Friday, October 20, 2017

Day 2 - St. Jude Novena

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions! (State your intentions here)
You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.
Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.
St. Jude, pray that I may have your zeal to preach the Gospel.
O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.
Amen.

Day 9 – St. Jude Novena

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!
(State your intentions here)
You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.
Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.
St. Jude, pray for me that I will not lose faith.
O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.
Amen.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Day 1 - St. Jude Novena

Most holy St. Jude – apostle, martyr and friend of Jesus, today I ask that you pray for me and my intentions!
(State your intentions here)
You are the patron of the impossible. Pray for me and my intentions! O St. Jude, pray that God’s grace and mercy will cover my intentions. Pray for the impossible if it is God’s will.
Pray that I may have the grace to accept God’s holy will even if it is painful and difficult for me.
St. Jude, you loved our Lord, help me to love Him more.
O St. Jude, pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love and in the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray for these intentions, but most of all pray that I may join you in heaven with God for all eternity.
Amen.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Daily Mass Readings & Homily 10/17/17

There is one problem with legalizing marijuana in New Jersey, and it's massive

Video provided by NewsyNewslook
The hackers reportedly used a well-known anti-virus software to help steal some NSA hacking tools in 2015.

There is no reliable way to test stoned drivers. The consequences could be disastrous.

Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana in 2012. Colorado now
leads the country in past-month marijuana use among 12-17-year-olds with
Washington in sixth place.(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
In August, a New Jersey grandmother was charged with vehicular homicide in the deaths of her grandkids, ages 5 and 2. Police determined she was high on marijuana when she crashed her car with the children aboard.

The tragedy was horrifying. It might not be isolated.

If New Jersey fully legalizes marijuana under the next governor — a move that frontrunner Phil Murphy supports — there is one nasty side effect we’re ill-equipped to tackle.

Marijuana plants for sale last month at the ShowGrow dispensary,
a medical marijuana provider in downtown Los Angeles. California
and other states recently approved recreational pot
coming online. (Photo: AP)

In Colorado, weed-related traffic deaths jumped by 48 percent after full legalization there in 2014. The problem: There is no reliable, efficient field test for stoned driving.

“This is not being discussed enough,” said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs for AAA Northeast and a Mercer County resident.

So, let’s discuss it, because the stakes could not be higher.


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A litany of lawsuits?

Thanks to the combination of increased education and the deterrence provided by the breathalyzer test (now the Alcotest), drunken driving fatalities in the U.S. have fallen by a third over the past three decades. That’s thousands of lives saved each year.

But marijuana metabolizes much differently than alcohol.

“It (marijuana) does not reach peak inebriation while it’s in your blood stream,” Lewis said. “It does that when it’s in the fatty tissues in your brain. There’s not going to be a good way to test that.”

Yes there are blood tests, urine tests and oral swabs that can determine if someone has pot in their system. But it’s much harder, and more costly, to determine if it got there two weeks ago or two hours ago.

Marijuana plants for sale last month at the ShowGrow dispensary, a medical marijuana provider in downtown Los Angeles. California and other states recently approved recreational pot coming online. (Photo: AP)
“Even if they test your urine or blood, you would need to get an expert to pinpoint the timing,” said Michael Polloway, an attorney who handles DUI cases for the Red Bank firm Polloway & Polloway. “In special cases the state could hire an expert toxicologist. They’re not going to do that on a case-by-case basis. The state doesn’t have the resources to hire a $5,000 expert every time.”
The lack of a practical scientific test leaves the determination of impairment to Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) — police officers trained to spot signs of drugged driving.

“The reality is, that’s the best tool we have today,” Lewis said. “The good news is New Jersey has the second-most trained DREs in the country (behind California). The problem is that’s not enough. Even if every police department had one, that one officer isn’t going to work 24 hours a day.”

And those officers’ determinations are more open to scrutiny.

“With the Alcotest, assuming it’s performed correctly, you get a true number. For the most part it’s an objective test,” Polloway said. “With a DRE, these officers are performing a test that really is subjective.”

As an attorney, Polloway said, “When you’re dealing with an officer’s subjective observations, you’re going to take a lot of cases to the mat. It could lead to a backlog in municipal court.”

In other words, the deterrence is weak.

That’s a problem. It’s a problem in Colorado, and it promises to be a bigger problem here, where there are more drivers packed into a much denser map.


On smoking prevention, N.J. earns an 'F'

A pathetic track record

The best remedy is education. That starts with shooting down the big lie pushed by some marijuana advocates.

“There are people who think when you’re high on marijuana, you’re a better driver,” Lewis said. “That’s not true.”

The vast majority of studies indicate weed impairs drivers, albeit to varying degrees. When coupled with even a modest amount of alcohol, the effect is notably more severe.


Susan Covington of Brick holds a photo of her grandson Brandon Nikola who died of an overdose in October of 2016. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) attends a roundtable discussion at Ocean Medical Center with Ocean County Prosecutor Joe Coronato, the DEA and health care professionals to discuss the opioid crisis. Brick, NJ Saturday, July 29, 2017 @dhoodhood Doug Hood

In an ideal world, a significant portion of marijuana revenue would bolster enforcement (more DREs) and education. The biggest argument for legalization, after all, is the financial windfall for the state.

Of course, New Jersey has a pathetic track record with such matters. The cigarette tax was supposed to fund anti-smoking initiatives. It doesn’t. Atlantic City’s gaming revenue was supposed to help senior citizens. It didn’t.

Lewis’ organization is trying. AAA is holding an impaired driving summit Dec. 19 in Hamilton. Folks from Colorado will be there, sharing what they’ve learned the hard way.

“Almost every state that has legalized marijuana has not dealt with traffic safety concerns at the same time as legalization,” Lewis said. “That means they are scrambling two, three years later on how to address those concerns.”

New Jersey can learn from Colorado. But first we must acknowledge the obvious: There is a massive downside to lighting up.

The latest "This is your brain on drugs" video can be viewed at the top of this story.

Carino’s Corner appears Mondays in the Asbury Park Press. Contact Jerry at jcarino@gannettnj.com.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Seven Sorrows Rosary

Seven Sorrows Rosary, also known as the Servite Rosary, is a particularly reverent devotional that will bring you into a deeper relationship with both Jesus and Mary. This devotion honors our Blessed Mother as she trod the Way of the Cross with her beloved Son.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Effects of Holy Water

The question naturally presents itself: whence come the effects of holy water? For the effects of holy water we are indebted principally to our divine Savior. He merited for us the graces we obtain through its usage by His bitter Passion and death. Holy Church, however, who is the custodian of these precious and infinite treasures of grace merited by our Lord, has, in view of these merits, attached these effects to holy water. The power for doing this she has from Christ Himself; hence we owe the effects of holy water primarily to Christ, and secondarily to the will and the prayers of the Church.

Concerning the effects, it is to be noted that, by holy water, sanctifying grace is not conferred, but actual grace is obtained, such grace, for instance, through which the intellect is enlightened and the will is moved to avoid evil and to do good. Corporal benefits also are obtained by holy water.

But if we wish to obtain great effects from the use of Holy Water, must we be correspondingly well prepared. To be thus prepared, we must above all be in the state of grace and have firm faith in and submission to Christ and His Holy Church. By this it must not be understood that to one even thus disposed, all the effects attached to the use of holy water will be granted, but we know that graces will be accorded to whoever takes holy water in the proper disposition. How many graces or favors one obtains cannot be determined.

Nor will one invariably obtain the good or the grace that he seeks to obtain through holy water however well he may be prepared.

For instance, holy water may be taken to relieve the subject from sickness. He takes it with firm faith and great confidence. Will he be cured without fail? No. On the contrary, however, he will invariably obtain some other grace that is equally as important to him, or more so.

But why does holy water not infallibly bring the desired effect, even though used with a proper disposition?

The Catechism teaches that the sacramentals, consequently holy water, operate principally by means of the Church’s intercession (CCC 1667). The Church is the bride of the Divine Savior, and hence her prayers are always pleasing to God. When the Church prays, the divine bridegroom prays with her, and for this reason her prayer is powerful with God.

Thus it may happen that a lukewarm Christian may derive great benefit from the use of holy water. The reason for this is that God looks not on the unworthiness of mankind but rather on the prayer of the Church, so pleasing to Him. Especially, though, will the loyal children of the Church, who seek to coordinate their ideas to those of the divine Savior and of the Church, participate in the blissful effects of holy water.

Thus far, the effects of holy water have been considered in a general way; they shall now be treated of in detail.

These are, as previously stated, of a twofold nature: the effects of grace for the body and the effects of grace for the soul. Words used in the first prayer that the Church pronounces in blessing the salt are “that thou be to all who take thee salvation of soul and body,” and in the second prayer, “let it be to all who take it, health of mind and body.” Inasmuch as harmful influences, and sometimes sickness, originate largely with the devil, the prayer of the Church in the blessing of the water directs herself principally against the evil spirit, and consequently holy water is in an especial manner a means of protection against this evil spirit.

As we learn from these same prayers of the Church, holy water is a special remedy against ills of the body. This effect is contained in the second prayer pronounced over the water. Therein the Church thus addresses herself to God:

Graciously give ear when we call upon Thee, and pour upon this element . . . the power of Thy blessing; let Thy creature salt . . . by divine grace be effectual for driving away diseases, that on whatsoever in the houses or places of the faithful this water shall be sprinkled, it may be freed from all uncleanness and be delivered from hurt.

From these words it is plain that holy water is not only a means to drive away sickness but is likewise a protection against sickness.

But Holy Church, in her prayer for the bodily welfare of her children, shows still more foresight. She knows well that not only corporal sufferings, but misfortune in temporal possessions as well, are painful to mankind.

Holy Church consequently offers a means of protection against such mishaps, when she implores in the second prayer over the water, “let not the blast of pestilence nor disease remain” where this water is sprinkled. All harmful influence of the elements, and the powers of the enemy, the Church wishes to keep from mankind, and hence she prays: “and if there be aught which hath ill will to the safety and quietness of the inhabitants, let it flee away at the sprinkling of this water.”

“I have myself felt an extraordinary consolation when I have used holy water. It is certain that I have felt a great joy and inner peace which I cannot describe, a joy with which my soul was quite refreshed. This is not merely an effect of the imagination, nor a rare occurrence. I have experienced it frequently and paid special attention to it. On these occasions I feel like one who, suffering intense thirst, takes a glass of water and is quite refreshed. From this we can see how important everything instituted by the Church is; it comforts me to see the great power which her blessing imparts to water, so great is the difference between blessed and unblessed water.”

-St. Teresa of Avila

Thus holy water advances the bodily welfare of the faithful. A brief narrative will show us that it also achieves the advancement of the soul’s welfare.

As the soul is far superior to the body, so too are the spiritual effects of holy water superior to the corporal effects. The prayers used in the blessing do not specify these spiritual effects; they speak only in general of the advancement of our soul’s salvation through this holy water. For example, in the prayers that are said over the salt, the words occur, “be to all who take thee salvation of soul and body,” and “health of mind and body.”

In like manner the spiritual effect is expressed only in a general way in the concluding prayer, when the Church directs her petition to God that He may illumine and sanctify the salt and the water, that wheresoever it shall be sprinkled, by the invocation of Thy holy name all troubling of unclean spirits may be cast out, and the dread of the poisonous serpent be chased far away; and let the presence of the Holy Spirit vouchsafe to be with us, who ask Thy mercy, in every place.

In these words the petition is that holy water may shield us against the influence of the evil one — hence the purifying effect — and secure for us assistance in the grace of the Holy Spirit, wherein is expressed the sanctifying effect.

That holy water possesses this purifying and sanctifying effect is indicated in the following prayer used by the Church in its distribution: “Thou shalt sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed : Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow . . . and all unto whom that water came were saved.” These words clearly point to a purifying and sanctifying effect of holy water. We may not, however, conclude from this that any purify­ing from mortal sin takes place, because none of the sacramentals cleanses from such sin; but we are correct in assuming a purifying from venial sin and from temporal punishments due to sin.

Doctors of the Church agree that holy water causes the remission of venial sin and of temporal punishment due to sin. I quote St. Thomas Aquinas:

“By the sprinkling of holy water the debt of venial sin is wiped out; but not always, however, are all temporal punishments relinquished; this takes place in proportion to the disposition of the person using it, depending on the less or greater degree of ardor in the love for God on the part of the person using it.”

Again the same holy Doctor says that “the sprinkling of holy water brings about the remission of venial sin in the measure of which it excites to contrition.” In accord with the advice of St. Alphonsus, one should strive when using holy water to rise to contrition, that it may prove its purifying effects.

Holy water not only possesses the power of cleansing us from venial sin and temporal punishments but also helps us to overcome the temptations of the devil. To bring about this effect, Holy Church asks in the first prayer pronounced over the salt that Almighty God may effect that it serve for the preservation of the people, that “every delusion and wickedness of the devil, and all unclean spirits, may fly and depart.” Still more: in the second prayer over the salt, it shall even shield us against all assaults of spiritual wickedness; hence thus to protect us against temptation, that the devil may have even less power to tempt us.

Holy water also has sanctifying effects. These consist in the actual graces that may be obtained. These are illuminations of the intellect and inspirations of the Holy Spirit that aid the faithful to perform loyally the duties of their state of life, to pray devoutly, to hear a sermon with profit, and especially to assist with recollection and devotion at the Holy Sacrifice of Mass, and thus richly participate in its precious treasures. An illumination, for instance, may be involved when one comes to comprehend, better than he has known before, his faults and particularly his prevailing sin. An inspiration, however, is when an inward voice admonishes him to resolve finally to avoid the occasion of sin, to give up a sinful acquaintance, to shun bad associations or dangerous occasions, with greater determination, and to seek after, with a special devotion and earnestness, the virtue that is in opposition to his prevailing vice. These are effects of the actual graces, effects that holy water can bring about.

I do not maintain that the above-named or similar effects of grace must necessarily be attributed to the use of holy water, because we cannot know what and how much it has effected in us. But we do know that it can produce these effects, and we may without doubt have occasion to attribute much of our knowledge and inspiration to the use of holy water.

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This article is an excerpt from Holy Water and Its Significance for Catholics by Rev. Henry Theiler, which is available from Holy WaterSophia Institute Press.

Art for this post on holy water: Holy Water Basin and Sprinkler, Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky, 1911, PD-US because it was in the public domain in its home country (Russia) on the URAA date (January 1, 1996). Cover of Holy Water and Its Significance for Catholics used with permission.

Friday, October 13, 2017

You Shall Believe

SUNDAY OCTOBER 15, 2017 – TWENTYEIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

GOSPEL - MT 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people in parables, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’
Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?' But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church
1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth.”

From “Door to Heaven” Testimony of Catalina Rivas (DH-32:9, 11)
9) Speak about My presence in the Eucharist... Man knows he is blind when trying to solve so many problems. He knows by experience his ability to fall and collapse, his inability to rise. He knows that if his weak human strength opposes as many enemies as surround him, he will be conquered in mortal combat. But what man does not want to know is that help can be found in God. He does not want to accept that I am in the Tabernacle and that I long to dwell in the heart of all My children. That is why they avoid Communion. If he acted rationally, he would hasten to find Me, to join Me in the way, the truth, the life that I am Myself. Unfortunately, he invents a multitude of elaborate excuses to distance himself from the altar, but in the end he repeats the
same injustices of those guests invited to the great dinner that I speak of in My Gospel.
11) Tell them that I am calling them: Come, eat, because My Body does not live in those who do not eat... If only men would understand who it is that is inviting and leading them. If only they could comprehend the splendid palace to which they have been invited and taste the tenderness of the meal offered to them, they would find out it embraces all the delights and is sweeter than honey, whiter than milk, more generous than wine and more delicate than wheat bread. And with all this, men continue to cry out that they died of hunger, when they have bread from Heaven within their grasp.

Each week we will be presenting a portion of the following Sunday’s readings, and linking it to relevant parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and messages from the Testimony of Catalina. Pay special attention to the italicized sections. This Sunday as always, Jesus is inviting us to the feast, will we accept? We hope this is inspiring and educational. Any comments you have are certainly welcome.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Devotional For Sunday October 8, 2017 - Twentyseventh Sunday In Ordinary Time

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

THE CONTEMPLATIVE ROSARY – A MEDITATIVE METHOD OF PRAYING THE ROSARY

Discussion: Today, Dan Burke and Melissa Elson speak with Connie Rossini about the book she and Dan wrote together titled The Contemplative Rosary, and discuss meditative methods of praying the rosary to keep our focus completely on Jesus.

Click for PODCAST

Topics/Questions covered in the show:
  • This book focuses on helping people who have never prayed the rosary, those who have struggled with the rosary, and those who feel the rosary has become dry or repetitive.
  • Is everyone called to contemplative prayer?
  • Is contemplation something that we can work towards or a gift from God?
  • Why is contemplative prayer necessary for sanctity?
  • What is the definition of contemplation?
  • contemplative rosaryAre distractions while praying the rosary common?
  • What should we focus on while praying the rosary?
  • Can vocal prayer prepare you for contemplative prayer?
  • How is the contemplative rosary set up?
  • How does the book help us focus on Jesus?
  • What is the “clausular method” of praying the rosary?
  • Must we finish the rosary or should we stop if the Lord calls us to contemplate Him before we have completed our prayers?
Resources: