Defend Us, St. Michael

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DEDICATION OF SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

Traditional Calendar  ~ Dedication of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel (Michaelmas Day)

New Calendar ~ Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

DOUBLE, FIRST CLASS / WHITE

This feast commemorates the dedication to St. Michael of an ancient church at Rome at a date earlier than the sixth century. St.Michael the Archangel is honored as the supreme guardian spirit of the universal Church. In heaven Michael led the good angels against Lucifer and his rebel angels. The fallen angels pursue on earth that same war against the Man-God Christ which they began in heaven. Therefore Michael continues to direct the battle against them here on earth. The standard-bearer of the Church, he introduces the departed souls of her children into God's holy light (Offertory Hymn of Requiem Mass). He also presents our prayers to God (Incensation at High Mass), conquers demons (Prayers after Low Mass), and pleads for us sinners (Confiteor). 

INTROIT Ps. 102:20

Bless the Lord, all you His angels, you mighty in strength who do His bidding, obeying the voice of His commands.

Ps. 102:1. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all my being bless His holy name.

V. Glory be . . .


COLLECT

O God, who wondrously directs the services of angels and men, grant that our lives on earth may be guarded by the angels who stand ever before Your face ministering to You in heaven. Through our Lord . . .


LESSON Apoc. 1:1-5

In those days, God gave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by his angel to his servant John, Who hath given testimony to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he hath seen. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy: and keepeth those things which are written in it. For the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia. Grace be unto you and peace, from him that is and that was and that is to come: and from the seven spirits which are before his throne: And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth, who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.


GRADUAL Ps. 102:20, 1

Bless the Lord, all you His angels, you mighty in strength who do His bidding.

V. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all my being bless His holy name.


Alleluia, alleluia! V.

Holy archangel Michael, defend us in battle, that we may not perish in the dreaded judgment. Alleluia!


GOSPEL Matt. 18:1-10

At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: "Who, thinkest thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?" And Jesus, calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them. And said: "Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand, or thy foot, scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven."


OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Apoc. 8:3, 4

An angel stood before the altar, having a golden censer in his hand; and there was given to him much incense, and the smoke of the incense went up before God, alleluia!


SECRET

O Lord, graciously accept the Sacrifice of praise we offer You. May it bring us closer to our salvation through the angels' prayers of intercession. Through our Lord . . .


COMMUNION ANTIPHON Dan. 3:58

All you angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, sing a hymn of praise and exalt Him above all forever.


POSTCOMMUNION

We rely on the prayers of the blessed archangel Michael, O Lord, that the Sacrament which we have received upon our lips may always remain in our hearts. Through our Lord . . .

~~~

Resources:

Little Flowers Housekeeping

The Little Flowers group that I lead is up to 36 members.  Praise God!  This is, by far, the most girls that I have been blessed with in my five years of leading LF.

Currently, my LF group is open to 5-8 year old girls.  In the past, I did not have an age requirement.  Another mom and I started a group for fellow homeschooling families.  It was a Little Flower co-op of sorts.

Elexa at Little Flowers Ice Cream Social 5.2.07Rose at the LF Tea May 2007

            LF Ice cream social.   My youngest LF, Sweetie at 2. - LF May Tea. My oldest LF, Rose at 14.

I have posted some forms and ideas I use to help keep things organized and parents informed.

Please feel free to download and print any of the forms that may be of use to you.

~~~

I host a private blog and Yahoo email loop for my Little Flowers.  Both sources allow me to better communicate with the families. 

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Registration Form – each family must complete this form prior to their first meeting

LF Registration

Info Sheet – includes gen info, schedule, contact info, agenda, meeting checklist and fee info.

11-12 LF Info Sheet

Snack & Volunteer Sign-up – these forms are used for ea. family to sign up to help.  This is not a requirement for participation in Little Flowers. **

2011-12 Snack Sign Up2011-12 Volunteer Sign Up

Order Form – spreadsheet used to record orders for ea year.**

LF Order Form

 

** I delegate these tasks to moms.  I would not be able to do what I do without the help of dedicated moms.

~~~

Additional LF Forms:

(I’ll be certain to add more forms here as I stumble across them in my archives or create them.)

Just One Drop

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just one drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that one drop.” ~ Bl. Mother Teresa

~~~

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Mother Teresa of Calcutta is a powerful intercessor for my family.  The more our devotion grows to her and the MC way, the more we are drawn closer to Jesus Christ.   It is not always easy to surrender on this journey that we are on but the Good Lord never fails to provide encouragement. 

There is a quickening taking place in our hearts and home at this time.  Praise God that He provided us with three (plus) back to back consolations within the same week.

The first consolation occurred on Thursday.  It was followed, on Friday, by the second consolation, a glorious opportunity.  Dad and I took the little's for some service work when a priest (who knows of our devotion to Bl. Mother Teresa) eagerly pulled us aside.  He invited us to take a moment to venerate a first class relic of Bl. Mother Teresa.  We did not hesitate.  (This was the second first class relic of a saint that was privately presented to me for veneration.  The first occurred in early August.  Rose and I were blessed with the opportunity to venerate a relic of Bl. Louis & Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse--Mother Teresa’s patron.)  We prayed for the intercession of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta and for the graces from God to become a saint like Mother Teresa.  We had a hard time leaving and desired to spend more time in the presence of Mother Teresa and Our Lord.  We are still glowing from this experience. 

The third consolation was the start of the finale.  Dad and I used to take a monthly visit to the MC house in Pacifica.  We would attend Adoration, recollection, receive spiritual direction and visit the Gift of Love (a home for the dying).  On occasion we would take all the kids.  Unfortunately, our visits have been limited due to our current situation.  This weekend was really no different but we knew we had a choice to make.  We were given the graces to say “yes” to a family visit and trust that He would take care of the details.  We loaded up the car immediately when Dad arrived home from work and ventured off.  We didn’t pre-pack or take the time to calculate for all of our potential needs.  Yet, we were all at peace with our light load and early departure.  We arrived to our destination after an event-free two hour car ride.  (That, in itself, could have been a fourth consolation.)  We entered for Adoration and Benediction.  Sr. Joselia, M.C. visited with us prior to and post recollection.  Her joy, encouragement, hospitality and love was another consolation that has helped sustain us to the present time.  She radiated Christ just as Mother Teresa.  We were filled spiritually.

We did not visit the Gift of Love since the baby was coming down with a cold and we didn’t want to put any of the residents at risk.  We did, however, venture up the coast.  Sr. Joselia, M.C. told us of a nice spot that is not heavily populated with surfers.  She and the sisters have endearingly changed the name of the spot from Devil’s Slide to Angel’s Slide.  It was indeed, the perfect spot for us.  An angelic time was had by us all.  It was a beautiful ending to a week of consolations.

joyfilled family

We are indeed, only a drop in the ocean.  We pray to become what He wills us to be

~~~

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Burying bodies has become a beach tradition for us.

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This was Dragonfly’s beach buddy.

gio's beach in a bucket

Dragonfly was not fond of the sand or being too close the water.  Dad found a solution, he brought the ocean to Dragonfly—Beach in a Bucket.

dragonfly beach collage 

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Someone wants to be just like dad!

rose

Rose soaked in the fresh cool air.

dad and kelp

As always, Dad created fun for us.

littles running from the waves

The little's enjoyed dodging the waves while trying to  fetch the kelp that dad would throw into the ocean.

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Sparkles was the first to be caught by the waves.

papi splashing with joypapi running for his lifepapi caught

Papi ran faster than lightning to avoid the waves.  At one point he got caught by the wave.  He was safe on the shore but fearful nonetheless.  Upon realizing that he was safe, he professed to his big sis that he was swimming.  This from the boy who won’t go in water deeper than 2 feet.

beach 2011 collage

"Like Jesus we belong to the world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength." ~ Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

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{pretty, happy, funny, real}

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Every Thursday, here at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

Summer Swim

Papi swim time

(One of my) Favorite Summer Photo(s)
This photo challenge is being hosted by:

More Than Just A Game

“St. Paul the Apostle proposed the image of the athlete to the Christians of Corinth in order to illustrate Christian life and as an example of effort and constancy (1 Cor. 9:24-25). Indeed the correct practice of sport must be accompanied by moderation and training in self-discipline. The Christian can find sports helpful for developing the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance in the race for the wreath that is “imperishable,” as St. Paul writes.” ~Pope John Paul II

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We have re-entered the CYO world after a hiatus.  Dad is coaching Sparkles basketball team.  Rose is assisting him and Sweetie is tagging along.

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Over the past several years, we have been convicted to recommit our Sundays to the Good Lord.  Thus, Dad followed this prompting and designated that his team would not be playing on Sundays.  He received spiritual direction from multiple sources and covered this step with much prayer.  He has found support and opposition in the most surprising places.  Continued pray is needed.

2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body. Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

2186 Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life.

2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.

~Catechism of the Catholic Church

P9102197Sport is much more to us than a game.  It is another means for us to glorify God.  Dad is a gifted coach.  He has a way with youth.  He offers a fun but disciplined approach to teaching sport.  He is constantly raising the bar for his players and always coaching each individual.  He recognizes the physical and spiritual potential of each player.  Most importantly, prayer and adoration is interwoven into Dad’s coaching.  He is committed to serving Our Lord!  (If you’re not sure where Dad and the team may be on any given game day, check the church!)

We pray to continue to sanctify sport, fitness and practice in a way which brings us closer to Christ.

Basketball for Jesus, through Mary!

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Smoothie

Here is our before smoothie

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and here is our after smoothie

strawberry smoothie

The kids actually prefer the after version. 

Salisbury Steak and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

 

Everyday Paleo Salisbury Steak

salisbury steakpapo eating steak

It’s kid approved!

Our Lady of La Salette

Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to thee. 

La Salette

OUR LADY OF LA SALETTE

Traditional Calendar: September 19

[1846 A.D.] (Historical)

children and Our Lady of La Salette
On September 19, 1846, two children said they had met a "Beautiful Lady" in the mountain pastures where they were grazing their cows, above the village of La Salette. Maximin Giraud and Melanie is 11 years old Calvat 14. First seat and in tears, the "Belle Dame" gets up and speaks at length, in French and patois of "Son" while citing examples from practical life. It gives tOLOLS Crosshem a message by loading them to "do well to spend all his people." The clarity it is formed, which envelops all the three, has a large crucifix she wears on her chest, surrounded by a hammer and pliers. It carries on his shoulders a heavy chain and, next, roses. His head, his feet in size and are surrounded by roses. Then the "Belle Dame" climbed a steep path and disappears into the light.

After five years of rigorous investigation, the Bishop of Grenoble, Bishop Philibert de Bruillard, recognizes a command authenticity of the apparition.

- Translated from French at Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette

~~~

OLOLS with children and flowers

Prayer to Our Lady of La Salette

Remember, Our Lady of La Salette, true Mother of Sorrows, the tears which thou didst shed for me on Calvary; be mindful also of the unceasing care which thou dost exercise to screen me from the Justice of God; and consider whether thou canst now abandon thy child, for whom thou has done so much. Inspired by this consoling thought, I come to cast myself at thy feet, in spite of my infidelity and ingratitude. Reject not my prayer, O Virgin of reconciliation, convert me, obtain for me the grace to love Jesus Christ above all things and to console thee, too, by living a holy life, in order that one day I may be able to see thee in heaven. Amen.

~~~

RESOURCES

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OLOLS

Our Lady of La Salette

Two Shepherd Children once of long ago
Espied as in a Dream - all ray'd in Light
One - bowed deep in prayer - and weeping there.

"Who could the Lady be, so sad, so fair?"
They thought within themselves,
"What brings her here?"
Than at their wondering prayer - the Lady spoke!

At the sweet accents, gathering close - all rapt -
They gazed upon the tender smile of winning grace!
Who knows, but what they saw - Another's Face
Therein reflected ! E'en the Face of God?

The Lady spoke! "None go to Mass to pray!
But spend God's Sabbath in useless, idle way!
Blaspheme! - E'en take His Holy Name in vain!

"Fain do I pray - I stay His Arm
And ask the world shall know no harm!
Who disobey His Rule.

"My children! You your prayers must say!
One Pater, Ave, night and day!
And if the world converted be
God's goodness it shall shortly see."

The Shepherds pondered every word
Of the Sorrowing Mother of Our Lord!
Yet knew not She was Mary Mild
Who gave us the Holy Child.

Sweet roses play'd on rainbow'd Light
As on Her gown all colors danc'd!
While on Her breast - a gold Cross gleam'd!
The Holy Sign of Christ's Redeemed.

Yet not alone the Cross - but chains!
The Hammer and Tongs of cruel pains
Upon Our Mother's breast they lay!
Sad tokens, on that happy day!

Then as Our Lady bid Goodbye,
And again assumed was to the sky
She said "This to my People make ye known
And bid them kneel at Mercy's Throne."

Ferne M. Montague
Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.

Breakfast Pizza

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The Paleo Breakfast Pizza has become Rose’s specialty. 

breakfast pizza collage

Deeper Silence

I re-read this quote today and it was a consolation for me.  I trust that I’ve been in God’s presence – stripped.  I pray for the graces to accept His will with joy and peace, wanting nothing more than what He gives me.

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"We too are called to withdraw at certain intervals into deeper silence and aloneness with God.... not with our books, thoughts, and memories but completely stripped of everything, to dwell lovingly in God's presence - silent, empty, expectant, and motionless."  ~Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Seven Sorrows of Our Lady

reposted from 9.15.10

Permit me, O Mary, to remain near the Cross, that I may share with you in the Passion of Jesus.

John 19:25-27

OL%20Seven%20Sorrows-thumb-300x311At that time, there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: "Woman, behold thy son." After that, he saith to the disciple: "Behold thy mother." And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

Seven Sorrows of Mary:

  1. The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
  2. The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
  3. Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
  4. Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
  5. Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
  6. The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
  7. The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)

The Seven Graces:

GIVEN TO THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT MEDITATE ON THE SEVEN SORROWS OF THE VIRGIN MARY
As revealed to Saint Bridget by the Blessed Mother

  1. I will grant peace to their families.
  2. They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
  3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
  4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
  5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
  6. "I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
  7. I have obtained (this grace) from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

Fr. Faber on the Seven Sorrows

God vouchsafed to select the very things about Him which are most incommunicable, and in a most mysteriously real way communicate them to her. See how He had already mixed her up with the eternal designs of creation, making her almost a partial cause and partial model of it. Our Lady's co-operation in the redemption of the world gives us a fresh view of her magnificence. Neither the Immaculate Conception nor the Assumption will give us a higher idea of Mary's exaltation than the title of co-redemptress. Her sorrows were not necessary for the redemption of the world, but in the counsels of God they were inseparable from it. They belong to the integrity of the divine plan. Are not Mary's mysteries Jesus' mysteries, and His mysteries hers? The truth appears to be that all the mysteries of Jesus and Mary were in God's design as one mystery. Jesus Himself was Mary's sorrow, seven times repeated, aggravated sevenfold. During the hours of the Passion, the offering of Jesus and the offering of Mary were tied in one. They kept pace together; they were made of the same materials; they were perfumed with kindred fragrance; they were lighted with the same fire; they were offered with kindred dispositions. The two things were one simultaneous oblation, interwoven each moment through the thickly crowded mysteries of that dread time, unto the eternal Father, out of two sinless hearts, that were the hearts of Son and Mother, for the sins of a guilty world which fell on them contrary to their merits, but according to their own free will.

Fr. Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross.

Resources

Coloring Pages

Pictures

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Stabat Mater Dolorosa
At the Cross Her Station Keeping

Stabat Mater Dolorosa is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time. It is based upon the prophecy of Simeon that a sword was to pierce the heart of His mother, Mary (Lk 2:35).

AT, the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child
All with scourges rent:

For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

O Crux, ave spes unica!

“How splendid the cross of Christ! It brings life, not death; light, not darkness; Paradise, not its loss. It is the wood on which the Lord, like a great warrior, was wounded in hands and feet and side, but healed thereby our wounds. A tree has destroyed us, a tree now brought us life.”

~Theodore of Studios

Finding of the True Cross

THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS

Traditional & New Calendar – September 14

GREATER DOUBLE / RED

This feast commemorates both the dedication of the basilica built by Constantine for the Holy Sepulcher, and also the return of the True Cross to Jerusalem by Emperor Heraclius of Judea during the seventh century. After Heraclius had recovered it by force from King Chosroes of Persia, he tried to carry it along the Via Dolorosa to Calvary, but was unable to make any headway. Bishop Zachary of Jerusalem, pointing to his luxurious clothing, said, "Attired in these rich robes, you are far from imitating the poverty of Jesus Christ and His humility in bearing His Cross." The Emperor caught the hint--and went on to Calvary barefooted and wearing a simple cloak, carried the holy Cross to the Basilica on Calvary [A.D. 629].

INTROIT Gal. 6:14But it is fitting that we should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is salvation, life, and resurrection for us, by whom we are saved and delivered.

Ps. 66:2. May God have mercy on us and bless us; may He let His face shine upon us; and may He have mercy upon us.
V. Glory be . . .

~~~

On the Cross human misery and divine mercy meet.  The adoration of this unlimited mercy is for man the only way to open himself to the mystery which the Cross reveals.

The Cross is planted in the earth and would seem to extend its roots in human malice, but it reaches up, pointing as it were to the heavens, pointing to the goodness of God. By means of the Cross of Christ, the Evil One has been defeated, death is overcome, life is given to us, hope is restored, light is imparted. O Crux, ave spes unica!

~Pope John Paul II – Homily September 14, 2003

~~~

way of the cross
SHORT INSTRUCTION ON THE WAY OF THE CROSS


What is meant by the Way of the Cross
The Way of the Cross is a devotion, approved by the Pope, by which we meditate upon the passion and death of Christ, and especially upon His last way of sorrow to Mount Calvary.
How did this devotion originate?
The pathway which our Lord Jesus Christ had to follow from Jerusalem to Mount Calvary, was the real Way of the Cross. His holy Mother, and other pious women, as also the beloved disciple St. John, followed Him on this painful journey;  (Matt, XXVII. 56. John XIX. 25, 26.) and the apostles and early Christians animated by veneration for these places, made sacred by the sufferings and death of Jesus, often traversed the same pathway. In the same spirit, in later times, many came from the most distant countries to Jerusalem to visit these sacred places to increase their devotion. In time, pictures, representing different scenes of the sufferings of our Lord, were erected along this route, and were called Stations; when the Saracens conquered the Holy Land, in consequence of which visits to it became dangerous, almost impossible, the Roman pontiffs permitted the erection of stations of the cross in other countries. The first to erect stations in their churches were members of the Franciscan Order, and by degrees this devotion, supported by the Roman pontiffs and favored by indulgences, spread throughout the entire Church. A pathway was sought which led to elevated ground; this elevation was called the Mount of the Cross or Mount Calvary, and along the route pictures representing our Lord's sufferings, as related by the evangelists, or made known by tradition, were erected, or else the pictures were hung in churches, and the place where they stood, or the pictures themselves, were called stations; of these there are fourteen.
Is the practice of this devotion of the Way of the Cross of great value?
Next to the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and holy Communion, there is certainly no devotion which represents better to us the sufferings and death of Christ than the Way of the Cross. St. Albertus Magnus says: "A simple remembrance of Christ's sufferings is worth more than fasting on bread and water every Friday for a year, and scourging one's self unto blood." St. Bernard gives us the reason of this, when he says: "Who can consider the sufferings of Christ and be so void of religion as to remain untouched; so proud that he will not humble himself; so vindictive that he will not forgive; so fond of pleasure that he will not abstain from it; so hard-hearted that he will not repent of his sins?" And St. Augustine says: "What pride, what avarice, what anger can be cured otherwise than by the humility, the poverty, the patience of the Son of God? All these virtues are found in carefully meditating on that way of pain which our Saviour went, and along which we should follow Him." On this account several of the Popes, among others Clement XII. and Benedict XIV., have granted many indulgences to the  performance of this devotion; indulgences which may be applied to the suffering souls in purgatory.

~Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine's The Church's Year

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The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

LOVE AND THE CROSS

The Church proposes that we consider the penitential aspect of our lives one day each week – on Fridays – by reflecting on the Passion of Christ. On this day, many Christians consider with greater care the sorrowful mys­teries of Christ’s life, or they accompany him on the Way of the Cross, or they read or meditate on his Passion.  It is a good day to examine more carefully how we habitually bear contradictions and the generosity – fruit of love with which we seek out voluntary mortifications in little things; or how we struggle against our selfishness, laziness or the desire to be well thought of, to be the centre of attention. Other points for examination might include the small mortifications that make the lives of others more enjoyable; being cordial in our dealings with others; not giving into bad moods that perhaps will lead to brusque manners; smiling when we tend to be more serious; being punctual in our work or studies; eating a little less of what we like most or a little more of what we like least; not eat ing between meals; keeping our desk, wardrobe or room neat and orderly; not giving in to curiosity; guarding our senses with refinement; not complaining about excessive heat or cold or heavy traffic…

~Fr. Francis Fernandez In Conversation with God

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Suggestions for Family Activities

Women for Faith and Family

  • If possible attend Mass together. Consider taking your family to a church that has especially fine Stations of the Cross. Look at the images and explain their meaning. At each Station pray, "We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee, for by thy Cross thou hast redeemed the world". At the end, have the children kneel before the Blessed Sacrament and say a Hail Mary, an Our Father, and a Glory be.
  • Make the evening meal today more festive than ordinary -- light candles on the table or use the good dishes.
  • Read one or more of the prayers or scripture readings for the day before the evening meal. Older children could take turns doing the readings.
  • Begin teaching even the very youngest members of the family to make the Sign of the Cross at the end of the mealtime prayers. (Older brothers and sisters usually will be very glad to help the baby with this.)
  • Explain to children the meaning of the Sign of the Cross that we make before meals, and point out how this action is intended to unite every one of us with Jesus' sacrifice for us -- His crucifixion and His resurrection from the dead.
  • Make a point of mentioning how great is God's loves for us. Encourage children to memorize John 3:16. This is a key verse about the triumph of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross, and encourages children to revere and respect God's word in the Bible. Give a small reward or privilege to each child who memorizes the verse. Have them recite it for you when they say their bedtime prayers.
  • Two suggestions:
    -- Have grade-school-age children write the verse in their fanciest writing and illustrate it with a drawing of Jesus on the Cross. Even little people think a lot when they are drawing something. Maybe you could set a crucifix on the table for them to look at when they draw it. (Don't forget to display the results on the refrigerator -- or maybe send it to grandma.)
    -- Frost a sheet cake with white icing, and make a large Cross on the cake with red icing, and pipe "John 3:16" on the Cross. Let the children help decorate the cake further by sprinkling it with silver dragees or colored sprinkles.
  • If there are crucifixes in the children's rooms, make sure to call attention to it at bedtime prayers. If not, today would be a very good time to get them.

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Resources:

Coloring Pages & Crafts:

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“Lord Jesus, I have received the cross, I have received it from Thy hand: and I will bear it until death, as Thou hast laid it upon me. indeed the life of a good religious man is a cross, but it is cross that conducts him to Paradise.” ~Imitation of Christ, Bk 3

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Hail, O Cross, our only hope!

 

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