Sunday, April 28, 2019

Divine Mercy Sunday

"I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish,"
Jesus told Faustina, according to her diary, which has been studied and authenticated by the Church over several decades.
"I also promise victory over enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My Own glory." (Diary of Faustina, 48)
Jesus is shown in most versions as raising his right hand in blessing, and pointing with his left hand on his chest from which flow forth two rays: one red and one white (translucent). The depictions often contains the message "Jesus, I trust in You!" (Polish: Jezu ufam Tobie). The rays streaming out have symbolic meaning: red for the blood of Jesus (which is the Life of Souls), and pale for the water (which justify souls) (from Diary - 299). The whole image is symbolic of charity, forgiveness and love of God, referred to as the "Fountain of Mercy". According to the diary of St Faustina, the image is based on her 1931 vision of Jesus.

On February 22, 1931, while staying in Plock, Sister Faustina received Jesus’ order to paint a picture according to the vision shown to her (cf. Diary 47). She tried to fulfill the command, but not knowing painting techniques, she was unable to do it by herself. Still, she did not give up the idea. She kept returning to it and sought help from other sisters and from her confessors. A few years later her superiors sent her to Vilnius (Wilno), where her confessor, Rev. Prof. Michael Sopocko, interested to see what the picture of a hitherto unknown theme would look like, asked the painter Eugene Kazimierowski to paint the picture according to Sister Faustina’s directions. This is the only image that was painted under her direction.

Kazimirowski painted the original image between January and June of 1934.
During this time St. Faustina had the artist change the face at least 10 times but was still not pleased with it. The picture was finished in June 1934 and hung in the corridor of the Bernardine Sisters’ convent near St. Michael’s Church in Vilnius, where Father Sopocko was rector. From April 26-28, 1935, during the celebrations concluding the Jubilee Year of the Redemption of the World, the image of The Divine Mercy was transferred to the Ostra Brama [“Eastern Gate” to the city of Vilnius] and placed in a high window so that it could be seen from far away. Here the image was seen for the first time by the public. By permission of Archbishop Romuald Jalbrzykowski, on April 4, 1937, the image was blessed and placed in the St. Michael’s Church in Vilnius.
In 1944, a committee of experts was formed, at the order of Archbishop Jalbrzykowski, to evaluate the image. The experts’ opinion was the the image of The Divine Mercy, painted by E. Kazimierowski was artistically executed and an important contribution to contemporary religious art. You will notice that the Image resembles the Shroud of Turin very closely.
In a decree dated August 3, 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary announced that in order “to ensure that the faithful would observe this day (Divine Mercy Sunday) with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence…so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit.  In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbor, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters.”

The plenary indulgence is granted (under the usual conditions of a sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion and a prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, recite the Our Father and the Creed, and also adding a devout prayer (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!).
Additional provisions are offered for those who are impeded from fulfilling these requirements, but who wish to acquire a plenary indulgence. 

While the readings and prayers for Mass on this day remain unchanged (they reflect perfectly on Our Lord’s Divine Mercy) the Holy See offers this reflection:

The full text of the decree of the Apostolic
Penitentiary may be found at: www.mercysunday.com.
The Gospel of the Second Sunday of Easter narrates the wonderful things Christ the Lord accomplished on the day of the Resurrection during His first public appearance: “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’  When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side.  Then the disciples were glad to see the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered in the upper room, the doors were locked for fear of the Jews.  Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then, He showed them His Hands and His Side.  The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 

He said to them again, “Peace be to you.  As the Father has sent Me, so I send you.”  Having said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven them.  Whose sins you shall retain are retained.” 
~John 20:23


In addition, the decree requires that parish priests “should inform the faithful in the most suitable way of the Church’s salutary provision.  They should promptly and generously be willing to hear their confessions.  On Divine Mercy Sunday, after celebrating Mass they should lead the prayers that have been given above and they should also encourage the faithful to perform acts of mercy as often as they can.”
Jesus said that we either enter by the door of Mercy or by the door of Justice. With the way the world is ... JUSTICE can't be far off. This *could* be (I'm no prophet!) the last Divine Mercy Sunday we're afforded before that Day of Justice.
Divine Mercy Sunday is SUCH a BLESSING and OH SO IMPORTANT; yet daily, we have an opportunity to pray this special chaplet for the good of souls everywhere. My daily 3pms, include several prayers, petitions and meditations which include, begging Jesus to empty purgatory into heaven. The 3 o'clock hour is most important because it is when Jesus died for us and He permits us this special grace and mercy DAILY if we but take the time to honor His precious gift.
When I tell folks they're in my daily 3pms. This is what it means, to be part of my prayers for the world and included in the Divine Mercy Chaplet for their spiritual and temporal needs.


I ask all to join me in my daily petition for the Church Suffering to be brought into heaven during this special hour by reciting this short prayer: "Eternal Father, please take all the pain and suffering of the souls in purgatory and unite it to the Perfect, Holy Passion of Jesus, His True Presence in the Eucharist and the benefits and graces of all Masses said this day and please empty purgatory into heaven daily during this special hour of Divine Mercy, especially those that have no one to pray for them; according to the promise of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit" Amen.
The way the world is just getting worse and worse. I URGE you with all that is within me ... GO TO CONFESSION, PRAY FOR YOUR RELATIVES AND FRIENDS & THE WHOLE WORLD; THAT ALL BE SAVED AND NONE BE LOST! Do NOT be afraid of Confession, no matter how long it's been or what you've done! NOTHING is bigger than God's MERCY! The priest (the *man*) acts In persona Christi, that is in the place of Christ. Jesus uses the priest to act through (same as the Consecration at Mass) for YOUR benefit that your humble & contrite heart may hear the words of mercy and forgiveness.
Our Lord Speaks to St. Faustina:
“Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flow down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to Confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls.” (Diary #1602)
I GUARANTEE that when you leave the Confessional, you WILL FEEL the joyful grace and you'll be able to receive Holy Communion! To be reunited to Jesus in this intimate manner and to know and feel the powerful supernatural grace that the Sacraments impart to us through Holy Mother Church ... well you'll just have to experience it! But you won't be afraid of Confession any more :) 
SO DON'T PUT IT OFF!!!! PLEASE!!!! 
2 Corinthians 6:2 refers to Redemption in the last days: "For He says, "In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, NOW is the time of God's favor, NOW is the day of salvation."
Just as Jesus said: "THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND."


More on Divine Mercy: click HERE.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

12 Things You Need to Know About Holy Saturday

Alsace, Bas-Rhin, Église protestante de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ de Bischheim. Peinture "Le Christ aux limbes" (XXe).
(Source: Ralph Hammann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)



On Holy Saturday the earth waits in stillness for the Resurrection of the Lord. Here are 12 things you need to know about it.


Note: This article originally appeared at the Register on March 29, 2013. by: Jimmy Akin


Every time we say the creed, we note that Jesus "descended into hell."
Holy Saturday is the day that commemorates this event.
What happened on this day, and how do we celebrate it?

Here are 12 things you need to know.

1. What happened on the first Holy Saturday?

Here on earth, Jesus' disciples mourned his death and, since it was a sabbath day, they rested.
Luke notes that the women returned home "and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56).
At the tomb, the guards that had been stationed there kept watch over the place to make sure that the disciples did not steal Jesus' body.

Meanwhile . . .

2. What happened to Jesus while he was dead?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.
Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham's bosom”:
“It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.”
Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.
634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.” The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment.
This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

3. How do we commemorate this day?

According to the main document governing the celebrations connected with Easter, Paschales Solemnitatis:
73. On Holy Saturday the Church is, as it were, at the Lord's tomb, meditating on his passion and death, and on his descent into hell, and awaiting his resurrection with prayer and fasting.
It is highly recommended that on this day the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer be celebrated with the participation of the people (cf. n. 40).
Where this cannot be done, there should be some celebration of the Word of God, or some act of devotion suited to the mystery celebrated this day.
74. The image of Christ crucified or lying in the tomb, or the descent into hell, which mystery Holy Saturday recalls, as also an image of the sorrowful Virgin Mary can be placed in the church for the veneration of the faithful.
Fasting is also encouraged, but not required, on this day.

4. Are the sacraments celebrated?

For the most part, no. Paschales Solemnitatis explains:
75. On this day the Church abstains strictly from the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass.
Holy Communion may only be given in the form of Viaticum.
The celebration of marriages is forbidden, as also the celebration of other sacraments, except those of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick.
The prohibition on saying Mass applies to the part of the day before the Easter Vigil Mass (see below).
Baptism in danger of death is also permitted.

5. What is the Easter Vigil?

A vigil is the liturgical commemoration of a notable feast, held on the evening preceding the feast.
The term comes from the Latin word vigilia, which means "wakefulness," and which came to be used when the faithful stayed awake to pray and do devotional exercises in anticipation of the feast.
Easter Vigil is the vigil held on the evening before Easter.
According to Paschales Solemnitatis:
80. From the very outset the Church has celebrated that annual Pasch, which is the solemnity of solemnities, above all by means of a night vigil.
For the resurrection of Christ is the foundation of our faith and hope, and through Baptism and Confirmation we are inserted into the Paschal Mystery of Christ, dying, buried, and raised with him, and with him we shall also reign.
The full meaning of Vigil is a waiting for the coming of the Lord.

6. When should Easter Vigil be celebrated?

Paschales Solemnitatis explains:
78. "The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil takes place at night. It should not begin before nightfall; it should end before daybreak on Sunday."
This rule is to be taken according to its strictest sense. Reprehensible are those abuses and practices which have crept into many places in violation of this ruling, whereby the Easter Vigil is celebrated at the time of day that it is customary to celebrate anticipated Sunday Masses.
Those reasons which have been advanced in some quarters for the anticipation of the Easter Vigil, such as lack of public order, are not put forward in connection with Christmas night, nor other gatherings of various kinds.

7. What happens at the Easter Vigil?

According to Paschales Solemnitatis:
81. The order for the Easter Vigil is arranged so that
after the service of light and the Easter Proclamation (which is the first part of the Vigil),
Holy Church meditates on the wonderful works which the Lord God wrought for his people from the earliest times (the second part or Liturgy of the Word),
to the moment when, together with those new members reborn in Baptism (third part),
she is called to the table prepared by the Lord for his Church—the commemoration of his death and resurrection—until he comes (fourth part).

8. What happens during the service of light?

According to Paschales Solemnitatis:
82. . . . In so far as possible, a suitable place should be prepared outside the church for the blessing of the new fire, whose flames should be such that they genuinely dispel the darkness and light up the night.
The paschal candle should be prepared, which for effective symbolism must be made of wax, never be artificial, be renewed each year, be only one in number, and be of sufficiently large size so that it may evoke the truth that Christ is the light of the world. It is blessed with the signs and words prescribed in the Missal or by the Conference of Bishops.
83. The procession, by which the people enter the church, should be led by the light of the paschal candle alone. Just as the children of Israel were guided at night by a pillar of fire, so similarly, Christians follow the risen Christ. There is no reason why to each response "Thanks be to God" there should not be added some acclamation in honor of Christ.
The light from the paschal candle should be gradually passed to the candles which it is fitting that all present should hold in their hands, the electric lighting being switched off.

9. What happens during the Easter Proclamation?

According to Paschales Solemnitatis:
84. The deacon makes the Easter Proclamation which tells, by means of a great poetic text, the whole Easter mystery placed in the context of the economy of salvation.
In case of necessity, where there is no deacon, and the celebrating priest is unable to sing it, a cantor may do so.
The Bishops' Conferences may adapt this proclamation by inserting into it acclamations from the people.

10. What happens during the Scripture readings?
According to Paschales Solemnitatis:
85. The readings from Sacred Scripture constitute the second part of the Vigil. They give an account of the outstanding deeds of the history of salvation, which the faithful are helped to meditate calmly upon by the singing of the responsorial psalm, by a silent pause and by the celebrant's prayer.
The restored Order for the Vigil has seven readings from the Old Testament chosen from the Law and the Prophets, which are in use everywhere according to the most ancient tradition of East and West, and two readings from the New Testament, namely from the Apostle and from the Gospel.
Thus the Church, "beginning with Moses and all the Prophets" explains Christ's Paschal Mystery.
Consequently wherever this is possible, all the readings should be read so that the character of the Easter Vigil, which demands that it be somewhat prolonged, be respected at all costs.
Where, however, pastoral conditions require that the number of readings be reduced, there should be at least three readings from the Old Testament, taken from the Law and the Prophets; the reading from Exodus chapter 14 with its canticle must never be omitted.
87. After the readings from the Old Testament, the hymn "Gloria in excelsis" is sung, the bells are rung in accordance with local custom, the collect is recited, and the celebration moves on to the readings from the New Testament. An exhortation from the Apostle on Baptism as an insertion into Christ's Paschal Mystery is read.
Then all stand and the priest intones the "Alleluia" three times, each time raising the pitch. The people repeat it after him.
If it is necessary, the psalmist or cantor may sing the "Alleluia," which the people then take up as an acclamation to be interspersed between the verses of Psalm 117, so often cited by the Apostles in their Easter preaching.
Finally, the resurrection of the Lord is proclaimed from the Gospel as the high point of the whole Liturgy of the Word.
After the Gospel a homily is to be given, no matter how brief.

11. What happens during the baptismal liturgy?

According to Paschales Solemnitatis:
88. The third part of the Vigil is the baptismal liturgy. Christ's passover and ours is now celebrated.
This is given full expression in those churches which have a baptismal font, and more so when the Christian initiation of adults is held, or at least the Baptism of infants.
Even if there are no candidates for Baptism, the blessing of baptismal water should still take place in parish churches. If this blessing does not take place at the baptismal font, but in the sanctuary, baptismal water should be carried afterwards to the baptistry there to be kept throughout the whole of paschal time.
Where there are neither candidates for Baptism nor any need to bless the font, Baptism should be commemorated by the blessing of water destined for sprinkling upon the people.
89. Next follows the renewal of baptismal promises, introduced by some words on the part of the celebrating priest.
The faithful reply to the questions put to them, standing and holding lighted candles in their hands. They are then sprinkled with water: in this way the gestures and words remind them of the Baptism they have received.
The celebrating priest sprinkles the people by passing through the main part of the church while all sing the antiphon "Vidi aquam" or another suitable song of a baptismal character.

12. What happens during the Eucharistic liturgy?

According to Paschales Solemnitatis:
90. The celebration of the Eucharist forms the fourth part of the Vigil and marks its high point, for it is in the fullest sense the Easter Sacrament, that is to say, the commemoration of the Sacrifice of the Cross and the presence of the risen Christ, the completion of Christian initiation, and the foretaste of the eternal pasch.
92. It is fitting that in the Communion of the Easter Vigil full expression be given to the symbolism of the Eucharist, namely by consuming the Eucharist under the species of both bread and wine. The local Ordinaries will consider the appropriateness of such a concession and its ramificatons.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Divine Mercy Novena starts Good Friday Day1

Divine Mercy Novena Instructions from EWTN

The Feast of Divine Mercy on April 28th is one of the most important dates in the Church calendar. This focuses on God's unlimited mercy to everyone especially the greatest sinners.

Jesus revealed to Sister Faustina on numerous occasions that a feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The feast is a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in the divine benevolence the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come. Jesus said: Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)



God loves us-all of us- no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. The message of divine mercy could be summed up by the ABC:

A- Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.

B- Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through others us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

C- Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

HAPPY  EASTER

DIVINE MERCY – The "2nd Baptism" for anyone going to the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Eucharist

"The Graces of My Mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, that is TRUST. The more a soul trusts the more it will receive.” "I desire the confidence of My People. Let not even the weak and very sinful fear to approach me: even if their sins be as numerous as all the sands of the earth all will be forgiven in the fathomless pit of My Mercy.” ~JESUS to St Faustina

POWERFUL BIBLE QUOTE ON JESUS' RESURRECTION:

“I am the resurrection and the life,” said Jesus. “He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” ~John 11:25-26
God of mercy, You wash away our sins in water, You give us new birth in the Spirit, and redeem us in the Blood of Christ. As we celebrate Christ's resurrection increase our awareness of these blessings, and renew Your gift of life within us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God,  for ever and ever. Amen.

Holy Thursday

This day, Maundy Thursday (also "Holy Thursday" or "Shire Thursday") commemorates Christ's Last Supper and the initiation of the Eucharist. Its name of "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning "command." This stems from Christ's words in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you." It is the first of the three days known as the "Triduum," and after the Vigil tonight, and until the Vigil of Easter, a more profoundly somber attitude prevails (most especially during the hours between Noon and 3:00 PM on Good Friday). Raucous amusements should be set aside...


The Last Supper took place in "the upper room" of the house believed to have been owned by John Mark and his mother, Mary (Acts 12:12). This room, also the site of the Pentecost, is known as the "Coenaculum" or the "Cenacle" and is referred to as "Holy and glorious Sion, mother of all churches" in St. James' Liturgy. At the site of this place -- our first Christian church -- a basilica was built in the 4th century. It was destroyed by Muslims and later re-built by the Crusaders. Underneath the place is the tomb of David.

After the Supper, He went outside the Old City of Jerusalem, crossed the Kidron Valley, and came to the Garden of Gethsemani, a place whose name means "Olive Press," and where olives still grow today. There He suffered in three ineffable ways: He knew exactly what would befall Him physically and mentally -- every stroke, every thorn in the crown He would wear, every labored breath He would try to take while hanging on the Cross, the pain in each glance at His mother; He knew that He was taking on all the sins of the world -- all the sins that had ever been or ever will be committed; and, finally, He knew that, for some people, this Sacrifice would not be fruitful because they would reject Him. Here He was let down by His Apostles when they fell asleep instead of keeping watch, here is where He was further betrayed by Judas with a kiss, and where He was siezed by "a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief Priests and the ancients of the people" and taken before Caiphas, the high priest, where he was accused of blasphemy, beaten, spat upon, and prepared to be taken to Pontius Pilate tomorrow morning.


As for today's liturgies, in the morning, the local Bishop will offer a special Chrism Mass during which blesses the oils used in Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Unction, and the consecration of Altars and churches.

At the evening Mass, after the bells ring during the Gloria, they are rung no more until the Easter Vigil (a wooden clapper called a "crotalus" is used insead). Parents explain this to their children by saying that the all the bells fly to Rome after the Gloria of the Mass on Maundy Thursday to visit the Popes. Children are told that the bells sleep on the roof of St. Peter's Basilica, and, bringing Easter eggs with them, start their flight home at the Gloria at the Easter Vigil, when when they peal wildly. 

Then comes the Washing of the Feet after the homily, a rite performed by Christ upon His disciples to prepare them for the priesthood and the marriage banquet they will offer, and which is rooted in the Old Testament practice of foot-washing in preparation for the marital embrace (II Kings 11:8-11, Canticles 5:3) and in the ritual ablutions performed by the High Priest of the Old Covenant (contrast Leviticus 16:23-24 with John 13:3-5). The priest girds himself with a cloth and washes the feet of 12 men he's chosen to represent the Apostles for the ceremony.

The rest of the Mass after the Washing of the Feet has a special form, unlike all other Masses. After the Mass, the priest takes off his chasuble and vests in a white cope. He returns to the Altar, incenses the Sacred Hosts in the ciborium, and, preceded by the Crucifer and torchbearers, carries the Ciborium to the "Altar of Repose," also called the "Holy Sepulchre," where it will remain "entombed" until the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday.

Then there follows the Stripping of the Altars, during which everything is removed as Antiphons and Psalms are recited. All the glorious symbols of Christ's Presence are removed to give us the sense of His entering most fully into His Passion. Christ enters the Garden of Gethsemani; His arrest is imminent. Fortescue's "Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described" tells us: "From now till Saturday no lamps in the church are lit. No bells are rung. Holy Water should be removed from all stoups and thrown into the sacrarium. A small quantity is kept for blessing the fire on Holy Saturday or for a sick call." The joyful signs of His Presence won't return until Easter begins with the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening.

Customs

As to customs, many families have a practice of visiting the tabernacles of three or seven nearby churches after the Mass on this day as a sort of "mini-pilgrimage" (any nearby Catholic churches will do). Some families visit the churches directly after the evening Mass; others go home and wake up in the middle of the night to make the visits (though since churches are rarely open all night these days, this would be hard to do). The spirit of the visits to the churches is keeping vigil in the Garden of Gethsemani while Jesus prayed before His arrest. Matthew 26:36 "Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray."

In Germany, Maundy Thursday is known as "Green Thursday" (Grundonnerstag), and the traditional foods are green vegetables and green salad, especially a spinach salad. In Latin countries, Jordan almonds ("confetti") are eaten today and also throughout Eastertide.


Back when Kings and Queens of England were Catholic, they, too, would wash the feet of 12 subjects, seeing the footwashing rite also as an example of service and humility. They would also give money to the poor on this day, a practice is said to have begun with St. Augustine of Canterbury in A.D. 597, and performed by Kings since Edward II. Now the footwashing isn't done (it was given up in the 18th c.), but a special coin called "Maundy Money" is minted and given to the selected elderly of a representative town. 

On this day, one may gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, by reciting the Tantum Ergo (Down in Adoration Falling).

Tantum ergo sacramentum
Veneremur cernui
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensum defectui

Genitori, genitoque
Laus et jubilatio
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio, amen
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/charlotte-church/tantum-ergo-lyrics/#T8jDJRG3zAvMKZqf.9
Tantum ergo sacramentum
Veneremur cernui
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensum defectui
 
 Genitori, genitoque
Laus et jubilatio
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio, 
Amen

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday, Holy Week and a Celestial Challenge

To fulfill Scripture, Jesus is certain to be exact in His Actions and Words. He rides triumphantly into Jerusalem on a young donkey depicting peace and given the honor rightfully due Him.
Palm Sunday (first known as Pasha) originated in the Jerusalem Church around the late third or early fourth century. Ceremonies consisted of prayers, hymns, and sermons as people moved through the numerous holy sites within the city. At the last site, the place of Jesus' ascension into heaven, the clergy would read the biblical account of Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Then as evening approached, the people would return to the city reciting: “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord (Matthew 21:9). By the fifth century, the celebration had spread as far as Constantinople. It wasn't until the sixth and seventh centuries that the ritual blessing of the palms was added. A morning procession replaced the evening one and by the eighth century, the Western Church was celebrating "Dominica in Palmis" or "Palm Sunday."

The Tradition
Palm Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday in recognition of the beginning of Holy Week and Jesus' final agonizing journey to His crucifixion. Falling on the sixth Sunday in Lent and the Sunday before Easter, Palm Sunday is celebrated in all major Christian churches Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox. In many Orthodox churches, Palm Sunday is known as Entry into Jerusalem. In some countries, the graves of loved ones are decorated with palms. Since palm trees are not indigenous to colder climates, branches of sallow, willow, and yew are often used.

Today, many Palm Sunday traditions remain much the same as those celebrated in the tenth century. Some ceremonies begin with the blessing of the palms. Afterward, many people take the palms home and place them in houses, barns, and fields. In many churches, children serve as an integral part of the service since they enjoy the processions. Children often craft crosses from palm leaves which were used in the Sunday processional. The traditions of Palm Sunday serve as reminders of the life-changing events of Holy Week.

It was traditional in the Near East to place a cover across the path of someone deemed worthy of highest honor. The palm branch was a Jewish symbol of triumph and victory (Leviticus 23:40; Revelation 7:9). In 2 Kings 9:13, Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, received the customary announcing of a king with the spreading of cloaks upon the ground. Jesus, the Messianic King, was given a similar honor. "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" ~Matthew 21:8

The Remembrance
In the simplest of terms, Palm Sunday is an opportunity to reflect upon the final week of Jesus' life. Jesus did not deny the image that the crowd expected -- the fulfillment of the hopes of Israel that He would be their earthly king, destroying the Roman government. Instead, Jesus humbly entered Jerusalem to give His life on a cross, saving mankind from sin and death. One day, Jesus will return gloriously as a mighty warrior in battle (Revelation 19:11-16). Palm Sunday serves as a preparation of one's heart for the agony of His Passion and the joy of His Resurrection.
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away." ~Matthew 21:1-11

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'"

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

"Hosanna to the Son of David!"
"Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!"
"Hosanna in the highest!"
 

As we head on into Passion Week, what's on our minds? Perhaps the dinner next week for friends and relatives celebrating Easter? Shopping for the Easter Basket fillers and treats for the children? Wondering how we're ever going to fit going to Church 3-4 times in one week into our busy lives?

Perhaps your Lent didn't go as well as you hoped for. But how merciful is our God Who accepts even our meager efforts as triumphant if we have a contrite heart! (And in living in the Divine Will, your acts are done by Jesus Himself, making them perfect and holy, according to your disposition.) I invite you to step out of your comfort zone this week and into the sea of sorrows with Jesus as we remember His unfathomable Sacrifice for each of us. Our human minds can't begin to comprehend what He did or how He suffered for each and every one of us or that He'd have done it all again even if it was just for ONE SOUL! We make the mistake, so often, of trying to figure out God and His Ways with our pitiful human intellect, forgetting that an insect will never be able to learn quantum physics!

I have been studying the Book of Heaven/Living in the Divine Will ... Luisa Piccarreta. I've completed all 36 books. I can't say how much more my Faith has been strengthened by these volumes. The insights into things I've always wondered about oftentimes have been answered with such clarity that there have been numerous "ah hah" moments that have grounded me even more firmly. I must say that there are many things that somehow, I understand inside me, but cannot verbalize. Very peculiar. I will just add a little info here about the Church and her writings before I offer the challenge.
The Archbishop promoting Luisa's Cause for beautification, is doing so in strict accord with Canon Law and in complete harmony with Rome. This includes a careful and comprehensive review of Luisa's writings by competent, independent experts in theology.
Catholics should know once and for all that published opinions of critics are just that - opinions. They are not binding upon the consciences of Catholics. They do not represent the authority of the Catholic Church. We are free to disagree with them. In short, this is a matter that is open for discussion in the Catholic Church. And so, If anyone claims or implies that the Catholic Church condemns Luisa Piccarreta or any of her writings, he is either intentionally or unintentionally a purveyor of falsehood.
More info on this can be found here: http://luisapiccarreta.co/?page_id=240

OK, here is the challenge.

Before I actually began the study, I had made a practice of doing the Hours of the Passion; one of Luisa's other works. I've done it for several years now but the first time I did it, I was amazed how it brought me RIGHT THERE with Him! You cannot seriously make this effort without a PROFOUND and LASTING effect to your soul and being.
I CHALLENGE EVERYONE TO DO THIS MEDITATION ESPECIALLY ON GOOD FRIDAY.

Traditionally, this is done with a group of people, each taking an hour and it goes from Thursday 5pm till 5 pm Good Friday with beginning and ending prayers for each hour. But you can also do it alone as your state in life permits. You don't have to stay up for 24 hrs ... though, it's amazing when you DO.

Some Communities like to initiate a "Living Clock" to compassionate Jesus and delve deeper into His Passion sharing the hours among the participants.

General Guidelines for the "Living Clock":

It is very simple. Whoever has a group of people and wishes to create a Living Clock will:
1. Assign one Hour (one Chapter of the book) to each person.
2. Establish how often the group will rotate to the next Hour, which could be:
* daily
* weekly
* biweekly
* or monthly
Then, after a certain agreed period, the Hour that each person is doing moves ahead to the next Hour. For example, whoever was doing the Hour from 5 to 6 P.M. (Jesus says good-bye to His Mother moves ahead to do the following Hour, from 6 to 7 P.M. (Jesus separates from His Mother).
When the Living Clock has reached up to 24 people that are seriously committed to meditating one Hour of The Passion each day, the Living Clock is set and working, for the glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
A Living Clock can get started with a few people but it cannot have more than 24 people.

Here are the Hours with the additional before and after prayers. May you be inundated with Christ's Love and Mercy drawing nearer and nearer to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts!
https://www.theworkofgod.org/Devotns/Stations/meditations-passion-Christ.htm

Other Links for more on Living in the Divine Will:
http://www.passioiesus.org/en/index.php
https://divinewilluk.com/what-are-the-hours-of-the-passion

Here are a few excerpts from Lusia's writings regarding Jesus' Thoughts on His Holy and Perfect Passion and those who meditate on His Sufferings during His last 24 hours.