnant during the 90 day waiting period, or if had a child which was both younger than 24 months old, and had still been breastfeeding when the widow's husband had died. Once the child had reached 24 months in age, or died, the widow was allowed to remarry (if there was no other impediment).

Forbidden remarriage

The Talmud suggests that it would be unwise for men to marry a widow. Furthermore, it completely forbids a widow from remarriage if two of her previous husbands have died from natural causes, while she was married to them; it was believed that such a woman was too dangerous to marry, either due to bad luck, or due to her having a dangerous vagina harboring some malignant disease.

If a widow had been suspected of adultery, she was forbade, by the Talmud, from ever marrying her suspected accomplice, unless she first married someone else; this intervening marriage was thought to refute, to some degree, the accusation of the adultery. Similarly if it is necessary for legal action to confirm a woman's widowhood (due to her husband being absent or missing), the classical rabbis instruct that she may not marry any of the witnesses who have testified that her husband is dead.

Priests, and those who claim descent from them.

The Holiness Code demands that the Israelite high priest must only marry a virgin, spelling out that this forbids marriage to a widow. According to the regulations in the Book of Ezekiel, even ordinary priests should be forbidden to marry widows, unless the previous husband of the widow had also been a priest. The classical rabbis followed the regulation of the Holiness Code in this respect, except that they permitted a high priest to remain married to a widow, if he had married her while he was merely an ordinary priest.

Although the first century destruction of the temple in Jerusalem resulted in the priesthood being redundant, the Torah frequently portrays the Israelite priesthood as an hereditary position, and so the rabbis of the Middle Ages regarded these regulations as applying, still, to all men who claim to be descended from such priests; such claims can often be detected in modern surnames resembling the Hebrew word kohen, the term used in most parts of the masoretic text to mean priest (the cognates in related languages, however, mean soothsayer. In the Middle Ages, several rabbis forced such men to divorce any wife prohibited by these rules, often by threatening excommunication if this was not done.

Compulsory remarriage

Among the Israelites, a wife was legally regarded simply as property (valuable property that needed to be looked after, and was thus inherited by close relatives, like other property; this principle was widespread among ancient cultures, and it was usual for the deceased husband's brother to be the first choice to inherit the wife. This levirate marriage (levir is the Latin term for a husband's brother) was made almost compulsory by the Septuagint's version of the Deuteronomic Code, if the husband and his brother lived together, and the husband was childless; the masoretic text, of this passage, makes it compulsory even when the husband was just lacking a son (and he had lived with his brother). In contrast, the Holiness Code of Leviticus appears twice to forbid the institution, listing it among forms of incest.

If the brother in question refuses to take part in the levirate marriage, the wife was permitted by the Deuteronomic Code to loosen his shoe, and spit on him; this act, known in Judaism as Halitzah, also existed in other cultures which practiced levirate marriage. This purpose of this act, however, is not explained by the Torah, though the Book of Ruth implies that it derives from an historic practice customary at every transaction involving landed property; the person disposing of the property gave away his shoe as a symbol of the transaction. In later Judaism, Halitzah was interpreted as releasing the widow and her brother-in-law from an obligation to marry each other.

By the time the Talmud was written, levirate marriage was regarded by rabbinic Jews as an objectionable practice, and Ashkenazi Jews now almost always perform the Halitzah ritual instead; nevertheless, levirate marriage, in accordance with the Deuteronomic Code, continues to be the usual practice of Sephardi Jews. The Samaritans and Karaites usually only performed levirate marriage if the original marriage had not been consummated.

Catechism of the Catholic Church





I. Christ - The Unique Word of Sacred Scripture

101 In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: "Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men."

102 Through all the words of Sacred Scripture, God speaks only one single Word, his one Utterance in whom he expresses himself completely:

You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.

103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord's Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God's Word and Christ's Body.

104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, "but as what it really is, the word of God". "In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them."

Claire’s Corner

Saint John's Eve[7], starting at sunset on 23 June, is the eve of the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. This is one of the very few feast days marking a saint's birth, rather than their death. The Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:26–37, 56–57) states that John was born six months before Jesus; therefore, the feast of John the Baptist was fixed on 24 June, six months before Christmas. In the Roman calendar, 24 June was the date of the summer solstice, and Saint John's Eve is closely associated with Midsummer festivities in Europe. Traditions are similar to those of May Day and include bonfires (St John's fires), feasting, processions, church services, and gathering wild plants.

When we were in Germany there were bonfires lit all thru the night.

Germany sees a number of Midsummernight festivals around Johannistag (St. John's Day, 24 June).

Daily Devotions

·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.

·         Simplicity of life can drive out demons. Honesty is a weapon to defeat Satan, the Liar. When we lie, we put a foot in his camp, and he will try to seduce us all the more.

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

·         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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