October: the month dedicated to the Holy Rosary

10-01-2018Monthly Reflection

According to an account by fifteenth-century Dominican, Alan de la Roch, Mary appeared to St. Dominic in 1206 after he had been praying and doing severe penances because of his lack of success in combating the Albigensian heresy. Mary praised him for his valiant fight against the heretics and then gave him the Rosary as a mighty weapon, explained its uses and efficacy, and told him to preach it to others.

"Since the prayers of the Rosary come from such excellent sources — from Our Lord Himself, from inspired Scripture, and from the Church — it is not surprising that the Rosary is so dear to our Blessed Mother and so powerful with heaven.

"If we consider the power of the Rosary as seen in its effects, we find a great abundance of proofs of its wonderful value. Many are the favors granted to private individuals through its devout recitation: there are few devoted users of the Rosary who cannot testify to experiencing its power in their own lives. If we turn to history, we see many great triumphs of the Rosary. Early tradition attributes the defeat of the Albigensians at the Battle of Muret in 1213 to the Rosary. But even those who do not accept this tradition will admit that St. Pius V attributed the great defeat of the Turkish fleet on the first Sunday of October, 1571, to the fact that at the same time the Rosary confraternities at Rome and elsewhere were holding their processions. Accordingly, he ordered a commemoration of the Rosary to be made on that day. Two years later, Gregory XIII allowed the celebration of a feast of the Rosary in churches having an altar dedicated to the Rosary. In 1671, Clement X extended the feast to all Spain. A second great victory over the Turks, who once, like the Russians, threatened the ruin of Christian civilization, occurred on August 5, 1716, when Prince Eugene defeated them at Peterwardein in Hungary. Thereupon Clement XI extended the feast of the Rosary to the whole Church.

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September: the Month dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows

09-01-2018Monthly Reflection

The month of September is 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.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of September 2018

Universal – Young People in Africa: That young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries. (See also www.popesprayerusa.net/)

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August: The month dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

08-01-2018Monthly Reflection© 2018 Trinity Communications

The month of August is dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of 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. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.

A Time to Persevere

The days of summer have provided a welcome change of pace. However, while vacations afford us the time to relax and refresh, the change of habits and routines can also have a negative impact on our spiritual lives. As if to re-ignite us, the Church offers us in the plethora of August feasts vivid examples of the virtue of perseverance: six martyrs — two who are named in Canon I of the Mass and two who were martyred during World War II; seven founders of religious congregations, as well as three popes and two kings; the apostle, St. Bartholomew; the great Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine and St. Monica, his mother; the humble patron saint of parish priests, St. John Vianney, and the patron of deacons, St. Lawrence, who joked with his executioners while being roasted alive.

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July: The month dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

07-01-2018Monthly Reflection

A Time of Regeneration

The Blood that coursed through the veins of Christ was a part of that Sacred Humanity made possible by the maternity of Mary, whose parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne are honored this month. (July 26). Our Lord's blood poured out on the Cross purchased our salvation, washed clean the robes of the martyrs, and gave birth to the Church as it flowed from his wounded side. The Precious Blood of Christ — now pulsing through his Mystical Body — continues its salvific work, preserving and purifying, repairing and providing nourishment for regeneration and renewal of its members.

July’s longer and warmer days also provide us with the opportunity for renewal, both interior and exterior. Schedules relax and pressures ease, inviting travel. But, whether we travel or not, like the missionary, St. Junipero Serra (July 1), we preach to others — by our conduct, our speech, even the clothes we wear. May we be modest in everything we do, imitating St. Maria Goretti, the young martyr for purity (July 6), and “preaching” Christ to everyone we meet.

The summer Readings of Ordinary Time remind us that our earthly pilgrimage is also a journey, a great adventure towards union with Christ, the Beginning and the End of our journey. Each Sunday with its Easter renewal becomes a mile marker along the way, linking where we have been with where we are going. May the Precious Blood of Jesus sustain us as we journey to our true home, with Mary and the angels as our companions on the way.

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June: The month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

06-01-2018Monthly Reflection

A Time of Love

Following Pentecost, the Church begins her slow descent from the great peaks of the Easter Season to the verdant pastures of Ordinary Time, the longest of the liturgical seasons. Like the lush June growth all around us, the green of the liturgical season points to the new life won for us by the Redemption of Jesus Christ, the new life of Charity. For Our Lord came to cast the fire of His love on the earth, and to that end, sent His Holy Spirit at Pentecost in the form of tongues of fire.

Ordinary Time is the hour to “go out to all the world and tell the good news.” The feasts of June highlight this expansion of the Church. At least ten times, the Church vests in the red of the martyrs whose blood is the very seed of her growth. She also celebrates the feasts of the apostles Peter and Paul, and the birth of St. John the Baptist, proto-disciple and prophet.

We too are called to be witnesses like the apostles and martyrs. May the Heart of Jesus inflame our hearts so that we may be worthy of our Baptismal call to holiness. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

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May: the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary

05-01-2018Monthly Reflection

The month of May is the "month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady," and it is the occasion for a "moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world [pay] to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God's mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance" (Paul VI: Encyclical on the Month of May, no. 1).

This Christian custom of dedicating the month of May to the Blessed Virgin arose at the end of the 13th century. In this way, the Church was able to Christianize the secular feasts which were wont to take place at that time. In the 16th century, books appeared and fostered this devotion.

The practice became especially popular among the members of the Jesuit Order — by 1700 it took hold among their students at the Roman College and a bit later it was publicly practiced in the Gesu Church in Rome. From there it spread to the whole Church.

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April: the month dedicated to the Holy Spirit

04-01-2018Monthly Reflection

The month of April is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: "with the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

The Holy Spirit is the Person of Love in the life of God. He is also like a breath, an aspiration of infinite Love, from which we draw the breath of life.

On the day of Pentecost the Divine Spirit communicated such an abundance of life to the whole Church that to symbolize it "there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they (the Apostles) were sitting."

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March: the month dedicated to St. Joseph

03-01-2018Monthly Reflection

We don't know much about him except what is mentioned in the Gospels. Joseph was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus. Holy Scripture proclaims him as a "just man," and the Church has turned to Joseph for his patronage and protection. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quamquam Pluries (On the Devotion to St. Joseph) in 1889 explains why we place so much trust in this saint:

"Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life's companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honor, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity. And Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents. From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was. And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties. ...It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ."

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February: the month dedicated to the Holy Family

02-01-2018Monthly Reflection

This year the first thirteen days of February fall during the liturgical season known as Ordinary Time which is represented by the liturgical color green. Green, the 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. The remaining days of February are the beginning of Lent. The liturgical color changes to purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of February 2018

That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption. (See also Apostleship of Prayer)

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January: the month dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus

01-01-2018Monthly Reflection

The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, which is celebrated on January 3. The first eight days of January fall during the liturgical season known as Christmas which is represented by the liturgical color white. The remaining days of January are the beginning of Ordinary Time. The liturgical color changes to green — a symbol of the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of January 2018

Religious Minorities in Asia: That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practice their faith in full freedom. (See also Apostleship of Prayer)

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