Saturday, November 01, 2008

Election Novena - Day Six

1) Clocks are set back one hour tonight!

2) All-night Adoration for the elections, SAA Church: 9 pm (11/3) – 6:30 am (11/4).

3) Plenary Indulgence for All Souls Day: anyone who makes a visit to a church or oratory on All Souls Day (Sun, Nov. 2) and says the Creed and an Our Father while there can gain a plenary indulgence for a soul in purgatory (i.e., send that person straight to Heaven), provided that they meet the conditions of a plenary indulgence – receive Holy Communion, go to Confession, and pray for the Pope (typically an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be) within eight days before or after All Souls Day. I will offer confessions after all the Masses this weekend.
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Sixth Day

Opening Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in us the fire of your love.

Reading - Mt 5:43-46
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your
neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your
enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you
may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his
sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on
the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you,
what recompense will you have?”

Reflection
Who are my enemies? How do I love them?
How do I live up to the definition Jesus provides for living
a Christian lifestyle, a life of Christian love?

Prayer
God of peace,
Give us the courage
to be reconciled with our neighbors, our enemies.
Give us the vision
to truly see what it means to be a Christian
so that peace and justice may rule in our world.
Amen.

Novena Prayer
Immaculate Heart of Mary,
help us to conquer the menace of evil,
which so easily
takes root in the hearts of the people of today,
and whose immeasurable effects
already weigh down upon our modern world
and seem to block the paths toward the future.
From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from
every kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against human life from its very beginning,
deliver us.
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the
children of God, deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both
national and international, deliver us.
From readiness to trample on the commandments of God,
deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of
God, deliver us.
From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us.
Accept, O Mother of Christ,
this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual
human beings,
laden with the sufferings of whole societies.
Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit conquer all sin:
individual sin and the “sin of the world,”
sin in all its manifestations.
Let there be revealed once more in the history of the world
the infinite saving power of the redemption:
the power of merciful love.
May it put a stop to evil.
May it transform consciences.
May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope.
Amen.

12 Comments:

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey folks.... it's getting boring on here! Time for some thoughts, anyone? We can pray and converse at the same time can we not?

 
At 5:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can’t sleep- so I’ll write…

A few wks ago, there was a substitute teacher who asked questions about the candidates. A show of hands told that most of the boys were for Obama while the majority of girls for McCain, and some were “undecided.” The teacher asked why. The Obama camp said things like- he’s for change, he’ll end the war, he’s going to help the poor. The McCain group said that he’ll win the war, he has experience and they like Palin. The undecided hadn’t been following the election.

The teacher expanded the conversation. She asked who the poorest of the poor are (FG touched on that in his homily tonight- great joke, btw), and suggested it is the unborn. She asked about the changed Obama will make and brought up FOCA. She talked about war and gave the death rate from abortion. Some parents were upset that this conversation took place, but kids DO have opinions. Some of these opinions will take root and begin to define who they are- so, parents- talk to your kids!

Days after the teacher left, the conversation remained. The kids have been discussing the issues ever since. My daughter had been part of the “undecided” group until that day in class. She doesn’t know very much about McCain but knows she is pro-life. She has since told me that she was really surprised by the opinions of several of her friends when they suggested that there are “more important issues in the election than abortion.” Some mentioned the economy, and my daughter didn’t understand how money could be more important than a baby. She likened it to choosing a million dollars over the life of her little sister. I told her I completely understood- I have friends I don’t get either!

In my home, we've discussed abortion but not the election. Beyond a history lesson, it didn’t seem necessary. I have since learned that it is. I realize this election is a tremendous opportunity to, not only teach my daughter the difference between right and wrong but to own that distinction as part of who she is. I want those values to not only guide her but to define her.

Another observation from my daughter- last year the kids learned about the Holocaust. She saw pictures of the bodies in mass graves and was horrified. When she heard the death rate for abortion, she noted that more babies have been killed via abortion than people killed in the Holocaust (I wonder- one day, will history regard us in the way we regard the Nazis?). She asked me if people knew, and her question made me think.

What do people know? Do they know how many lives are ended, and do they equate it to any kind of lost potential? Do they understand what the partial abortion procedure entails? Do they know how late, late term abortion is, and do they picture those little babies who survive and thrive in any hospital’s NICU? Do people think about these things? If they did, I can help but think that people, millions and millions of good people, would agree- no other issue is more pressing.

I’ve heard rumblings after masses about some of the recent discussion regarding abortion and whether or not all “that” is necessary. I’ve come to the conclusion that, yes, it is necessary, because I don’t think people do know the truth about the abortion issues and the election- not because they aren’t familiar with an issue but because they aren’t willing to look at the details (and the devil is at work in those details). I don’t think people willingly and consciously look at the abortion issue so they can allow other things to remain more important. I believe THAT'S the reason for the rumblings- people are told the truth and it rubs up against their conscience (but, I'm no shrink).

Okay- long post. I’m thinking the anon of 9:55 will be careful about what they ask for next time!

 
At 5:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMT- I’m bothered by the media coverage of this election (and I’m all for free speech). The media needs to stop posting the polls and simply let people go cast their votes. I’ m worried that some will think their vote is futile and choose to stay home. Regardless of either outcome, it’s important to be heard; if Obama does win, our voice needs to be loud, and the best way to achieve that is by casting a vote and giving our Senate and Congress solid numbers of real people to consider before introducing/enacting legislation.

 
At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't going to say anything b/c I know it's been talked about here, but it’s All Souls Day and I’m going to be asked to explain to my kids what I don’t understand- indulgences.

When I asked why, if they have the power to eliminate temporal punishment, why doesn’t the Church eliminate it for everyone who died in a state of grace? It was explained to me that temporary suffering is part of God’s plan for us. I can understand and accept that. So, if God’s plan is for us to experience temporal punishment, then why would the church offer something that would eliminate it?

It confuses me- b/c what if, say- “John” was a great guy who made a few (very few) mistakes and is in purgatory to serve his punishment. “John” didn’t have much living family anymore, and no one prayed for him on All Soul’s Day. Now say, “Joan” was also a good person but had committed more sins (had been kind of wild and reckless) but also died in a state of grace and was in purgatory. However, “Joan” had 8 children who prayed for her on All Souls Day. She goes right to Heaven and “John” is still serving his time. I know I’m being simplistic, but the concept sounds strange to me.

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps these are silly, not so intelligent questions, but, I don't know the answers.

Can a plenary indulgence be gained and given to any soul in purgatory? Do you have to have a certain person in mind? Certainly there are homeless, felons, and the not so desirable folks in purgatory that may not have friends and family able or willing to gain a plenary indulgence for their soul. In a sense, can you offer it up to God, and ask him to "take what I've been given and give it to a needy soul of your choice?"

Also, if a person's religion is of a Christian denomination (they believe in Jesus and an after life) but their religion does not believe in purgatory as we define it, can an indulgence be given to that person as a prayer, a gesture of goodwill, respect, reverence, as an aid in their perfection for heaven? I personally find it really hard to believe that some form of perfection and purification isn't needed to reside with God. He's simply too perfect for the average "Six pack Joe." (Sorry, but there elections are approaching).

Can a plenary indulgence be applied to a non-Christian loved one? They may not believe in purgatory, but if we or I do, I think I would personally feel I have offered what I can to this person. I don't think any of us or our religions have all the answers.

 
At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to be the 2:08 blogger and I'm laughing at myself as I read the 5:28am post. It took me a while to figure out what OMT stood for. So...it is very possible my questions are on the not so intelligent side!! It seems I am a little slow to catch on to things.

Also, my last sentence should read, I don't think any of our religions have....

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger fran said...

I have spent the last week or so (seems like an eternity!) posting comments on a website where comment moderation is not very stringent, and those commenting can chat back and forth quickly.

The opinions and perspectives of the group are at the same time interesting, troubling and downright disturbing.
Comments number in the 200+ (!)range, following some of the posts.
Generally, those posting are courteous, intelligent, and insightful, while others have been mean spirited and rude.

I have discovered that many are simply misinformed when it comes to the Church and Church doctrine. Many are not familiar with the catechism. Some have strayed from the Church. And I am happy to say, that some are finding their way back. Some have decided that they will pick and choose what they like from Catholic teaching
as well as from the teaching of other faiths. They seem to like the cornucopia (since Thanksgiving is on the horizon :) ) approach to faith. It has been quite an education for me, to say the least!

So, when someone says, following a thought provoking homily, as was said last Sunday, is all "that"
necessary? I would respond "yes, as a matter of fact it is." And then some. You see, my personal opinion is that in order to "keep the peace" so to speak, the Church has, on some occasions shied away from saying what needs to be heard.

A "moral conscience" cannot be formed properly, in a few months, or weeks, or days, every 4 years, afterall. It is a lifelong process. The formation must begin early and it must be reinforced repeatedly.

I am not surprised to hear that many of our school children support Obama. My daughter told her friends many weeks ago, that I would be placing a particular sticker on my car. They said, "What would your mom do that for?" She is now reluctant to share her views with her friends. I have encouraged her to speak her mind with respect. Being 11 years old, I can understand her reticence, but I will continue to encourage her.

I hope all of us will continue to lead our children, as Jesus would, so that when they are 18 years old they will have such well formed moral consciences that any school room discussion or mock election will yield unanimous support for the candidate that most exemplifies the Church and its teachings.

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger fran said...

Okay, I hope everyone will find this funny and not think that I am neurotic!

Several days ago, I posted a comment and the word verificatin contained a word that resembled the word "pharisee." Just now on the first attempt to post my comment, the word "evil" was in the last four letters, - in the correct order!! When I made a second attempt to post the same comment the last four letters were "b-l-e-s-s-e," again, in the correct order. The first letter was a "d." I am not kidding! And I am certainly not saying that that word pertains to me.

 
At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fran,

I agree with your statement; "A 'moral conscience' cannot be formed properly, in a few months, or weeks, or days, every 4 years, afterall. It is a lifelong process." I'm not so sure I agree with the remaining sentence to your thought, "…The formation must begin early and it must be reinforced repeatedly." How do we account for the beautiful conversion of atheists, criminals, biblical characters and philosophers like St. Augustine?

Not everyone is born into an environment that provides a good moral environment, yet not everyone comes out living an evil life. Some people grow up in horrific conditions and then, knowing no better, repeat the cycle as they mature. Some have a change of heart in the midst of the chaos they have surrounded themselves in or been surrounded in. Does the formation of a moral conscience really have to begin early and be reinforced? Or, is it the desire and the open heart, regardless of age, history and upbringing that helps a person form a morally sound conscience?

 
At 7:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m grateful that events like elections put a spotlight on issues and how we respond to them. This year’s election has brought to the forefront the seeds we are planting in our youth. I have seen parents, perhaps mistakenly, sowing bad seeds into their children’s minds. Some parents teach that there are more important issues than the basic right to life. Some demonstrate that it isn’t necessary to treat each life with dignity, and I’ve been sad to see the reinforcement of exclusivity. Maybe they don’t realize that what they are doing, but these thoughts are things that can take root, grow and destroy souls.

We form a child's conscience by informing them about what is right and wrong- clearly, concisely and continuously. It is the moral imperative of parents to teach their children what is right and wrong, but parents themselves must know what is right and wrong. As I see it, there are two ways to destroy a child- teaching them the wrong things and/or teaching them nothing, because (make no mistake about it), if parents don’t form the child's conscience, someone else will.

Parents must not forget that their job is not only to prepare their children for this life but for one that is eternal.

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Tom said...

I think the problem with indulgences is that we sort of can't help but treat these spiritual mysteries like long distance phone service contracts.

Any indulgence, full ("plenary") or partial, can always be applied to the departed.

If you want to apply an indulgence to a departed soul, by name or otherwise, my advice is to do so and let God work out the details. No cup of water given in Christ's name will go unrewarded.

Of greater concern to me than how indulgences work is getting to the point of just being able to obtain a plenary indulgence -- which, in addition to performing the indulgenced act, going to Confession and Communion, and praying for the Pope, requires "that all attachment to sin, even venial sin, be absent."

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger fran said...

Hmmm, an interesting point to ponder, anon 10:31 - reminds me a little of the question, "which came first the chicken or the egg?"

I think the answer to your question is: all of the above - formation must begin early, plus repeatedly reinforced AND the individual must have both an open heart and an open mind.

In other words, ( and I think we all know this ) the moral teachings can be put in front of someone, over and over again, and if they are not receptive to it, then it is not going to take root. That does not mean that you don't keep saying it, again and again, however. 'Round and 'round it goes....

So, maybe that answers your question re: "How do we account for the beautiful conversions of....?" They were hearing what needed to be heard, but they were not open to receiving it into their lives at that moment. Surely St. Paul had quite a bit of knowledge about early Christianity, but he rejected it; wasn't open to it. It took getting knocked off his horse and being temporarily blinded for him to finally see the light. (ha!) Hence his late conversion.

That, I think is the most important message. It is NEVER too late. Never.

Now, for those who are trapped in unfortunate life circumstances, the scenario is slightly different, especially if appropriate role models do not exist for them. Proper formation cannot begin, until the less fortunate are removed from their circumstances or until those with the proper message are put into their (the less fortunate) lives.

So, does it really have to begin early, and be reinforced? I still say "yes," but knowing that all situations are not ideal, I would add "as early as possible." Whether the "early" is when the person is 2or 20 years old, doesn't really matter.

 

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