Saint of the Day and Daily Meditation

SEPTEMBERis dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, whose memorial the Church celebrates on September 15. September falls during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
September 14
Triumph of the Cross  This feast commemorates the rescue of the true Cross of Christ by Emperor Heraclius in a victory over the Persians. Our Mother the Church sings of the triumph of the Holy Cross, the instrument of our salvation.

The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of SEPTEMBER  2021

An Environmentally Sustainable Lifestyle: We pray that we all will make courageous choices for a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, rejoicing in our young people who are resolutely committed to this. (See also http://www.popesprayerusa.net/)

ORDINARY TIME: SEPTEMBER 19

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

175th Anniversary of Apparition of Our Lady of LaSalette

But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me (Mark 9:34-37).”

Our Lady of La Salette (French: Notre-Dame de La Salette) is a Marian apparition reported by two children, Maximin Giraud and Mélanie Calvat to have occurred at La Salette-Fallavaux, France, in 1846. On 19 September 1851, the local bishop formally approved the public devotion and prayers to Our Lady of La Salette. The Message of La Salette

The feast of St. Januarius, which is ordinarily celebrated today, is superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the 1962 Roman Missal of St. John XXIII.


Sunday Readings
The First Reading is taken from the Book of Wisdom 2:12, 17-20. Against the background of Egyptian worship of animals and mockery of Jewish trust in God, the author devotes much of chapters 1 – 5 to the ineffectiveness of such mockery when God has promised immortality to those who remain faithful.

The Second Reading is from the Letter of St. James 3:16, 4:3. “Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask.” In this reading St. James tells us to recognize the source of our disagreements.

The Gospel is from St. Mark 9:30-37. The Apostles were still very worldly-minded. They were full of the hope that Christ would establish an earthly messianic kingdom, that he would not only free their holy land from the hated pagan rulers but that he would set up a worldwide empire for the people of God. Many of the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament spoke of a worldwide kingdom; all nations would submit to the descendant of David; Jerusalem would be the magnet which would attract all peoples. The prophets, however, were speaking of the true messianic kingdom, the spiritual kingdom that Christ would establish. The Apostles were as yet unable to see the true meaning of these prophecies. They took them as referring to a worldly kingdom. They had come to believe that Christ was the promised Messiah, therefore, he would overcome all enemies and all opposition and set up this kingdom. How, therefore, could his enemies overpower him much less put him to death before he had accomplished his task? Thus they refused to believe his prophecies concerning his coming tortures and death.

Now, either in trying to understand what he had so plainly told them, or maybe in putting this disturbing thought far from their minds, they began disputing with one another as to which of them would have the highest post of honor in the earthly messianic kingdom which they had envisaged. How worldly but how human they were! We must not forget though, that they were not yet really Christians — they needed the death and resurrection of Christ to make them what they became — His true followers and loyal disciples.

There was in the unformed Apostles a desire to turn Christ’s kingdom into an earthly welfare state, rather than into a preparation for heaven. All Christians know that Christ suffered and died for their salvation, and that he asked his followers to take up their cross and follow him if they wished to be his disciples. The first generations of Christians fully understood this and faithfully followed him even to martyrdom. However, as time went on and opposition to the Christian faith disappeared, so too did the zeal and fervor of many Christians. For centuries we have had nominal Christians in Christ’s Church — men and women who tried to make their paradise in this world, and forgot the everlasting heaven.

Our own age has seen an unprecedented increase in this falling away of Christians. Leaving aside the parts of Europe which are professedly atheist — but where in spite of the leaders there are many sincere and devout Christians — the number of lapsed and nominal Christians in the other Western countries is frightening. These non-practicing Christians, unwilling to carry their crosses, have decided to make this earth their paradise. They want prosperity, comfort and happiness in this world. The vast majority of them, of course, refuse to look to the future; it could be an unpleasant thought, yet they must see that in every town and village there is a mortician, an undertaker who makes a good living disposing of human “remains.” Die they must; “and what then?” should be a question which overshadows their lives.

Many of these people who in practice have abandoned Christianity, try to salve their consciences by devoting any time they can spare to making this planet a better place in which to live. It is an excellent aim with a possibility of success — if the Fatherhood of God and the true brotherhood of man are upheld. But otherwise it is a vain Utopia. If God, and Christ’s teaching are left out of our reckoning, we shall ever have jealousies, enmities, hatred and wars. Christians have made war on Christians because neither side in the struggle was truly Christian. What chance then has the world when Christ and Christianity are banished from it?

Today’s thought for each one of us is this: Christ became man, suffered and died as man, for our sakes. By his resurrection He conquered death and opened heaven for us. Heaven is our true destiny. Loving God and our neighbor and carrying our cross is the only way to reach heaven. Forget this “heaven on earth” doctrine; it does not and never will exist! Accept Christ and you are accepting the Father who sent Him. He in turn will accept you.

–Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O’Sullivan, O.F.M.


Commentary on the Readings for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
“‘Love. . .thy God. . .and. . .thy neighbor as thyself” (Gospel).

On these two (loves) depend the whole code and creed. Each time we walk in (this) law (Introit), we not only avoid. . .contact with the devil (Prayer), but we answer the question: What do you think of. . .Christ? By deeds we profess our faith that He is My Lord (Gospel). We bear with one another in love, because through Baptism God becomes the Father of all (Epistle).

–Excerpted from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood

MASS READINGS

September 19, 2021 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law upon love of you and of our neighbor, grant that, by keeping your precepts, we may merit to attain eternal life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2021-09-19&

Daily Meditation: Mark 9:30-37

Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me. (Mark 9:37)

The disciples were caught red-handed, and they knew it. Jesus had asked them what they were arguing about, and they had no choice but to tell him: they were caught up in a heated debate about which of them was the greatest disciple. In reply, Jesus told them to focus on being servants, not on becoming great. This probably wasn’t the first time he had said something like this to them, and it surely wouldn’t be the last!

But then instead of going deeper into his teaching about serving, he pivoted to the theme of receiving a child in his name. So why did Jesus change the subject?

He didn’t. He just had a different definition of service than the disciples did—and probably a different definition than we do. Like the disciples, we might think of service in terms of quantity and impact. But that’s not how Jesus sees it. If you lead a Bible study with fifty people and your neighbor leads one with five people, that doesn’t necessarily make you a better servant. If you are spending all your free time helping out in numerous parish ministries and your neighbor is able to give up only one extra hour a week, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re more of a servant.

What makes you a servant? Your willingness to welcome Jesus no matter how he comes to you. If you’re willing to “waste” your time with a child or any other vulnerable person, you’re a servant. If you’re willing to imitate Jesus’ humility as he washed his disciples’ feet, you’re a servant. If you’re willing to imitate his compassion as he stood up for a woman caught in adultery, you’re a servant.

Jesus promised that those who become “the last of all and the servant of all” are the “first” (Mark 9:35). May we all learn how to live in the humility and lowliness of Christ.

“Jesus, give me the heart of a servant. Give me your heart of love.”

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Psalm 54:3-6, 8
James 3:16–4:3

MARY’S MEALS

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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