The Most Precious Blood of Christ

    Saturday, July 12, 2008, 9:28 PM [General]

    Daily Offering of the Most Precious Blood

    With a contrite and a pure and loving heart say:

    MARY, Immaculate Mother of Jesus, offer, we beseech thee, to the Eternal Father, the Precious Blood of thy Divine Son, to prevent at least one mortal sin from being committed somewhere in the world this day (night). 

    "If every night, before we went to sleep," says Father Faber, "we begged our dear Lady to offer up to God the Precious Blood of her Divine Son for grace to hinder one mortal sin somewhere in the world, during that night, and then renewed the same offering in the morning of the hours of daylight, surely such an offering, and by such hands, could not fail to win the grace desired, and then each one of us might hinder numbers of mortal sins every year."

    -All for Jesus

    Spiritual Communion

    With a contrite and a pure and loving heart say:

    My Jesus, I believe that Thou are present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things and I desire to possess Thee within my soul. Since I cannot receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.

    (Pause)

    As though Thou were already there, I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee; permit me not that I should ever be separated from Thee.


    The Council of Trent requires for a spiritual communion an ardent desire, lively faith, and fervent charity.





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    15 promises of Mary for Praying the Rosary

    Saturday, July 12, 2008, 9:10 PM [General]

      1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.

      2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.

      3. The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

      4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the heart of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify them- selves by this means.

      5. The soul which recommend itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.

      6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.

      7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

      8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

      9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

      10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

      1. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.

      2. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

      3. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

      4. All who recite the rosary are my son, and brothers of my only son Jesus Christ.

      5. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

    (Given to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan)
    Imprimatur: Patrick J. Hayes DD Archbishop of New York

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    and Jesus spoke, and it was good

    Saturday, July 12, 2008, 8:55 PM [General]

    THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS

    Paul Gustave Dore' - Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount, Strasbourg, France, 1865.

    Jesus Christ gave us the eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, recorded for all posterity in the Gospel of Matthew, the first Book of the New Testament of the Bible. Jesus offers us a way of life that promises eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven.
    The teachings of Christ Jesus were simple but unique and innovative at the time of his life on earth. He began teaching about 30 AD in the time of the ruthless Roman occupation of Palestine. The four groups in the Jewish religion, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes and the Zealots, presented a different viewpoint to the Jewish people. The Pharisees and to some degree the Sadducees demanded strict observance of the Mosaic law as well as Jewish customs and rituals. Nazareth was in Galilee, an important center of the Zealots, a militant Jewish group who wanted freedom for their homeland. The Essenes awaited a Messiah that would establish a Kingdom on earth and free the Israelites from oppression. The Ten Commandments, given to Moses on Mount Sinai in the Old Testament Book of Exodus, relates a series of "Thou shalt nots," evils one must avoid in daily life on earth. In contrast, the message of Jesus was one of humility, charity, and brotherly love. He taught transformation of the inner person. Jesus presents the Beatitudes in a positive sense, virtues in life which will ultimately lead to reward. Love becomes the motivation for the Christian. All of the Beatitudes have an eschatological meaning, that is, they promise us salvation - not in this world, but in the next. The Beatitudes initiate one of the main themes of Matthew's Gospel, that the Kingdom so long awaited in the Old Testament is not of this world, but of the next, the Kingdom of Heaven. One of the first contemplations on the Beatitudes came from St. Gregory of Nyssa, a mystic who lived in Cappadocia in Asia Minor around 380 AD. He described the Beatitudes this way:
    "Beatitude is a possession of all things held to be good, from which nothing is absent that a good desire may want.
    Perhaps the meaning of beatitude may become clearer to us if it is compared with its opposite.
    Now the opposite of beatitude is misery. Misery means being afflicted unwillingly with painful sufferings."
    St. Augustine called the Beatitudes the ideal for every Christian life!

    THE EIGHT BEATITUDES OF JESUS
    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

    Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

    Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

    Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

    Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

    Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10

    Carl Heinrich Bloch - Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1872.

    ON THE BEATITUDES

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
    "Poor in spirit" means to be humble. Humility is the realization that all your gifts and blessings come from the grace of God. To have poverty of spirit means to be completely empty and open to the Word of God. When we are an empty cup and devoid of pride, we are humble. Humility brings an openness and an inner peace, allowing one to do the will of God. It is pride, the opposite of humility, that brings misery. For pride brings anger and the seeking of revenge, especially when one is offended.

    If every man were humble and poor in spirit, there would be no war!



    "Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
    If we are humble and appreciate that all of our gifts and blessings come from God, we grow in love and gratitude for Jesus Christ our Savior. But this can only produce mourning and regret over our own sins and the sins of this world, for we have hurt the one who has been so good to us. St. Gregory describes another reason to mourn: the more one ascends in meditation of Divine Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, and then realize the poverty of human nature, man can only be left in sorrow. When one contemplates that we were made in the image and likeness of God and lived in Paradise, the Garden of Eden, and compare that to our present state after the Fall, one can only mourn our present condition. But the sentence continues that they shall be comforted, by the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and hopefully one day in the Kingdom of Heaven. Mourning in this context is called a blessing, because mourning our fallen nature creates in us a desire to improve ourselves and to do what is right!



    "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
    St. Gregory of Nyssa taught that the Beatitudes build one upon another. A humble person becomes meek, or becomes gentle and kind, and exhibits a docility of spirit, even in the face of adversity and hardship. St. Augustine advises us to be meek in the face of the Lord, and not resist but be obedient to him. Obedience and submission to the will of God are certainly not in vogue these days, but they will bring one peace in this world and in the next.



    "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
    A continuous desire for justice and moral perfection will lead one to a fulfillment of that desire - a transition and conversion to holiness. This is true for all the virtues - if you hunger and thirst for temperance, you will head towards the goal you have in mind. St. Augustine, in his discourse on the Lord's Sermon on the Mount, notes the correspondence of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and their necessity in fulfilling the Beatitudes. For example, one must have the gift of fortitude so one may be courageous in seeking justice.



    "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
    Mercy is the loving disposition towards those who suffer distress. Love, compassion, and forgiveness towards one's neighbor will bring peace in your relationships. We say in the
    Lord's Prayer Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. As we are merciful to others, so our Heavenly Father will be merciful with us! Jesus reminds us that whatever "you did to the least of my brethren, you did it to me [Matthew 25:31-46]." St. Paul calls for the obedience of faith in the beginning and end of his Letter to the Romans (1:5, 16:25-27). The following are ways to be merciful to your neighbor, as well as obedient in faith to Christ our Savior.




    The Corporal Works of Mercy
    1 Feed the Hungry 2 Give drink to the thirsty 3 Clothe the naked 4 Shelter the homeless
    5 Comfort the imprisoned 6 Visit the sick 7 Bury the dead

    The Spiritual Works of Mercy
    1 Admonish sinners 2 Instruct the uninformed 3 Counsel the doubtful 4 Comfort the sorrowful
    5 Be patient with those in error 6 Forgive offenses 7 Pray for the living and the dead



    "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."
    Moses (Exodus 33:20), John (1:18), and Paul (1Timothy 6:16) all say that no one can see God here on earth! But Jesus says the pure of heart shall see God! To be pure of heart means to be free of all selfish intentions and self-seeking desires. What a beautiful goal! How many times have any of us performed an act perfectly free of any personal gain? Such an act is pure love. An act of pure and selfless giving brings happiness to all.



    "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."
    Peacemakers not only live peaceful lives but also try to bring peace and friendship to others, and to preserve peace between God and man. St. Gregory of Nyssa calls a peacemaker a man who brings peace to another; but one cannot give another what one does not possess oneself. Hence the Lord wants you first to be yourself filled with the blessings of peace and then to communicate it to those who have need of it. By imitating God's love of man, the peacemakers become children of God.



    "Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
    Jesus said many times that those who follow Him will be persecuted. "If they persecute me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20-21). Stephen, Peter and Paul, nearly all of the Apostles, and many Christians in the Roman era suffered martyrdom. The twentieth century with its two World Wars has seen its share of martyrs such as Maria Goretti, Maximilian Kolbe, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the Central American martyrs. But the Lord promised those that suffer for his sake will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven!



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    Saturday, July 12, 2008, 8:54 PM [General]

    THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS

    "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men,

    the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all"

    First Letter of Paul to Timothy 2:5

    A sacrament is an outward efficacious sign instituted by Christ to give grace. Jesus Christ himself is the sacrament, as he gave his life to save mankind. His humanity is the outward sign or the instrument of his Divinity. It is through his humanity that the life of the Father and the Holy Spirit come to us as grace through the sacraments.

    It is Jesus Christ alone who mediates the sacraments to allow grace to flow to mankind.
    The Gospel of Mark 5:25-34 describes a woman afflicted with hemorrhage who touched the cloak of Jesus and was immediately healed. There is a fourth century fresco painting in the catacomb of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter depicting this event, which serves as an apt symbol of Sacrament - the power that flows out from the body of Jesus, in order to effect both remission of sin and new life in Christ. The fresco image frames Part II of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Liturgy and the Sacraments, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery.

    Jesus gave us his Apostles and his Church to shepherd his flock after his Ascension into heaven.

    "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you [John 17:18, 20:21]."

    Jesus is the Head of his Body the Church [Colossians 1:18].

    The Church itself is a sacrament instituted by Christ to give grace.

    Jesus gave us his Apostles and his Body the Church to continue the works he performed during his earthly life.

    Grace given to us through the sacraments will help us lead a good life in this world and help save us for the afterlife.

    The word sacrament is a direct translation of the Greek word mysterion.

    The sacraments are called mysteries in the Eastern Churches, and, as they evolved from the earliest traditions of the Church, Catholic as well as Eastern Orthodox Churches all recognize the seven sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation,

    Holy Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

    The three sacraments of Christian Initiation are Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.

    The two sacraments of Healing are Penance and the Anointing of the Sick,

    and the two sacraments of Vocation are Holy Orders and Matrimony.

    Three sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, are given once, as they render a

    permanent seal or character upon one's soul [2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Ephesians 4:30, Revelations 7:3].
    Each sacrament consists of a visible external rite, which is composed of matter and form, the matter being the action,

    such as the pouring of water, and the form being the words spoken by the minister.

    Each sacramental rite confers a special ecclesial effect and sacramental grace appropriate for each sacrament.

    The sacraments occur at pivotal events and give meaning to a person's life.

    The sacraments act ex opere operato, by the very fact of the action being performed, independent of the minister.

    The effect on the person receiving the sacrament is called ex opere operantis,

    and depends on the interior disposition of the receiver.

    Grace is a favor, the free and undeserved gift from God through Christ Jesus,

    to help us respond to his call to become children of God, to become partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.

    Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is a participation in the life of God and is necessary for salvation


    "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. John testified to him and cried out, saying,
    "This was he of whom I said, 'The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.'"
    From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given to Moses,
    grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
    Gospel of John 1:14-17
    They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by his blood, to prove his righteousness because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed, through the forbearance of God - to prove his righteousness in the present time,
    that he might be righteous and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.
    Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 3:24-26
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
    to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
    in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.
    In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions,
    in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.

    Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians 1:3-8


    BAPTISM

    Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, as we are born of the water and the Spirit. Baptism is necessary for salvation [John 3:5], and conveys a permanent sign that the new Christian is a child of God. Jesus himself was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist [Mark 1:9-11]. Baptism is prefigured in the Old Testament through the saving of Noah and his family during the Flood [Genesis 7:12-23, 1 Peter 3:20-21], and Moses crossing of the Red Sea during the Exodus, leaving captivity for the Promised Land [Exodus 14:1-22].

    The Greek word "baptizein" means to "immerse, plunge, or dip." The infant or candidate is anointed with the oil of catechumens, followed by the parents, godparents, or candidate making the profession of faith. The essential rite of Baptism consists of the minister immersing the baby or person in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." The infant or candidate is then anointed with sacred chrism.
    What has taken place in Baptism is indicated by the rites that follow it, the clothing in the white garment and giving of the lighted candle: the baptized person has "put on Christ" and has now become light. Here are three Scriptural sources in the New Testament [See also Matthew 3:13-17, Luke 3:21-22; Acts 1:21-22; Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:11-13, I Peter 3:21]:

    "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."
    Gospel of Matthew 28:19-20
    "In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
    And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased."
    Gospel of Mark 1:9-11
    Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit,
    he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
    Gospel of John 3:5

    CONFIRMATION

    Confirmation (or Chrismation) is the sacrament of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit whom Christ Jesus sent (John 16:7). Jesus instructed his Apostles that they "will receive the power of the Holy Spirit" and called upon the Apostles to be his "witnesses to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). At the Pentecost, the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4), and began to spread the Word of God. The Acts of the Apostles is often called the Gospel of the Holy Spirit.
    The rite of Confirmation is anointing the forehead with chrism, together with the laying on of the minister's hands and the words, "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit." The recipient receives the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord [Isaiah 11:2-3]. On occasion one may receive one or more of the charismatic gifts of the Spirit [1 Corinthians 12:7-11].
    The ecclesial effect and sacramental grace of the sacrament give the recipient the strength and character to witness for Jesus Christ. In the East the priest administers the sacrament immediately after Baptism. Confirmation in the West is administered by the Bishop to children from age 7 to 18, but generally to adolescents, for example, to a graduating class of grade school children. Other key Scriptural sources for Confirmation are the following [See also Acts 1:4-5, 2:1-4, 2:38, 10:44-48]:

    "Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
    Gospel of John 16:7
    "Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit; for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit."
    Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17
    "While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said, "No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John's baptism." And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied."
    Acts of the Apostles 19:1-6

    THE EUCHARIST

    Eucharistia means thanksgiving, and the Eucharist is the "source and summit of the Christian life." The Paschal mystery of Christ is celebrated in the liturgy of the Mass. The Mass is the Eucharist or principal sacramental celebration of the Church, established by Jesus at the Last Supper, in which the mystery of our salvation through participation in the sacrificial death and glorious resurrection of Christ is renewed and accomplished. The word "Mass" comes from the Latin missa, as it refers to the mission or sending forth of the faithful following the celebration, so that they may fulfill God's will in their daily lives.
    The essential signs of the sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked during the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper: "This is my body...This is the cup of my blood..." [Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26].
    Jesus died once on the cross in sacrifice for our sins [Hebrews 9:25-28]. But Jesus is present for all time, as he is the eternal Son of God. What he did once in history also then exists for all eternity. What happened in time goes beyond time. In the heart of Jesus he is always giving himself to the Father for us, as he did on the Cross. When we celebrate the Mass, the sacrifice of the cross, that happened once in history but is present for all eternity, that same reality is made present in mystery.
    3
    The bread and wine through Transubstantiation become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, and we receive the Real Presence of Jesus when we receive Holy Communion. Our soul is nourished, helping us to become like Christ. The Eucharist is the heart and source of community within the Church. Receiving Holy Communion with others during the Mass brings unity of the Church, the Body of Christ (I Corinthians 10:16-17).

    Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
    "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."
    And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying,
    "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you."
    Gospel of Luke 22:19-20
    "I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;
    and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
    Gospel of John 6:51
    For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said,
    "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
    In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying,
    "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
    For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.

    First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 11:23-26


    CONFESSION

    Jesus Christ gave his Apostles the power to forgive sins. The Sacrament is also known as the Sacrament of Conversion, Forgiveness, Penance, or Reconciliation. The sacrament involves three steps: the penitent's contrition or sorrow for his sins, the actual confession to a priest and absolution, and then penance or restitution for your sins. The experience leads one to an interior conversion of the heart. Jesus describes the process of conversion and penance in the Parable of the Prodigal Son [Luke 15:11-24]. The penitent confesses his sins to the priest in the confessional, and the priest then gives absolution to the repentant soul, making the Sign of the Cross, and saying the words " I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." It is Christ Jesus through the priest who forgives your sins. As the penitent must make restitution or satisfaction for his sins, the priest gives a penance to the forgiven one, usually prayer, fasting, or almsgiving (1 Peter 4:8). Confession gives one a wonderful sense of freedom and peace from the burden of sin. Sorrow, affliction, and a desire for conversion follow the remorse of sin in those with a contrite heart. Some believe we can confess our sins privately to God. But man is a social being. The humbling experience of unburdening your soul to someone, of exposing your weak nature, and then being accepted for who you are and what you have done by having your sins forgiven brings one an incredible sense of relief! The experience brings a sense of gratitude to our generous Lord for his love, compassion and mercy. As one is to be in the state of grace before receiving Holy Communion, the child makes his first Confession before his first Communion, generally at the age of reason. Here are three Scriptural references on Penance [See also Matthew 16:18-19, Luke 24:46-47, Acts 2:38]:
    "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, Child, your sins are forgiven..."
    "But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth," -
    he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."
    Gospel of Mark 2:1-10
    "Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father who sent me, even so I send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven.
    If you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
    Gospel of John 20:21-23
    "And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation."
    The Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 5:18

    THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK

    The Anointing of the Sick is the Sacrament given to seriously ill Christians, and the special graces received unite the sick person to the passion of Christ. The Sacrament consists of the anointing of the forehand and hands of the patient with blessed oil, with the minister saying, "Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up." The ecclesial effect of this sacrament, once called Extreme Unction, is incorporation into the healing Body of Christ, with a spiritual healing of the soul, and at times healing of the body.

    The sacramental grace helps us to accept sickness as a purifying cross sent by God, and the grace even to accept death if that is God's will. Jesus healed the blind and the sick, as well as commissioned his Apostles to do so, such as the following sources.

    "Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, "Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons."
    Gospel of Matthew 10:5-8
    "So they [the Twelve Apostles] went off and preached repentance. They drove out many demons,
    and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them."
    Gospel of Mark 6:12-13
    "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven."

    James 5:14

    HOLY ORDERS

    Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Jesus to his Apostles continues to be exercised in the Church to the end of time. Thomas Aquinas makes the important point that only Christ is the true priest, the others serving as his ministers [Hebrews 8:4]. Bishops are the successors of the Apostles, and priests and deacons are his assistants in rendering service. Men are ordained to the priesthood in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, as the sacrament confers upon the priest the character to act in the person of Christ [in persona Christi]. Holy Orders is the sacrament of Apostolic ministry. The rite consists of the Bishop's imposition of hands on the head of the priest-candidate with the consecrating prayer asking God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the gifts of the ministry. There are three dimensions to ministry, that of Bishop, Priesthood, and the Diaconate. See Matthew 16:18-19, John 21:15-17, Romans 10:14-15, 2 Timothy 1:6, and Titus 1:5 as well as the following:

    "Do this in memory of me"
    Gospel of Luke 22:19 and 1 Corinthians 11:25
    "Now be solicitous for yourselves and for the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as bishops to pasture the Church of God, which He purchased with his own blood."
    Acts of the Apostles 20:28

    "Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God's sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

    1 Peter 2:4-5


    MARRIAGE

    The union of a man and a woman is natural. The natural language of the human body is such that the man gives to the woman and the woman receives the man. The love and friendship between a man and a woman grow into a desire for marriage. The sacrament of marriage gives the couple the grace to grow into a union of heart and soul, to provide stability for themselves and their children. Children are the fruit and bond of a marriage. The bond of marriage between a man and a woman lasts all the days of their lives, and the form of the rite consists of the mutual exchange of vows by a couple, both of whom have been baptized. The minister serves as a witness to the couple in the West, but serves as the actual minister of the rite in the East. The matter follows later through consummation of the marriage act. Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God, and concludes with a vision of the "wedding-feast of the Lamb [Revelations 19:7, 9]". The bond of marriage is compared to God's undying love for Israel in the Old Testament, and Christ's love for his Church in the New Testament. Jesus stresses the importance of the marriage bond in his Ministry [Matthew 19:6, 8]. The importance of marriage is substantiated by the presence of Christ at the wedding feast of Cana, where he began his public ministry at the request of his mother Mary by performing his first miracle [John 2]. It is the Apostle Paul who identifies the marriage of man and woman with the unity of Christ and his Church.

    "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:24
    "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church." St. Paul to the Ephesians 5:25
    "This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church. In any case, each one of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband."
    St. Paul to the Ephesians 5:32-33
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    Stations of the Cross

    Saturday, July 12, 2008, 8:45 PM [General]

    act_of_contrition.gifStations of the Cross

    Opening Prayer

    ACT OF CONTRITION

    O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart I am sorry for all my sins, because by them I have offended Thee, Who art infinitely good. I will die rather than offend thee again.






    First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

    station01.jpg Leader - We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
    All - Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
    Jesus, you stand all alone before Pilate. Nobody speaks up for you. Nobody helps defend you. You devoted your entire life to helping others, listening to the smallest ones, caring for those who were ignored by others. They don't seem to remember that as they prepare to put you to death.
    As a child, sometimes I feel alone. Sometimes I feel that others don't stand up for me and defend me when I am afraid. Sometimes I don't feel like I am treated fairly, especially if I am scolded or corrected.
    As an adult, sometimes I feel abandoned and afraid as well. Sometimes I too, feel like I am treated unfairly or blamed for things unfairly. I have a hard time when people criticize me at home or at work.
    Help me be grateful for what you did for me. Help me to accept criticism and unfairness as you did, and not complain. Help me pray for those who have hurt me.
    My Jesus, often have I signed the death warrant by my sins; save me by Thy death from that eternal death which I have so often deserved.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.

    station02.jpgSecond Station: Jesus carries His cross

    Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    Jesus, as you accepted your cross, you knew you would carry it to your death on Calvary. You knew it wouldn't be easy, but you accepted it and carried it just the same.
    As a child, sometimes I don't like the problems that come my way. Sometimes I try to get others to take care of them or solve them for me. Sometimes I become upset and crabby when I'm asked to do even the smallest thing to help others.
    As an adult I sometimes feel like I'm not appreciated. Sometimes I feel as if I accept more responsibility that I need to. I can feel sorry for myself, even though the crosses others carry are much larger than my own. In my self-pity, I don't reach out to help.
    My Jesus, Who by Thine own will didst take on Thee the most heavy cross I made for Thee by my sins, oh, make me feel their heavy weight, and weep for them ever while I live.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.

    station03.jpgThird Station: Jesus falls the first time

    Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    Jesus, the cross you have been carrying is very heavy. You are becoming weak and almost ready to faint, and you fall down. Nobody seems to want to help you. The soldiers are interested in getting home, so they yell at you and try to get you up and moving again.
    As a child, sometimes I start to do something, but then get tired of it. I hurry to get finished and sometimes don't do my work well. Sometimes I don't pay attention to what I should be doing. When things get hard for me, sometimes I give up.
    As an adult, I sometimes put things off. I give up too easily, and sometimes don't do my work as well as I know I can.
    My Jesus, the heavy burden of my sins is on Thee, and bears Thee down beneath the cross. I loathe them, I detest them; I call on Thee to pardon them; may Thy grace aid me never more to commit them.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.

    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.

    station04.jpgFourth Station: Jesus meets his mother

    Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    Jesus, you feel so alone with all those people yelling and screaming at you. You don't like the words they are saying about you, and you look for a friendly face in the crowd. You see your mother. She can't make the hurting stop, but it helps to see that she is on your side, that she is suffering with you. She does understand and care.
    As a child, sometimes I feel like too many things are going on. Sometimes other kids pick on me and call me names. I need to look around me for a friendly face, and for the help I need. I need to share my troubles with those who truly care about me.
    As an adult I sometimes feel overwhelmed by many things. Life is so competitive, and I worry so much about my future and those who have some control over it. I need to remember that being an adult does not mean having to solve every problem all by myself. I need to look around me for a friendly face, for the help I need.
    Jesus most suffering, Mary Mother most sorrowful, if, by my sins, I caused you pain and anguish in the past, by God's assisting grace it shall be so no more; rather be you my love henceforth till death.

    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.





    station05.jpgFifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross

    Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    Jesus, the soldiers are becoming impatient. This is taking longer than they wanted it to. They are afraid you won't make it to the hill where you will be crucified. As you grow weaker, they grab a man out of the crowd and make him help carry your cross. He was just watching what was happening, but all of a sudden he is helping you carry your cross.
    As a child, sometimes I see people who need my help. Sometimes I pretend not to hear when my parents call me. I disappear when I know others could use my help.
    As an adult, sometimes I try to do as little as I can and still get by. Others might need my help, but I ignore their needs. Even when I'm asked to help, I sometimes claim to be too busy.
    My Jesus, blest, thrice blest was he who aided Thee to bear the cross. Blest too shall I be if I aid Thee to bear the cross, by patiently bowing my neck to the crosses Thou shalt send me during life. My Jesus, give me grace to do so.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.

    station06.jpgSixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

    Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    Jesus, suddenly a woman comes out of the crowd. Her name is Veronica. You can see how she cares for you as she takes a cloth and begins to wipe the blood and sweat from your face. She can't do much, but she offers what little help she can.
    As a child, sometimes I know someone could use a little help and understanding. They may be picked on or teased by others, or just sad or lonely. Sometimes I feel bad that others don't step in to help, but I don't help either.
    As an adult, I notice the needs around me. Sometimes my own family members crave my attention, and I don't even seem to notice. Sometimes a co-worker, friend, or family member could use help or understanding, but I don't reach out to help lest I be criticized, or that they demand more of me than I'd like to give.
    My tender Jesus, Who didst deign to print Thy sacred face upon the cloth with which Veronica wiped the sweat from off Thy brow, print in my soul deep, I pray Thee, the lasting memory of Thy bitter pains.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.

    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.



    station07.jpgSeventh Station: Jesus falls the second time

    Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    This is the second time you have fallen on the road. As the cross grows heavier and heavier it becomes more difficult to get up. But you continue to struggle and try until you're up and walking again. You don't give up.
    As a child, sometimes things get me down. Others seem to find things easier to do or to learn. Each time I fail, I find it harder to keep trying.
    As an adult, sometimes I think I should know more than I do. I become impatient with myself and find it hard to believe in myself when I fail. It is easy to despair over small things, and sometimes I do.
    Help me when things seem difficult for me. Even when it's hard, help me get up and keep trying as you did. Help me do my best without comparing myself with others.
    My Jesus, often have I sinned and often, by sin, beaten Thee to the ground beneath the cross. Help me to use the efficacious means of grace that I may never fall again.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.

    All - Have Mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.





    Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

    station08.jpgLeader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    Jesus, as you carry your cross you see a group of women along the road. As you pass by you see they are sad. You stop to spend a moment with them, to offer them some encouragement. Although you are have been abandoned by your friends and are in pain, you stop and try to help them.
    As a child, sometimes I think a lot about myself. I think about what I want and would like people to spend their lives pleasing me.
    As an adult, sometimes I act like a child. I become so absorbed in myself and what I'd like that I forget about the needs of others. I take them for granted, and often ignore their needs.
    Help me think more about others. Help me remembers that others have problems, too. Help me respond to them even when I'm busy or preoccupied with my own problems.
    My Jesus, Who didst comfort the pious women of Jerusalem who wept to see Thee bruised and torn, comfort my soul with Thy tender pity, for in Thy pity lies my trust. May my heart ever answer Thine.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.

    All - Have Mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.













    Ninth Station: Jesus falls a third time

    station09.jpgLeader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    Jesus, your journey has been long. You fall again, beneath your cross. You know your journey is coming to an end. You struggle and struggle. You get up and keep going.
    As a child, sometimes I fail time and time again. I find it hard to get along with my sisters and brothers, sometimes I'm not honest, sometimes I'm lazy. I'm tempted to stop trying. It's just too hard sometimes.
    As an adult, I often feel I should have conquered my weaknesses by now. I become discouraged when I'm confronted by the same problems over and over again. Sometimes I get weary. When I have health problems, I can become discouraged and depressed.
    Help me think of the cross you carried. Help me continue to hope that I can make the changes in my life I need to. You didn't give up. I can have the strength to get up again as well.
    My Jesus, by all the bitter woes Thou didst endure when for the third time the heavy cross bowed Thee to the earth, never, I beseech Thee, let me fall again into sin. Ah, my Jesus, rather let me die than ever offend Thee again.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in Peace.
    All - Amen.





    Tenth Station: Jesus clothes are taken away

    station10.jpgLeader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    The soldiers notice you have something of value. They remove your cloak and throw dice for it. Your wounds are torn open once again. Some of the people in the crowd make fun of you. They tease you and challenge you to perform a miracle for them to see. They're not aware that you'll perform the greatest miracle of all!
    As a child, sometimes I'm tempted to repeat stories I know are unclean and disrespectful. I sometimes try to act grown up by using crude and bad words.
    As an adult, sometimes I repeat stories that are disrespectful of others. I can entertain thoughts that are not clean. Sometimes I give the young people around me a bad example to follow.
    Help me to keep myself pure and clean. Help me say things that build up the people around me. Help me overcome worldly desires that I may become more like Jesus. Help me set a good example for others to follow.
    My Jesus, stripped of Thy garments and drenched with gall, strip me of love for things of earth, and make me loathe all that savors of the world and sin.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.













    Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross

    station11.jpgLeader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    You are stretched out on the cross you have carried so far. The soldiers take big nails and drive them into your hands and feet. You feel abandoned by the people you loved so much. People seem to have gone mad. You have done nothing but good, yet they drive nails through your hands and feet.
    As a child, sometimes I hurt others. Sometimes I join with friends and decide not to like another. We gang up against another and cause them hurt and pain. Sometimes I say or do hurtful things to my brothers and sisters. I can wonder what they'd think about themselves if they believed everything I told them about themselves.
    As and adult, sometimes I discriminate against others. Even without thinking, I judge others because of their color, intelligence, income level or name. I forget that I am to live as a brother or sister to all people. Sometimes I use harsh words when I speak to my children and family members. I can find it easy to look for something that isn't very important and make it very important.
    Help me look again at the people around me. Help me see the hurt and pain I have caused in others. Be with me to help me make amends for the harm I have done.
    My Jesus, by Thine agony when the cruel nails pierced Thy tender hands and feet and fixed them to the cross, make me crucify my flesh by Christian penance.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.



    station12.jpg
    Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

    Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    As Jesus hung on the cross, he forgave the soldiers who had crucified him, and prayed for his mother and friends. Jesus wanted all of us to be able to live forever with God, so he gave all he had for us.
    Jesus, let me take a few moments now to consider your love for me. Help me thank you for your willingness to go to your death for me. Help me express my love for you!
    My Jesus, three hours didst Thou hang in agony, and then die for me; let me die before I sin, and if I live, live for Thy love and faithful service.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.

















    Thirteenth Station: The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross

    station13.jpgLeader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    Jesus, how brutally you were put to death. How gently your are taken from the cross. Your suffering and pain are ended, and you are put in the lap of your mother. The dirt and blood are wiped away. You are treated with love.
    As a child, sometimes I treat others better when they're sad or in pain. When somebody dies, I become very gentle and kind. I notice the good and kind things people say about those who have died.
    As an adult, I seem to be kinder when someone dies. If only I could learn to see the good things about them while they were alive. If only I would tell those around me how much I love them, while I still have the opportunity to do so.
    Help me look for the good in those around me, especially those I love the most. Help me live this day as if it were the last. Help me become a more gentle and loving person through my greater appreciation for those around me.
    O Mary, Mother most sorrowful, the sword of grief pierced thy soul when thou didst see Jesus lying lifeless on thy bosom; obtain for me hatred of sin because sin slew thy Son and wounded thine own heart, and grace to live a Christian life and save my soul.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All - Have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.



    station14.jpgFourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb

    Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
    All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
    Jesus, your body is prepared for burial. Joseph gave you his own tomb. He laid your body there and rolled a large stone in front of it, then went home. What a sad day it has been for so many people.
    As a child, sometimes I try to keep everything for myself. I find it hard to share my things with my brothers or sisters and with my friends.
    As an adult, I can be selfish too. I can accumulate things and keep them for myself. I try to make sure I have what I want before I share what I have with anybody else.
    Help me think of Joseph of Arimathea, who risked his own life as he accepted Jesus' body for burial. Help me think of how Joseph loved Jesus so much that he gave him his own tomb.
    My Jesus, beside Thy body in the tomb I, too, would lie dead; but if I live, let it be for Thee, so as one day to enjoy with Thee in heaven the fruits of Thy passion and Thy bitter death.
    Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory be to the Father....
    Leader - Jesus Christ Crucified.
    All have mercy on Us.
    Leader - May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
    All - Amen.







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