Saint of the Day and Daily Meditation

The month of April is dedicated to  The Holy Spirit. The first eleven days of the month fall during the season of Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. The remainder of April falls during the Easter season which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).

The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of April 2020

Freedom from Addiction
We pray that those suffering from addiction may be helped and accompanied. (See also
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network) Prayer)

 Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at5my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.7
CORONAVIRUS NOVENA
MARCH 30 – April 7

DAY 8

Peace be with you!

Today let’s pray for all the hospitals and makeshift hospitals where people are being treated. Let’s pray that they have the supplies and providers they need to care for their patients.

Here are the prayers for today:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Father in Heaven, have mercy on us and on the whole world. We come to you today with our fears and concerns — You know what’s in our hearts. We love You, trust You, we need You. We ask You to be with us. Stay with us. Help us through these times of uncertainty and sorrow.

We know you are the Divine Physician, the healer of all. And so we ask that you bring your loving and healing presence to all those who are sick and suffering right now. Please comfort them.

Please be with the grieving families of those who have passed away.

Please have mercy on those who have died, may they be with You in heaven.

Please stand at the side of all medical professionals who are putting themselves at risk while they work to bring healing to others.

Lord, we are scared and we are sorrowful. Please heal us. Send us your peace and overwhelming presence.

(Mention your intentions here)

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, you founded hospitals dedicated to caring for the sick, pray for us!

Jesus, we thirst for You. You chose to enter this world as a vulnerable baby. Be with the most vulnerable now. Help us to continue to return to You with our whole hearts throughout this ordeal.

Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

 

Monday of Holy Week April 6

“Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have endowed him with my spirit that he may bring true justice to the nations. He does not cry out or shout aloud, or make his voice heard in the streets. He does not break the crushed reed, nor quench the wavering flame” (Is 42:1-2).

Stational Church


Meditation – Mary and Judas
Today the liturgy presents two noteworthy characters who play dissimilar roles in the Lord’s passion. One fills us with solace and comfort; the other with uneasiness and wholesome fear. Their juxtaposition produces a powerful effect by way of contrast. The two characters are Mary of Bethany and Judas.

Jesus is in the house of Lazarus, at dinner. Mary approaches, anoints the feet of her Savior for His burial and dries them with her hair. Judas resents her action and resolves upon his evil course. These two persons typify man’s relation to Christ. He gives His Body to two types of individuals: to Magdalenes to be anointed, to Judases to be kissed; to good persons who repay Him with love and service, to foes who crucify Him. How movingly this is expressed in the Lesson: “I gave My body to those who beat Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked them. I did not turn away My face from those who cursed and spit upon Me.”

The same must hold true of His mystical Body. Down through the ages Christ is enduring an endless round of suffering, giving His body to other Marys for anointing and to other Judases to be kissed, beaten, and mistreated. Augustine explains how we can anoint Christ’s body:

Anoint Jesus’ feet by a life pleasing to God. Follow in His footsteps; if you have an abundance, give it to the poor. In this way you can wipe the feet of the Lord.

The poor are, as it were, the feet of the mystical Christ. By aiding them we can comfort our Lord in His mystical life, where He receives Judas’ kisses on all sides-the sins of Christians.

The Gospel account may be understood in a very personal way. In everyone’s heart, in my own too, there dwell two souls: a Judas-soul and a Mary-soul. The former is the cause of Jesus’ suffering, it is always ready to apostatize, always ready to give the traitor’s kiss. Are you full master over this Judas-soul within you? Your Magdalen-soul is a source of comfort to Christ in His sufferings. May the holy season of Lent, which with God’s help we are about to bring to a successful conclusion, bring victory over the Judas-soul and strengthen the Magdalen-soul within our breasts.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch


Monday of Holy Week
Station at St. Praxedes (San Prassede all’Esquilino):

The Station today is at the church of St. Praxedes which was built over St. Praxedes’ house. It was one of the twenty-five original parishes in Rome. It is easily one of the most beautiful churches in the Eternal City and is bedecked with incredibly beautiful mosaics. The present church is the one built by Pope Adrian I c. 780, completed and altered by Pope St. Paschal I c. 822. It was enlarged at that time mainly to serve as a repository for relics from the catacombs.

MASS READINGS

April 06, 2020 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, though in our weakness we fail, we may be revived through the Passion of your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2020-04-06

Meditation: Isaiah 42:1-7

Here is my servant whom I uphold. (Isaiah 42:1)

From early times, the Church saw Jesus as the embodiment of Isaiah’s suffering servant. He is strong enough to establish justice but does not display his power in ways we might expect. He doesn’t shout to make sure he is heard. He doesn’t confront or oust his people’s oppressors. He is gentle with the weak, the timid, the hesitant. He achieves his victory not through force but through self-sacrifice.

As we enter into Holy Week, let’s fix our attention on this humble Servant. Let’s pay close attention to Jesus and watch what he does. Let’s listen to what he says and when he remains silent. If we observe closely, we will grow in our understanding and appreciation of how much he loves us.

A smoldering wick he shall not quench (Isaiah 42:3). At the Last Supper, Jesus told the disciples, “All of you will have your faith in me shaken” (Matthew 26:31). But he did not reject them or condemn their shaky faith. Instead, he promised to go before them to Galilee, giving them hope that even if they fell away, they could be restored.

A bruised reed he shall not break (Isaiah 42:3). When Peter slept in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus admonished him to watch and pray so that his willing spirit could overcome the weakness of his flesh. He did not become impatient with Peter or heap criticism on him. Instead, he focused on Peter’s willingness and told him to pray for the grace to overcome temptation.

Not crying out, not shouting (Isaiah 42:2). When he stood before Pilate, Jesus did not answer his accusers or prepare an argument for his defense. He did not cry out that he was innocent. He accepted condemnation, knowing he was doing it for each one of us. And Pilate was amazed (Matthew 27:11-14).

This week, accompany Jesus through his passion. As you see how he interacts with the people along his way, ask him to show you the compassion in his heart for them but also for you. Stay close enough to see how this humble and suffering servant shows the love that will lead him all the way to the cross.

“Jesus, you are God’s perfect servant. Help me to stay close to you this whole week.”

Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14
John 12:1-11

The Lenten Workshop

Welcome to the Lenten Workshop! As we enter this season in the spirit of the Church and of her liturgy we seek to wash away the stains of sin and to rid ourselves of all that prevents us from living a truly Christian life. We offer these instuctions, prayers and activities to help in our attempt to be united to our suffering Savior. The more perfectly we are united with Him in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and in the Eucharist the more we shall share His new life and glorification at Easter. We hope you will use the following links to discover the meaning of Lent.

Take up your cross and follow Jesus, and you will enter eternal life. If you die with Him, you will also live with Him, and if you share His suffering, you will also share His glory.

A Personal Program
It should not be enough to slide through Lent by just observing the fast and abstinence laws. We should all undertake a Lenten program, an inward cleansing and purification, for oneself and the family. The program needs to be planned and organized. Ask the question: What shall I and my family do this year for Lent? Goals and activities should be realistic and reasonable.

The principal works of Lent can be divided into the following six categories:

Fasting and Mortification
We must fulfill the minimum requirements of the Church for fasting and abstinence. But there are other forms of abstaining and fasting. We must remember that when we do “give up” something, it should be completely, not saved for later. The money we save from not buying a cup of coffee should be given as a donation to charity. The time we don’t watch TV should be spent doing spiritual reading, or family time. Below are some examples of other forms of fasting or abstaining:

  • Refrain from complaining, gossiping, grumbling or losing one’s temper.
  • Abstain from favorite drinks, desserts or foods.
  • Eat less at meals, or eat fewer snacks between meals;
  • Fast extra days in Lent besides Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
  • Eat without complaining.
  • Make simple meals, that are less appealing to the sense of taste.

Prayers
Ideally, the members of the family may participate in daily Mass. If this is not possible, the readings from the Mass should be read and meditated upon daily. This could be done as a family, perhaps at the dinner meal. The Mass is the prayer of the Church, and the highest form of prayer. It also unites us with the whole Church in public prayer.

  • A strong emphasis should be made in receiving the sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance frequently. For an examination of conscience and for help in receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation see An Examination of Conscience and An Examination of Conscience for Laymen.
  • Another prayer of the Church is the Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours. Praying the Divine Office unites our prayers with the Liturgy of the universal Church.
  • The Stations of the Cross are special during Lent, because they meditate on the Passion of Christ. Usually the Stations are offered at the parish church on Fridays in Lent. They can also be prayed together as a family.

Almsgiving
Almsgiving is tied closely with fasting. Whatever we give up, the money we save should go to the needy. It should be given away to the missions, the Church, or a worthy charity. In a family with small children it helps to make this a visual practice by, for example, having a jar or box in the center of the table as a reminder and measure of progress.

It is also considered “almsgiving” to give one’s time and goods to those who are in need, i.e., donating time for a soup kitchen, giving clothes to charity, visiting the shut-ins, driving those without transportation and other similar practices.

Good Works
Good works deal with two kinds of actions: perfection of our daily duties and perfection of charity toward others.

Our daily duties include our job as a spouse, as a parent, as a child, as a worker or student. We need to strive to do our best in these capacities, even if that means being more patient, more cheerful, more efficient, more charitable, less critical, less gossiping, or less backbiting. We need to make the most of the time we are given each day; we should not waste time. This is the positive area of our Lenten program. We should work on virtues, like obedience, charity, humility, chastity and perseverance.

We should examine ourselves regarding our daily duty at work, at home and how we use the personal time that we have. Many of us postpone or procrastinate personal jobs, prayer and reading for some other time. But NOW is the time to make the best of our daily duty.

See Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy

Education
During Lent (and throughout the year) we need spiritual enlightenment. We can find this through spiritual reading, both individually and as a family. This is a prerequisite to a continued growth in the spiritual life. Maria Von Trapp suggests three categories in our Lenten reading program:

  1. Something for the mind. We should do some research, study the papal encyclicals, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, delve into Church history, study Catholic philosophy.
  2. Something for the soul. This should be deeper spiritual reading that gives a program, guidance, and spiritual direction, and could include writings of the saints like St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therérèse of Lisieux or St. Francis de Sales.
  3. Something for the heart. We need inspiration. The best way is to read biographies of Christ, Mary, saints or people who put their spiritual life into action. Bishop Fulton Sheen’s Life of Christ is excellent Lenten reading.

Scripture is an excellent source for all these categories. The Church strongly encourages study and meditative reading of the Bible.

Self-Denial
This is the area that tests our will-power. We have the opportunity to give up innocent pleasures without complaining: radio, TV, internet, personal time or leisure, secular reading. We can choose one area in Lent and try to persevere throughout the 40 days. This is not just a test of wills—the main intention is purification, and making reparation for the offenses against the Mystical Body of Christ. So even if these actions are done in private or secret, they help us grow in our spiritual life, and benefit the whole Church. The following are some concrete suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate time surfing the Internet or playing video games.
  • Curb forms of entertainment like TV, dining out, movies, expensive meals.
  • Give up smoking, caffeine, beer and liquor.

Lenten Prayers & Hymns
Lent is a good time to delve into the riches of the Church’s prayers and hymns. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the musical tradition of the universal Church “a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.” While there are many to choose from we offer you the following and encourage you to explore further on your own.

Lenten Activities and Customs
This Lent why not take time to tap the treasuries of the Church’s liturgy for your children? How many Catholics use only part of the Church’s spiritual riches! We are called to restore things in Christ, so this Lent make time for God. Ordinarily we assign only minutes a day to Him. Yet we need Him so badly in every area of life. Use this section of Catholic Culture’s site as a springboard of ideas that you can employ to impress upon your children the great mysteries which we are celebrating in the Lenten season.

MARY’S MEALS

Our mission is to enable people to offer their money, goods, skills, time, or prayer, and through this involvement, provide the most effective help to those suffering the effects of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest communities. We welcome all into the Mary’s Meals family and we believe everyone has something important to contribute to the realization of our vision.
For every $1 you give, 93 cents is spent directly on charitable activities. Thank you for your help and support!
MIRACULOUS MEDAL

 In 1830, one of the apparitions sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church occurred in the chapel of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Rue de Bac, Paris. There were three visions given to Saint Catherine Laboure who, at the time of the first one, was a novice in the order. She was awakened at 11:30 PM on the eve of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, by a “shining child” who led her to the chapel where she saw Our Lady, who spoke to her for two hours about the difficult task that lay ahead. Four months later, on November 27 Catherine had the second vision wherein she saw a three-dimensional scene of the Blessed Virgin standing on a white globe with dazzling rays of light streaming from her fingers and she heard a voice say:

“These are the symbols of grace I shed upon those who ask for them.”
“There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame rather oval in shape on which were written in letters of gold these words: ‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee’ Then the voice said: ‘ Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.’ “
At the same instant, the oval frame seemed to turn around. Then I saw on the back of it the letter ‘M’, surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under the monogram of the name of Mary, the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of His Mother; the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second transpierced by a sword. I was anxious to know what words must be placed on the reverse side of the medal and after many prayers, one day in meditation I seemed to hear a voice which said to me: ‘ The ‘M’ with the Cross and the two Hearts tell enough.’ ”
This sacramental from Heaven was at first called simply the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but began to be known as the Miraculous Medal due to the unprecedented number of miracles, conversions, cures, and acts of protection attributed to Our Lady’s intercession for those who wore it.
Sister Catherine became Saint Catherine in 1947. The church instituted recognition of the apparition in which the Miraculous Medal first appeared for November 27, 1830. Millions of the Miraculous Medal have been distributed, and many graces and miracles have been received through this devotion to Our Lady.    
*Click on this link for a free Miraculous Medal

BROWN SCAPULAR OF MT. CARMEL

“Whosoever dies clothed in this

shall never suffer eternal fire.”

Virgin Mary’s promise to Saint Simon Stock

July 16, 1251″Wear it devoutly and perserveringly,” she says to each soul, “it is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.”

The scapular is an external sign of the filial relationship established between the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Mount Carmel, and the faithful who entrust themselves totally to her protection, who have recourse to her maternal intercession, who are mindful of the primacy of the spiritual life and the need for prayer.

THE SABBATINE PRIVELEGE

The blessed Virgin of Mt. Carmel has promised to save those who wear the scapular fromthe fires of Hell; She will also shorten their stay in Purgatory if they should passfrom this world still owing some temporal debt of punishment.

The Blessed Virgin appeared to him and speaking of those who wear the Brown Scapular said: “I, the Mother of grace, shall descend on the Saturday after their death and whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, I shall free, so that I may lead them to the holy mountain of life everlasting.”

Pope Benedict XV proceeded to grant an indulgence of 500 days for each time the cloth Scapular is kissed”. On July 16th, the Scapular feast, while addressing the seminarians of Rome, Benedict XV said: “Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: the language, the sentences of the Gospel; the common armor, the Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel, which you all ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege of protection even after death.”

Pope Benedict XV, addressing seminarians in Rome:“Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: The language, the sentences of the Gospel – the common armor, the Brown Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel which you ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege and protection after death.”The Brown Scapular | A SacramentalOne of the most remarkable effects of sacramentals is the virtue to drive away evil spirits whose mysterious and baleful operations affect sometimes the physical activity of man. To combat this occult power the Church has recourse to exorcism, and sacramentals” (The Catholic Encyclopedia., 1913, VXIII, p. 293).The Brown Scapular | A True StoryYou will understand why the Devil works against those who promote the brown scapular when you hear the true story of Venerable Francis Yepes. One day his Scapular fell off. As he replaced it, the Devil howled, “Take off that habit which snatches so many souls from us! All those clothed in it die piously and escape us!” Then and there Francis made the Devil admit that there are three things which the demons are most afraid of: the Holy Name of Jesus; theHoly Name of Mary and the Holy Scapular of Carmel.“Modern Heretics make a mockery of wearing the Scapular. They decry it as so much trifling nonsense.”St. Alphonsus LigouriMary, Mother of God and Our Mother“When Mary became the Mother of Jesus, true God and true Man, She also became our Mother. In His great mercy, Jesus wished to call us His brothers and sisters, and by this name He constituted us adopted children of Mary.” – St. John BoscoOver the years there have also been many miracles associated with wearing the brown scapular.

*If you would like a brown scapular click here:

Free Brown Scapular | Order Page

New Catholic Radio Station serving Chittenden County

Donna McSoley

Donna McSoley stands in St. Francis Xavier Church in Winooski. She is the driving force behind a new Catholic radio station. Photo by Gail Callahan

WINOOSKI – In a state identified in a national study two years ago as one of the least religious in the country, a new Catholic radio station is being hailed by the market and people of faith.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio, which can be found at 105.5 FM, transmits 24-hour daily programming of the Eternal Word Television Network from the St. Francis Xavier Church property in Winooski. The station can be heard in the greater Burlington area and started broadcasting earlier this fall.

Donna McSoley, the driving force behind WRXJ 105.5 FM, said she is eager to begin producing some local programming after she learns more about audio editing software. McSoley said one of her ambitions is to air homilies from priests who serve the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

“I wanted to bring Catholic radio to Vermont because many people here have rejected Christianity without even knowing much about church history, the early church fathers, or never having read the Bible in its entirety,” said McSoley. “Our state is in crisis over heroin and other drugs, and many people are lost and are desperately searching for freedom from addictions and a greater meaning in life.”

In 2015, the Pew Research Center conducted the Religious Landscape study, and Vermont tied as the 48th most religious state. The study found 34 percent of the Green Mountain State’s adults said they are “highly religious.”

A state’s spiritual devotion was measured by factors including “absolute belief in God and daily prayer.”

Lance Harlow

The Rev. Lance Harlow, rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral in Burlington, records in WRXJ radio’s Winooski station. Courtesy photo

McSoley, a parishioner at St. Francis Xavier Church, began the quest to secure a broadcast license more than five years ago when the Federal Communications Commission opened a small window to own a channel on the FM spectrum for a low-power station. It took about 18 months to secure the FCC’s approval.

McSoley accesses the station’s computers remotely from her Essex Junction home.

She said a radio station can reach people in ways other media outlets can’t. “Radio can be a great way to reach people in the privacy of their own car and where people are apt to ponder life’s great questions,” she said. “I think for that reason, radio can be a great way to explain the Catholic faith, which is largely misunderstood by the general public. … My hope is that the programs on the station can clear this up and we can foster greater unity within the Christian community here in Vermont.”

Ted Quigley, a practicing Catholic, embraces the organization. “105.5 FM is a wonderful change in my life,” he said. “I turn it on when I’m driving or when I’m home cleaning.”

The Most Rev. Christopher Coyne, bishop of Vermont’s Catholics, recorded some station identifications that play through the hour.

Coyne, who was named by Pope Francis to shepherd Vermont’s Catholics nearly two years ago, said he welcomes the station, praising McSoley’s efforts. “The Catholic community in Vermont has been very supportive of the launch of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Radio,” said Coyne. “Right now, this is the only Catholic radio station in Vermont. I hope to see many more begin to broadcast soon.”

Coyne’s remarks regarding the dearth of religious broadcasting in Vermont underscore what many perceive as an absence of God from the public dialogue. The FCC said it doesn’t keep track of content when license applications come in.

The program director for a Christian radio network serving Vermont said religious-oriented radio outlets are filling a much-needed niche. Bob Pierce, of The Light Radio Network, said his Christian station reaches about 15,000 listeners in Chittenden County.

In a competitive market, McSoley said she is anxious for WRXJ’s message to spread. “Although Vermont is one of the least religious states in the country, I have great faith that people will always be able to recognize truth when they hear it, so my hope is that many people will turn on the radio and start the journey toward discovering God,” she said.

https://vtdigger.org/2017/11/05/new-catholic-radio-station-serving-chittenden-county/#.WgItH9QrK6Y