Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holy Saturday Past and Present

I was thinking this morning that today is the last day of my fast. Well, what a wimp I can be. You see this Lent I have read and listened to a couple of talks on what Lent used to be like. It wasn't about just giving up chocolate (which I do give up and have missed greatly this Lent) or Dr. Pepper (I missed that, too) but the early Christians really gave up alot. I heard that not only did they give up meat on Fridays, but milk, eggs, cheese, all the dairy products and much more. They would mostly eat bread and grains on Fridays.

In the New Advent Encyclopedia Holy Saturday was also a day of great fasting. Read below about Holy Saturday:

In the primitive Church Holy Saturday was known as Great, or Grand, Saturday, Holy Saturday, the Angelic Night, the Vigil of Easter, etc. It is no longer, like Maundy Thursday, a day of joy, but one of joy and sadness intermingled; it is the close of the season of Lent and penance, and the beginning of paschal time, which is one of rejoicing.
By a noteworthy exception, in the early Church this was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted (Constit. Apost., VII, 23), and the fast was one of special severity. Dating from the time of St. Irenaeus, an absolute fast from every kind of food was observed for the forty hours preceding the feast of Easter, and although the moment assigned for breaking the fast at dawn on Sunday varied according to time and country, the abstinence from food on Holy Saturday was general.
The night of the vigil of Easter has undergone a strange displacement. During the first six or seven centuries, ceremonies were in progress throughout the entire night, so that the Alleluia coincided with the day and moment of the Resurrection. In the eighth century these same ceremonies were held on Saturday afternoon and, by a singular anachronism, were later on conducted on Saturday morning, thus the time for carrying out the solemnity was advanced almost a whole day. Thanks to this change, special services were now assigned to Holy Saturday whereas, beforehand, it had had none until the late hour of the vigil.
This vigil opened with the blessing of the new fire, the lighting of lamps and candles and of the paschal candle, ceremonies that have lost much of their symbolism by being anticipated and advanced from twilight to broad daylight. St. Cyril of Jerusalem spoke of this night that was as bright as day, and Constantine the Great added unprecedented splendour to its brilliancy by a profusion of lamps and enormous torches, so that not only basilicas, but private houses, streets, and public squares were resplendent with the light that was symbolic of the Risen Christ. The assembled faithful gave themselves up to common prayer, the singing of psalms and hymns, and the reading of the Scriptures commentated by the bishop or priests. The vigil of Easter was especially devoted to the baptism of catechumens who, in the more important churches, were very numerous. On the Holy Saturday following the deposition of St. John Chrysostom from the See of Constantinople, there were 3000 catechumens in this church alone. Such numbers were, of course, only encountered in large cities; nevertheless, as Holy Saturday and the vigil of Pentecost were the only days on which baptism was administered, even in smaller churches there was always a goodly number of catechumens. This meeting of people in the darkness of the night often occasioned abuses which the clergy felt powerless to prevent by active supervision unless by so anticipating the ceremonies that all of them could take place in daylight. Rabanus Maurus, an ecclesiastical writer of the ninth century (De cleric. Instit., II, 28), gives a detailed account of the ceremony of Holy Saturday. The congregation remained silent in the church awaiting the dawn of the Resurrection, joining at intervals in psalmody and chant and listening to the reading of the lessons. These rites were identical with those in the primitive Church and were solemnized at the same hours, as the faithful throughout the world had not yet consented to anticipate the Easter vigil and it was only during the Middle Ages that uniformity on this point was established.

This is from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday:

Something strange is happening—there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and @#!*% trembles with fear.

He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in @#!*% . Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.

May you have a blessed Holy Saturday.

Technology and bullying

When I was a freshman in high school back in the 1970's I was bullied and teased. It was a very hurtful time. I look back on that time and there were probably a handful of people involved in the teasing. I can think back on all the feelings I went through at that time and the thoughts that went through my head. This was with a handful of people teasing me.
I can't imagine what it must be like today. Kids and teens are bullied and teased on the internet, Facebook, cell phones and other gadgets. Not just for a handful of kids to make fun of them but for hundreds and even thousands sometimes. How aweful. I hate to use an old phrase here but I am going to. "What is this world coming to?"  What will it be like in the future for these kids as technology progresses and parents are not able to keep up with the technology and won't have a clue what is going on with their teenagers. This is very frightening for me because I have a teenage son and I am trying very hard to stay on top of the technology but I can only do that with God's help. Technology changes all the time. It is progressing at such a fast pace.
I have posted a similar topic before asking parents to monitor their kids on Facebook and internet. I know it is not easy but we have to at least try.
I don't even want to sound like I know what parenting is all about because I don't. I lean on the good Lord and hope and pray for my family every day. This is just my little reminder to watch and pray.
Here is a story I read on another blog that prompted me to write this post.

The Facebook Generation...

Two recent stories suggest that a disturbing practice has found acceptance among teens and young adults: broadcasting the sexual misbehavior of their peers, especially girls, on a massive scale within hours. Photos preferred.

Is it just gossip, gone digital? “Mean Girls,” with a sexual twist?
I don’t think so.
Some commentators too easily dump these incidents into the overflowing bucket of cyber-bullying or dismiss them as teen-age drama, writ large. But these episodes deserve a second look.
A few months back, a Washington state eighth-grader named Margarite “sexted” a nude, frontal photo of herself to her new sort-of-boyfriend. Within weeks, their fledgling relationship died.
The photo lived on.
The boy sent it to another girl who captioned the photo, “Ho Alert!” and added instructions: “If you think this girl is a @#!*% , then text this to all your friends.” The photo instantly ricocheted, via text, from one social circle to another. Within hours, students from four different schools had ogled the sexter’s naked body and passed the photo on. The eighth grade girl was devastated.
The second situation occurred in the upscale suburbs of New York City. Someone created rankings of 100 allegedly sexually adventurous girls and boys from the surrounding school districts and circulated the lists using Blackberry Messenger.
One teenager (who claims he was not the original creator of the lists) quickly created a Facebook page called the “Westchester SMUT List” (“SMUT” meant “ @#!*% ,” thinly disguised to evade Facebook restrictions), and posted only the girls’ rankings (including full names and descriptions of sexual activity).
Within hours, thousands of people saw the list. Over 7,000 of them “liked” the Facebook page that trashed the girls’ reputations. And with one click, each of those viewers magnified the damage, publicizing the page instantly to his or her Facebook friends.
The sexual behavior of the 8th-grader and of the SMUT 100 (to the extent the reports are true) reads like an MTV script. And that’s certainly a huge problem.
Read the rest here:

How horrible for those girls. My heart goes out to them. At the end of the story the blogger ask a very good question. What are we going to do about this.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday: Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy.)
Christ, have mercy. (Christ, have mercy.)
Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy.)
Christ, hear us. (Christ, hear us.)
Christ, graciously hear us. (Christ, graciously hear us.)
God the Father of Heaven, (have mercy on us.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, (have mercy on us.)
God, the Holy Spirit, (have mercy on us.)
Holy Trinity, One God, (have mercy on us.)
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the eternal Father, (save us)
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, (save us)
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, (save us)
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in Agony, (save us)
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, (save us)
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, (save us)
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, (save us)
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, (save us)
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, (save us)
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, (save us)
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, (save us)
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, (save us)
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, (save us)
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, (save us)
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, (save us)
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, (save us)
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, (save us)
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, (save us)
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, (save us)
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, (save us)
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, (save us)
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, (save us)
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, (save us)
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, (save us)
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, (spare us, O Lord.)
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, (graciously hear us, O Lord.)
Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, (have mercy on us, O Lord.)
Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy Blood. (And made us, for our God, a kingdom.)
Let us pray. Almighty and eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world and willed to be appeased by his blood. Grant, we beg of Thee, that we may worthily adore this price of our salvation and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of the present life so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. (Amen.)

Dear Lord help us to educate our family for your glory.

"Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs."--Gravissimum Educationis (one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council)

Helping and Loving Our Neighbor

Corporal works of Mercy
Feed the hungry

Give drink to the thirsty

Clothe the naked

Shelter the homeless

Visit the sick

Visit the imprisoned

Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish the sinner

Instruct the ignorant

Counsel the doubtful

Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently

Forgive all injuries

Pray for the living and the dead

Good Samaritain