The "spirit of the world" offers many false illusions and parodies of happiness. There is perhaps no darkness deeper than the darkness that enters young people's souls when false prophets extinguish in them the light of faith and hope and love. The greatest deception, and the deepest source of unhappiness, is the illusion of finding life by excluding God, of finding freedom by excluding moral truths and personal responsibility....
–St. John Paul II
–from the book: The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare
✞ "I place trust in God, my creator, in all things; I love Him with all my heart." — St. Joan of Arc
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "In times of spiritual coldness and laziness, imagine in your heart those times in the past when you were full of zeal and solicitude in all things, even the smallest. Remember your past efforts and the energy with which you opposed those who wanted to obstruct your progress. These recollections will reawaken your soul from its deep sleep, will invest it once more with the fire of zeal, will raise it, as it were, from the dead, and will make it engage in an ardent struggle against the Devil and sin, thus being restored to its former height." — St. Isaak of Syria, p. 146 AN EXCERPT FROM Manual for Spiritual Warfare
TODAY'S FEAST DAY
ASCENSION THURSDAY After Jesus' Resurrection from the dead, he continued to appear to his disciples for a period of 40 days. After this time, with his Apostles gathered around him on the Mount of Olives, Jesus was taken up bodily into heaven, as recorded in the Gospels. To comfort them in his physical absence, he promised to send them a Consoler and Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to be with them and to guide them into all truth until the end of the world. The Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Sunday, also called Ascension Thursday. It is a Holy Day of Obligation, and among the oldest and most solemn feasts on the liturgical calendar. In many dioceses the feast is transferred to the following Sunday.
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Therefore, thus says the Lord God: See, I am laying a stone in Zion, a stone that has been tested, A precious cornerstone as a sure foundation; whoever puts faith in it will not waver." Isaiah 28:16
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Saint Bede the Venerable
Saint of the Day for May 25
(c. 672 – May 25, 735)
Bede is one of the few saints honored as such even during his lifetime. His writings were filled with such faith and learning that even while he was still alive, a Church council ordered them to be read publicly in the churches.
At an early age, Bede was entrusted to the care of the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, Jarrow. The happy combination of genius and the instruction of scholarly, saintly monks, produced a saint and an extraordinary scholar, perhaps the most outstanding one of his day. He was deeply versed in all the sciences of his times: natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, grammar, ecclesiastical history, the lives of the saints and especially, holy Scripture.
From the time of his ordination to the priesthood at 30–he had been ordained a deacon at 19–till his death, Bede was ever occupied with learning, writing, and teaching. Besides the many books that he copied, he composed 45 of his own, including 30 commentaries on books of the Bible.
His Ecclesiastical History of the English People is commonly regarded as of decisive importance in the art and science of writing history. A unique era was coming to an end at the time of Bede's death: It had fulfilled its purpose of preparing Western Christianity to assimilate the non-Roman barbarian North. Bede recognized the opening to a new day in the life of the Church even as it was happening.
Although eagerly sought by kings and other notables, even Pope Sergius, Bede managed to remain in his own monastery until his death. Only once did he leave for a few months in order to teach in the school of the archbishop of York. Bede died in 735 praying his favorite prayer: "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As in the beginning, so now, and forever."
Though his History is the greatest legacy Bede has left us, his work in all the sciences, especially in Scripture, should not be overlooked. During his last Lent, Bede worked on a translation of the Gospel of Saint John into English, completing it the day he died. But of this work "to break the word to the poor and unlearned" nothing remains today.
Saint Bede the Venerable is the Patron Saint of:
The Ascension of the Lord
Reading 1 Acts 1:1-11
In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for "the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
When they had gathered together they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He answered them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, for the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. For king of all the earth is God; sing hymns of praise. God reigns over the nations, God sits upon his holy throne.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord. or: R. Alleluia.
Reading 2 Eph 1:17-23
Brothers and sisters: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
Alleluia Mt 28:19a, 20b R. Alleluia, alleluia. Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Mt 28:16-20
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
Catholic Meditations Meditation: Acts 18:1-8
The Ascension of the Lord (Solemnity) or Easter Weekday
A man named Titus Justus . . . (Acts 18:7)
Paul must have been pretty angry to shake out his garments and give up on the Jews in Corinth. But look! Just a few lines later, we read that the ruler of the synagogue and his whole family were converted, forming the foundation of the Corinthian church. How on earth did that happen? A man named Titus.
Titus was living a life that bridged two worlds. He was a Gentile, but he practiced Jewish customs and worshipped God. Despite all the opposition Paul had received, Titus offered him a place to stay—and his house just happened to be right next door to the synagogue!
Coincidence? Probably not. God positioned Titus between two groups of people, and when Titus opened his door to Paul, he opened the door to an entire community of believers. Paul's proximity to the synagogue,and his friendship with Titus undoubtedly gave him numerous opportunities to share the gospel with the Jews who worshipped right next door to him. And it worked! From Paul's later writings, we know that a number of Jews ended up joining the Corinthian church.
Maybe your life doesn't bridge two worlds as obviously as Titus' did. Still, think about the groups of people you interact with. Think about your family, your job, your neighborhood, your church, the gym, or your school. Have you ever thought that God might have positioned you just perfectly in the midst of all these people to be a door opener for the gospel?
Today, take some time to think about one of the groups you're linked to. Is there someone in that group who you think might be open to hearing more about your relationship with the Lord? Maybe meet that person for coffee or invite him or her to dinner. If you just aim for building up your relationship with someone, the opportunities to share will surely arise on their own. You don't have to force anything, and you don't have to create an awkward situation. Just relax and be a friend. Remember Titus. He simply invited Paul to stay with him. Even a small act of hospitality can do wonders!
"Lord, use me to open doors for the gospel wherever I go. Teach me how to bring people closer to you."
Psalm 98:1-4 John 16:16-20
my2cents: We heard the Word today "...you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,...and you will be my witnesses" and that Word is Jesus, who was made flesh, like you and me, and then was raised from the dead, and ascended into Heaven which is what we Catholics Celebrate today, we celebrate His life with Mass, and normally, this is a day of obligation, because literally 9 days from today, we will celebrate Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descends from heaven...Jesus. Jesus magnified a million times over. Jesus to be manifested and become that Kingdom with us, mingled with us in mind, body, and spirit.
We pray today "God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord." It is a most appropriate Psalm to sing today, because, go outside, pray, meditate on this mystery, His Glorious Ascension, rising to the sky, above all, asking us to look up to Him who is above all and above all we are being asked to love Him. Then angels slap us back into reality: why are you just standing there! Go and do as He says!
In the Holy Gospel we heard "...Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations". Make disciples. Wow! What a tall order, right? LOL. I read a quote earlier this week and it said something like "nothing is impossible! even the word itself says I'M possible". When it is impossible is when we make it so. When we put a cap. Like when today we heard the Gospel say "When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted." Wow! Can you really worship and doubt? Have no fear. First do as commanded, soon enough, it will sink in..the Holy Spirit. Many want proof first, of God's existence. And God wants us to believe in Him first. He already believes in us. And there is no further proof than when He says "And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." but before, He wanted us to teach others to observe and obey His commandments. Well, today, across the world, we have a Mass of obligation to celebrate this day. Yeah, the Bishops in the United States said you can celebrate this on Sunday, but, it really is nine days before the Pentecost which is today! For 9 days we are asked to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the novena! Let us do for these 9 days something unique for Him in prayer, or at least a prayer, and a rosary. Why go to Mass? Why celebrate this day? Because it is Glory. It is the day He ascends into Heaven and takes His place at the right hand of GOD! And then, the third part of God is sent into the world in Pentecost, so powerful! So powerful that it opens doors, goes through walls, nothing can hold Him back! That is the power that we should pray for and desire. The ability to transcend time and material...that is God. Here is where saints are born. Here is where angels are encountered. It is a most special place, where time meets eternity. The day Jesus sits with His Father....whom He called OUR FATHER!!
Always has this been a day of Obligation, but,....since 1992 the Feast of the Ascension is celebrated on the 7th Sunday of Easter in most, but not all, parts of the U.S
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holy spirit novena To celebrate Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Church, we are going to pray the Holy Spirit Novena! It is a powerful and moving novena that is meant to help us open ourselves up to the third person of the Holy Trinity.
Even though we pray this novena as a preparation for the feast of Pentecost, you can also pray a novena to the Holy Spirit any time that you want.
So, let us pray with great confidence and trust in our God who is all Good and Loving.
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Here are the novena prayers for the Novena to the Holy Spirit that we will be praying together for Pentecost!
Holy Spirit Novena Prayers
Novena to the Holy Spirit Day 1
Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Your gift of Charity within us.
The great charity of all the the host of Saints is only made possible by your power, Oh Divine Spirit. Increase in me, the virtue of charity that I may love as God loves with the selflessness of the Saints.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,