by Fr Richard Heilman | July 30, 2021 12:05 AM
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror.
You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength.
By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord
To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels
To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces.
Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church,
So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation
We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust.
Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done.
Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception…pray for us
St. Joseph…pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel…pray for us
(the patron of your parish )… pray for us
(your confirmation saint)…pray for us
“Freedom from Consumerism” by Fr. James Altman
Dear family, if there was one word that might underlie the modern day “fall of mankind” it very well could be consumerism. We’ve heard it said that we spend a lot of money we do not have on a lot of things we do not need – especially around Christmas. Surely we all are horrified by the annual satanic feast known as “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, when we reveal just how little thanks we have. We go from being “so thankful” for all the stuff we own, to rushing out in the wee hours of the morning to stand in line (in all kinds of weather), to be one of the first people through the door to buy a bunch more stuff. Dear family, the only Black Friday a good Catholic knows is Good Friday, for we know that on that blackest day in human history, when it seemed Lucifer had his victory, Easter Sunday was coming. How much less would we consume on the satanic holiday of Black Friday if our eyes were focused on The Resurrection of Jesus the Lord on Easter Sunday?
Consumerism is a compensating behavior. It is a behavior that compensates for the hole within us, the hurts and wounds we have accumulated, the woundedness and brokenness from which we all suffer. When we have a headache we have our go-to drug of choice, Excedrin, Tylenol or whatever. When we are hurting in our hearts and souls, we have our go-to compensating behavior. Our compensating behaviors are as addictive as any drug or any other vice into which we fall. We use it to compensate for our suffering. Such is consumerism. As with any addiction or vice, it only is a temporary anesthetic, something that relieves the suffering only temporarily. Ultimately, it is a suffering that only can be healed and filled by Divine Love.
Why is it that humanity is so susceptible to falling into compensating behaviors like consumerism, and so quick to forsake the Divine Healer? Why is it that we think more stuff will ever be enough?
It is well understood that affluence is a faith-killer. When we have all we need (indeed way more than we need) and when we can rely upon ourselves to obtain or accumulate what we think we want, we tend to forsake God. The day we think we do not have to rely upon God is the day we begin to drift away, very quickly immersing ourselves in immediate gratification through our own devices. Most certainly, we forget Jesus’ admonition:
“If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:30-33).
Anecdotally, Ireland once was an extremely poor country yet, at the same time, a rock-bed of Catholicism. Enter the economic boom of the 1990s-early 2000’s. It was a time of such spectacular economic growth in Ireland that it had its own nickname: Celtic Tiger. Faith fell away. Interestingly, Ireland still has about the lowest divorce rate in the Western world, less than a third of the United States. However, recently Ireland legalized abortion and same-sex marriage and – not in small part due to the horrific failure amongst bishops and the abuse scandal – faith has decreased significantly. Similarly, from the first time I went on pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Poland in 2001, to the last time in 2017, there not only has been a very visible increase in affluence but, sadly, an increase of the seeds of immorality being sown in the public square (Beware of the young woman holding an umbrella in the broad daylight).
Here’s the thing about consumerism. We already contemplated the Life Lesson of Adam and Eve – how nothing ever is enough. Far worse than that, consumerism cannot heal. Only the Divine Healer can heal the wounds within us. Only Divine Mercy can heal.
Dear family, we can build ourselves a bigger house, surround ourselves with more stuff in the house, get a bigger SUV to go get more stuff for the house – but nothing compares to being in a genuine Catholic Church, God’s house, where His Son is present in the Real Presence. Nothing we can buy, nothing we can accumulate, absolutely nothing, will heal our hearts and minds and souls like being in the presence of the Real Presence. That being the case, why is it that we spend a lot more time at work, working so hard to earn some money, to pay the bills that arise from buying – consuming – so much stuff we don’t need? All we really must do is spend a little less time consuming and a little more time with Jesus.
We used to have a Catholic devotion, a Catholic tradition, of stopping by the Church daily, even for just a few minutes. We were born and raised knowing that Jesus not only is present, but He waits for us in the Tabernacle. He thirsts for us to come and keep Him company. Do we understand that if we just spent a little bit of time in His Real Presence every day, something we do need, we would feel a lot less need to spend a lot of money to consume so much other stuff we do not need?
Prayer of Reparation
My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward consumerism. We have fallen into countless times of sinfully buying stuff we do not need with money we do not have. We do this all to fill the emptiness within us, to salve the wounds within us. We turn so readily to consuming things of this world, instead of detaching ourselves from things of this world and attaching ourselves to You. We spend so much time and effort and money consuming and yet we still are not happy. We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for the consumption of temporal goods that stand in the way of our devotion to You. We love You, Lord, and we beg for the wisdom and strength to love You more. We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done. Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of Exorcism
Lord God of heaven and earth, in Your power and goodness, You created all things. You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship. By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth, cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the devil. Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to consumerism. Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully to Your will. Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of consumerism have planted in Your Church. Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the devil and his hellish legions. Trusting in Your goodness Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done, in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, 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, etc.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God,
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty,
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God,
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High,
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love,
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love,
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues,
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise,
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts,
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity,
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased,
Heart of Jesus, we have all received,
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills,
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy,
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee,
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness,
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings,
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities,
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death,
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance,
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation,
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, .
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation,
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins,
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee,
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints,
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, oh Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Christ graciously spare us.
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
Make our hearts like unto Thine.
Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end. Amen.
__ Prayer for Freedom from the Devil
__ Daily reflection and prayers
__ Litany of the day
__ Pray a Rosary
__ Divine Mercy Chaplet
__ Spiritual or corporal work of mercy
__ Fast/abstain (according to level)
__ Exercise (according to level/ability)
__ Refrain from conventional media (only 1 hr. of social)
__ Examination of conscience (confession 1x this week)
To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of “Let Freedom Ring,” go HERE.
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