40 Days to Freedom from the Devil

Starting Tomorrow: Let Freedom Ring: 40 Days to Freedom from the Devil[1]

 

July 7-August 15, 2020



Goal:

Through acts of reparation, fasting, penance, charity, and prayer (both personal and sacramental) we call upon the power of God to release ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation from all demonic influence and oppression.

Method:

 

Each day will be broken into prayer, reflection, and reparation.

Reflection

A reflection (rotating from Fr. Peckman, Fr. Altman & Fr. Heilman) will be written for each day on a particular manifestation of the demonic and the sin it leads to. It will commend a corresponding virtue to cultivate. 

Prayer

Prayers of reparation and exorcism will be followed by a litany

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·         Wednesday: Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Thursday: Litany of St. Joseph

·         Friday: Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

·         Saturday: Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

·         Sunday: Litany of the Blessed Sacrament

Acts of Reparation and Penance

Factoring into this will be variables of age, ability, and availability.

* To pray a Rosary for the Intention of exorcism of the day's area of reflection 

* To pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet in reparation for the sin caused by the area of the day's reflection 

* To commit one act of either a spiritual or corporal works of mercy for either one who has been harmed by our sin or who has harmed us by their sin. 

* To commit to fasting or abstinence days as prescribed below. 

* To commit to a prescribed time of exercise based on one's abilities

 * To commit to going to confession once a week (where available)

 * To refrain from all use of the conventional media throughout the 40 days and to limit one's use of social media to one hour a day for non-business or evangelical use.

Levels

Understanding that age, health, and the Covid 19 pandemic are current factors...

·         Black level: (For clerics)

o   Acts of reflection and prayer remain intact. Added is a commitment to a Holy Hour every day.

§  Cleric commits to fasting 3xs a week (unless age or medical condition is an issue).

§  Cleric commits to abstaining from sweets, soda, junk food, and fast food for all 40 days.

§  Clerics with medical conditions and over the age of 65 commit to a half hour of exercise. Otherwise they commit to one hour of exercise, with the understanding that one can exercise and pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet at the same time.

§  They also commit to making more time for the confessional, daily Mass, and praying the entirety of the Divine Office (all hours) for the 40 days.

§  The prayer, reflection, some acts of reparation can be done during Holy Hour and/or exercise time.

§  Clerics commit to confession once a week. Clerics, in a special way, should offer the prayers for those placed under their pastoral care and do their acts of reparations for those harmed by the actions of any cleric, including themselves.

·         Blue level: Recommended for those called to go "All In!"

o   Acts of Reflection and prayer remain intact.

§  Person commits to fasting 3xs a week (Wednesday, Friday, and any other day, save Sunday).

§  Abstinence from sweets, soda, junk food, and fast food for all 7 days.

§  One hour of exercise with the understanding that one can exercise and pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet simultaneously.

·         Red Level: Recommended for those who do not think they can do the blue level:

o   Acts of Reflection and prayer remain intact.

§  Person commits to fasting 2xs a week on Wednesdays and Fridays.

§  Abstinence from sweets, soda, junk food, and fast food for the other four days.  

§  One hour of exercise, with the understanding that one can exercise and pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet at the same time

·         White Level: Recommended for pregnant women, senior citizens, those with serious medical conditions:

o   Acts of Reflection and prayer remain intact.

§  Abstinence 3xs a week from sweets, soda, junk food, & fast food instead of fasting.

§  Half hour of exercise instead of an hour. That other half hour can be used to do spiritual reading.

§  It should be noted that praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet can be done while exercising

 

Prayer for Freedom from the Devil

(We will all pray the following prayer each day)

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror.

You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.

By the power of Your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord

To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels

To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.

Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, the Church,

So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation

We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust.

Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done.

Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.

Amen.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us

St. Joseph ... pray for us

St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us

(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us

(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

Communication:

 

A reflection will be sent out every day via US Grace Force email (sign-up below). Prayers and Litanies will accompany each day. It will also be posted on US Grace Force Website (usgraceforce.com) and shared on various platforms of social media.

 ENLIST IN THE UNITED STATES GRACE FORCE
(Please recruit family and friends to enlist!)



[1]https://usgraceforce.com/let-freedom-ring-40-days-to-freedom-from-the-devil/


Monday-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Fear-Day 1

By Fr. Bill Peckman

In the Garden of Eden, the Devil tempts Adam and Eve. He lies to them. His lie is effective because it taps into fear. The fear is simple: God does not want what is good for you. The Devil sells a fear to Adam and Eve that God wishes them to be perpetually ignorant of good and evil (even though they already knew the good), that they are missing out without that knowledge. Fear finds its roots in a disbelief in God's providence and care. God knows this and in the Scriptures. He tells us 365 times to not be afraid. Overcoming fear is trusting in God.

Fear rules our nation now. It used to be that the American Dream was the ability to act rightly and freely and set one's course independent of one's socioeconomic status. In the last 100 years the American Dream transformed into accumulation of possessions and status. Now the American dream had turned into a nightmare of anarchy by which the dream is complete autonomy and self-determination independent of God, science, or reason. The fear comes from a belief that this life is all that there is, and we must create a reality conducive to my personal truth. Anyone who challenges this is to be feared and despised.

Fear rules within most churches now. Fear has reduced the evangelical call of the Great Commission to a call for the comfortable and non-challenging. It has stilled out tongues on moral issues. It has gutted our catechesis. It has emptied our seminaries and decimated the priesthood. Being Catholic has always carried a stigma in this country. With the scandals in the Church, fear of being accused of things one would never do is a strong deterrent to answering God's call. It was for me. When the purveyors of fear have raised their voices, in fear we Catholics have allowed ours to be silenced. A fearful person who will not stand up against the lies of a human being will never stand up to the lies perpetrated by the father of lies, the Devil. We would do well to heed Jesus's rebuke of His apostles in Mathew 8:26, "Why are you fearful, ye of little faith?" He says this as they are being tossed on the sea by a strong storm.

It might be said that courage is the virtue to cultivate to fight fear. It goes deeper. The virtue to cultivate is the theological virtue of faith. To countermand the Devil's use of fear, in believing that God does not want what is good for us or will abandon us if we follow Him, we must cultivate faith so as to be able and willing to put our trust in His goodness and plan.

 Because it is a theological virtue, the virtue only grows with the assistance of the grace of God. We will not be able to cultivate faith without the sacramental life of the Church. Even when circumstance prevents our participation in the sacramental life of the Church, the fervent desire to participate in the sacramental life of the Church allows that opening for God to flood us with the grace to grow our faith. Such desire has aided the imprisoned, the ill, and the exile.

Faith must lead to conversion. If not, then the grace of God is squandered. We shall have to answer for this. Conversion is an outward and inward sign of the trust we faith we have in God. Conversion sets the devil on his heels. It calls out his lie. Faith will lead us to a place where we can stand out against the rising tide and fight against the diabolical. Dead men flow downstream, weak men float downstream, but live men can walk against the current and move forward. Faith is the power train to give us such abilities.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to doubt in your goodness. We have still our tongues in the face of evil. We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing the strong storms to quell our trust in you. In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to you Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg your forgiveness for our fear and timidity. We beg for the grace of your goodness to build up within us what you sought to build up in your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.

We know, Lord, if you will it, it will be done.

Trusting in you, we offer our prayer to you who live and reign forever.

Amen

Prayer of Exorcism

 Lord God of Heaven and Earth, in your power and goodness, you created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of your arm and Word of your mouth cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to your will. Send your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in your church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.

Trusting in your goodness Lord, We know if you will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever. Amen.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,                                 Hear me. 

From the desire of being esteemed,                Deliver me, O Jesus. 

From the desire of being loved,                      Deliver me, O Jesus. 

From the desire of being extolled, 

From the desire of being honored, 

From the desire of being praised, 

From the desire of being preferred to others, 

From the desire of being consulted, 

From the desire of being approved, 

From the fear of being humiliated,                  Deliver me, O Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, 

From the fear of suffering rebukes, 

From the fear of being calumniated, 

From the fear of being forgotten, 

From the fear of being ridiculed, 

From the fear of being wronged, 

From the fear of being suspected, 

That others may be loved more than I, 

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. 

That others may be esteemed more than I, 

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. 

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase 

and I may decrease,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen, and I set aside,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised, and I go unnoticed,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I,

provided that I may become as holy as I should,

Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.



 
Tuesday-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Fear-Day 2

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, at a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror. You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength. By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord. To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels. To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces. Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church, So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation. We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust. Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done. Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.

Amen 

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us 

St. Joseph ... pray for us 

St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us 

(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us 

(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us 

"Freedom from Despair" 

by Fr. Rick Heilman 

There is a stirring scene in the 6th chapter of John's Gospel, a chapter referred to as the "Bread of Life Discourse." Jesus had just told the crowd, " Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life." The response by nearly all was, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" Jesus returns with, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing." And then, in the 66th verse of chapter 6 of John's Gospel, or rather John 6:66, almost everyone leaves: "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him." 

The crowd who abandoned Jesus had abandoned hope. They despaired. So, what did they do? They "turned back" to the emptiness of "merely existing" in the flesh. This emptiness or "desolation" is the place the devil wants us to be. It is Satan's kingdom. 

I believe it is no accident that the chapter and verse of this act of despair in John's Gospel is 666. We are given free will. We can choose God or not. In the Book of Revelation, 666 is the number of the beast, or the number of man. Once separated from God, Satan wants us to believe we are merely one animal (beast) among many; just part of the herd. So, like animals, we are left to scramble to fill this void with worldly wants and lusts; works of the flesh. 

Make no mistake about it, the influencers of our culture (media, Hollywood, TV, universities, public schools, etc.) are, by and large, godless propagandists who are determined to instill in us the notion that we are "merely animals." Therefore, women are objectified, men are just vulgar beasts, pre-born babies are a clump of cells, and the nuclear family - the bedrock of civilization - is outdated. As the Satanic bible proclaims: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." Just be animals. 

After the crowd abandoned Jesus in despair, He then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God." 

The Apostles were not buying the lie of the devil. No, we are not just animals, we are precious children of God, created in His image. Therefore, life in the Spirit is filled with the hope of a joyful and amazing journey of striving to please God in every way, especially by striving to become the very best version of ourselves we can possibly be. And, just as Jesus demonstrated on the cross, we are called to a total selfless love of neighbor. 

The crowd abandoned Him in despair, but the Apostles stayed with Him in hope. If we want the hope of all meaning and purpose in life as a child of God, we simply must get near to Him, because "the Spirit gives life." We must combat the temptation of allowing our faith to devolve into merely "punching the clock" by fulfilling basic obligations. Many avoid an intimate relationship with the Lord because, like the crowd, they believe, "This is a hard teaching." In other words, if they "let God in," He will ask "too much" from us. It's better to keep God at arm's length, a manageable distance. 

It's time to "make it personal." It's time to "get near" to Him before the Blessed Sacrament. Spend time Adoring Our Lord. This can be done by scheduling an hour at a local Adoration Chapel, or you can simply come early or stay after Mass. Be careful, though, because you may just find yourself crying out, "My Lord and my God!" ... and then everything will change. Your life, filled with hope, will rise to new and exciting heights! 

"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:31 

Prayer of Reparation 

My Lord and my God, We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to despair in Your Presence and Power.
We have kept ourselves distanced from You, so that we may be safe from Your plan for our lives. We have been too fearful to trust in a personal relationship that may ask too much from us. In our doubt and despair, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance. We turn to You Lord, in our emptiness, and beg Your forgiveness for our despairing lack of trust. We beg for the grace to draw near to You, even as we watch, as did the Apostles, so many who abandon You. We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done. Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. 

Prayer of Exorcism 

Lord God of Heaven and Earth, in your power and goodness, you created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of your arm and Word of your mouth Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us from faithlessness and fear. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to your will. Send your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in your church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in your goodness Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever. Amen. 

Litany of St. Joseph 

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us. 
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us. 
Holy Mary, pray for us. 
Saint Joseph, pray for us. 
Illustrious son of David, …
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church, 

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord. 


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord. 


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us. 



He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions. 

Let Us Pray. 

O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.

 Day 3-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Treason

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us
 
"Freedom from Treason" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, the very word "treason" stirs a fundamental loathing within us toward the traitor. Nobody likes a traitor, a betrayer. Indeed, as to the greatest traitor of all time, the betrayer of the Son of God, Jesus Himself said "... woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born." Mt 26:24

The common understanding or definition of traitor is criminal disloyalty, typically to the state. It is a crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's nation or sovereign. Perhaps the most ancient figure that exemplifies treason is Brutus, who betrayed Julius Caesar, through whom Shakespeare had utter the famous words "et tu Brute?" - "and you, Brutus" - even you, Brutus, my friend? Remember such similar, chilling words, spoken 2,000 years ago, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" Lk 22:48

As Americans - at least before the current historical revisionism - we have known since schooldays what to think of treason. We were taught what to think through classic examples that, like every good parable, imparted to us the sense of right and wrong. On the one hand, we learned of the betrayal by Benedict Arnold, whose name has become synonymous with treason. Benjamin Franklin wrote that "Judas sold only one man, Arnold three million." On the other hand we learned of the glorious sacrifice of Nathan Hale who, as he stood before the British gallows, uttered the renowned words "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

Who can forget the brave witness of Faith of Bishop St. John Fisher who refused to apostatize himself before the malevolent King Henry VIII, whilst the rest of the cowardly episcopacy bent to the will of a mere human. Who can forget the more recent brave witnesses of the Mexican clergy-martyrs, like Blessed Miguel Pro, or the incomprehensibly brave 14-year-old boy, St. José Sánchez del Río.

It all fits together ... the secular revulsion we have toward the "Benedict Arnolds" of the world, and the revulsion we have toward the "Judases" who betrayed us in the Faith. It certainly explains the revulsion that the faithful had for the grave betrayal of the abuse scandal. It was bad enough that abuse occurred in the first place; it was immeasurably worse when certain members of the hierarchy covered it up, it was much worse than that when others who knew stood by and did nothing, and worst of all when some of the hierarchy themselves were perpetrators. The grave consequences to the faith of the faithful is well known.

But it is easy to blame those we readily identify as Judases. It is a lot easier to point the finger at other particularly evil traitors, but what about us? Let us never forget the parable Jesus taught about those who were convinced of their own righteousness. How often are we like the Pharisee who took up his position in the Temple "... and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity-greedy, dishonest, adulterous-or even like this tax collector."  Lk 18:11

The fact is that we all have been traitors. In fact, we all are traitors, to a greater or lesser extent, maybe, but traitors nonetheless, every single time we betray the Sacrifice on Calvary, every time we sin, in what we have done and in what we have failed to do. We betray the Cross of Christ every time we refuse to pick up our cross and follow Jesus to our own personal Calvary. For today, let us look at what might be the most insidious way we betray Jesus in what we have failed to do.

As the great Archbishop Charles Chaput once said: "For Pope Benedict, lay people and priests don't need to publicly renounce their Catholic faith to be apostates; they simply need to be silent when their baptism demands that they speak out, to be cowards when Jesus asks them to have courage." So what about us? What about our own treason?

Dear family, in our PC-poisoned culture, we are stigmatized, chastised and ostracized when we try to live out our Faith publicly. We are hammered by the proposition that we are being "judgmental" when we stand up for the Truths of our Faith. Yet, if we speak the unchanged and unchangeable Truth about sin, and endure the repercussions for speaking up and speaking out, should we not have the same attitude as Jesus to the temple guard, "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"  Jn 18:23

Let us pray this day to be free from treason - from highest treason - against Jesus our Lord, in what we do, but perhaps even more, in what we have failed to do, by remaining silent when our baptism calls us to arms, to stand up and speak out against sin in the world. Indeed, dear family, we will know we have gone spiritually blind when we can see nothing significantly wrong with something that God has called sin.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to move our hearts toward treason.
We have fallen into treason when we have not lived up to the call of our Baptism by not acknowledging You before others.
We fear the persecution in every aspect of our lives, especially those things that impact on our income, or on our social relationships.
In our weakness, we have been weak in Faith, and betrayed You like Peter in the courtyard, denying You far many more times.
In so many ways, we fear the ill-will of man more than we fear the loss of Heaven.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our countless betrayals.
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the courage to say to others to others, "yes, I know Him Who is Lord of Heaven and Earth."
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In your power and goodness, you created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of your arm and Word of your mouth
Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to your will.
Send your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in your goodness Lord,
We know if you will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us. 

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son
of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, etc.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of Eternal Life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord. 

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord. 
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.




Day 4-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Predation

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us
 
"Freedom from Predation" by Fr. Bill Peckman

The Devil is the ultimate predator. St. Peter warns his readers, "Stay sober and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) The devil is always looking for any opening in which he can pounce and destroy. He uses everything from occult practices to our concupiscence (our predilection to sin) to gain a beachhead. He will also teach us how to follow him as predators ourselves.

We live in a society that encourages predation. From the mobster who shakes down the local merchant for protection to the sex trafficker and pornographer to the predatory interest charged in so many loans to the endless scams used to bilk people out of money to the common bullying (cyber and otherwise) to those engaged in domestic violence, our society is full of predators looking for their mark; looking for their next meal. Many hide behind the cover of darkness, anonymity, or even behind the law.

Our Church has been rocked over the past half century by predation. The most obvious examples have stemmed from the scandals in which clerics preyed on their own flocks for sexual gratification, heinously even preying on the lambs of their flock. Others have preyed on their flock through financial malfeasance by defrauding their parishes or dioceses of funds. Many are also complicit in withholding from their flocks the means by which to stave off predation. In abandoning their flocks to the wolves, they are every bit as guilty as the wolves they allowed access to their flocks.

Certainly we can extend these behaviors to the most basic building block of the Church known as the domestic church or the family. In these places we can see domestic violence, molestation, and other nefarious abuses of power that have their roots in the diabolic. From all levels of the Church the demonic mimicking of the predatory behaviors of the Devil must be purged.

All predatory behavior stems from selfishness: its needs or wants are so very important that any and all means to satisfy them must be done. For a predator, its satiation is of far greater value than your happiness, security, or life. While a predator may be infatuated by their prey, they cannot love their prey for they mean to eventually destroy their prey or discard their prey when they have taken all they want. What force could possibly stand up against such an insatiable beast?!

We look to Christ the Good Shepherd for our answer! Christ does not prey on His flock. No, He places Himself between His flock and that which would destroy His flock. He stands in that breech, sacrificing Himself for the salvation of the flock. Jesus tells us, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep" (John 10:11). Why?  Because He loves them. You cannot love someone and prey on them at the same time. Hence, the virtue we cultivate to conquer any and all desires to be a predator is the theological virtue of love. Love, divine love (or agape) is completely selfless. Instead of focusing on one's own desires and satiation, one instead looks to the good of others even when in doing so incurs suffering or sacrifice. Love, because it is of God, chases away the devil and his minions. It helps us to, as St. Paul says of himself, to be 'poured out like an oblation' (II Timothy 4:6)

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to prey on those we deem weaker or disposable.
We have still our tongues in the face of such evil.
We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing selfish desires to suffocate your love that is to dwell within us.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to you Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg your forgiveness for our selfishness and silence.
We beg for the grace of your goodness to teach us to shepherd rightly those you place in our care and the courage to stand in the breech between them and the demonic.
Help us to love as you love.
We know, Lord, if you will it, it will be done.
Trusting in you, we offer our prayer to you who live and reign forever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In your power and goodness, you created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of your arm and Word of your mouth
Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to selfishness and predation.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of predation have planted in your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in your goodness Lord,
We know if you will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.
 
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus,  we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings, .
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray -  Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.
Day 5-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Predation
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us
 
"Freedom from Cowardice" by Fr. Rick Heilman

Recently, Facebook suspended my account for 24 hours for sharing a video of a doctor who has had success with a treatment for Covid-19. The video that, supposedly, does not follow Facebook's community standards, has 1.5 million views in one week, and was not banned on Youtube.

What's going on here? Obviously, this is about the ongoing threat of my willingness to speak the "truth" openly, which is not allowed by the "Mob," who is clearly in power now. This action by Facebook is an example of the classic "chilling effect" meant to place fear in anyone who does not stay within the lines of the Mob's agenda. "Chilling effect" is a term in law and communication that describes a situation where a speech or conduct is suppressed by fear of penalization at the interests of an individual or group.

The problem, right now, is that this "chilling effect" is proving to be very effective. The vast majority of people are cowering in fear. Even religious leaders are kowtowing to the Mob. Why? Because speaking the truth openly is considered "divisive." In other words, because those who "oppose the Holy Spirit" aggressively express their offense of Divine Revelation (Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition), we must remain silent on these teachings. For the sake of unity, we must silently sit by and allow the normalization of killing babies, the demise of the nuclear family, homosexuality, gender dysphoria (grown men share a bathroom with little girls), Marxism, etc.

These growing calls for silence, amid the mounting aggression of the mob, have turned an incrementalism of evil into a bum-rush of everything that betrays the will of God.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote, "The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction."

Jesus did not prescribe this silent acquiescence to evil as a way to avoid division. We are not to kowtow to any "chilling effect" from the Mob. Instead, we must be willing to boldly speak the truth with love, in spite of the backlash that is sure to come: "Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved" (Matthew 10:21-22).

There it is: "... but whoever endures to the end will be saved."  Therefore, I must ask myself: What if I got hit by a car today? So, now, I am standing before the Judgment Throne of God. Will I be eternally condemned for being divisive in speaking truth that might offend those who oppose the truth? Or, will I be saved because I endured, in fortitude, to not be afraid to thwart the advancement of evil, in our times, by standing with Christ, and His truth, come what may?

Where do you stand?

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward cowardice.
We have allowed the aggression of evil to make us recoil in fear.
We have been too cowardly to openly stand with You and Your truth.
In our fear and silence, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to you Lord, in our shame, and beg your forgiveness for our cowardly silence.
We beg for the grace of Your strength and power to grant us the resolve to turn back the falsehoods of the enemy by freely and openly speaking Your truth with love to a waiting world.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to timidity and cowardice.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of cowardice have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.

Let Us Pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Envy Day 6
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us
 
Let Freedom Ring: Freedom From Envy

The green-eyed monster that mocks what it feeds upon. In Othello, Iago warns Othello of the green-eyed monster that we know as jealousy or envy. How appropriate that the deadly sin of envy should be given a monstrous or demonic personage! Envy is the resentment one feels for the success or good of another. It is not necessarily directed only at one's enemies, but also at one's family and friends, which leads to the German term schadenfreude (leave it to our German ancestors to have an extensive vocabulary for pain). In the Gospel of Mark, 9:38-40, the apostles come across a man who is exorcising demons in Jesus' name and they try to stop him. Jesus responds by telling them to let the man be, as anyone who is with Him cannot be against Him. We see time and again the envy of the religious leaders who persecute Jesus, seeking ways to trap Him in the process of showing mercy. Envy, as Shakespeare noted, mocks what it feeds on in that it is incapable of rejoicing in the good of another.

Envy is pervasive in our society. We are taught to resent the success of others as somehow it threatens our identity or morale. We are taught to resent the belongings of others as it somehow came from our portion of the pie. We are taught to find excuses in our perpetual victimhood that can be laid at the feet of those who succeed. Some political movements, such as Marxism, rely on envy to stir resentment so as to destroy the social order. Envy leads us to demonize the successful, to seek their downfall, to denigrate their talents, and to destroy their reputations. It is much easier to tear someone down than it is to convert oneself to something greater.

Such a mentality can find itself in our churches. I worked in the business world for several years prior to going into the seminary. I have seen and climbed the corporate ladder. I did not see near the professional jealousy I have seen among those who work in the Church. Envy and ambition are constant companions. I have seen volunteers tear down other volunteers and wish them failure because they succeed. I have seen this in priests and have been guilty myself from time to time in over 23 years of priestly ministry. Envy is as destructive within the Body of Christ as it is outside of the Body of Christ.

How do we combat such a demonic presence? Let us go back to the response of Christ in Mark 9. "No man who performs a miracle using my name can at the same time speak ill of me. Anyone who is not against us is with us." The Apostles should have rejoiced that the man in question was exorcising in Jesus' name. They should have seen his success as Christ's success. Hence, part of defeating the demonic influence is learning to share in the joy of those who have succeeded justly and to pray for the redemption of those who have succeeded under nefarious means. Either leads us closer to our Christian call. Cultivate joy at the good. Cultivate mercy through prayer for the bad.

Another way to combat envy is thanksgiving. Gratitude for what God has done and continues to do will do more to alleviate the grasp of the green-eyed monster than anything else. It is easy to be envious when one has a dearth of thanksgiving. When one is truly thankful, one has less time and inclination to be envious of what others have or who others are. This thankfulness leads to a generosity and a correct stewardship of what God has given us. Nothing so starves and chases away the green-eyed monster of envy quite the way a heart full of thankfulness does.

Finally, one must cultivate the virtue of humility. Humility seeks the truth about oneself, both good and bad and restrains us from getting caught up in the tentacles of envy. A good example of this can be found in St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. St. Paul is tempted to resent Peter and Apollos in their preaching in Corinth. Although none of three men saw themselves as anything other than being of the team, the people of Corinth had allowed division based on who said what. In St. Paul's response, a plea for unity in Christ, he does not defend himself as greater than Peter or Apollos, rather he humbles himself in Chapter 2. He acknowledges that God uses each as He deems fit. Humility, because it is bound in truth, enables us to rejoice in the good of our brothers, to be thankful for what God does for us, and to have an attitude of mercy.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to resent the blessings You bestow on others and to be blinded to the blessings You have given to us.
We have allowed the thanksgiving we should have for You to become resentment and envy.
We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing selfish desires to suffocate Your love that is to dwell within us.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our thanklessness and resentment.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to rejoice in Your goodness to others and be truly thankful for the many gifts You bestow on us.
Help us to love as You love.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to resentment, envy and thanklessness.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully in imitation of You.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of envy have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal High Priest of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Divine Victim on the Altar for our salvation, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, dwelling in the tabernacles of the world, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, abiding in Your fulness, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Life, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Angels, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, with us always until the end of the world, R. have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, summit and source of all worship and Christian life, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, sign and cause of the unity of the Church, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, adored by countless angels, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, spiritual food, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Sacrament of love, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, bond of charity, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, greatest aid to holiness, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, gift and glory of the priesthood, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we partake of Christ, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which the soul is filled with grace, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we are given a pledge of future glory, R. have mercy on us.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

For those who do not believe in Your Eucharistic presence, R. have mercy, O Lord.
For those who are indifferent to the Sacrament of Your love, R. have mercy on us.
For those who have offended You in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, R. have mercy on us.

That we may show fitting reverence when entering Your holy temple, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may make suitable preparation before approaching the Altar, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may receive You frequently in Holy Communion with real devotion and true humility, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may never neglect to thank You for so wonderful a blessing, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may cherish time spent in silent prayer before You, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may grow in knowledge of this Sacrament of sacraments, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That all priests may have a profound love of the Holy Eucharist, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That they may celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with its sublime dignity, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may be comforted and sanctified with Holy Viaticum at the hour of our death, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may see You one day face to face in Heaven, R. we beseech You, hear us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Let us pray.
Most merciful Father, You continue to draw us to Yourself through the Eucharistic Mystery. Grant us fervent faith in this Sacrament of love, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received. We make this prayer through the same Christ our Lord.
Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Vengeance Day 7
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us
 

"Freedom From Vengeance" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, vengeance sounds a whole lot like revenge to me, both of which we know in our hearts are not a good thing.  One site tried to explain the difference:  "... the difference between revenge and vengeance is that revenge is any form of personal retaliatory action against an individual, institution, or group for some perceived harm or injustice while vengeance is revenge taken for an insult, injury, or other wrong."  Well, that was no help!  They still sound like the same thing.  Sure enough, another site called the words synonyms.

In any event, this we know: Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord ...." -Dt 32:35. The Truth in Deuteronomy is found in the words of St. Paul, "Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord" -Rom 12:19. When the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, He confirmed it all, teaching: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well" -Mt 5:38-39.

What does all this mean, exactly? In our day and age, that is a very important question and, unfortunately, too often is answered with some glib and meaningless recitation of a disconnected scriptural verse, taken out of context, taken out of culture, and taken out of 2,000 years of a language that few people even know anymore: "turn the other cheek."

Let us begin with what Mt 5:38-39 really means. The biblical notes to those two verses states: The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance; the punishment should not exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation. Right away, then, we see this only regards the principle of retaliation. It did not mean then, and it does not mean now, that we simply lay down and play doormat for any evil doer. This "I'm not a doormat" principle may be understood best by the principle of "self defense." We are entitled to defend our lives and we are entitled to defend the lives of others. The right to defense is absolute, and is to be contrasted with the scriptural admonition against retaliation. It also may be understood by pondering the concept of "escalation," where one bad actor "A" incites retaliation from "B" which incites retaliation from "A" which incites more retaliation from "B" and the next thing we see are bodies in the streets of our cities, too often innocent victims, including little children, who get caught in the cross-fire of retaliation.  In a larger sense, who can deny that the current culture of violence, rioting, looting and burning is nothing other than vengeance and retaliation? The anarchists set themselves up against Christian Truth, Truth found in the words of the great prophet Jeremiah apply: "To whom shall I speak?  whom shall I warn, and be heard? ... See, the word of the LORD has become for them an object of scorn, for which they have no taste" -Jer 6:10. It explains why the Seattle mayor's absurd response to CHOP seems to prevail everywhere - remember she called it "the summer of love." We saw the "love" in the murders and violent crimes. Her perverse twisting of Truth also is found in the words of Jeremiah: "They have treated lightly the injury to my people: 'Peace, peace!' they say, though there is no peace" -Jer 6:14.

In a more personal sense, all that we are seeing is nothing other than a reflection of people's hearts devoid of tempering Grace of Divine Love. Divine Love did not rain down lightning bolts upon the Roman centurions who drove the nails into His sacred body. Rather, Jesus sought to show Divine Love when He asked Our Father to forgive them, for they knew not what they did (cf. Lk 23:34). Let us realize, though, that Jesus did not paint with a broad brush of forgiveness to include those who knew what they were doing, or should have known. That is why Jesus said the members of the Sanhedrin who condemned Him would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Mt 5:20). That is why God's Justice will have its day when the lack of love drives so many to act in a vengeful way.

Again, the opposite of Vengeance is Love. But Love is not defined by playing "doormat." In the face of evil, genuine love is known as "tough love." True Love speaks up and speaks out with courage in the face of grave error that threatens real peace. True Love is enshrined in The Spiritual Works of Mercy that teach us to instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinner. Instruction and Admonishment are correction and are not the same as Vengeance or retaliation.

In these dark times, let us not fall into the trap of a false mercy, some twisted interpretation of "turning the other cheek."   Rather let us be a Light of Christ and an example of genuine love that instructs the ignorant and admonishes the sinner. Amidst all the vengeance we see in the streets, and amidst all the personal hurts in our own lives, we will have plenty of opportunity to do that. So, any time we find ourselves struggling with thoughts of Vengeance, and not thoughts of Mercy, let us make haste to spend more time before the Blessed Sacrament, meditating upon the Holy Cross, where the Light of Christ enlightens the darkest thoughts of our own souls.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward Vengeance.
We have allowed works of evil to foment within us a heart of retaliation.
Worse, through our own sins of omission, we have not come to a more full understanding of Your Truth about the difference between a heart dark with the spirit of Vengeance, that expresses itself in acts of evil against others, and the heart enlightened by Love and Mercy that expresses itself in instruction and admonishment of others.
By allowing our hearts to move toward darkness, and not toward the Light, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance in ourselves, but more importantly, in our streets.
We turn to you Lord, in our shame, and beg your forgiveness for any heart of dark vengeance, and any failure to be light of Love.
We beg for the grace of Your strength and power to grant us the resolve to turn back the falsehoods of the enemy by freely and openly speaking Your truth with love to a waiting world.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to revenge and retaliation.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully in imitation of You.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of vengeance have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Elitism Day 8
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us
 

"Freedom From Elitism" by Fr. Rick Heilman

In an interview with Carl E. Olson, Dr. Angelo Codevilla, author of the book, The Ruling Class, said:
"The ruling class are society's 'ins.' This class comprises persons in government, those who depend for their livelihoods on government, and whose socio-economic prospects and hopes are founded on government. Thus, it includes most people in the educational establishment, the media, and large corporations. Its leading elements and its major voting constituencies are the Democratic party. But It transcends political parties because any number of Republicans aspire to its privileges and share its priorities.
 
Above all, the ruling class defines itself by a set of attitudes, foremost of which is contempt for those outside itself. This contempt stems from the rather uniform education that the ruling class's members absorbed from universities and which they developed by living in their subculture. Believing themselves intelligent apostles of scientific truth, they regard others as dumb and in the grip of religious obscurantism. Religion is the greatest of the divides between the ruling class and those it deems its inferiors. Whereas they believe themselves morally good and psychologically sound, they regard others as suffering from psychological dysfunctions and phobias-effectively as bad people. The ruling class does not believe that those outside itself have the right or capacity to conduct their own lives."
The rest of us, often described as the "country class" or, as the 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate called us, "Deplorables," comprise the vast majority of our country. But, the secular religion of the ruling class has captured virtually all of the sources of influence: The media, Hollywood, TV, universities, public schools, etc. At the same time, unfortunately, many religious leaders seem to be tripping over themselves with shameless attempts to ingratiate themselves with this secular religion's high priests.

In today's culture, this elitism has seemed to take control, as speech or conduct contrary to the agenda of "elites," are suppressed with threats of violence to one's reputation, employment, and even destruction of property and physical harm. Let's call it what it is: They are bullies. Operating from moral relativism, which proclaims the end always justifies the means, everything - EVERYTHING! - is on the table for accomplishing the elites' goal of gaining complete power and control.

Elitism is the temptation of every human being, and we have all recognized it as early as our childhood days when the so-called "cool kids" on the playground would exert their superiority, often by ridiculing those they deemed "beneath" them. The temptation is to compromise, surrender or even join ranks with these elites of our day. No! Jesus calls us to be the "mighty influencers" of our culture; to be "disrupters." We're called, not to promote the selfish "establishment" and their power-hungry and godless agenda, but to promote the virtues, morals, values, ethics of God's Kingdom.

The influence of the elites is strong and, in many ways, we have grown weak. More than any other time, WE NEED EACH OTHER ... we need to become UNIFIED! We need to do all we can to spend as much time as possible with others who are striving to GET STRONG in the virtues of God's Kingdom. Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." 

Parishes were always meant to be these epicenters of "unity and strength." Parishes simply must work to be the best possible "spiritual gymnasiums" they can be, where those who attend are encouraged, challenged and instructed in all the ways to become "strong in the Lord and in His mighty power" (Eph. 6:10). Parishes must be places where we find fellow Catholics who "spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Heb. 10:24).

I'm sure you are much like me in that I am long past tired of the Ruling Class's "Mob" claiming the moral high ground with their demonically influenced secular religion. It's high time for all of us to become a force to be reckoned with, UNITED in our resolve to GET STRONG in God's mighty power!

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward elitism.
We have allowed works of evil to foment within us a heart of needing approval.
We have been divided and weak in our lack of resolve to seek the unity and spiritual strength to resist the elites of our culture today.
In our fear and silent self-protection, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to you Lord, in our shame, and beg your forgiveness for our lack of resolve.
We beg for the grace of Your strength and power to grant us the resolve to turn back the falsehoods of the enemy by freely and openly speaking Your truth with love to a waiting world.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to elitism and division.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully in imitation of You.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of elitism have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy, etc.
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,

Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us, etc.
St. Michael, the Archangel,
Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,
Standing at the right of the altar of Incense,
Ambassador of Paradise,
Glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies,
Leader of the Angelic hosts,
The standard-bearer of God's armies,
Defender of Divine glory,
First defender of the Kingship of Christ,
Strength of God,
Invincible Prince and warrior,
Angel of Peace,
Guide of Christ,
Guardian of the Catholic Faith,
Champion of God's people,
Guardian Angel of the Eucharist,
Defender of the Church,
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,
Angel of Catholic action,
Powerful intercessor of Christians,
Bravest defender of those who hope in God,
Guardian of our souls and bodies,
Healer of the sick,
Help of those in their agony,
Consoler of the Souls in Purgatory,
God's messenger for the souls of the just,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Victorious in battle against evil,
Guardian and Patron of the universal Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Sacrament of the Eucharist which we have received may make our souls holy and pleasing to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.

Day 10-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Belligerence
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us
 

"Freedom From Belligerence" by Fr. Bill Peckman

In the Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar, there is a scene in which Marc Anthony is alone with the body of the freshly assassinated Julius Caesar. He seeks vengeance on the assassins knowing it will send Rome into a killing frenzy. From this scene we hear the words, "Cry 'havoc' and let slip the dogs of war!" (Julius Caesar Act III, Scene I) This refrain plays all too quickly in our society as we fall into hellish nightmare of belligerence and anarchy. The word belligerence comes from the Latin words 'bellum' (war) and 'genere' (to bear/carry) and means a person engaged in war. In common usage, a belligerent person is one who looks for and pursues reasons to stir trouble and engage in violent revenge. The father of belligerence is none other than he who fomented the first ever revolution against God: the devil.

We live in a horribly belligerent society right now. So many referred to being 'triggered'; that is, being easily and frequently offended in such a way that justifies both the tenacity and disproportionate nature of their vengeance. The belligerent see themselves as victims of injustice whose suffering or imagined suffering is sufficient grounds for any destruction and mayhem they may engage in to address the injustice. They wreak havoc in the lives of all around them. It is as if they look for (even long for) reasons to be angry so that they may act out without regards for consequences.

That belligerence finds itself in our churches as well. There are so many ways in which we find ourselves willfully polarized by everything from music to ritual to leadership. Some of the most hateful things I have seen posted on social media over the years have been Catholics showing a truly hateful belligerence to their fellow Catholics. I have often noted how Satan cackles at our circular firing squads. As in the secular world, belligerence is all about the accrual of power.

There are times we will not be able to avoid the belligerence of others in our defense and propagation of the truth. Jesus Himself refers multiple times to parent be set against child and child against parent as some accept and follow Christ. How do we answer belligerence?  How do we stave off the desire to become belligerent against all but Satan and his minions?

The answer, I believe, can be found in Matthew 11:28-30. " Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light." In this we see that our lives will come with burdens, pains, injustices, and sorrows. We will have that temptation to return belligerence for belligerence. Certainly, Christ carried this reality right up the cross.

The answer lies in our willingness and ability to show meekness. Meekness has a bad reputation as the quality of being mousy, timid, or weak. Meekness is patience, a virtue that St Paul in Galatians 5:22 reminds us is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Patience is anything but weakness; patience takes incredible strength. It is the strength that Jesus had up on the cross. He shows His strength in patience and endurance. The time for judgement will come. It will be just.

Our ability to show meekness in the face of harm neither condones the harm done to us nor allows another to treat us a door mat. It shows the strength of character that reduces the mock and ridicule and provides a far stronger witness to all. Our war footing should be directed to the devil and his forces; with them we should show nothing but scorn and forcefulness. The devil and his demons have no hope of conversion. They are eternally damned. As for our fellow human beings, as long as they are on this side of the moment of death the possibility, however slim, exists for possible conversion. The Church exists for the salvation of souls. Driving belligerence from our hearts and souls help us endure the yoke of Christ: the ability to selflessly love and show unswerving obedience to the will of the Father in all things. Our only cry to release havoc and the dogs of war should be against the devil and his minions.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to belligerence and wrath.
We have allowed the desire to gain power be reason to crush others.
We have been too fearful of being considered weak by the world, that we have embraced impatience and violence as virtuous.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our belligerence and rebellion against Your command to love our enemies.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance You exhibited on the Cross.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
Amen

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to belligerence and rebellion.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of belligerence have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us. 

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son
of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, etc.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of Eternal Life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



Day 11-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Lust
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Lust
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from You, the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of Your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord
To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us
 
"Freedom From Lust" by Fr. Rick Heilman

One of the most effective weapons of the devil, today, is lust. Our Lady of Fatima revealed, "more souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason." It's more than interesting to note that Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in 1916, just as the angel first appeared to the children in Fatima. The "roaring twenties" would then burst on to the scene shortly after Our Lady's dire warning, which seemed to be "a leak in the dike," of a more debased view of sexuality.

But, the dam would burst wide open with our modern-day sexual revolution. It was in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut, that the Supreme Court would strike down state laws prohibiting contraception. This would be quickly followed, in 1973, by the infamous Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, which legalized the killing of pre-born children in all states.

Once the "consequence of conception" seemed to be removed, or the legal right to kill pre-born babies was made available, the sexual revolution flooded into our culture. Now, we are seeing the "normalization" (socially acceptable) of sex-for-pleasure outside the bond of Holy Matrimony and the explosion of easy access pornography.

Fr. Robert Fromageot, F.S.S.P. writes ...
"The leading lights of our age often claim to champion the rights of women, and in certain respects the claim is legitimate. At the same time, however, our age has clearly not sought to protect and foster the sacred dignity of women. On the contrary, society would have us remove our wedding garment, divest ourselves of Christ, and put on the "old man" and make ample provision for the flesh. Men are practically encouraged to treat women as mere objects of pleasure, and women are encouraged to seek this degrading form of attention and accept it as normal and compatible with their dignity." 
I began by writing that lust is one of Satan's most effective weapons. Why? According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the daughters (consequences) of lust are "blindness of mind, thoughtlessness, inconstancy, rashness, self-love, hatred of God, love of this world and abhorrence or despair of a future world." While mortal sin kills the life of grace within us, lust accomplishes this in a most effective way. In essence, it has taken men (especially) off of the battlefield of spiritual warfare. Instead, they lose any resolve to seek God and His will. They become, in essence, a lump of self-absorbed clay, easily manipulated by the devil. They are lifeless. Satan has managed to sideline countless men who would otherwise be mighty disciples and soldiers for Christ. Imagine how daunting Christ's army would be if it weren't for millions of souls who have, literally, no desire to enter the fray.

Many are caught in the vice of lust. "Vice" indicates the "habitual" nature of the sin. This "vice" reveals the "quality" of a man's soul. Caught in the "vice" of lust, many confess the sin with little or no resolution to cease its repetition. Therefore, grace may not be given entrance to such a soul while the "daughters of lust" maintain their residence in such a soul.

I'm often asked what one can do who is caught in the vice of lust. Of course, there are organizations and support groups available. But, I often tell men that they need to change their perspective.

This is something I wrote that, I believe, gets to the heart of this proper perspective:
"God's glorious creation began with things such as dirt, then vegetation, then animals, etc. ... it just kept getting better and better. God then created His great love interest ... His adopted children ... human beings. Yet man was created only second to last. Woman is the crescendo ... the last and greatest of all of God's creation! More than a beautiful sunset or starry night or any cascading waterfalls or picturesque mountain range ... God has created nothing more beautiful, more loving, more tender-hearted, more nurturing. That is why women are perfectly positioned to be wife and mother. And, because women are the pinnacle of all God's creations, they too, like the Blessed Mother, should be esteemed as sacred. They have been given the special role of being the tabernacle of God's next love interest."
This is the perspective we must recover. I tell men, "go ahead and notice the wonder of woman - it's not dirty or sinful to do so - and give praise to God, but do that in a split second, and don't entertain the base thoughts of the 'old man'" I recall when this perspective was prevalent, as I watched, in my childhood years, gentlemen stand when a lady entered the room. Oh, how I wish that practice would return!

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to lust and sins of the flesh.
We have allowed the desire to deaden our hearts to You and Your will for our lives.
We have been too easily led by the accepted morals of the world that has given us supposed permission to indulge the flesh.
In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our lack of resolve to put on the new man and curb our base desires to indulge the flesh.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance You exhibited on the Cross.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
Amen

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to lust and sins of the flesh.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of lust have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.

Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ graciously hear us

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus,  we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 12-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Pornography
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


"Freedom from Pornography" by Fr. Bill Peckman

In 79 AD, the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under the ash of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. In the mid 1700's, when the cities were discovered and excavated, we got a good look into life in the earliest days of the spread of Christianity and the culture they were up against. In the ruins were many results of pornography in brothels and even common homes. The sexual promiscuity of the Roman culture was no secret even if the practice of it was kept behind closed doors in the name of being discreet. How much it saturated the society was a bit of a shock.

Pornography has been with humanity for a very long time. The word comes from the Greek words 'porne' (prostitute) and graphos (to write). As prostitution is a deliberate cheapening of the human dignity of the woman or man exploited by the sexual gratification of another, pornography further cheapens that dignity by reducing the person to nothing more than an image with which to self-pleasure.

In 1953, we saw the eventual mainstreaming of pornography with the playboy mentality of Hugh Hefner. Within 50 years, the acceptability of pornography, had grown so much as to be seen as both healthy and normative behavior. It is now a 97 billion dollar industry where human trafficking is used (4.5 million men, women, and children are forced into the sex trades, which include the making of pornography and are trained how to 'perform' by use of pornography), and the consumer is trained to completely objectify the human person as a means of self-gratification. There are fewer more potent cancers in our society today than pornography.

It is legion in our society. Both in soft and hard core versions (everything from 'romance' novels to violence), it permeates the entertainment industry at all levels. It is sung about in music, lauded on TV and in motion pictures as normal guy behavior, and now with the internet and social media has spread to the point where our children are taking nude pictures of themselves and sending it to others via texting. It influences how we dress, what we show, and the way we interact. It does permanent damage to the human brain especially if the person starts using it in adolescence. It is known to inhibit the development of the ability to enter into adult relationships. It is estimated that even among Christians, 64% of men use pornography. In a study done on sex human trafficking, it was remarked that pornography is the gateway to prostitution.

The issue with pornography is that it reduces sex to something outside of the marital bond. It is easy adultery. It divorces sex from the marriage. It trains those within a marriage who use how to objectify each other as a means to an end. The grim reality with porn is that it is a total rejection of God's plan for human sexuality. As the US Bishops wrote in their 2015 pastoral letter, "Create a Clean Heart In Me", Deliberately viewing pornography is a grave sin against chastity. Sexual intimacy and the pleasure that derives from it are gifts from God and should remain personal and private, enjoyed within the sacred bond of marriage alone. Such intimacy should not be put on display or be watched by any other person, even if that person is one's own spouse. Nor should the human body be unveiled or treated in a way that objectifies it sexually and reduces it to an erotic stimulant. Jesus is clear in his teaching that sexual immorality is not only a matter of one's actions but also a matter of one's heart: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:27-28).

Pornography is likewise a grave sin against human dignity. As the Catechism says, "filming or taking pictures of the intimate parts of the body or of sexual acts does 'grave injury' to the person(s) 'performing,' to anyone responsible for its making or production, and to the general public. 33 Pornography dehumanizes the persons depicted, making them into objects of use. Those who produce and distribute pornography harm the common good by encouraging and even causing others to sin. They do serious harm to the women and men who consent to be in pornographic material, often out of desperation for money or out of an impoverished sense of self-worth. 34 Even worse, in some cases pornographers take advantage of those who cannot even give consent-children and other victims of human trafficking-which is both a grave sin and a heinous crime."

Pornography in its legion of forms (print, movie, virtual, tv, music) must be purged from a faithful Catholic's home. It must be treated as the voracious cancer it is. It may well be with us from antiquity, but its influence must be curtailed so that a renewed respect for the human person's dignity and integrity may be restored.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to objectify our fellow man as a means for self-gratification.
We have stilled our hearts to the suffering of those who are filmed.
We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing the scorn of the world tom quiet us in our defense of human dignity and chastity.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our use of pornography in all its forms.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to the use of pornography.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of pornography have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.

Let Us Pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Stinginess/Miserliness
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


"Freedom from Stinginess/Miserliness" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, who is the one person that most often comes to mind when we think of stingy misers? For many it may be the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge, from Charles Dickens' 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol. At the beginning of the story, Scrooge is a cold-hearted miser who despises Christmas. His attitude can be summed up in two words: "Bah, humbug!" Dickens describes Scrooge as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint ... secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster." Yes, that about sums up the image we have when we see Scrooge's heartless attitude toward his clerk, Bob Cratchit, whose household includes the crippled child, Tiny Tim.

Maybe you, like me, have run into some Scrooges in your lifetime - miserly people who are stingy with their money like Ebenezer Scrooge. The adjective miserly evolved from the Latin word miser, which means "unhappy, wretched." How often do we see unhappiness and wretchedness in the genuinely stingy and miserly?

Why are the stingy and miserly unhappy and wretched?  Because misers are a step beyond mere frugality. They are a leap beyond mere prudence in spending. Misers are those who love the accumulation of money, which brings them into direct conflict with the First Commandment, to love God above all things.

Jesus directly taught us on this very issue in a parable entitled The Rich Fool, emphasis on the word "fool": "There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.  He asked himself, 'What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?'  And he said, 'This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!"' But God said to him, 'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'  Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God" (Lk 12:16-21).

Perhaps it was Grace that inspired Dickens to write The Christmas Carol - Grace that enabled him to understand that we are formed by our experiences, but all is not lost. It is not too late, it is never too late, to change. The actual novella opens with a description of Scrooge's lonely and unhappy childhood, and his aspiration for money to avoid poverty. Unlike the Rich Fool, Scrooge indeed overcame his early formation and, as we know, when he did, there was joy, quote: "I don't know what to do! I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!"

It is not likely that our own transformation from stinginess and miserliness will arise from being visited by three ghosts, Past, Present and Future. However we do not need nocturnal visits from ghosts to effect a change in ourselves. Rather, if we are open to it, we may make the effort to ponder our own Past experiences, then meditate upon how these experiences have formed us and resulted in our Present, and then make a firm purpose to amend our Future, an amendment to be less stingy and miserly with anything we have. Certainly this applies to any material goods, but perhaps most importantly to our time - time we could spend in prayer of thanksgiving, intercession for others, even imploring God on our own behalf. Indeed what may be most required of us is our time; it so often is a lot easier to just throw some money at a problem, but very difficult to spend some personal time fixing it. How stingy and miserly we are with our time. How little we comprehend the implications of the words God spoke to the Rich Fool: "... this night your life will be demanded of you ...."

Dear family, we must examine our lives. As the great Socrates is said to have uttered: "The unexamined life is not worth living" (as described in Plato's Apology, which is a recollection of the speech Socrates gave at his trial. (38a5-6)). One commentator described meaning of Socrates' statement thusly: "It means any life which is not checkmated, unaccountable is not worth living. It tries to emphasize that everyone has to live a life that they should be proud of, a life that they can look back to what they achieved and say yes indeed I made a mark or I have not lived up to my expectations, so I need to make amends." We must examine our lives and when we do, let us keep in mind the sobering words of the ghost of Jacob Marley: "I wear the chain I forged in life," replied the Ghost, "I made it link by link, and yard by yard" And when we examine our lives let us understand the truth spoken by Scrooge after the visit of the ghost of the Future: "Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?" In other words, Scrooge asked it if was too late to change. No, dear family, it is not too late, it is never too late, to change.

Scrooge changed because the three ghosts forced him to examine his life. Let us force ourselves to do the same. After all, that is the whole point of the Examination of Conscience we are supposed to do before entering into the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In that examination, let us ask ourselves if we truly love God above all things, or whether we are stingy and miserly with any or many of the gifts God has given us, especially the gift of time. Let us not fear such an examination, but rather revel in the fact that we know transformative Grace will come to us through the Sacrament. Let us pray that through this transformation it may be said of us as it was said of Scrooge in some concluding words of A Christmas Carol: "And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!''

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to move our hearts toward stinginess and miserliness.
We have fallen into stinginess and miserliness when we have not lived up to the call of our Baptism by not giving back to You a just tithing of our wealth of time, talents and treasure.
We cling to things so much, forgetting the truth that "we can't take it with us."
We ignore the words of the great Job: "Naked I came forth from my mother's womb, and naked shall I go back there.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!" -Job 1:21
In our weakness, we have been weak in Faith, and clung to our wealth like the Rich Fool.
In so many ways, we fear the loss of temporal wealth more than we fear the loss of Heaven.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our stinginess and miserliness.
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the courage to live out the generosity of the Psalmist: "How can I repay the LORD for all the great good done for me? I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people." -Ps 116:12-14
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever. Amen.

Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal High Priest of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Divine Victim on the Altar for our salvation, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, dwelling in the tabernacles of the world, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, abiding in Your fulness, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Life, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Angels, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, with us always until the end of the world, R. have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, summit and source of all worship and Christian life, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, sign and cause of the unity of the Church, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, adored by countless angels, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, spiritual food, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Sacrament of love, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, bond of charity, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, greatest aid to holiness, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, gift and glory of the priesthood, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we partake of Christ, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which the soul is filled with grace, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we are given a pledge of future glory, R. have mercy on us.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

For those who do not believe in Your Eucharistic presence, R. have mercy, O Lord.
For those who are indifferent to the Sacrament of Your love, R. have mercy on us.
For those who have offended You in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, R. have mercy on us.

That we may show fitting reverence when entering Your holy temple, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may make suitable preparation before approaching the Altar, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may receive You frequently in Holy Communion with real devotion and true humility, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may never neglect to thank You for so wonderful a blessing, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may cherish time spent in silent prayer before You, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may grow in knowledge of this Sacrament of sacraments, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That all priests may have a profound love of the Holy Eucharist, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That they may celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with its sublime dignity, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may be comforted and sanctified with Holy Viaticum at the hour of our death, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may see You one day face to face in Heaven, R. we beseech You, hear us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Let us pray.
Most merciful Father, You continue to draw us to Yourself through the Eucharistic Mystery. Grant us fervent faith in this Sacrament of love, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received. We make this prayer through the same Christ our Lord.
Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 14-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Rebellion
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


"Freedom from Rebellion" by Fr. Rick Heilman

Recently, I have been pointing to one of Venerable Fulton Sheen's popular TV shows from the 1960s. Sheen entitled this particular episode, Quo Vadis, America, which translates to "America, where are you going?" This is a reference to a conversation recounted in the apocryphal Acts of Peter in which Peter, fleeing his ministry and the threat of crucifixion in Rome, meets Jesus on the road, who has risen. Peter asks Jesus "Quo Vadis, Domine?" (Where are you going, Lord?), to which Jesus responds that he is going to Rome to be crucified again. This gives Peter the courage to return to his ministry in Rome, where he ultimately ends up crucified upside down.

This sets up Sheen's talk about patriotism. Sheen said, "Patriotism is a virtue that was allied to the old virtue of the Greeks and Latin called pietas, meaning love of God, love of neighbor, love of country. And when one goes out, all go out. When we no longer have love of God, we no longer have love of country."

Sheen continued, "We started our country with a revolution. Revolution is in the air today. In fact, the arguments, today, are that we started that way, why not continue it? We do live in America with a revolutionary tradition. But the question is, what kind of revolution should we have?"

He then tells the story of a soldier who fought at Concord. The soldier was asked why he fought; why he went to Concord. The answer came, "For one reason, that we might govern ourselves." Sheen goes on to say, "Now, what's the revolution of today? VIOLENCE! Violence just for the sake of violence ... the new type of revolt, which involves the destruction of everything in the past. And these people who are actuating violence today, claim they are in line with the American Revolution. THEY ARE NOT!"

The point Venerable Fulton Sheen makes is that our nation was founded, and has thrived, by the understanding that our rights and liberties come from God. The revolution he was viewing in the 1960s, and we are seeing reenacted today, is a rejection of God, in favor of man.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "The Church teaches ... The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing. Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This 'fall' consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: 'You will be like God.'"

You see? Once we rebel against God and his reign, we are left to make ourselves our own gods. We are then left to the inevitable outcome, which is totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is a form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of individual life to the authority of the state. The evil elites, throughout history, have sought such a government. Once they have gained control of every source of influence (media, education system, etc.) they are then equipped to build their army of "useful idiots." "Useful idiot" is a derogatory term, referenced in writings of totalitarian governments, for a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause's goals, and who is cynically used by the cause's leaders.

The evil elites of history have always rebelled against God and country with the same method of operation, which is to use a complaint, violent mob to usher in their plan for totalitarian rule. Sheen puts it this way, "Their principle was, that in order to get people to pass through a certain door, there was only one way to do it, and that was the way of terror." There is a reason why there is a "silent majority" ... they're terrified to go against the agenda of the evil elites, and their violent mob.

Venerable Fulton Sheen then brings us to his point: "The world is built on order. There's a plan. So, scientists are able to discover the laws of the universe. And in discovering the laws of the universe, men find harmony. This harmony, and order, had to come from somewhere. It came from God. What is the essence of Satanism? The essence of Satanism is the destruction of that order - the order of law, the order of morality, the order of religion, the order of ethics, anything you please."

This may not be Concord, but the demonic rebellion against God and his beautiful order - against life, liberty and pursuit of happiness - are very possibly as severe as they have ever been. Quo vadis, America? ... where are you going, America?

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward fearfully allowing our nation to rebel against You and Your will.
We have fallen into this nationwide rebellion against You when we have not lived up to the call of our Baptism by standing against the aggressors of violence and destruction. Instead, like Peter, we flee.
We have been too easily swayed by the threats of the elites and their complaint mob to build up a patriotism that is filled with love for You, love of our neighbor, and love of our country.
In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our lack of resolve to let the visible light of our love for God and country push out the darkness of the rebels.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance be this visible light of love for all to see.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to fear and rebellion.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to do Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your Church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 16-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Godlessness
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us



"Freedom from Godlessness" by Fr. Bill Peckman

I have a confession. For about 4 to 5 years of my life I was an agnostic. I was so troubled by what I saw in the seminary in the 1980's that I could no longer believe that there was a personal God. I could not believe that He had any concern nor hold on what was happening in the world or even in His own Church. Consequently, I found that nature abhors a vacuum. Something or someone would have to fill that hole in my soul and someone was going to have to be the judge of morality and the direction of my life. The first problem I tried to fill with pleasure, money, power, and honor. It was an exercise in futility that left me often exhausted and frustrated. The second problem was quite the narcotic: I could decide for myself what was good and evil. Amazingly, such power led to me living a less than chaste life. I was not horrible because the foundation my parents built led me to have a work ethic, try to be honest, and kept from substance abuse. I was reduced to a moral pagan. Truth be told, I felt I was living a more moral life than what I had seen in the seminary.

I do not tell you this, kind reader, so that you may think one way or the other about me, only to assure you I know this sin from its maddening and intoxicating inside.

Our society is largely agnostic and atheistic. Our civil religion tips it hat in God's general direction once in a while, but largely resents any influence religion, particularly Judeo-Christianity, has in the public purview. God has been chased from the public square, from our schools, and from our day to day lives. There are forms of politics such as socialism and Marxism that are expressly atheistic. They have to be for the state takes the place of all authority and is the giver of all rights. We can't have a deity interfering with that!

There are many within the Church, even among her leaders, that are agnostic or atheistic either practically or by confession. I would posit that it is impossible for some within the Church who have engaged in nefarious and predatory behavior to do such and believe anything of Jesus Christ or a personal God. Certainly the pervasive watering down of catechesis would point to a de facto agnosticism among so many academics. You see, nature does abhor a vacuum, and if we divorce the idea of a personal and transcendent God from religion, all we have left is a social justice non-for-profit with arcane rituals and occasion statuary.

In Eden, the devil grounds his temptation in a belief that God does not want what is good for us. In this, he can tempt us to become our own gods, knowing for ourselves what is good and evil. He can sow vast amounts of seed of doubt by just showing us the evil others do; especially the evil done by those who claim to represent God. The last 100+ years have been a field day for the devil to sow such seed!

To combat such a virulent temptation, we must cultivate the theological virtue of faith. This is more than making professions of faith or intellectually adopting points of the teachings of the Church. It is adopting these teachings into our lives and allowing them to draw us closer to God. We will have to do this during a storm!  We will have to do this even when we see immense scandal in our Church and frightening godlessness in society. This allows us to give proper Christian witness to those scandalized or seeking. It allows others to see Christ through us.

One of the main reasons I returned to the Catholic Faith and back into the seminary and priesthood, despite many misgivings, was that complaining about the poor witness and scandalous behavior of some within the Church did not absolve me of either following the vocational path God had beckoned me to and that I had a responsibility to live the life Christ calls us live authentically and powerfully. While I completely understand the reasons why people wander away or outright flee from the Church, I also understand that trying to fill the God shaped hole in us with the things of this world is a frustrating dead end and the narcotic of being one's own god leaves one empty and anchorless. Our society is exhibit A in this fool's errand. There is no denying that anger, frustration, and feeling adrift are hallmarks of our society and in so many of our Churches.

St. Augustine, in his Confessions, reminds us, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." Let us not let the temptations of the devil leave our hearts wandering and baseless. Let us refute the devil and hold fast to the faith and relationship Christ has in store for us.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to doubt in Your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing the strong storms to quell our trust in You.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our faithlessness and timidity.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil.
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and disbelief.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of godlessness have planted in Your Church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 17-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Lukewarmness
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


"Freedom from Lukewarmness" by Fr. Rick Heilman

In the Book of Revelation, we see the Lord has some rather severe words about the lukewarm: "I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Pope St. Pius V went so far as to say, "All the evil in the world is due to lukewarm Catholics." Pope St. Pius X showed no less disdain with, "All the strength of Satan's reign is due to the easygoing weakness of Catholics." Wow! All the evil in the world? All the strength of Satan's reign? Spit you out of my mouth? The level of fury toward the lukewarm is alarming. Why?

Here's why. Let's look at the passage from Revelation. Our Lord, first, wishes we were "hot or cold." It's easy to see why the Lord would wish someone was hot. Someone who is "hot" would be that soul blazing with the "fire of love" for God, with a fiery passion to do His will.

So, why would our Lord wish someone was "cold"? Someone who is cold has completely disconnected from God, and can often even be antagonistic toward God. So, why would our Lord wish for that? Because "cold souls," who have outwardly drawn the line in the sand and proclaimed their stance in relation to God, have a greater chance for hitting rock bottom, and giving their life over to God; they have a greater chance for conversion. Furthermore, a soul clearly disconnected from God does little to influence souls that are "hot" from straying away from our Lord, as "cold souls" are seen clearly for who they are and where they stand.

So, why the outrage toward the lukewarm? Because the lukewarm do the most damage. They are very effective in modeling for others how to be a very poor, or even a "fake" Catholic. While "cold souls" openly disavow any claim to be a faithful Catholic, lukewarm souls make that claim, while they betray the Lord at every turn.

Lukewarm souls are those who have allowed their faith to diminish to little more than what appears to be faith in the eyes of man, rather than God. Lukewarm souls will often "use" their Catholic faith to build their own personal brand. So, you'll often see politicians make the claim of being a devout Catholic, while they advocate for a plethora of evil policies that horrify God. Or, there are those lukewarm Catholics who see no problem voting these evil politicians into power. This is A-Okay for the lukewarm, as they have convinced themselves that God's mercy extends to allowing every kind of sin. Which is why lukewarm souls "may" go to a Communal Penance service once or twice a year "to be seen," but really don't see any reason for this Sacrament.

What is most horrifying about lukewarm souls is that they usually possess the sins against the Holy Spirit, that are referred to as "unforgiveable." Thomas Aquinas explains that the unforgivability means that it removes the entrance to these means of salvation; however, it cannot hinder God in taking away this obstacle by way of a miracle. 

The "unforgiveness" is about "unrepentance." Lukewarm souls have convinced themselves, and poorly modeled for others, that "they don't need to prove their love for God." In other words, commit any sin and avoid prayer and any charitable work beyond basic obligations, and their ticket is punched because "mercy." And, of course, nobody should "judge" anyone, according to the lukewarm soul. St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Mercy Without Justice Is the Mother of Dissolution; Justice Without Mercy Is Cruelty. To Correct the Sinner is a Work of Mercy."

Lukewarm souls are like a dangerous virus that spreads throughout the Church. On issues of human life, sex, marriage and family, faith, and morality, many within the Catholic Church have absolutely no problem advocating laws and policies, and the politicians who support them, that clearly oppose the will of God. This "lukewarm virus" has spread so far that as much as 40% of Catholics favor abortion; 61% of Catholics support gay marriage. Now, you can see why our Lord, Pope St. Pius V and Pope St. Piux X, are so outraged by the lukewarm.

In order to combat the demonic viral spread of lukewarmness, we must cultivate in ourselves the Holy Spirit gift of "Fear of the Lord," also known as "Awe and Wonder." "Fear of the Lord" is the gateway gift to all of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. If your local parish is cultivating a watered-down, lukewarm version of Catholicism that avoids Church teaching on any "hot button" issues, "GET OUT!" Or, if possible, work with the pastor to cultivate reverent liturgies, frequent Confession, ample Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the practice of many devotions. This all assists the faithful in "drawing nearer unto the Lord." This gives the soul immunity to the virus of lukewarmness.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward fearfully allowing the spread of lukewarmness throughout our nation and the Catholic Church.
We have fallen into this widespread lukewarmness when we have not lived up to the call of our Baptism to, day-by-day, deepen our love and faith in You.
We have been too easily swayed by the poor example of the Catholic lukewarm, and have held our tongue when a few words of correction could lift them out of their unrepentance and nearer unto You.
In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for any of our own lukewarmness or our lack of resolve to lift souls out of this darkness.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance to be this visible light of fervent faith in You.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to fear and lukewarmness.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to do Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of lukewarmness have planted in Your Church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us. 

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son
of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, etc.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of Eternal Life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray:
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.






Day 18-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Jealousy
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Jealousy" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, let us ponder the root cause of Jealousy. It's called being human. From the beginning, humanity always has been jealous. Humanity is jealous because - remember this now, because it is so basic and fundamental - nothing ever is enough.

Think of what I call The Life Lesson of Adam and Eve. They lived in Paradise!  They essentially had everything, and, what is more, they did not have sickness and death so they could have enjoyed everything forever!  I like this part:  they had dominion over the animals. They did not have to fear a lion or a shark. If they were trying to take a nap - I'm sleep deprived so this is a very meaningful example for me - if they were trying to take a nap and the lion was getting all growly making noise, all they had to do was to tell it to get lost.  They.  Had.  Everything.   Except one piddly dumb tree. And yet, having everything wasn't enough. Human nature kicked in. Lucifer understood human nature. What did he do?  He tempted Adam and Eve not with more of everything, but only with the one thing.

The same goes for us, dear family. The devil does not come in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you ever wished for.

True story about human nature from Psychology. Fill a room full of toys. Chuck full of toys. Then put one kid in the middle of it. Like the proverbial "kid in a candy store," the kid can pick and choose whatever he wants. He's happy. Couldn't be happier. Then ... introduce another kid.  Put another kid in the room, a second kid. He looks around at all the toys and picks one for himself. What happens? The first kid gets jealous. He thinks along the lines of "I must have not chosen the best one for myself because that kid over there chose that one. Even though the first kid was perfectly happy playing all by himself, when that second kid comes in and chooses a different toy, the first kid just has to have it!

Adam and Eve. Two kids in a toy room. Both have a form of jealousy. The Cambridge dictionary defines jealousy as "a feeling of unhappiness and anger because someone has something or someone that you want." We might readily understand this and apply it to the two kids in the toy room. But what about Adam and Eve? They were jealous of something God had. Or at least what Lucifer told them God had.

Remember Lucifer's damnable lie: He asked the woman, "Did God really say, 'You shall not eat from any of the trees in the garden'?" The woman answered the snake: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it or even touch it, or else you will die.'" But the snake said to the woman: "You certainly will not die!  God knows well that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, who know good and evil" (Gen 3:1-5).

How often do such words poison our own thought processes? How often do we turn our eyes away from what we have toward something someone else has? How often do we compare and despair?

Dear family, there is a secret to peace and tranquility. It is easy to say, though perhaps, at times, especially at time of seeming deprivation, it is hard to do. The secret is this: to be happy, you have to be happy for what you do have, and not unhappy for what you do not have.
Our humanity is poisoned by a compulsion to compare and despair. Looking back, at various times I thought I wanted to be a champion tennis player, a very wealthy person, or a rock star, maybe live on some island in the Caribbean. Ultimately the wants came from comparing and despairing over such things as the fact that I was growing up in a snow-belt where the tennis courts were buried for 2/3 of the year. Would I have been happy and content and at peace if I had attained to any of those things? No. The Life Lesson of Adam and Eve proves not. Nothing ever is enough. My parents tried to teach this to me, saying such things as "there always will be someone with more _______" - just fill in the blank. Even if we accept this as Truth, it still is hard to come to terms with the proposition that someone has more _______" - just fill in the blank.

There only is one way to overcome jealousy. That is to discover that God is in love with you.  Wholly and completely in love. With you. Yes, yes, we know: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life" (Jn 3:16). Nowadays, most people do not even believe in God, much less that He loves them personally, much less that He sent His Divine Son to die for us. So instead, let us focus on another Johannine verse: "And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth" (Jn 1:14).

Dear family, St. John, the beloved Apostle saw the glory of Jesus, full of grace and truth. That is why he could write to us: "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life - for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us - what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing this so that our joy may be complete" (1 Jn 1:1-4).

Notice, St. John did not say his joy would be complete if he had a new car or a house on the beach. He certainly did not say his joy would be complete if he had dominion over the animals.  St. John's joy only would be complete if he shared the glory of Jesus, His Grace, His Truth.

Dear family, that is the only way we ever will be happy. If jealousy pangs strike, understand we are not happy for what we have, but unhappy for what we do not have. But God has given us all we need to actually be happy. Himself. That is why He came in the first place. To give us that only thing. Himself. So, the next time jealousy rears its ugly, Luciferian self - and that is indeed where jealousy originates - turn your eyes upon Jesus. Turn them upon His Holy Cross. Ponder the infinite love poured out in every drop of blood, in every last breath ... unto His last drop of blood and His last breath.

Take your eyes off of whatever tree Lucifer points you to, whatever forbidden fruit with which he taunts you and, as the hymn goes: "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things, the things of earth, will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace."

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward jealousy.
We compare and despair.
We have fallen into countless times of sinful dissatisfaction, when all the gifts You have given us - are never enough.
We long for so many meaningless things of earth.
We spend so much time working so hard for such meaningless things of earth.
And then we discover we still are not satisfied, we still are not happy.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our jealousy - our desire to have those gifts You have given to other children - for our dissatisfaction with the gifts You have given us.
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the courage to live out our lives as St. John wrote so perfectly - that we will find our joy in sharing the joy we find in You, and only You.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if you will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ graciously hear us

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus,  we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 19-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Syncretism
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Syncretism" by Fr. Bill Peckman
 
"Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing." I Kings 18:21

In the Old Testament, both the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah participated in the same sin. It was a form of idolatry in which the people would worship both the God of Israel and worship the gods of the surrounding regions. This participation in more than one religion is called syncretism. God likens syncretism, in the Scriptures, to a unfaithful spouse wants the benefits of life with her spouse while acting the harlot with anyone. On Mt. Carmel, Elijah purposes a test to the Kingdom of Israel. He and the prophets of Baal will prepare a sacrifice without lighting it and the God who answers with fire is to be worshipped alone. He poses the above question to them. Notice they do not answer. I can only imagine the awkward silence felt at that moment.

The southern kingdom of Judah also would worship God up on the temple mount and would go into the Valley of Hinnom (known in Jesus' time as Gahenna) and worship idols, even sacrificing their children to these idols. The prophets, particularly Jeremiah, warn the people that God takes note of such infidelity and will not allow the people to benefit from a relationship with Him while they play the harlot in the valley of Hinnom. For both Kingdoms, their sin of syncretism led to their downfall and exile. God will not allow us to keep the benefits of a relationship with Him while we push Him away in favor of our idols.

In Matthew 6:24, Jesus reminds us we cannot serve two masters; that we cannot serve both God and mammon. Notice mammon is not capitalized. It is not an idol per se. Mammon is wealth or any other worldly pursuit we allow to take the number one position that rightly belongs to God. Most Church going Catholics would say that they do not worship anyone or anything but God. That reminds me of Jeremiah 2:23, ""How can you say, 'I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals'? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done." The people do not acknowledge their idolatry under the pretense that they do go to the temple.

Our society has become godless and exerts much pressure to make sure all are like-minded. The 3rd Commandment to keep holy the Sabbath is so forgotten as to be rarely practiced. Even Sunday morning has had a multiplicity of sports, shopping, chores, and other things that turn Mass (if one goes at all) into something that is fit in as if the Day of the Lord is actually the hour of the Lord. We will know if we have idols in our lives by merely looking at our choices when it comes to the Day of the Lord? Is Mass the center of the day? It is what everything else is scheduled around? Is there rest on the Day of the Lord? Or is the pursuit of honor, pleasure, money, or power more sought after even on the day of the Lord? Chances are if the Day of the Lord has been reduced to the hour of the Lord and that the Hour of Lord is a lesser choice when given other options, that the rest of the week is just as godless.

While I do sympathize with those who became distraught at churches closing because of Covid 19, it greatly sadden me that for 65-70% self-professed Catholics, the closing of Churches made no difference on what they did with Sunday. The closing of ball fields and stores had a greater impact. Yet, these same self-proclaimed Catholics will expect the protecting hand of God and all the benefits of being in a relationship with God while ignoring God and disdaining His sacramental grace in favor of worldly idols and their promised benefits. Perhaps we do well to look how well that worked for the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Now is the time of Jeremiah! The call to turn our backs on our idols of wealth, honor, power, and pleasure (and that includes our disproportionate and slavish relationship with sports, entertainment, and leisure) and put God back to being our only God and worshipping Him alone.  We need to cultivate that virtue of fidelity to God in our lives. The devil will use every distraction, perceived good, selfish desire, and twisted logic to deter us from seeking such fidelity. The devil wants no better for us than the lot he himself is consigned to for eternity. He wants for us the same eternal broken relationship that he has chosen by his own infidelity. He will not warn us of the price of syncretism. He will encourage us to worship anything and everything as more pertinent to our lives than God, he is all too happy to have us treat God as some here-after insurance policy. We must fight him. Hold fast to the faith and relationship Christ has in store for us.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have been too fearful to stand out in our culture, allowing the lure of worldly idols to turn our hearts against you.
WE have expected You to be pleased with our duplicitous hearts.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to you Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg your forgiveness for our syncretism and infidelity.
We beg for the grace of your goodness to build up within us what you sought to build up in your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if you will it, it will be done.
Trusting in you, we offer our prayer to you who live and reign forever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, you created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and syncretism.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of syncretism have planted in Your Church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.

Let us pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 20-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Lack of Trust in God's Providence
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Lack of Trust in God's Providence" by Fr. Rick Heilman

Recently, in the past few years, I lost four priests who were near and dear in my life: my Godfather (the inspiration for my priesthood), my spiritual director, my bishop, and my best friend. These four priests were more than just brothers in Christ, they were my lifeblood. In the midst of the many challenges of life, especially those unique to priesthood, these men were kindred spirits to me. Not only did we recognize, together, the M.O. (Method of Operation) of Satan in today's world, but we were all in agreement as to the ways God was calling all of us, especially priests, to engage in a counter-offensive against the tactics of the devil.

By and large, we all knew it was incumbent upon us to do all we could to speak the truth, open and honestly, but to do so in the most loving way possible. The devil is trying to devour the faithful with his lies, and we all knew it, and we were all passionate about calling the devil out and leading the faithful to truth. More than anything, as shepherds, we all knew we were called, especially during the time we now live, to do all we could to assist the flock in coming to the place where they cry out, "My Lord and my God!"

Of course, the devil hates, more than anything, "truth and reverence." Therefore, Satan works especially hard to destroy anyone who dares to thwart the devil's plan to mislead and confuse souls, as he works diligently to deaden the hearts of the faithful. If we get in his way, he will get busy to take us out. In many respects, this is why religious leaders recoil in their call to administer truth and reverence. They have come to understand just how vicious the devil can be, if we dare "go there."

I recall when Bishop Morlino first arrived in our diocese, with his passion for "truth and reverence." The assaults on him, especially from those who held the levers of power and influence, were ferociously vicious. This did not deter this courageous bishop in any way. During this time, or whenever the attacks were turned on me, we stuck together in brotherly love.

So many times, I have been tempted to lose trust in God's Providence. I mean, here I am, alone on the battlefield, I felt. My four closest "battle buddies" are no longer here. Not only do I miss them, but I feel like I could now be "easy pickins" for the devil to swoop in and take me out, without the security of knowing my battle buddies are right there, ready to, in essence, call out, "I got your six" (I got your back).

I share this just to say that I can relate to all those who face devastating challenges in their lives. Yes, I can relate to those who are tempted to lose their trust in God's providence. Sometimes, we want to just say, "What the heck, God?!"

But, I didn't say that. Instead, by God's grace, my hope has deepened during this challenging time. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1817).

In my case, having lost my battle buddies, I'm thinking about the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness more than ever before. While my battle buddies are no longer here to support me, in the flesh, my relationship with them has only deepened, as I know they "Got My Six" in an even more powerful way. They are my prayer warriors, now! For example, I know we got a new amazing bishop, when it seemed inevitable we would not, only because Bishop Morlino interceded for us.

As we all know, we are all facing challenges that are historic. How easy, and seemingly justifiable, it would be for all of us to despair, as we lose our trust in God's providence. I choose not to, and I pray it is the same with you. Instead, my prayer has become even more fervent, my resolve to enter the fray against the devil's schemes has become more intensified, and my confidence in the power of God, versus my own power, has become stronger than ever.

I've come to understand that sticking with God, believing and trusting in His providence, in challenging times is a lot like "resistance training" (lifting weights). With the power of God's grace, we "press against" these challenges, and our faith, hope and love become even stronger. We must trust in God's providence during these storms of our lives, and know He will carry us safely to shore. And know that, ultimately, heaven is going to be amazing!

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have been too weak to stand against the temptation to lose our trust in Your providence.
We have expected You to remove the challenges in our life, and so we have readily doubted You when difficulties enter in.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and lack of trust in You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our lack of trust in Your providence.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
Amen

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to lack of trust in Your providence.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of doubt have planted in Your Church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal High Priest of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Divine Victim on the Altar for our salvation, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, dwelling in the tabernacles of the world, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, abiding in Your fulness, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Life, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Angels, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, with us always until the end of the world, R. have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, summit and source of all worship and Christian life, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, sign and cause of the unity of the Church, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, adored by countless angels, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, spiritual food, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Sacrament of love, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, bond of charity, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, greatest aid to holiness, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, gift and glory of the priesthood, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we partake of Christ, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which the soul is filled with grace, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we are given a pledge of future glory, R. have mercy on us.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

For those who do not believe in Your Eucharistic presence, R. have mercy, O Lord.
For those who are indifferent to the Sacrament of Your love, R. have mercy on us.
For those who have offended You in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, R. have mercy on us.

That we may show fitting reverence when entering Your holy temple, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may make suitable preparation before approaching the Altar, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may receive You frequently in Holy Communion with real devotion and true humility, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may never neglect to thank You for so wonderful a blessing, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may cherish time spent in silent prayer before You, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may grow in knowledge of this Sacrament of sacraments, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That all priests may have a profound love of the Holy Eucharist, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That they may celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with its sublime dignity, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may be comforted and sanctified with Holy Viaticum at the hour of our death, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may see You one day face to face in Heaven, R. we beseech You, hear us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Let us pray.
Most merciful Father, You continue to draw us to Yourself through the Eucharistic Mystery. Grant us fervent faith in this Sacrament of love, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received. We make this prayer through the same Christ our Lord.
Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



Day 21-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Indifference
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Indifference" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, of all the things about which we can "take it or leave it," going deeper into our Faith is not one of them. We cannot be indifferent to our Faith.

When we try to reflect on some principle of our Faith - like "indifference" - it is always good to refer to the Catechism to get a working definition so we all are on the same page. That was my starting point.

So, §2093 states: "Faith in God's love encompasses the call and the obligation to respond with sincere love to divine charity. The first commandment enjoins us to love God above everything and all creatures for him and because of him." Ok. So good so far.

Then it follows up with §2094 which states: "One can sin against God's love in various ways" - and then includes the definition for indifference: "indifference neglects or refuses to reflect on divine charity; it fails to consider its prevenient goodness and denies its power."

Oh, dear family, my head hurts when I try to read something like §2094, something someone cannot seem to put in understandable language. If I asked you - exactly what does it mean to fail to consider Divine Charity's prevenient goodness and deny its power? ... could you answer the question? Don't feel badly if you couldn't; I couldn't either. I had to look up the word "prevenient" and then try to place it in some sort of context of "goodness" and then try to figure out how does refusing to reflect on divine charity had anything to do with understanding prevenient goodness and, more so, what that has to do with denying its power? Is it any wonder people do not get through the Catechism when they run into roadblocks like this? I say all this just so you know: You are not alone. Even priests sometimes struggle with this stuff.

For the record, the definition of prevenient is: preceding in time or order; antecedent. So, indifference, which apparently is neglecting to reflect on divine charity, means failing to consider it's "preceding in time or order, antecedent" goodness. But what does that even mean???

In the Law, there is an ongoing movement to take "legalese" - the formal and technical language of legal documents that is often hard to understand - and put it into "plain English."  So let us try to do that here.
 
God loved us first. His love preceded us, preceded our very existence. His love was so great that He willed to create us into existence so He could share His love with us. And then, when we did not love Him back - that's that whole Fall of Adam and Eve thing, and every sin ever since - He still loved us so much that He sent His only Son to suffer and die in order to prove His love which, hopefully, would inspire us to love Him back. In fact, He sent His Son even though He knew full well exactly what some of us would do to Him because He knew it would be proof of His Divine Love. It is why St. Paul - so cognizant of this infinite love of God - hardly could keep in the immensity of his praise and worship for God when he wrote to the Ephesians: "Praised be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens. God chose us in Him before the world began to be holy and blameless in His sight. He predestined us to be His adopted sons through Jesus Christ, such was His will and pleasure, that all might praise the glorious favor He has bestowed on us in His beloved.  In Him, and through His blood, we have been redeemed, and our sins forgiven, so immeasurably generous is God's favor to us" (Eph 1:3-7).

It is no accident that in the Breviary, the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, this passage is prayed every Monday at Evening Prayer. It, along with the entire Breviary, is a constant reminder of God's love for us. To pray the Liturgy of the Hours actually is to contemplate and reflect upon Divine Charity. It is the 
opposite of indifference.

So maybe by considering the opposite of indifference, we get a better understanding of whether or not 
we are indifferent.  If we want to know if we have fallen victim to indifference, perhaps the best answer is to ask the question:  do we immerse ourselves daily in contemplating God's love so much so that we, like St. Paul, are compelled to praise and worship God in such words as he wrote to the Ephesians?  Do we reflect enough upon the magnitude of God's love, expressed in our very own existence, such that we are compelled to give back to Him even just a tithing of the countless gifts He has given us?

Having just celebrated two Holy Masses of Christian Burial, this thought is fresh in my mind, the words prayed after the final Song of Farewell: "We give you thanks for the blessings which you bestowed upon (decedent) in this life: they are signs to us of your goodness and of our fellowship with the saints in Christ."

God's blessings are indeed signs of His goodness, signs of His infinite Love. Are we indifferent to those signs of His goodness and love? Are we so unaware of His signs that we are disconnected from Him that we can take it or leave it? Or do we, in our daily contemplation, reflect so deeply upon those signs of His love that we are compelled, like St. Paul, to sing out such words as that hymn written way back in 1674 - amazingly enough, before even indoor plumbing and anesthesia: "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.  Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye Heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost."

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward indifference to Your Divine Love.
We have fallen into countless times of sinful diversions from our purpose in life, which is to know, love and serve You in this world.
We are so immersed in things of this world, have we devoted ourselves so greatly to treasures on earth, that we have become indifferent to the treasures we must store up in Heaven?
We spend so much time and effort and money on things that moth and decay will destroy, only to discover that we still are not satisfied, we still are not happy.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our indifference to the treasures of Heaven, the greatest treasure being Your love.
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 22-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Indifference
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Narcissism" by Fr. Bill Peckman

In Greek mythology, we find the rather tragic figure of Narcissus. As the story goes, he is an extraordinary young man in every possible way. But, he is aloof and rather full of himself. Anyone who falls in love with him pays a steep price because he will not love them back. Eventually, while hunting, Narcissus stoops down to the water to get a drink. He sees his own reflection and falls madly in love with it. He reaches out to grab the reflection and drowns, suffering the abysmal fate others who tried to love him did. In psychology, narcissism is described as "selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration, as characterizing a personality type." My brothers and sisters, does not this word describe our society to a T?

Narcissism arises out of several converging storms: First, the self-centeredness of the individual as almighty. Reality and morality are subjectivistic and only are there to confirm the feelings of the narcissist. Second, with no empathy, the means justify the ends for the narcissist. The narcissist simply makes pronouncements without care as to how it affects others and only cares about how he or she is affected. Third, while the narcissist is free to judge and condemn the actions and words of others AND presume the absolute worst in other people's motivations, he or she will see any and all judgment and condemnation of their actions as a personal attack to which they will respond with great vengeance. Fourth, the sense of absolute entitlement endemic of narcissism, stretches to the insane. Every word and action must be to the benefit of that narcissist. No demand is too unreasonable and any failure to provide is seen as a personal attack.

Certainly, within our society, we see narcissism run amuck. Social media has laced this stick of dynamite. We now are seeing a wholesale rejection of any objective truth. There cannot be a God who judges. We should be able to terrorize anyone we want so long as we feel justified in our actions is the new mantra of our society. We should be able to despoil any one we want in this scenario, even to the point where some are starting to demand the acceptance of pedophilia as a mere sexual orientation, using the same path used by others who want universal acceptance of their choices. For our narcissistic society, all things must be remade in the narcissist's image: entertainment, sports, law, and morality must be adjusted so that the narcissist's predilections are approved at worst and ignored at best.

Even within our Church, we see narcissism. We see it in several ways. We have seen it in how Mass went from a transcendent focus to a place where the transcendent is ignored. This is not anything asked for by Vatican II or is present in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. We see in the constant push to remake the sexual moral teachings of the Church to be every bit as accommodating and permissive as society in everything from homosexuality, to artificial birth control, transgenderism, and so on. The Church just becomes another place where the mirror of narcissism can be held and only able to see its world visage. So, much of the financial and sexual scandals, ensuing cover-up, and regular abuse of power find its roots in a narcissism that allows the preying on of the flock to satiate one's needs. The reach of narcissism in our society and church is legion.

The antidote to narcissism is the very essence of God: love. Specifically, divine love (agape) is what is needed. In agape, we completely empty ourselves for the good of others. We allow ourselves, as St Paul says, to be poured out as a libation. Love forces us to look beyond ourselves and weigh how our actions and words affect our relationship with God and each other. Love leads us to humility, a frank honesty which allows us to not demand the world convert to suit me, but that I covert to suit Christ. Because love is a theological virtue, it needs that constant relationship with God to thrive. It is no wonder that the more narcissism has grown in our society, the shorter our confession lines have become and the less we see of people at Mass. We need that sacramental presence in our lives to bolster our immunity to the constant virus-like ferocity of narcissism.

For if we love as God loves, the abuse of our neighbor is no longer justifiable. If we love as God loves, our own wants no longer become our focus. If we love as God loves, we can no longer justify our harm and sin inflicted on others. I am asking you dear reader to have what I call a Darth Vader moment. I am referring to the scene in Return of the Jedi where the emperor is killing Luke for his unwillingness to convert to the dark side. In that scene, Darth Vader keeps looking at the begging face of his son and the evil cackling face of the emperor...he is making a choice. He can either go with the status quo and allow his son to die or lose everything, including his life, and kill the emperor (or so we thought). I am asking you to look at the Cross of Christ and look at the fury we see in the media day after day. 

Choose between the great love displayed on the Cross and the insatiable fury of narcissism. We can't have both.  Choose wisely, for the Cross of Christ is the path to heaven and the fury of narcissism is the superhighway to hell.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have been too self-involved to notice the damage our sins have wreaked on our neighbor and broken faith with You.
We have expected You to be pleased with our duplicitous and selfish hearts.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our narcissism and lack of sorrow.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if you will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to narcissism and entitlement.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of narcissism have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy, etc.
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us, etc.
St. Michael, the Archangel,
Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,
Standing at the right of the altar of Incense,
Ambassador of Paradise,
Glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies,
Leader of the Angelic hosts,
The standard-bearer of God's armies,
Defender of Divine glory,
First defender of the Kingship of Christ,
Strength of God,
Invincible Prince and warrior,
Angel of Peace,
Guide of Christ,
Guardian of the Catholic Faith,
Champion of God's people,
Guardian Angel of the Eucharist,
Defender of the Church,
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,
Angel of Catholic action,
Powerful intercessor of Christians,
Bravest defender of those who hope in God,
Guardian of our souls and bodies,
Healer of the sick,
Help of those in their agony,
Consoler of the Souls in Purgatory,
God's messenger for the souls of the just,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Victorious in battle against evil,
Guardian and Patron of the universal Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Sacrament of the Eucharist which we have received may make our souls holy and pleasing to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



Day 23-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Idolatry
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Idolatry" by Fr. Rick Heilman

Reports surfaced that there was no cellphone activity in a high-security portion of the Wuhan Institute of Virology from Oct. 7 through Oct. 24, 2019, indicating that there may have been a "hazardous event" on or about October 6. On the very same day (October 6), Sr. Agnes Sasagawa of Akita received a private message ... the first since 1973 (year of infamous Roe v. Wade decision). The message was not unlike the warning Jonah received for Nineveh, in that it called for repentance: "Put on ashes and pray a repentant rosary every day."

It's more than interesting that Our Lady of Fatima appeared with her warning from May to October in 1917, urging the world to pray the rosary, repent, turn from its wicked ways, and return to the Lord, or there would be consequences. This warning came just before the 1918 plague ("Spanish Flu") broke out and claimed 50 million lives. Until now, this was the last plague in which churches were closed.

A consistent theme in the bible is that when the people distance themselves from God and His will, which always leads to idolatry, God repeatedly allows a punishment, which is usually a plague.

Our Lady of Fatima pointed to the errors of Russia: "Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church." It was in May of 1917 (just as Our Lady first appeared to the children in Fatima) that the Russian Revolution broke out, leading the way to Communism. Communism is a reductively atheistic materialist world-view which aims at undermining anything Christian in society. At its essence, Communism is an idolatry of man over God, and its atheistic materialist world-view has spread across the planet like a virus.

What about our time? On March 24, 2020, as we were entering the height of the Covid-19 plague's worst devastation, Bishop Strickland of Tyler, TX tweeted the following: "People of the world, fall to your knees. Fall to your knees to beg forgiveness of your sins. Stop worshiping yourself, stop worshiping creation, stop worshiping your desires, fall to your knees and worship God, Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Repent!" Bishop Strickland was among many, including myself, who recognized the biblical and historic connection between idolatry and plagues.

According to paragraph 2113 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc." What do we revere ahead of God?

So many times, I have pointed to the Pew Research study from August 5, 2019 which revealed that nearly 70% of professed Catholics don't believe in the Real Presence. 70%!!! I recall Bishop Robert Barron being shaken by this, but very few others. Personally, I believed this was a "make or break" moment, in which the Church needed to act decisively, or else.

No, instead the talk of Communion for those in mortal sin, ending celibacy for priests, women deacons, sodomy no longer a sin, nature worship, etc. only accelerated in the weeks and months that followed (leading up to October, 2019). It became so escalated, during this time, that there was an apparent movement to "normalize" pagan idols brought into our churches. It was as if you could hear God say, "ENOUGH!"

Okay, so what do we do? My thoughts go to Nineveh and Jonah's warning given to them. What did they do? They repented, and even put on sackcloth as an outward sign of their humility before God. Most importantly, and this is repeated throughout the bible, they put down their idols and made God the highest priority in their lives.

Now is the time for us to be honest with ourselves, and ask, "What am I making a priority ahead of God in my life? What are my idols?" We must ramp up our prayer and fasting, particularly for the bishops and priests in our Church to become more and more courageous in their stand against the forces in the world today who oppose God and His will. The laity must be courageous too!

Satan and his narcissistic useful idiots are emboldened, maybe as never before. Why? Because we are too busy with our idols to stand up for God and His will. The hope is that the horror of this plague and the shock of unbridled evil from sea to shining sea will bring us to our knees, as a country, as we call out to God seeking His love and His mercy!

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" -2 Chronicles 7:14.

We love You, Lord! We are so sorry, Lord! Heal our land, Lord!

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have been too self-involved to notice the damage our sins have wreaked on our neighbor and broken faith with You.
We have expected You to be pleased with our duplicitous and selfish hearts.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our idolatry and lack of sorrow.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if you will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to idolatry and worldliness.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of idolatry have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



Day 24-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Consumerism
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

 
"Freedom from Consumerism" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, if there was one word that might underlie the modern day "Fall of mankind" it very well could be consumerism. We've heard it said that we spend a lot of money we do not have on a lot of things we do not need - especially around Christmas. Surely we all are horrified by the annual satanic feast known as "Black Friday," the day after "Thanksgiving," when we reveal just how little thanks we actually give God for all the stuff we already have and rush out in the wee hours of the morning to stand in line - in all kinds of weather - to be first into some place to buy a bunch more other stuff. Dear family, the only Black Friday a good Catholic knows is Good Friday, for we know that on that blackest day in human history, when it seemed Lucifer had his victory, Easter Sunday is coming. How much less would we consume on the satanic holiday of Black Friday if our eyes were focused on The Resurrection of Jesus the Lord on Easter Sunday?

Consumerism. It is a "compensating behavior." It is a behavior that compensates for the hole within us, the hurts and wounds we have accumulated, the wounded-ness and brokenness from which we all suffer. When we have a headache, we have our go-to drug of choice, Exedrin or Tylenol or whatever. When we are hurting in our hearts and souls, we have our go-to compensating behavior. Our compensating behaviors are as addictive as any drug or any other vice into which we fall. We use it to compensate for our suffering. Such is consumerism.  As with any addiction or vice, it only is a temporary anesthetic, something that relieves the suffering only temporarily. Ultimately, it is a suffering that only can be healed and filled by Divine Love.

Why is it that humanity is so given to falling so readily into compensating behaviors like consumerism and so quick to forsaking the Divine Healer? Why is it that we think more stuff ever will be enough?
It is well understood that affluence is a Faith-killer. When we have "all we need" - indeed way more than we need - when we can rely upon ourselves to obtain or accumulate what we think we want - we tend to forsake God. The day we think we do not have to rely upon God, is the day we begin to drift away, very quickly immersing ourselves in immediate gratification through our own devices. No so slowly, but most certainly, we forget Jesus's admonition:
"If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?'  All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."  Mt 6:30-33
Anecdotally, Ireland once was very poor yet, at the same time, a rock-bed of Catholicism. Enter the economic boom of the 1990s-early 2000's. It was time of such spectacular economic growth in Ireland that it had its own nickname: Celtic Tiger. Faith fell away. Interestingly, Ireland still has about the lowest divorce rate in the Western world, less than a third of the United States. However, recently Ireland legalized abortion and same-sex marriage and - not in small part due to the horrific failure amongst bishops and the abuse scandal - faith has decreased significantly. Similarly, from the first time I went on pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Poland in 2001, to the last time in 2017, there not only has been a very visible increase in affluence but, sadly, an increase of the seeds of immorality being sown in the public square (Beware the young woman holding an umbrella in the broad daylight).

Here's the thing about consumerism. We already contemplated the Life Lesson of Adam and Eve - how nothing ever is enough. Far worse than that, consumerism cannot heal. Only the Divine Healer can heal the wounds within us. Only Divine Mercy can heal.

Dear family, we can build ourselves a bigger house, surround ourselves with more stuff in the house, get a bigger SUV to go get more stuff for the house - but nothing compares to being in a genuine Catholic Church, God's house, where His Son is present in the Real Presence.  Nothing we can buy, nothing we can accumulate, absolutely nothing, will heal our hearts and minds and souls like being in the presence of the Real Presence. That being the case, why is it that we spend a lot more time at work, working so hard to earn some money, to pay the bills that arise from buying - consuming - so much stuff we don't need? All we really have to do is spend a little less time consuming, and a little more time with Jesus.

We used to have a Catholic devotion, a Catholic tradition, of stopping on to the Church daily, even for just a few minutes. We were born and raised knowing that Jesus not only is present, but He waits for us in the Tabernacle. He thirsts for us to come and keep Him company. Do we understand that if we just spent a little bit of time in His Real Presence every day, something we do need, we would feel a lot less need to spend a lot of money to consume so much other stuff we do not need?

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward consumerism.
We have fallen into countless times of sinful buying stuff we do not need with money we do not have.
We do this all to fill the emptiness within us, to salve the wounds within us.
We turn so readily to consuming things of this world, instead of detaching ourselves from things of this world and attaching ourselves to You.
We spend so much time and effort and money consuming and yet we still are not happy.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for the consumption of temporal goods that stand in the way of our devotion to You.
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us. 

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son
of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, etc.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of Eternal Life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
R. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.





Day 25-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Wrath
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

 
"Freedom from Wrath" by Fr. Bill Peckman

In the medieval classic, The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Dante places the wrathful in the 5th circle of Hell. The wrathful spend eternity forever fighting each other on the surface of the River Styx while the sullen and resentful gurgle beneath the surface of the river. These are fitting punishments for the wrathful.  For the warlike wrathful (those who actively engage in harm to those who harmed them) it is fitting that they spend eternity forever inflicting the eternal cycle that revenge begets. It is appropriate as well that the embittered and resentful drown in a river of their passive-aggressiveness and resentment. In either case, wrath is unable to produce any positive in a person's life.

As a connoisseur of social media, on more than one occasion I have seen memes saying that moments of righteous indignation are okay because Jesus toppled tables of money-changers and livestock sellers in the temple as if what we are witnessing is a divine temper tantrum. Is Jesus really indulging in a deadly sin? No. More on that in a bit.

Wrath has become quite dominant in our culture right now. Real and perceived injustices are both met with a carte blanche to seek retribution through violent means so as to punish real perpetrators or even innocent bystanders in a wave of violence that can only beget a backlash that perpetuates more violence. For the wrathful, any slight, real or perceived, in just grounds for violent retribution of the despoiling of reputation through gossip, detraction, and calumny. The devil himself is full of wrath. His anger with God at creating humanity and seeing that as a slight against him and the other fallen angels has become cause for him to wage an eternal battle with not just God but with His creation. All temptation in generated by the devil's eternal resentment and rebellion against God. The devil in his pride loves nothing more than for us to engage in his same behavior of wrath. Misery loves company.

Jesus places a premium on mercy and forgiveness in the Gospels...even from the Cross. He tells us, "But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: Then you will prove yourselves sons of your heavenly Father" (Matt 5:44-45). Similar lines are repeated in the Gospels multiple times. What then of flipping tables? We are told Jesus is full of zeal and not wrath. These things did not belong in the temple area. His expulsion of these things was not a divine hissy fit, but a sign that He came to restore what was needed and cast out what was not. He is not avenging Himself on these sellers; He is exorcising from the Temple what is foreign to it.

The antidote for wrath is, as we see above, mercy and forgiveness. There are two things to understand in this. First, to forgive means to no longer hold against (as in a loan) a person their debt/trespass/sin for future reference. It does not mean to condone or rationalize evil done to you. Mercy is to render to another person what is needed, whether they deserve it or not. In many homilies, I have referred to mercy and forgiveness and the ultimate acts of self-preservation. Wrath can ruin us on every level of our being. Mercy frees us from such a cross of iron.

It is highly important that we do. Our eternal life in heaven hinges on our ability to forgive. In the Our Father we pray, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us!" In other words: God forgive me as I forgive others. That little prayer tucked into the Our Father can either be a blessing or an eternal curse depending upon our ability to forgive and our ability to stem wrath in our lives. After giving us the Our Father, Jesus warns us, "For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences" (Matthew 6:14-15). We entertain wrath and revenge at our own peril. We run the risk of the wicked servant in Matthew 18:23-35 who, because he was unwilling to forgive the much lesser debt of a fellow servant after he himself had a huge debt forgiven by the master, was now thrown into prison. It ends with the rather ominous "So my Father will do you to you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart." Wrath can have no hold in the life of a follower of Christ.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to wrath and vengeance against those who have harmed us.
We have engaged in active revenge or in the passive-aggressiveness of gossip.
We have been too self-involved to notice the damage our sins have wreaked on our neighbor and broken faith with You.
We have expected You to turn a blind eye to our wrath and forgive us without condition.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our wrath and lack of mercy and forgiveness.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to wrath.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of wrath have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ graciously hear us

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus,  we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



Day 26-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Pride
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Pride" by Fr. Rick Heilman

Pride is the "Biggie." This is the sin Satan committed in his choice to refuse to submit to God. This is the "original sin" that infected our first parents - "You will be like God" - and every generation that followed. In fact, without the waters of Baptism, empowering us to stand against the original sin, along with a daily commitment to keep our "personal pride radar" up and on high alert, we can very easily slip into the intoxicating grip of pride. If we are not careful, we can find it driving just about every sin we commit. Pope St. Gregory the Great counted pride as the "mother of all sins."

Pride, in fact, is the sin that is most at work to divide and destroy our culture. Think about this ... Adam and Eve, to their ruin, believed that "freedom" was defined as the freedom from adhering to the will of God; the freedom to "Just Do It" ... to do as they please; the freedom to determine, themselves, what is right and wrong; the freedom to say, "We have 'progressed' beyond God."

There's that seemingly indisputable term: "Progress." Or, as its adherents refer to themselves as, "Progressives." By and large, this is a movement to remake what its adherents determine as archaic and no longer speaks to their generation who have, thankfully, "arrived on the scene" (sarcasm alert). They claim to have a kind of gnostic understanding of things that the "common folk" do not possess. They often make the lofty proclamation that they have "evolved." What is archaic? What have they evolved from? GOD!

In fact, God, and His adherents, are a threat to the agenda of the "evolved." The Dark Ages notions must be destroyed, according to the "evolved." Notions such as seeing faith as a positive influence in the culture; revering and protecting the child in the womb; supporting the bedrock of civilization - the nuclear family; seeking care, housing and assistance for those dealing with psychological disorders and addictions ... many of which are abandoned on the streets (e.g., drug addicts, homosexuals, gender dysphoria, etc.); banning the slavery of prostitution and child sex-trafficking; supporting a healthy economy to assist people off of government dependence (votes for "progressives") and giving them the dignity of work; healing instead of stoking racial division (again, for votes); seeking quality education for our children (over kowtowing to unions who fill politicians' coffers); having a patriotic heart for our country; honoring and thanking the heroic lives of police, military, first responders, and all those who put themselves in harms way to protect us and our freedoms.

In today's culture, if you hold these truths to be self-evident (to borrow a phrase) - notions that find their source in our faith in God - YOU are the problem! YOU are causing division. And YOU must be silenced or even assaulted. In other words, the so-called progressives/evolved have granted to themselves the right to dictate to everyone else what is right and wrong. They are the arbiters of what is considered the "new normal" of values. They have made themselves "gods."

Add to this, that "fitting in" has become compulsive among far too many in our culture. Those who seek to preserve the best qualities of our culture, founded in God, have become "targets" for the "evolved." We have now found ourselves in a place where it has become socially acceptable to ridicule and shame and even physically attack those who are not adhering to the "values of the evolved."  Many are even on the receiving end of this "socially acceptable abuse" from family members and friends.

Humility opposes pride. Not that we are called to let ourselves be a "whipping boy" to bolster others' lust for superiority. Humility is a reverence for the truth; a reverence for who we are and what we are called to be; a reverence for the reason we even exist - God. Humility opens the door to the spirit of "gratitude." In our abundant gratitude for all God has done (beginning with setting us into existence) and is doing, we say "YES" to God, and a big fat "NO" to the incessant propaganda of a "new normal" of lies that directly oppose the will of God.

Like the heroic first Christians, we go about radiating our love for God and neighbor, while we are willing to die for the "TRUTH." This was why the first Christians grew in number so rapidly. They were "attractive" because they were "HEROIC!" Now is the time, possibly more than any other time in salvation history, for more and more souls to rise up, as the first Christian did, with that humble and heroic light of truth and love.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have been too self-involved to notice the damage our sins have wreaked on our neighbor and broken faith with You.
We have expected You to be pleased with our prideful and selfish hearts.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our pridefulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our pride and lack of sorrow.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if you will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to pride.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of pride have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.

Let us pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.




Day 27-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Gluttony
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Gluttony" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, we all have heard of the Seven Deadly Sins, even if we cannot remember all seven on the spot. By the time you get done with this Forty Day Fast for Freedom, all three of us will have written on every one, so you likely could "get" seven out of seven. In a random poll, however, while most would remember Pride, Greed and Lust, and probably most would remember Gluttony - as for Sloth, Wrath and Envy, not so much. As a confessor, it must be said that most people do not seem to do an adequate and sufficient examination of conscience and really go into those times when we have fallen into these deadly things. When they do, sometimes it's Pride, many, many times Lust, and occasionally envy and gluttony. Again, as to the others, not so much. Maybe the deadliest part of any of these is that we do not pay enough attention to them, and that may be because we have not taken the time to meditate upon the fullness of the sin.

Gluttony usually is defined in relation to food, but really could be defined as the overindulgence and overconsumption of anything to the point of waste. The "food" aspect is derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow.

St. Thomas Aquinas took a more expansive view of gluttony, arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals. Aquinas prepared a list of five ways to commit gluttony, one of which was eating too much. Another "ardenter" - was eating too eagerly. Of these, ardenter was often considered the most serious, since it is extreme attachment to the pleasure of mere eating (I'm not sure if my attachment to Flaming Hot Cheetos falls into this category, but when I used it as a breakfast comfort food, I'm probably skating on thin ice!). Aquinas said "ardenter" can make the committer eat impulsively; absolutely and without qualification live merely to eat and drink; lose attachment to health-related, social, intellectual, and spiritual pleasures; and lose proper judgement (Pretty sure I'm not there yet, on those Flaming Hot Cheetos).

The great Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary defines gluttony thusly: "Inordinate desire for the pleasure connected with food or drink. This desire may become sinful in various ways: by eating or drinking far more than a person needs to maintain bodily strength; by glutting one's taste for certain kinds of food with known detriment to health; by indulging the appetite for exquisite food or drink, especially when these are beyond one's ability to afford a luxurious diet; by eating or drinking too avidly, i.e., ravenously; by consuming alcoholic beverages to the point of losing full control of one's reasoning powers.  Intoxication that ends in complete loss of reason is a mortal sin ...."

Donald Attwater's A Catholic Dictionary also points out that this rises to the level of mortal sin occurs when food consumption is excessive to the point of causing health issues, or drinking is excessive to the point of intoxication.

The point of all this - which may border on TMI - is that if we do not know what we are talking about, how will we ever know if we are, as mentioned, possibly skating on that thin ice?

The bottom line - gluttony easily can be understood as eating and drinking too much. It is fair to say that Americans, as a whole, fall much more into the category of Rich Man Dives - "There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day."  Lk 16:19 - than we fall into the category of Poor Man Lazarus - "And lying at [Dives'] door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores" (Lk 16:20-21).  And that will be a problem one day, because we all know where Dives ended up - yes, the eternal tormenting fires of hell! How much better to aspire to the example of St. Teresa of Calcutta who served the poorest of the poor, who served all the Poor Man Lazaruses of Calcutta.

We are well off in America. In fact, it has been said that the poorest Americans are richer than the richest 3rd-world-citizens. Are we so gluttonous, has gluttony become so much a part of our day-to-day, that we do not even recognize it for what it is? Are we just like Dives? He seemed clueless, didn't he? And yet, remember in Jesus's parable, it was not like Dives did not know Poor Man Lazarus. In the reality to which Jesus spoke, Dives practically would have had to trip over Lazarus every time he went in and out of the front gate. We actually know that Dives knew exactly who Lazarus was, because Dives called him by name when Dives appealed to Abraham: "Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames" (Lk 16:24).

Dear family, let us take time to realize just how much we have, how much we consume - especially as to food and alcohol - and then ponder whether we genuinely have fasted from either, and, in doing so, freed up some of our wealth to offer up for the benefit of the Lazaruses who might be sitting outside our own front gate.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward gluttony.
Countless times we have sat down to a feast, unconcerned about our own health and welfare, and even more condemnably, unconcerned about those who would long to eat the scraps from our tables.
We are so immersed in the pleasures of eating and drinking, that we hardly recognize when we eat or drink to excess.
We think this excess really is no big deal.
We so often just do not attribute sin to this excess, and fail to confess the very thing which the bathroom scales and the hangovers make so evident.
We spend so much time and effort and money on feasting, an so little time and effort on fasting, even though we know, for we have been told, some things only may be attained through prayer and fasting.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our gluttony - for our selfish and excessive self-indulgence in food and drink.
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love you more.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal High Priest of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Divine Victim on the Altar for our salvation, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, dwelling in the tabernacles of the world, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, abiding in Your fulness, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Life, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Angels, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, with us always until the end of the world, R. have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, summit and source of all worship and Christian life, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, sign and cause of the unity of the Church, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, adored by countless angels, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, spiritual food, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Sacrament of love, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, bond of charity, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, greatest aid to holiness, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, gift and glory of the priesthood, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we partake of Christ, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which the soul is filled with grace, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we are given a pledge of future glory, R. have mercy on us.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

For those who do not believe in Your Eucharistic presence, R. have mercy, O Lord.
For those who are indifferent to the Sacrament of Your love, R. have mercy on us.
For those who have offended You in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, R. have mercy on us.

That we may show fitting reverence when entering Your holy temple, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may make suitable preparation before approaching the Altar, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may receive You frequently in Holy Communion with real devotion and true humility, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may never neglect to thank You for so wonderful a blessing, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may cherish time spent in silent prayer before You, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may grow in knowledge of this Sacrament of sacraments, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That all priests may have a profound love of the Holy Eucharist, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That they may celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with its sublime dignity, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may be comforted and sanctified with Holy Viaticum at the hour of our death, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may see You one day face to face in Heaven, R. we beseech You, hear us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Let us pray.
Most merciful Father, You continue to draw us to Yourself through the Eucharistic Mystery. Grant us fervent faith in this Sacrament of love, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received. We make this prayer through the same Christ our Lord.
Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 28-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Acedia
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Acedia" by Fr. Rick Heilman

Recently, I wrote a refection on "Pride." I said, "Pride is the Biggie." And, it is. "Pride, in fact, is the sin that is most at work to divide and destroy our culture," I wrote. However, I would say the most dominant sin that characterizes our culture today is "Acedia." Acedia has been referred to as the "noontime devil."

"Acedia" originates from the Greek, akèdia, meaning "lack of care." It's a kind of "indifference" or a "lack of spiritual energy," which is a phrase from the book by Jean-Charles Nault, O.S.B., The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times. Nault, the abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Wandrille in France, is one of the world's experts on acedia. I recall the acclaim this book had in 2015, and I ordered it, right away. I highly recommend it.

Nault references how it came to be called, "The noonday devil." In the writings of Evagrius of Pontus (345-399, one of the Desert Fathers), he explained that acedia manifests itself as a temptation for the monk to depart his cell. This temptation is often worst around midday, hence the "noonday devil."

The reasons for abandoning his cell could all be reasonable or even noble: He may want to work on his health, or he is just seeking a change of scenery, or maybe he wants to visit family, or he believes he could help more people outside his cell. This is why acedia doesn't necessarily always have to do with laziness. It could be manifested in activism.

This is why acedia can often be associated with "spiritual instability," a kind of restlessness. So, the soul may find itself horrified by its commitments, even abhor the spiritual life. The soul finds itself stuck in a kind of spiritual malaise which prevents it from advancing in the spiritual life.

St. Thomas Aquinas said of acedia that it is a "Sadness about spiritual good." It's a sadness of even the ultimate good of union with God. How can that be? St. Thomas says that man can become sad at the prospect of union with God because it requires him to give up goods to which he is attached.

Once someone detaches from their call to advance in the spiritual life, they can become satisfied with what St. Thomas calls a mere "animal beatitude." In other words, we demote ourselves to mere animals, aimlessly feeding the flesh with all its lust and wants. Once this fails, and it usual does, we are left to fall into a nihilism, or even a hatred of being.

For a soul lost in acedia and, therefore, the instability of loss of meaning and purpose in life, he is left to vacillate between reducing himself to just another animal species, or worse, a blight on an otherwise perfect natural world. Is this sounding familiar yet? It should, as it has become pervasive thought in a world becoming more and more disconnected from God.

How did we get here, and how do we get out of this epidemic of acedia in our culture, and even in our Church? I continue to believe we Catholics deserve much of the blame. Why? This is where I point to a previous reflection I gave on "lukewarmness." Recall it was Pope St. Pius V who went so far as to say, "All the evil in the world is due to lukewarm Catholics."

If we are the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ - and we are - then we were called to lift the world out of the emptiness of acedia that leads to believing we are mere animals. Yet, for more than 50 years, we have been peddling a weak and watered-down religion; a religion that denies the power of God; a religion of "activism" that seems to abhor the call to advance in the spiritual life. It almost seems like the proponents of this modern-day Catholic religion were (are), themselves, plagued with acedia. Some even militate against a restoration of sacred beauty and sacred worship. "It's too much," they proclaim. "People won't like our Church if we promote all the 'sacred stuff.'" In essence, they are saying, "We need to be a 'Church of Acedia' in order to reach those caught in acedia." And so, the acedia is left to spread like virus.

In Paul's letter to Timothy, he warned about just such a time as ours: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people."

Thank God, many are talking about the need for us to repent. But, repent from what? We must repent from creating a Church that has the "form of godliness but denies its power." This renewed belief and trust in the power of God, and worshiping as though we actually believe in the power of God, is the antidote for our global pandemic: Acedia.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward fearfully allowing the spread of acedia throughout our nation and the Catholic Church.
We have fallen into this widespread acedia when we have not lived up to the call of our Baptism to, day-by-day, deepen our love and faith in You.
We have been too easily swayed by the poor example of the Catholic acedia, in churches everywhere, and have not encouraged a deeper sense of supernatural faith.
In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for any of our own acedia or our lack of resolve to lift souls out of this spiritual malaise.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance be this visible light of fervent faith in You.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to fear and acedia.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to do Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of acedia have planted in Your Church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 29-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Racism
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Racism" by Fr. Bill Peckman

As dominant a topic as racism is today, the word is only 140 years in usage. I have been reading the book "The Guarded Gate" by Daniel Okrent. He traces how both nativism and eugenics in 19th Century America and Northern Europe led to the closing of the doors to immigrants in the 1920's USA from groups deemed to be lesser races. Race didn't exclusively refer to the color of one's skin as it does today. Races were divided by religion and nationality as well. It also spread to differentiate people by color of skin as well. The likes of Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge would have been indignant at the idea that a WASP (white/anglo/saxon/protestant) such as himself, would have been put in the same race as Poles, Russians, Slavs, Italians, Spaniards, Irish Catholics, Catholics, or Jews. This type of racism found its most deadly form in the Third Reich in Nazi Germany, where Hitler, being a northern European, also sent Slavs, Poles, Roma (aka Gypsies), Russians, Catholics (especially clergy and seminarians), as well as Jews to the concentration/death camps.

The notion of racism these days fully arises out of eugenics. For those who do not know what eugenics is, it is a belief that humanity can become a super race by eliminating what are considered lesser strains or human weeds. English scientist Thomas Galton began this 'science' based on the extension of the work of his cousin, Charles Darwin. The Nativist movement in the US and the UK picked up on this and found a particular champion in the US with Planned Parenthood Founder, Margaret Sanger. It was she who designated the entirety of those with black skin to be among the lesser of humanity, taking a view of them akin to the slave traders and owners who 50 years prior sought to keep them enslaved.

Racism is another way that Satan sets us against each other. It is another potent dividing line. Although he doesn't address race in his epistles (mainly because the concept is not really existent), St. Paul writes many times how these manmade divisions are inappropriate to the Body of Christ. He says that in Christ, there is no male or female, Jew or Greek, slave of freeman (Galatians 3:28). It takes little effort to imagine he would extend this to the idea that in Christ there are no races, but that all in Christ are one despite man-made differentiations and the superior/inferior delegations we put to them.

Racism is tearing apart our country right now. It is tool used by people with hopes of tearing down this country and reconstituting as a communist or socialist nation. Either ideology needs struggles between an oppressed class and oppressor class to justify upending the system. They have simply borrowed the categories from other totalitarian groups such as the Nazi's and tweaked them to suit the new narrative. They can do this because we have 150 or so years of fomenting the idea of racism.

There have been incidents of racism within the Church. When one looks at the story of Fr. Augustine Tolton, declared venerable by the Church, we see a black man and former slave who was called by God to the priesthood yet could not find an American seminary to take him. I believe that racism in a soft form has largely gutted inner city parishes where the natives refused or failed in evangelizing the new people moving in because they didn't look like them. To be honest, I have heard more than a few times, vile racial slurs from those who claim to be good Catholics. Such things, as St Paul would remind us, are wholly unacceptable behaviors for a follower of Christ and has no place within the Body of Christ.

It is our society that likes dividing the population into separate corporate bodies in order to pit them against each other. Certainly, more nefarious political systems need and thrive upon such divisions. Within the Body of Christ, this is wholly evil. One of the marks of the Church is 'One', that is, that we are one in Christ. That oneness is not subservient to worldly divisions and political jostling. Consider that the Catholic Church has over 1.4 billion members. Those 1.4 billion come from every conceivable culture, language, and skin color. Yet we are called to be one. That oneness starts here and stretches to eternity.

What is needed is that gift of the Holy Spirit, wisdom, to enable us to see one another of Christ sees us. First and foremost, He sees each of as needing God's love and grace.  He sees each of us as redeemable and worth the price of the Cross. We need to see each other in such a light. When someone searching comes upon us, they should not see us looking like the world, but they should see us as stark contrast to the world. We don't seek to divide what is called to be one. Over the years, I have thought it asinine to make judgements about the character of a person based on how much melanin happens to be in a person's skin. Wisdom leads us to truth.  Truth leads us love. God is love. Let us pray for the courage to look at the agent provocateurs who use race (and any other category they can find) to pit against each other and learn to love each other as God loves us.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness.
We have still our tongues in the face of evil.
We have allowed false divisions to wreak destruction on our society and Church.
We have expected You to be pleased with our divisiveness.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our racism.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism 

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to racism and entitlement.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of racism have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy, etc.
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us, etc.
St. Michael, the Archangel,
Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,
Standing at the right of the altar of Incense,
Ambassador of Paradise,
Glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies,
Leader of the Angelic hosts,
The standard-bearer of God's armies,
Defender of Divine glory,
First defender of the Kingship of Christ,
Strength of God,
Invincible Prince and warrior,
Angel of Peace,
Guide of Christ,
Guardian of the Catholic Faith,
Champion of God's people,
Guardian Angel of the Eucharist,
Defender of the Church,
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,
Angel of Catholic action,
Powerful intercessor of Christians,
Bravest defender of those who hope in God,
Guardian of our souls and bodies,
Healer of the sick,
Help of those in their agony,
Consoler of the Souls in Purgatory,
God's messenger for the souls of the just,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Victorious in battle against evil,
Guardian and Patron of the universal Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Sacrament of the Eucharist which we have received may make our souls holy and pleasing to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



Day 30-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Secularism
ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Secularism" by Fr. Jim Altman

(Apologies for the delay on today's reflection. Unavoidable priestly duties/emergencies arose)

Dear family, I'm not quite sure whether it was Fr. Heilman or Fr. Peckman who "assigned" the topics - but I am sure it was guided by the Holy Spirit! Consequently, I was blessed to have "secularism" among my topics. If you ever want to "push my buttons," just bring it up! So we are clear on what button is getting pushed:  the term "secularism" was first used by the British writer George Holyoake in 1851. He invented the term secularism to describe his views of promoting a social order separate from religion - like as if that ever would be a good idea - without actively dismissing or criticizing religious belief.

Obviously, given its date of creation, secularism, in word and in deed, was not a principle stated in the Constitution. For the record, what the Constitution actually does state, in what is known as the "Establishment Clause," is, quote: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The unanimous understanding of this "Establishment Clause" had to do solely with preventing the national government from creating - like Henry VIII - a religion enforceable through government police power. This Truth is confirmed by the prohibition against prohibiting "the free exercise thereof." Understand, dear Family, that this applied only to the Federal government, while states actually had the right to establish a particular religion. Few people know and understand that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which clearly prohibits the creation of a national church, did not eliminate established churches in those states where they still existed. Indeed, it would have encountered opposition in those states if it had sought to do so.

Too many people spout off a "definition" of secularism as "the principle of the separation of Church and state." Typically those same people - like the Godless "Freedom from Religion" fascists in Madison, Wisconsin - twist those words around to make it something it is not. They embody the words of John Lennon's song, "Imagine." A doctoral dissertation could not cover all the many problems with that pagan paean, but let it suffice to say that when Lennon wrote "Imagine no possessions," he was living in a multi-million-dollar mansion and the music video finds him playing his ridiculously expensive white Steinway piano for which George Michael bought at auction for over two million dollars. Lennon wrote it's easy if we try to imagine no religion, even as he lived in a time when Godless communists slaughtered a hundred million of their own citizens.

As President Reagan put it so perfectly: "The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; it's declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray." Yet the Freedom from Religion crowd throw a tantrum over such things as taxpayers' children praying in taxpayer funded schools. Leftists get away with throwing their tantrums because too many people do not know the Constitution nor its historical precedents. Dear family, just wrap your minds around the fact that taxpayers' children praying in taxpayer funded schools was, in fact, Constitutional for roughly the first 175 years of our Country. Then realize that the ramifications of the rapid shift from this Truth to the Big Lie of "Freedom from Religion" has resulted in the downfall of our culture and society. As a brilliant meme put it so well: "Bibles aren't allowed in schools anymore, but are encouraged in prisons. If kids were allowed to read it at school, they might not end up in prison."

How do we sin with regard to secularism? Simple. We sin every time we support, in word or deed, the Big Lie of "separation of Church and State." We sin through any kind of voting for any Godless agenda. We also commit sins of omission when we fail to make a reasonable effort to be aware of, and fight against, these dark forces which are prevailing in our times. The many, versus the few, sin constantly in their ignorant and uninformed support - even cowardly support - for the Godless left wing agenda. This would include disregarding the unchanged and unchangeable Truth regarding the five non-negotiables of Catholic morality, including abortion and same-sex unions.

What are we to do in a culture that literally assaults us - in words and in deeds - just for being Catholic and standing up for the unchanged and unchangeable Truth?  Firstly, recognize that we cannot be surprised by the hatred of the Godless world. Jesus warned us: "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first ... If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you ...  And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me" (Jn 15:18-21). No matter what hatred comes our way, we must stay attached to Jesus, Who is the True Vine, lest we wither away. And we know what happens to those who choose to not stay attached to the vine: "Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned" (Jn 15:6).

Dear family, buying into the Big Lie of secularism, and failure to intentionally let God's Grace and Wisdom openly direct and guide our public life, is a grave sin. You don't have to take my word for it. Jesus said, "Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.  But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father" (Mt 10:32-33). We also know that standing up for our Faith will alienate us from the Godless because Jesus said that too: "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three ...." (Lk 12:51-52).

Dear family, the left bludgeons anyone who brings Faith into the public square, even priests, with the Big Lie of "separation of Church and State." But prior to Lyndon Johnson's amendment and threat of taxation, faithful shepherds spoke up and spoke out against secular sin. Now, most everyone's a big coward, trembling in fear about being taxed. Please, dear family, honestly ask and answer two simple questions: Do we think the Father of Jesus Christ thinks it's a good idea that we cower in a corner because of oppressive secularism? Do we think Our Father thinks we should not openly bring Him into the public square? The answers are obvious. So are the consequences for how we answer those questions.

When Jesus said "give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's," the corollary is "don't give to Caesar what belongs to God." As it was, as it is, as it always will be: God first, last and always. So let us always acknowledge God before men, and let us always openly apply our lives of Faith in the public square.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward secularism.
Countless times we have cowered to the prevailing leftist sentiment to imagine no religion, not just in public life, but even in private life.
We are so immersed in temporal pleasures that we are blinded to our purpose in life, which is to know, love and serve God in this world so we can be with Him in the next.
We intentionally justify leaving God out of our public lives because, after all, "Freedom from Religion" and their ilk have successfully inculcated us with the Big Lie of their false interpretation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause and insistence upon "separation of Church and State."
We fail to attribute the current chaos and anarchy of our times to the seeds of Godlessness sown way back in the 60's when prayer was taken out of our taxpayer-funded schools.
Ever since we have wittingly or unwittingly joined the side of the Godless through our open or tacit acceptance of the Big Lie of secularism.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our own secular attitudes - especially for our cowardice about speaking up and speaking out in the public square.
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 31-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Materialism
ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


 
"Freedom from Materialism" by Fr. Bill Peckman

Back in 1985, Madonna nearly topped the Billboard 100 singing how she was "a material girl living in a material world." It seemed apropos for the 80's where herds of free-range yuppies thundered across the fruited plains alerting anyone who could hear them that too much stuff was never enough. Certainly, the USA is one on the wealthiest countries the world has ever seen. Even the bottom 20% of the economic strata in our country consume more than the bottom 60% of the rest of the developed world. Our suburbs are full of McMansions stuffed with goods. At my worst, I had clothes in my closet that I had for a couple years and never removed the price tags from. It used to be that the American Dream was about the ability to make something of yourself despite your economic class. Now the American Dream is the house, the car, the possessions and so on. It can become a garish display.

Materialism comes from a very dark place. It is a Godless place. Philosophically, materialism holds that all that is true is made up of material or comes from material interactions. Even the mind is subservient to the material world. In essence, all we have is what is measurable. No God. No heaven. No hell. No devil. Our life ends when we die. There is nothing beyond the grave. Hence, our only true happiness can be found in the accumulation of wealth, power, pleasure, and honor. Life becomes a mad dash of consumption and manipulation. Materialism is like a creeping vine; if not pulled up right away it will insinuate itself into your life and choke off any fruit a relationship with God might have born.

Many people who consider themselves good Catholics can be functional materialist. A canary in the mineshaft is our attitude to the Day of the Lord; our attitude towards Sundays. If there is anywhere where the effects of materialism (and its twin serpent, secularism) have more greatly felt it is in how we treat Sunday. In the last 40 years, Sunday has gone from the Day of the Lord to the hour of the Lord, unless there is something more fun or important to do. Even for one day we cannot put down our material interest in order to address our spiritual need for prayer, Communion, and rest. With the exception of school, every other secular enterprise has gobbled up Sunday like a quickly eaten trifle.

*ALERT* You are entering the slaughtering of sacred cows zone!

Let's use the following conversation that I have had multiple times with parishioners:
"My kid can't serve because he has a ball tournament this weekend."
"And this tournament is both on Saturday night and SUNDAY MORNING?"
"I know, Father, but he did make a commitment to the team. We will try to get to Mass at some time" (Thinking to myself: Hmmmm. I am sure what God meant by first fruits was really leftovers, but that's another discussion. Maybe we should talk about the commitment to God is of greater value).
"So why is going to this game so important?"
"Because he needs extracurriculars to get into a good college?"
"Why is that important?"
"So he can get a good job."
"Why is that important?"
"So he can be successful and make a good salary."
"Why is that important?"
"So he can raise a family and live without financial worry" (Me thinking to myself: Hmmmm, no wonder my homilies on priestly vocations fall on deaf ears; but again, another time).
"May I quote Mark 8:6? "What does it profit for man to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul?" The third commandment is to keep holy the Sabbath, no? Is teaching your son that a ball game holds greater importance than the Day of the Lord a lesson you wish teach to him?"

Teaching others, especially those placed in our care that the material world and its prizes are of greater value than one's relationship with God and His people is a dangerous lesson. It is a contributory factor to the ever plummeting attendance at Mass. If we will abandon Mass for worldly gain, will we not abandon anything of God to get ahead? The devil will grab his pom-poms and cheer you on that drive!

What Jesus calls for instead of such an attachment to the material world is a detachment from the material world. In the Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, ""Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."  If this is the attitude Jesus tells us to have about the necessities of life, how much more to things like ballgames and other non-essential activities? I am not against sports. I am for right priorities. Faith helps us discern right priorities, considering that which is material and hence passing to be of lesser importance to the spiritual.

It is telling that in such a culture abstinence and fasting are seen as little more than misery making exercises consigned to Lent. Are you aware that we are still not supposed to eat on any Friday?  Outside of Lent, we can substitute something else. But Friday...all Fridays are days of abstinence. Fasting and abstinence are incredibly good ways of breaking ourselves from materialism.

I challenge you, dear reader, to make a start of breaking from materialism with one simple step: make the Day of the Lord again. Maybe pick up some fasting and abstinence. We need to find ways to shout boldly our faith, "We need God before anything this world has to offer."

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your goodness.
We have chased after earthly goals and trinkets as if they were more important.
We have allowed material goals to supplant our relationship with You.
We have expected You to be pleased with our neglect and half-heartedness.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our materialism.
We beg for the grace of your goodness to build up within us what you sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to materialism.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of materialism have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us. 

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son
of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, etc.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony,
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging,
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns,
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross,
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation,
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness,
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls,
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy,
Blood of Christ, victor over demons,
Blood of Christ, courage of martyrs,
Blood of Christ, strength of confessors,
Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins,
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril,
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened,
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow,
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent,
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying,
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts,
Blood of Christ, pledge of Eternal Life,
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory,
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood.
R. And made us, for our God, a kingdom.

Let us pray.
Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



Day 32-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Irreverence
ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

 
"Freedom from Irreverence" by Fr. Rick Heilman

It was on February 2, 1998, that I had the experience of a lifetime. It was my first ever Papal Mass, and this was with Pope John Paul II, on the Feast of the Presentation. I went on sabbatical for two months with some priest friends, to study in Rome. The priests studying received a beautiful engraved invitation to the Papal Mass, and we were thrilled to be going.

There we were in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, about to pray with the Vicar of Christ. As Mass began, glorious "sacred" music filled the Basilica ... and my soul. Of course, being a Papal Mass, there was great attention given to precision, which struck me as "beautiful order," much like is seen with a military honor guard granting the highest respect to a fallen soldier. But, it was more than that. While I had always loved the Mass, I felt, maybe for the first time, that we were truly "glorifying" God. On that day, February 2, 1998, I was truly changed.

But, I was filled with regret, at the same time. I began to ask myself, "What have I been doing?" I had spent the first ten years of my priesthood buying into the common notion (this was common practice in virtually all parishes, at the time) that, if we create all kinds of trendy nuances to the Mass, while we kept the Mass as whimsical and entertaining as possible, people would hear about how "cool" and "fun" and "with the times" we were, and come running. We were treating the Mass as a commodity that we needed to somehow market to the world. Worse than anything, I realized we were all but throwing out any sense of divinity; any sense of the supernatural. Where, in all of this, was any sense of awe and wonder in God's presence? Where was the sense of God's majesty? I realized, for the first time, we were gravely sinning in our irreverence before God.

Saint Francis of Assisi said, "Man should tremble, the world should quake, all Heaven should be deeply moved when the Son of God appears on the altar in the hands of the priest." Where was that in my "night club act" or "Broadway musical" entertainment-focused Masses? Irreverence!

I've come to understand that we have, throughout most of the Church, removed the very gateway into the Divine Life. I happen to agree with Pope St. Gregory the Great who, wanting to capture the spiritual dynamism of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, posited the following order: "Through the fear of the Lord, we rise to piety, from piety then to knowledge, from knowledge we derive strength, from strength counsel, with counsel we move toward understanding, and with intelligence toward wisdom and thus, by the sevenfold grace of the Spirit, there opens to us at the end of the ascent the entrance to the life of Heaven" ("Homiliae in Hiezechihelem Prophetam," II 7,7).

As you can see, the entry point to all of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is "Fear of the Lord." What is Fear of the Lord, also known as the Gift of Awe and Wonder? According to Fr. John Hardon, Fear of the Lord "... inspires a person with profound respect for the majesty of God. Its corresponding effects are protection from sin through dread of offending the Lord, and a strong confidence in the power of His help. The fear of the Lord is not servile but filial. It is based on the selfless love of God, whom it shrinks from offending. Whereas in servile fear the evil dreaded is punishment; in filial fear it is the fear of doing anything contrary to the will of God. The gift of fear comprises three principal elements: a vivid sense of God's greatness, a lively sorrow for the least faults committed, and a vigilant care in avoiding occasions of sin. It is expressed in prayer of the Psalmist, 'My whole being trembles before you, your ruling fills me with fear'" (Ps 119:120).

Fear of the Lord is the entry point; this is the trigger that ignites all of the other gifts of the Holy Spirit. Without this "trigger," we are prone to reduce our faith/religion to merely another organization that has a sense of social responsibility. Jesus is then reduced to an historic figure to emulate. Mass is just a social gathering that many may say (without saying), "it had better have good entertainment if you are going to make me endure this for an hour." So then, why not just throw on our worst recreational attire for Mass, and get in line to grab Jesus like we're reaching for a potato chip? Where is the desire to be filled with the supernatural power of grace?

St. Bernard said, "For I have learnt for a fact that nothing so effectively obtains, retains and regains grace, as that we should always be found not high-minded before God, but filled with holy fear."  

Fr. John Hardon wrote: "St. Thomas Aquinas believed that man is more than a composite of body and soul, that his is nothing less than elevated to a supernatural order which participates, as far as a creature can, in the very nature of God. Accordingly, a person in the state of grace, or divine friendship, possesses certain enduring powers, the infused virtues and gifts, that raise him to an orbit of existence as far above nature as heaven is above earth, and that give him abilities of thought and operation that are literally born, not of the will of flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

Do you see why Satan is winning?! He is in the supernatural realm using supernatural weapons, while we have surrendered ours. We seem to be choosing, instead, an irreverent, secular (anti-supernatural) version of religion. I, honestly, believe this goes to the very root of our problems. Unless and until we see a worldwide movement within our Church to restore reverence in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - that assists us in becoming predisposed to receive the gateway Holy Spirit Gift of Awe and Wonder - Satan will continue to have an easy-time with us. Until then, Satan is eating our lunch!


Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward fearfully allowing the spread of irreverence throughout our Catholic Church.
We have fallen into this widespread irreverence when we have not lived up to the call of our Baptism to, day-by-day, deepen our love and faith in You.
We have been too easily swayed by the poor example of irreverence, in churches everywhere, and have not encouraged a deeper sense of supernatural faith.
In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for any of our own irreverence or our lack of resolve to lift souls out of this spiritual malaise.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance be this visible light of fervent faith in You.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to fear and irreverence.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to do Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of irreverence have planted in Your Church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.

Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ graciously hear us

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus,  we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Day 33-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Irreverence
ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

 
"Freedom from Theft" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, Our Father gave us the Ten Commandments for a reason, a good reason. Few people will do it, but we all should look in the mirror and say, "MY Father gave me Ten Commandments because He knew very well I, myself, needed such COMMANDS - not suggestions - because otherwise I would tend to misbehave." After all, if we all were greatly inclined to holiness, we would not have needed those Ten in the first place. In fact - and again, few like to admit it - Our Father pretty much had us pegged as to the main areas we would sin.

So He gave us these Commands like stripes along the highway, to keep us within the boundaries of the narrow road to Heaven.  To stray outside those boundaries - to disobey those Commandments - to SIN - well, welcome to the broad road to destruction. Sometimes there are immediate consequences, like running into the ditch of sin, hitting a tree and dying. Other times there are less immediate consequences. We might "get away" with doing something - or so we erroneously think. Like that secular hymn to Santa, Our Father actually does know when we've been bad or good so be good for goodness' sake.

Life itself tends to have consequences when we violate those Ten Commandments, when we sin.  If we sin in smaller matters, maybe those consequences will be like straying over the "chatter-bumps" intended to alert us when we stray onto or over the highway stripes. Maybe we will get away with texting while driving most of the time. That's what makes it so dangerous. Without immediate consequences; we are lulled into a false sense of security, we are emboldened, until that day when our distracted driving actually does result in a real accident and we and others are maimed or killed. So it is with venial sins. The consequences are not immediate or are minor, so we are emboldened to continue and push the envelope further. That is such dangerous ground.  Sin causes darkness in our souls, and the more we sin, the more it gets dark, dark, dark in there. It gets darker and darker until the time when we cross the line into grave sin and do not even recognize it for what it is. Then, dear family, we have definitely chosen to drive down the broad road to destruction.

Dear family, I say all this because too many people do not appreciate Commandment #7, thou shalt not steal. Other words for stealing include "Theft" and "Larceny." In the secular world, Theft is often defined as the unauthorized taking of property from another with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. Within this definition lie two key elements:  a) a taking of someone else's property; and b) the requisite intent to deprive the victim of the property permanently.

As an aside, "permanently leaves out "unauthorized borrowing" - but just try and tell the store that you only were borrowing something you shoplifted! Similarly, if we put on our thinking caps, it just "doesn't fly" when a criminal alien suggests his "unauthorized entry" simply was a moment of "undocumented immigration." Our Federal Government - and every government on the face of this planet - has immigration commandments for a purpose. Get it straight, dear family:  unauthorized entry, illegal aliens, are thieves, and have just stolen from every other citizen of this country, and no amount of left-wing lib changing of the language to "undocumented" can change that.

Understand this, dear family. Our Father had to COMMAND us not to steal precisely because we were inclined to steal. We were inclined to take that which was not ours. And the more we take, the more darkened are our souls to the reality and the gravity of the taking that which was not ours. Eventually, we get to the point of not even realizing the "taking." That is when we are blithely driving down the very center of the road to destruction.

Dear family, most of us know what is ours and what is not ours. You don't need me to tell you taking what is not yours is a sin, and there will be consequences, now or in eternity. You know this. For today, please recognize that many do NOT know this, or do not care. I do not believe for a second that all those rioters, looters, burners and shooters do not know that what they are taking or destroying is not theirs to begin with. They just do not care. They are lawless, which means - get this straight - they are Godless. Disregard the Law, disregard God. It really is just that simple. Let us recognize it for what it is. This Godlessness can be less evident, like when all those people took over the Wisconsin State Capital in a "protest," ultimately causing about seven million dollars in costs and damages - all paid for by the Badger taxpayers. Dear family, apart from the fact that many of them were teachers taking unauthorized leave and stealing time from the parents and students, they literally stole from every taxpayer every penny of costs and damages.  They.  Are.  Thieves.

While I do not need to define taking of anything tangible, like a candy bar from Kwik Trip or a Wrangler from the Jeep dealership, the above example of the teachers stealing intangible time is instructive for another type of theft of which so many are clueless. For today, let us relate theft of intangible time by relating Commandment #7, "Thou shalt not steal," to Commandment #3, Keep Holy the Lord's Day. The Commandment was a day. That means 24 hours. I sometimes say it this way, "God commanded us to keep holy the DAY. That means 24 hours.  Commandment #3 does not say 'keep holy the Lord's 55 minutes and get mad if father's homily is a little long!" A day is a day, and a day has 24 hours. Remember that bit about how if we sin our soul gets darker until it gets really dark? All those people who cannot be bothered to show up for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sunday - they commit grave sin because they have stolen God's time. Usually it does not happen all at once. Usually they start by playing fast and loose with just some of the 24 hours - doing unnecessary work, or making someone else to unnecessary work by shopping or eating out on Sunday. They start down that very slippery slope until one day - boom, they find any excuse good enough to blow off their Sunday OBLIGATION. That will not end well for them. If they do not want to be with God on Sunday, they will not be with Him in eternity.  Period.

Dear family, most of us - excluding the rioters, looters, burners and shooters - know that we should not steal tangible things. How about for today let us ponder how so many of us steal intangible things - like time - like God's time?  As part of our next Confession - how about if we examine our consciences and ask ourselves how much time have we stolen. That is an important examination, dear family, because stealing time makes us thieves. To help with that examination - let us ask ourselves if we have made it a point to do what Jesus told us to do:  spend an hour a day with our Lord in this life, so we really can spend an eternity with Him in the next. Then let us, in these troubled, troubled times, resolve to be free from our attachment to time, and start giving back the Lord one hour for every 23 other hours of the day He gives us.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward theft.
Maybe our greatest theft is the theft of time, our stealing from the Lord what really is His time.
We are so immersed in temporal pleasures that we are blinded to our purpose in life, which is to know, love and serve God in this world so we can be with Him in the next.
Serving takes time, and so many are so stingy with their time.
We intentionally justify leaving God out of our daily lives because we have so many other priorities other than God.
So often we drive so far outside the God-defined narrow lines of life that we do not even recognize we are on the broad road to destruction.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our own theft of time - especially for the times we have not even kept Your day holy, all 24 hours of Your day.
We love you, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love you more.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.

Let us pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



 Day 34-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Relativism

ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us


Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Relativism

For years, I have tried to do a class with my 7th and 8th grade religions classes on some form of critical and analytical thinking. One of the first things I teach them is the difference between subjective and objective truth. I do this because they are entering a society that is more and more hostile to the concept of objective truth. The easiest way to tell the two apart is that objective truth is something that is true on its own merit (it does not need my opinion to prove its veracity) whereas subjective truth is something that is true by my criteria (opinion). Our society has embraced relativism as a natural outgrowth of its hostility to true faith. In fact (and I say this as a former agnostic), relativism is the grand prize of godlessness: I get to decide for myself what is good and evil, moral and immoral, and right or wrong. Relativism gives me the false pretense of being my own God. It is biting into the apple at Eden.

Relativism bases itself in our emotional being more important than our rational being in decision making and in the pursuit of truth. Since, everything is subjective, truth is what I feel it is based on my own perceived emotional needs and passions. My passions and emotions are the filters through which I define my reality. So what happens when my reality does not line up with your reality? You have to be wrong and must align yourself to my reality. If you don't, then I will call you intolerant and if you try to express your opinion contrary to mine, then I will shout you down. Does this sound familiar?

Our society is rife with relativism. It has long trumped faith; now it trumps science and empirical evidence. If I am a male and feel that I am not. You must accept. If I am sexually attracted to...well...anything, you must accept it. If I believe that I should get everything for free, you must give it. Progressivism is relativistic. It is why everything, every belief, every thought, and every word must be a reflection of itself. It is the powertrain of narcissism.

Our Church has been rocked with relativism. It shows up in the cleric who has come to his own conclusion that a teaching is antiquated (say artificial birth control) and ceases to teach it or teaches contrary to it, or actually does believe it but lacks the intestinal fortitude to teach it. It shows up in the 'I am catholic but' that CINO (Catholic In Name Only) politicians and academics like to hide behind to make believe they are Catholics in good standing and so get your vote or your ear. I have seen it in so called celebrity priests who talk a good game but allow the press to go to their head and start thinking they are above the teachings us ordinary folk have to follow. Scandal soon follows. I still maintain that a cleric has to have a high degree of relativism to either prey on their flock or allow the predation to happen AND still even so much as touch the Blessed Sacrament, let alone say Mass. It is the food that feeds the purpose of the Mass is my 'getting something out of it' first and foremost.

In John 14, from the Farwell Discourse, Jesus says "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6)  When preaching on this passage, I always remind people that articles matter. Jesus doesn't use the indefinite article as in "I am a way, a truth, and a life." He uses the definite article. He and his teachings and Gospel are not just one man's opinion or an option among other possible options. His words are not co-equal with worldly or secular wisdom. Since He alone can make claim to the fact that He is the Second Person of the Trinity made flesh who dwelt amongst us, His words and teachings carry a unique and singular authority. By the same notion, the Church He set up, is the caretaker and keeper of the keys to that same singular truth. Because someone else (or even our own self) has come up with an alternative does NOT make that alternative true or co-equal with the truth that is Jesus Christ.

So what is the antidote to such a potent poison? Humility, humility, humility! In humility we see the truth. In humility we see our own paltry attempts as truth as nothing before God. In humility we bow our heads to God's wisdom and power. In humility we see truth clearly and can act rightly and justly. Since humility does not take into account what is in it for me, humility gives us clarity of vision and a hunger to act in truth. It helps us see relativism for the self-serving and ultimately (and eternally) self-destructive drug it is. Humility gives us the ability to move beyond ourselves and become truly loving.

My brothers and sisters, we do well to cultivate humility even when such cultivation upends our lives and forces conversion. This is a good thing. We do well to do this now before it is too late. We might well be able to fool ourselves and even those around us. We might well be able to bully our neighbor and shout down those who disagree with us. We will not be able to defend, shout down, nor bully God into seeing our way and giving us the reward set aside for those who allowed themselves to be conformed to the image and likeness of God. For after saying He is the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus tells us that no one comes to the Father except through Him. We do well to listen.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts to not see fulfillment in Your truth.
We have chased after earthly goals and trinkets as if they were more important.
We have allowed self-serving and self-destructive passions to supplant obedience to You.
We have expected You to be pleased with our neglect and half-heartedness.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our relativism.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what you sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to relativism.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of relativism have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.

Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. R. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. R. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. R. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, R. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, R. have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, R. have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, R. have mercy on us.

Jesus, Eternal High Priest of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Divine Victim on the Altar for our salvation, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, hidden under the appearance of bread, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, dwelling in the tabernacles of the world, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, abiding in Your fulness, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Life, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, Bread of Angels, R. have mercy on us.
Jesus, with us always until the end of the world, R. have mercy on us.

Sacred Host, summit and source of all worship and Christian life, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, sign and cause of the unity of the Church, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, adored by countless angels, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, spiritual food, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, Sacrament of love, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, bond of charity, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, greatest aid to holiness, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, gift and glory of the priesthood, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we partake of Christ, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which the soul is filled with grace, R. have mercy on us.
Sacred Host, in which we are given a pledge of future glory, R. have mercy on us.

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

For those who do not believe in Your Eucharistic presence, R. have mercy, O Lord.
For those who are indifferent to the Sacrament of Your love, R. have mercy on us.
For those who have offended You in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, R. have mercy on us.

That we may show fitting reverence when entering Your holy temple, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may make suitable preparation before approaching the Altar, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may receive You frequently in Holy Communion with real devotion and true humility, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may never neglect to thank You for so wonderful a blessing, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may cherish time spent in silent prayer before You, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may grow in knowledge of this Sacrament of sacraments, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That all priests may have a profound love of the Holy Eucharist, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That they may celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in accordance with its sublime dignity, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may be comforted and sanctified with Holy Viaticum at the hour of our death, R. we beseech You, hear us.
That we may see You one day face to face in Heaven, R. we beseech You, hear us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine,
All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

Let us pray.
Most merciful Father, You continue to draw us to Yourself through the Eucharistic Mystery. Grant us fervent faith in this Sacrament of love, in which Christ the Lord Himself is contained, offered and received. We make this prayer through the same Christ our Lord.
Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



Day 35-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Childishness
ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

 
"Freedom from Childishness" by Fr. Rick Heilman

Psychology has always been an area of interest for me. In fact, I graduated from college with a degree in Psychology. Since then, I have become very suspicious of the APA (American Psychological Association) as they have been, quite obviously, infiltrated by so-called "progressives" (See my LFR reflection on "pride" to discover the problem with "progressives") who, among other things, crave notoriety for claiming to have "new knowledge" that, up to now, has not been commonly held.

Consequently, the "behavioral science" coming from the APA has become muddled, mainly by such things as declaring behaviors formerly seen as disorders that now must be seen as normal behavior, according to the "progressive" APA. So, for example, grown men must, now, be allowed to share bathrooms with little girls. And, look out for a new movement to normalize pedophilia ... it's coming fast. I'll get back to the APA, shortly.

In the context of "Let Freedom Ring," we talk about the spiritual deficiencies of values and virtues and morals in our culture. In many ways, these spiritual deficiencies intersect with psychological deficiencies.

When observing the condition of our culture, it is clear that it is showing signs of an alarming growth of "Emotional Childishness," which is not unlike a "lack of spiritual maturity." More and more people have, as renowned Psychologist, Dr. Susan Heitler states, "reached chronological adulthood without having mastered the core elements of adult emotional functioning."

Dr. Heitler points to 10 signs of a childish adult - See how many of these you recognize in the "temper tantrum mob" wreaking havoc in the streets: 1) Emotional escalations, 2) Blaming, 3) Lies, 4) Name-calling, 5) Impulsivity, 6) Need to be the center of attention, 7) Bullying, 8) Budding narcissism ("It's all about me." In the eyes of a narcissist, no one else counts; if they don't get their way, they may result to pouting or bullying in order to do so), 9) Immature defenses (tendency to attack - see "cancel culture" - anyone who expresses a differing viewpoint), 10) No observing ego (inability to see, acknowledge, and learn from their mistakes).

This behavior is not unique to the mob in the streets, as it is replete in the mainstream media and far too many emotionally childish politicians. In today's culture, we are treading in completely new territory. While some may say we have always seen childish adults, the degree to which we are witnessing this today is massive and unprecedented. It is no longer about Right vs. Left, it is about Mature Adults vs. Childish Adults.

It used to be that "adults" could disagree with each other and, maturely, work out their differences, as they listened and took into consideration each other's viewpoint, while maintaining a level of respect for each other. Now, in this new milieu of widespread emotional childishness, we are all made to live in fear of being abused by the "temper tantrums" of those who play by "childish rules" (blaming, lies, name-calling, bullying, attacking...), while the "adults in the room" will not play by such rules.

This is what has happened, just recently, in my neck of the woods, but it is emblematic of what is going on everywhere in America: My friend recently had his car "keyed" because he had a pro-life bumper sticker; another friend had his house damaged for flying the "thin blue line" American flag that honors police; our downtown is boarded up and painted with graffiti as the mob's temper tantrums include violence, looting, tearing down statues and burning down businesses; in this election year, few dare to put a yard sign out or bumper sticker on their car of the candidate the "childish" don't like, for fear of being assaulted; many will not associate themselves with the "wrong" candidate (in the eyes of the childish) for fear of being assaulted, calumniated, or even fired from their job; a friend chose not to run for public office for fear that he and his family would be attacked by the temper-tantrum childish mob; and on and on and on.

How did we get here? The simple answer is poor parenting, or even absent parenting. I recall when the Nouveau Parenting movement began - mostly spurred on by the new "woke" and "progressive" APA. Parents were told to cease disciplining their children, for fear of traumatizing them. Woke and progressive parents should even give "participation trophies" to children who "didn't win." Again, to avoid trauma. What. A. Colossal. Disaster!

Parents who coddle their children are, plain and simple, stunting their emotional maturation. And, it is certainly not how our "perfect parent," God, parents us. Salvation history is replete with examples where God, having first tried to inspire us, resorts to allowing us to go through challenges in order to impel us to "raise our game" ... to mature. Left to our "spiritual immaturity," we are prone to behave as spoiled children do ... we "expect" God to give us everything we want, including heaven, without ever needing to humbly obey, express our gratitude or work hard for it ... we're just "entitled to it." We'd rather not know of such adult concepts as, "Effort brings reward."
"
Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me" (Matt 16:24). These are not the words of someone who coddles with "participation trophies." This is the Son of God telling us to "GROW UP" and be BE A MAN! (or WOMAN!).

In the military, they put it this way, "It never gets easier, you just get better."

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward fearfully allowing the spread of childishness throughout our culture and our Catholic Church.
We have fallen into this widespread childishness when we have not lived up to the call of our Baptism to, day-by-day, deepen our love and faith in You.
We have been too easily swayed by the poor example of childishness, in churches everywhere, and have not encouraged a deeper sense of supernatural faith.
In our weakness, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for any of our own childishness or our lack of resolve to lift souls out of this lack of spiritual maturity.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us the strength and endurance be this visible light of fervent faith in You.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to fear and childishness.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to do Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of childishness have planted in Your Church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, etc.
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.



Day 36-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Avarice
ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

 
"Freedom from Avarice" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, Avarice is a synonym of Greed. It is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Some distinguish between Avarice and greed, essentially implying that Avarice is like Greed-on-Steroids. No matter which word we care to use, both regard an excessive or inordinate desire of gain or wealth; a selfish or excessive desire for more than is needed or deserved, especially of money, wealth, food, or other possessions.

Avarice has a long if uncomplicated history in English. Chaucer in his 14th-century The Parson's Tale compared avarice with covetise, a now obsolete word that means "covetousness" ("Covetise is to covet such things as thou hast not; and avarice is to withhold and keep such things as thou hast, without rightful need"-743), and Shakespeare uses it in Macbeth ("With this there grows / In my most ill-composed affection such / A stanchless avarice that, were I king, / I should cut off the nobles for their lands, / Desire his jewels and this other's house: / And my more-having would be as a sauce / To make me hunger more"-IV.iii.76-82).

As he always seemed to do, the brilliant Shakespeare got it spot-on. "My more-having would be as a sauce to make me hunger more." Remember the Life Lesson of Adam and Eve, summarized as "Nothing is Ever Enough." Remember how they had everything, but it wasn't enough? That really is the problem with Avarice - nothing ever is enough, but only makes one want more.

Apart from that issue, of course, are the Gospel teachings on what happens when avarice runs amok. Remember the rich man who had a bountiful harvest. "Oh!" says he, "I will tear down my smaller barns and build bigger barns!" Not a good idea. First of all, that sounds pretty wasteful, to tear down perfectly good barns. When we hear about wealthy people buying homes and tearing them down to build bigger ones - there's even a real estate term for it, I think it actually is called "tear downs" - don't we suppose those people have never read Jesus's parable?  That's first of all.  Second of all, Jesus makes it pretty clear - crystal clear - what Almighty God thinks about that kind of stuff, quote: "You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?"(Lk  12:20). And then Jesus delivers the coup de Grace:  "Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God" (Lk 12:21). And as if that wasn't bad enough, there is the little problem about that camel trying to get through the Eye of the Needle.

Ok, so we know all that. But here is something few look in the mirror and contemplate. Yeah, we might not be longing for Aaron Spelling's Hollywood mansion, but we all have it pretty good. In fact, many of us tend to live beyond "our means." Here's an example ...

When I was teaching in the high school, I would ask the Juniors or Seniors "how much do you think you will make when you get out of college?" The answers ranged from a low of about 40k, to a high of around 80k. The thing is, it did not matter what number with which I started, when we subtracted a mere 1/3 for taxes, and then subtracted the things upon which they themselves said they would spend "their" money - housing (I mentioned to them the hidden extras like furniture, appliances, bedding, towels, laundry soap, homeowners or renters' insurance), auto (I mentioned to them the hidden extras like auto insurance, gas, oil changes), student-loans, cell phones, cable/internet, pizza on Friday - when we got done, both high and low incomes were at least 10-20% "in the red!"  The thing is, the more we make, the more we live in nicer housing, drive fancier newer cars, and get the newest latest Iphones. And then I would bring up "Christmas and birthday gifts" - where their money was spent on someone other than themselves!  They thought about it and sure enough, deeper into the red they went. And then - here it comes, dear family - about this point I would say "Hey!  What's missing here?!  I don't see any almsgiving, no giving back to God for all He has given you. There is nothing here for Church and charity."

Dear family, I wasn't being mean. I only was pointing out the reality that pretty much all of us are infected with an avaricious "living large" mentality. We all live in the biggest barns that the banks will loan us the money to buy. We all tend to drive the best vehicles the lenders will loan us the money to buy. And we all tend to have decent cell phones, cable and internet. And pretty much none of us are going hungry when the CDC tells us: "During 2011-2014, the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity was 38.3% among women and 34.3% among men."

Dear family, we all suffer from avarice. Whatever level our income might be, we long for more.  And what's even worse about all this, is that we even will blow off the 3rd Commandment so - really, how many times have we heard this? - "I'm working or putting in some overtime on Sunday."

As to that last thing, working on Sundays, I also used to ask the high-schoolers if they would sell their soul to the devil for a million bucks. "Oh, NO, father," they would say. I would up the ante to ten million dollars. "Oh, NO, father," they would say. Finally I went all out - "would  you sell your soul to the devil for a billion dollars?!  You could have the house, the boat and the car, and still have 999 million to live off the interest!" "Oh, NO, father," they all would say.  At that point, I would tell them they were dead wrong - they would sell their souls to work on Sunday for minimum wage at Shopko or the IGA, all because they "needed" money for clothes, cells, car insurance or gas.

This analysis does not apply just to high-schoolers. It applies to all adults who - whether they realize it or not - suffer from a level of avarice that takes away not just from the amount of money they should be tithing, but also takes away from the most valuable time we are commanded to give back to God by actually keep the Lord's Day holy.

Dear family, I'm not sure how to tell anyone to fix this problem. I cannot give specific advice for anyone, because the circumstances differ for each one of us.  What I can say - is that each one of us, myself included, really needs to ask ourselves, are we giving back to God what is God's? Or are we, because of the deadly sin of Avarice, keeping way too much for ourselves?

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward Avarice.  We are greedy.
We recognize our Avarice in the many things we own - including all the stuff we bought with borrowed money.
At times we justify our Avarice so much that we do not see ourselves in the Gospel parables of the man who planned to tear down his barns.
At times we do not recognize in ourselves that we are the rich man who will have a harder time making it through the Gates of Heaven than a camel through the eye of a needle.
We immerse ourselves in so many temporal goods that we do not even recognize we are living large with what we want, which is way more than what we truly need.
We even justify leaving God out of our very budgets because we just cannot afford it!
So often we just do not recognize our Avarice.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our Avarice, and especially for all the times we have forfeited time with You for time to labor so we may indeed "live large."
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy, etc.
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Holy Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us, etc.
St. Michael, the Archangel,
Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity,
Standing at the right of the altar of Incense,
Ambassador of Paradise,
Glorious Prince of the Heavenly armies,
Leader of the Angelic hosts,
The standard-bearer of God's armies,
Defender of Divine glory,
First defender of the Kingship of Christ,
Strength of God,
Invincible Prince and warrior,
Angel of Peace,
Guide of Christ,
Guardian of the Catholic Faith,
Champion of God's people,
Guardian Angel of the Eucharist,
Defender of the Church,
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff,
Angel of Catholic action,
Powerful intercessor of Christians,
Bravest defender of those who hope in God,
Guardian of our souls and bodies,
Healer of the sick,
Help of those in their agony,
Consoler of the Souls in Purgatory,
God's messenger for the souls of the just,
Terror of the evil spirits,
Victorious in battle against evil,
Guardian and Patron of the universal Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Sacrament of the Eucharist which we have received may make our souls holy and pleasing to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.


Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Gossip
ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

 
"Freedom from Gossip" by Fr. Bill Peckman

On the old TV show, 'Bewitched' there was a character named Mrs. Cravitz. Mrs. Cravitz sat by her blinds, watching outside for anything that didn't look normal and would yell for her husband, Abner, every time she had something to report. If I were to pick a character that dominates the media now, it would be Mrs. Cravitz. We seemingly can't enough gossip. The more famous the person, the more gossip. We have TV shows dedicated to celebrity gossip. We have websites dedicated to gossip. We have collectively taken the attitude that you nothing nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.

The type of gossip I am talking about is what we call calumny and detraction. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, one who commits detraction is one who, "without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them" and one who commits calumny is one who, "by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them" (CCC 2477).

Gossip is an act in which we seek to destroy the reputation of another person for whatever reason. Many times gossip is a passive-aggressive form of vengeance. Sometimes gossip is done for pure blood-sport.  This is especially true in politics. Gossip is done as a way of distracting people from the problems the gossiper has. Sometimes it is done to position oneself as better in the eyes of others to get some worldly prize. Whatever reason it is done, it is a sin against charity.

Both calumny and detraction rely on a third leg for this dismal and demonic trifecta: rash judgement. The Catechism refers to one who commits rash judgement as one,"who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor" (CCC 2477). To engage in gossip is to act from a standpoint from which we expect the absolute worst motivations and actions from the person gossiped about. Furthermore, it is a sin against Jesus's teaching on fraternal correction (cf. Matthew 18:15-20), in which gossiping about he or she who has sinned or has perceived to sin is NOT one of the steps of fraternal correction. As followers of Christ, we are to seek the conversion of those who have sinned, not their public ridicule. It is most difficult to inspire conversion through destroying another person's good name.

This becomes mortally sinful when lies, either through unwarranted speculation or outright maleficence, when the gossip is not true. One then sins against the 8th Commandment: Thou shall not bear false witness.

We see this in the Church with great regularity. Many times in Catholic social media and in the blogosphere, we see stories that are little more than exercises in rash judgement, detraction, and calumny. As a priest, I would say that gossip is all too often an occupational hazard among clerics. I know I can justify it from time to time. I can sound like a not to be named 90's TV character who said, "I don't gossip. Maybe sometimes I find out things or hear something and I pass that information on...you know...kind of like a public service." We can make all kinds of excuses for our gossip. It is sinful.

People come to me and ask when is it considered gossip. My first question is, "Have you talked to that person about this?" That would be the first step in the Scriptural method for fraternal correction. Second, I ask if you are seeking that person's conversion or humiliation. If it is the former, then you need to talk to that person per the teachings of Christ. If it is the latter, then sin is incurred. In short, we should cultivate charity within our own heart. Jesus warns us that the "Measure you use against others will be the same measure that will be used on you" (Matthew 7:2). If we spent the time we waste on gossip on praying for the good of the person we gossip about, we would find ourselves in a much holier and peaceful place.

Now, please excuse me as I contemplate all possible meanings of "Physician heal thyself."

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts against our brothers and sisters.
We have gossiped about our brothers and sisters instead of seeking their conversion and good.
We have allowed rash judgement to harden our hearts.
We have expected You to be pleased or blind with our sin.
We have, at times, been a source of scandal for those searching through our sinfulness and rebellion to You.
In our fear, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance.
We turn to You Lord, in our sorrow and guilt, and beg Your forgiveness for our gossip in all its forms.
We beg for the grace of Your goodness to build up within us what You sought to build up in Your apostles in that tempest tossed boat.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to gossip.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of gossip, detraction, calumny, and rash judgement have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of His household,
And prince over all His possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.




Day 39-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Presumption
ANNOUNCEMENT! We are getting very close to concluding "Let Freedom Ring" and beginning the 54-Day Rosary novena entitled, "Novena for Our Nation" (August 15 - October 7). Both on August 15, the Feast of Our Lady of the Assumption. You can find information for "Novena for Our Nation" HERE.

"Let Freedom Ring" has acted as a kind of cleansing/purifying, or exorcism, as "Novena for Our Nation" acts as a call out to God to bless and heal our land. Please join us for "Novena for Our Nation!!"

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from you the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech you, O Lord
To extend your saving arm and to send your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to you in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if you will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Amen

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception ... pray for us
St. Joseph ... pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel ... pray for us
(the patron of your parish) ... pray for us
(your confirmation saint) ... pray for us

 
"Freedom from Presumption" by Fr. Jim Altman

Dear family, we're almost through to the end. What a holy, holy endeavor. So much Grace. So very much Grace. The Grace we need now, more than ever, in the midst of all the crazy stuff going on all around us. If I had any words to wrap up my part, it would be words of encouragement to keep it going, to not stop now, for we are not yet at the end of our time on earth. Rather, Our Father has chosen us to live in this time and place, to serve Him in this time and in this place. What we have endured in the abandonment of so many shepherds only is a precursor to what may be coming soon. The spiritually weakened state of so many out there will not bode well when worse things come. To me, this whole holy endeavor was a spiritual boot camp to toughen us up, to strengthen us, to fight the battles that lie ahead.

Fr. Heilman tells me that close to 70,000 have joined in this spiritual boot camp. That is amazing. It tells us, dear family, that we are not alone. But maybe the number should have been 700,000. In fact, the grotesque abandonment by so many shepherds is all the more reason why there should have been even more than 700,000. So, why hasn't there been that many, and more? A big reason, probably the biggest reason, is the sin of Presumption.

As always, a good starting place is Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary. He states that Presumption "leads one to expect graces from God without doing anything to obtain them, and even when acting the opposite, as when sinning, the person presumes that forgiveness is assured." (etymology:  Latin Praesumere, to suppose, take for granted.)  Donald Attwater's A Catholic Dictionary writes similarly: Presumption is "a vice ... whereby a man expects to gain eternal life by his own strength or without merits, or to obtain pardon without repentance."

Wow. There it is in a nutshell. I don't have to reinvent the wheel. That is the beauty of being Catholic. We have 2000 years of the Bible, 2000 years of Saints and Martyrs, 2000 years of the constant teaching of the Catholic Church, 2000 years of the unchanged and unchangeable Truth.  So, unlike, say, Joel Osteen et al. who wallow in Presumption, we know that to be a disciple of Jesus the Lord, we actually must pick up our crosses daily and carry them. We must carry them not for five minutes and set them down. That's not what Jesus said. Jesus did not say "clock in, carry for 8 hours, clock out." Jesus did not say "any time after eight hours is overtime, time-and-a-half." No.  The Real Jesus said, in essence, "take it from Me when you wake up, let Me hold it close while you sleep."

Our crosses mean we actually must make an effort to grow in Grace daily. Truly, we can never be worthy of the Salvation for which Jesus endured His Passion. He does not ask us to be. He asks us only to pick up our crosses daily. Yet so many do not. Presumption is bad enough amongst Catholics, but amongst so many Protestants it is worse. That whole "I just asked JAY-zus into my heart and I'm SAAAAVED" is so much Presumption baloney. Jesus never said that. Jesus said pick up your cross. Daily.

Amongst Catholics, there seems to be way too many with a similar attitude - an attitude that has become pervasive since we have been inculcated with all the meaningless drivel put out after Vatican II, that "oh, Our Father loves us all and doesn't want anybody to go to Hell, so I didn't do something really bad, like kill somebody, so I'm good to go." Or, as a well known shepherd recently posited, Hell really is kind of an empty place. Really? That is not what Jesus taught about Hell. And the Presumption of "I'm good enough" is not the standard Jesus set on Calvary?.

Cardinal St. John Henry Newman brilliantly eviscerated the attitude of Presumption when he observed "that [the aim of most men] is, to all appearances, not how to please God, but how to please themselves without displeasing Him!"

Jesus spoke specifically to such an attitude in a parable that addressed those who were convinced of their own righteousness. Remember the Pharisee "took up his position [in the Temple] and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity-greedy, dishonest, adulterous-or even like this tax collector." Jesus then contrasted that attitude with the sinner who "stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'" Jesus then said: "I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted" (Lk 18:9-14). So, dear family, let us be very careful about justifying our own righteousness, and exalting our status vis-à-vis our eternal destination.

Instead of being self-righteous, Jesus gave another parable about the right attitude of one of His disciples, or servants, quote: Is [God] grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?  ... When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done [only] what we were obliged to do'" (Lk 17:9-10).

Dear family, let us conclude with a sports analogy. There is no "I" in team. That's why that Protestant attitude about "Me 'n JAY-zus" is just pure garbage. Jesus is a team effort. He calls us to be part of His team. That means that every day is another day for each team member to show up for practice - practice to be a better team player. Each person on the team has a position to play and the better the person plays, the better the team (That is why, by the way, that blowing off attendance at Holy Mass on Sunday is not just a grave personal sin, but is a grave sin against the whole team). What happens when a player doesn't show up for practice? At best, he "rides the pine." That is to say, he has to sit on the bench and the coach - in this case, God - cannot put him in to play because he hasn't practiced. He has let the whole team down. That is what happens at best. At worst - he gets kicked off the team (welcome to hell).

Dear family, here is one last way to understand the sin of Presumption. Again, think of it as an attitude of "good enough." There is a quote, with many variations, all of which say the same thing:  The attitude of "good enough" is the enemy of "great." Put another way, "the enemy of 'great' is not bad, the enemy of 'great' is 'good enough.'"

Our Father offered up the Greatest on Calvary. Does our offering - through the carrying of our crosses - measure up to such greatness?

The cure for the sin of Presumption is to daily strive not just to do what we have been commanded to do. That only makes us a useless servant. The cure for the sin of Presumption is to do more than we have been commanded to do.

So, now that we are reaching the end of our forty days of preparation, let us do more. Let us continue to practice with the Grace Force Team - and show up to practice in the 54-day Novena for an upcoming Election which genuinely will shape the future of our country - either into a country striving for Greatness - or a country falling into the abyss of damnable socialism. Our choice could not be clearer. Let us make the Catholic Team strong through practice, so that we win the game come November.

Prayer of Reparation

My Lord and my God,
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward Presumption.
We think we are good enough.
We can recognize our attitude of Presumption whenever we simply do not show up for practice - whenever we do not make the effort to spend an hour a day with You.
At times we justify our Presumption because we have so many other things we "need" to do.
We ignore the plain truth that "if satan can't make you bad, he will make you busy."
At times we do not recognize in ourselves that we are the Pharisee who said "thank God I'm not like all those sinners back there."
Too infrequently do we approach the Sacrament of Confession of sins.
Too infrequently do we examine our conscience and see we really are sinners.
Too infrequently do we say to ourselves that we are unprofitable servants; for we have done only what we were obliged to do.
So often we just do not recognize our Presumption.
We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our Presumption, and especially for all the times we have failed to practice with and for Your Team, for all the times we have let down our teammates.
We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
Amen.

Prayer of Exorcism

Lord God of Heaven and Earth,
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to faithlessness and fear.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of fear have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God for ever and ever.
Amen.

Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ graciously hear us

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus,  we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.


To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE.





















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