Weekly Reflections

Jan 29, 2023:
 
This Friday, February 3 is the FIRST FRIDAY of the month. So let us embrace this devotion and share it with our family, friends, and neighbors. Let us love the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Heart that loves us all so well. Those who attend Holy Mass for NINE FIRST FRIDAYS, THE FOLLOWING ARE HIS PROMIESES:
 
1) I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life .  2) I will ESTABLISH PEACE IN THEIR HOMES.  3) I will comfort them in their trials.  4) I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death.  5) I will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.  6) Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.  7) Lukewarm souls will become fervent.  8) Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection.  9) I will bless every place in which and Image of My Heart is exposed and honored.  10) I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.  11) Those who shall promote this devotion will have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.  12) I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My allpowerful love will grant to those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays of Nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in My disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments. My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge.
 
Now, if the only Sacred Heart devotion you do is to faithfully perform the First Fridays of Reparation, you’re doing a lot. But there’s another easy step you can take, one that shows true love of Jesus ands will help console His Heart even more: Enthrone the Sacred Heart image in your homes, and venerate it regularly. When we welcome an image of our Lord into our homes, we are inviting our Lord into our lives, our families, and our hearts. It’s like having a picture of your family members in your house. Even if they’re not physically present, the picture means you’re reminded of them regularly, and keeping them in mind, and they are in your heart. Our Lord’s Heart will still need consoling even after we’ve all made our nine First Fridays. So if you can continue after the nine First Friday’s that would be a great act of love !
 
 
Jan 22, 2023: 
 
We’ve long known that success in the battle over the respect for life in this country goes way beyond what happens in the courtroom. In order to help lead our nation to love human life in all stages and circumstances, winning in the legal system must be accompanied by and grounded in winning people’s hearts. 
 
Given the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs decision last year, we find ourselves as pioneers in the “post-Roe era.” It is an era where the legal-system battlefield location over abortion has changed, moving from the federal government to the states. And it is an era where our call is to find new ways to open hearts more fully to embracing the dignity of human life, beginning at the beginning: caring for the baby in the womb and the baby’s parents. As this month bring us the March for Life in Washington, D.C., on January 20, and a series of other pro-life events across the country, tens of thousands will be marching and walking, speaking and praying, hoping and encouraging. 

You may have noticed the white crosses on Main Street. Each cross represents 1.7 million abortions performed in the United States from 1973 - 2021. That totals 63,459,781 abortions 1973-2021 in the United States .
 
 
Jan 15, 2022:
 
Life is a Miracle: Respect Life Program

We expect to pay more for something that will last a long time. We value rare or unique items, and works of great beauty can be extremely expensive. Yet our society seems to place  little value on the one thing that is truly priceless--human life itself. If we compare human beings to things that we prize, by every measure human beings come out on top.

Durability. Human beings last forever. Everything on earth will pass away, the earth itself will pass away. But God offers each of us eternal life.

Uniqueness: Every human being is unique, unrepeatable and irreplaceable. Even identical twins have different fingerprints. Never in the history of humankind has there been another you, nor will there ever be.

Beauty. Is there anything more beautiful, anything you’d rather look at a dozen times a day, than a loved one? From the moment of conception, the awesome complexity of a new human life unfolds. Parents provide the 46 Chromosomes, but God supplies the human soul to create the person He knew and loved from all eternity. Even before birth, human life is miraculous.
The differentiation of cells, the development of organs with highly specialized functions, the maturing of the brain, the memory and the five senses. Every human being shares the same origin, nature and destiny, but we are all astonishingly diverse.

“God created the universe in order to be able to become a human being and pour out His love upon us and to invite us to love Him in return” (Pope Joseph Ratzinger).

Life is a gift, ours to take care of--but not to throw away, and never to take from another. God calls each of us to safeguard our own lives, and also the lives of those in need of assistance, attention, and prayers. Surely we can do no less that heed His call. As individuals and as a community we can change the face of the world to reflect the value and dignity of every human life. 

Laws that permit or promote abortion, infanticide, human cloning, destructive embryo research or physician-assisted suicide ignore the sanctity of each human life and undermine the foundation of a just and healthy society. As citizens and people of faith, each of us should actively advance our convictions in every legitimate and ethical way. We should rededicate ourselves to upholding the sanctity of human life, and hold those elected to represent us to the same standard.

 
Jan 8, 2023:

Epiphany of the Lord:

In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Ignatius (who died in about 117) wrote: “A star shone forth in Heaven more brightly than all the stars, and its light was greater than words can tell, and its strange appearing caused perplexity. And all the other stars...formed themselves into a band about the star. But the star itself surpassed them all its brightness.”

The definition of the magi as three, a holy number, partly because of the kind of gifts they offered, also dates to this period. At first, their number or names were not specified. The Wise Men, Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar symbolized strangers, foreigners or pagans, hence, completely diverse people. Yet they received salvation, just like the People of Israel. Their search, discovery, worship and belief in Jesus filled them with “great joy”. Obedient to a warning, they retuned to their own country “by another way”.

Although we know virtually nothing about them, we do know they brought three gifts:

1) Gold - a symbol of wealth and power, identifies the recipient as a king.
2) Frankincense - the crystalized resinous say of the tree used as incense and as an offering, is symbolic of prayer.
3) Myrrh - another resinous tree sap. Was used in liniments and as an embalming ointment. 
 
Dec. 31, 2022: Leaders from around the world are mourning the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who was the first pope in modern history to step down from his position and died Saturday at age 95.  https://thehill.com/.../3794215-world-leaders-mourn.../
 
Dec. 31, 2022: In response to countless requests, Ascension is launching The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz) on January 1, 2023! With this podcast, Catholics will:

-Read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 days.
-Understand the essentials of the Catholic Faith and why they matter.
-See how Church teaching is rooted in Sacred Scripture.
-Absorb over 2,000 years of Sacred Tradition.
-Encounter God’s plan of sheer goodness.
-Transform their relationship with the Church that Christ founded.
If you have ever wanted to understand what it means to be Catholic and allow those truths to shape your life—this podcast is for you! Here is the link to sign up: https://ascensionpress.com/pages/catechisminayear
 
Dec. 25, 2022
 
Merry Christmas Family & Friends! Today, we celebrate the blessed Incarnation of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we have prepared our hearts over the past few weeks, we can now rejoice--as Mary and Joseph did--in the birth of the Baby Jesus.

We often speak of the warmth of Christmas, the beautiful feeling of love that comes with this season. This warmth comes from the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, Who shines on each one of us. In its essence, Christmas is a love story. Jesus loves us so dearly that He came to earth, emptied Himself, and culminated His love on the Cross.

Have we opened the door to the Lord? God loved us first, and we must respond to Him with our love.

As we start this season of Christmas today, Let’s tell Jesus how much we love Him. Let’s approach Him in prayer, seek Him in the Sacraments, and be ready to tell others about the blessings that He pours on each one of us.
 
Dec. 18, 2022
 
Today is only one week until the joyous celebration of the Nativity of the Lord! In the first reading today, we hear the prophecy of Isaiah, “The virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name Him Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). This is only one of the hundreds of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in His lifetime. Throughout the Old Testament, we see Jesus alluded to time and again. For centuries, the Israelites were waiting for the Messiah - waiting and hoping.

We can never allow the events recounted in Sacred Scripture to become commonplace and taken for granted. The Bible tells us that God became Man. The Lord of the universe came to earth for us, and He wants a relationship with each one of us. He’s not like a distant ruler living from afar. No, the Lord knows each one of us personally and calls us to be friends with Him in our daily lives. He loves us personally and teaches us personally. Are we Listening the Beloved’s Voice that speaks to us through the Sacred texts? Are we entering into this dialogue of love?
 
Every moment of our lives, we are invited by the Lord to grow closer to Him. During this final week of Advent, let’s open our hearts by telling Him of our Faith in His goodness, our Hope and confidence in His promises, and of our love for Him who has loved us so greatly. May this last week of Advent prepare us well for the celebration of our Savior’s birth.
 
 
Dec. 11, 2022
 
Today, Gaudete Sunday, is a day for rejoicing. Jesus’ coming at Christmas is only two weeks away!

Imagine the Blessed Mother’s anticipation that she felt deep in her heart as she was expecting the Lord. As the celebration of Christmas draws near, we can sit with the Blessed Virgin, awaiting, with her, for the Lord’s coming at Christmas. 

After the miraculous conception by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, Mary sang her Magnificat with the Child Jesus present in her womb. Let us, with her, ponder the Incarnation and sing our own Magnificat to the unborn Jesus for the marvelous things He has done for us too!

Today, we can rejoice that the Lord came to earth after many centuries of prophecies. We can rejoice that He lived among us for 33 years, teaching us about the Kingdom of god. We can rejoice that He died on the doors of Heaven for each one of us. And we can rejoice because He continually gives us His Body and Blood in order to remain with us all days until the end of the world. (see Matthew 28:20). Today, we can thank Jesus for each one of these gifts.
 
 
 
 
 
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