“The Preface is a very ancient, stately prayer, undeniably one of the most beautiful in the liturgy; beautiful in style, rhythm, and cadence. It leads up to the Canon, the most important part of the Mass… ’ In these days of ours when the age spirit sees all things in man, instead of in God; when it refuses to look beyond the visibly scene and exalts man’s ever-changing self into a present deity; when governments are grasping with an absolutism that is quite pagan; it is most necessary that we should daily, standing in this maelstrom of moral evil and political chaos, raise our hearts and our hands to Him, Who alone is High and Holy, the Absolute Sovereign, that inhabiteth Eternity.’”
The Mass, by Rev. J. A. Dunney, 1931
So often, I read a Catholic author or speaker’s commentary about the sin, evil, distractions, lies, and dangers we face from others, organizations, governments, and the world and note the accuracy of the statement.
I then see the date of the quote or excerpt and I’m a bit shocked that it wasn’t yesterday or last month but 10 years ago or, as here, over 50 years ago or even centuries ago.
The Way, The Truth, and The Life is eternal, unchanging, and The Path is the same. Therefore, it stands to reason that, though the instruments and severity may change, our fight is against the same Evil One and his same tricks.
Follow The Word. Pray and contemplate His Passion. Pray to Him, Our Mother, the saints. Do not be afraid. Always remember that Jesus has already won the battle. Ours is to persevere in holiness until our last breath.
Spend one hour a week in front of The Blessed Sacrament. If possible, make it the same day and time. Pray the rosary, read Scripture, talk intimately with The Lord, and listen. You will be changed forever. You will look forward to this hour and do everything to make sure you can be there with Him! All glory, all honor, all praise be your’s Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in The Most Blessed Sacrament.
Jesus will change you first…
If you really want to change for the better, in ALL areas of your life:
1. Pray without ceasing.
2. Read the the Daily Readings of The Mass every day
3. Attend and participate in Mass.
4. Learn, understand, and follow the teachings of Christ and the Church.
5. Spend an hour each week in Eucharistic Adoration.
6. Pray the Rosary daily.
7. Ask in prayer for help in change.
8. Trust God.
9. Go to Confession regularly.
10. Avoid putting yourself in any position that makes it easier to sin.
Commiting yourself to just one of these will bring profound change to your life!
Forgot one - start immediately!
To all Catholics:
We can, if we choose, change the world to be in conformity with what God demands of all people. Pray and ask for guidance from The Holy Spirit in seeing what our specific role is. Some are asked to do great things and some are asked to do seemingly little things. All are called to do something. If we all answer that call and follow through, the changes in the world will be nothing short of miraculous.
We are all called to do acts of penance on each and every Friday of the year.
For many years, you were to abstain from meat on every Friday. Now, I don’t know the whole story on this. If someone has more on this, I encourage you to reply.
My understanding is this responsibility has not been lifted. I believe the communication was other acts of penance would suffice. However, the abstain from meat was never formally repealed.
I started back on this weekly abstention about a year ago. It sometimes seems a real test with Friday being what it is in our culture. In my mind, that’s what makes it all the more valuable. It serves as a reminder more so outside of Lent of the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ each time we remind ourselves to abstain from meat. It also bears a fruit which I find brings me even closer to God - the strengthening of the will. A truly valuable weapon it is in our arsenal in spiritual combat.
May the Peace of Christ strengthen you in your trials today and every day!
Divine Mercy Sunday is today! Look around web, read the who, what, why, and where. Jesus brings a loving message for us less than 100 years ago. It is critically important that ALL understand this great devotion. Our Lord calls to us again, in love, to repent, follow Him, and trust in His Divine Mercy. Praise be Jesus Christ the Redeemer!!
The Apostles, women, and others
What sorrow and loss they must have felt upon waking the following day. Jesus is dead, how can this be? Have you ever woke up feeling ok and then the shock and sadness of tragedy the day before hits you again? Haven’t we all lost someone close and felt this way the next day?
"Christ Carrying The Cross" by El Greco ca. 1580’s
Acts of Evil, Hatred best countered with…
As we see again yesterday, people continue to commit acts of evil and hatred against innocent people. The knee-jerk response many of us feel is to be angry and wanting revenge against people who are the same skin color, race, nationality, religion, etc. Often we do this not even knowing who or what group is responsible. We know that evil should not be repaid with evil. Then what to do with the anger and desire to act or act out to vent the anger?
The best way to act can be derived from Jesus in his discourses. Remember, vengeance is God’s, not ours. Jesus says turn the other cheek. Walk two miles in service rather than the pressed into one. So what does that mean to us today?
Counter these acts of evil with charity and prayer. Pray for the perpetrators, victims, their families, and the civilized world. Perform acts of love for neighbor, known or unknown. You then satisfy the need to do something, perform works of mercy, and through prayer, ask for God’s intercession that things will work for the better for those directly involved.
As we do not know the long-term effects of our good actions, we may at the very least show to those we help that life, good, and good people continue in an imperfect, uncertain world. We will always continue, regardless of war, terrorism, violence, and other attrocities, to follow the path of Our Lord, sowing good seed wherever we may be while carrying our cross. We know the way to Calvary and the reward of what lies beyond. Stay close to The Lord, undeterred by the evil one, and follow The Way.
So many of the Saints spent many hours in prayer, specifically related to The Passion of Our Lord, that it would take days to list them all. I think it is easy to miss the central point of our faith in the hectic days of our lives. I have included a link to The Stations of The Cross, composed by St. Alphonsus Ligouri. I have enjoyed this version since I was a child and we prayed them as a family, each of us reading a station aloud at the table during Lent. If this is not possible, read, pray, and contemplate one of the Gospel accounts. If possible, try doing any of these at 3 pm local time, especially on each Friday. To know Him is to Love Him!