by Fr Richard Heilman | March 27, 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 Presumption” by Fr. James Altman
Dear family, we are almost to the end of the forty days. What a holy, holy endeavor with so much grace, so very much grace. This grace we need now, more than ever, with all the crazy stuff going on around us. The best words to wrap up my part are words of encouragement. Keep going. Do not stop now, for we are not yet at the end of our time on earth. Rather, Our Father has chosen us to live in this time and place, and to serve Him in this time and in this place. What we have endured, amidst the abandonment of so many shepherds, is only a precursor to what may be coming soon. The spiritually weakened state of so many out there will not bode well when worse things come. To me, this entire holy endeavor was a spiritual boot camp to toughen us up, to make us strong enough to fight the battles that lie ahead.
Fr. Heilman tells me that thousands will join us in this spiritual boot camp. That is amazing. It tells us, dear family, that we are not alone. But maybe the number should be hundreds of thousands. In fact, the grotesque abandonment by so many shepherds is even more reason why there should be millions. So, why aren’t there that many, and more? A big reason, probably the biggest reason, is the sin of presumption.
As always, a good starting place is Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary. He states that presumption “leads one to expect graces from God without doing anything to obtain them, and even when acting the opposite, as when sinning, the person presumes that forgiveness is assured.” (etymology: Latin “praesumere”, to suppose, take for granted.) Donald Attwater’s, A Catholic Dictionary writes similarly that presumption is “a vice … whereby a man expects to gain eternal life by his own strength or without merits, or to obtain pardon without repentance.”
Wow. There it is in a nutshell. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel; that is the beauty of being Catholic. We have 2000 years of the Bible, 2000 years of saints and martyrs, 2000 years of the constant teaching of the Catholic Church, 2000 years of the unchanged and unchangeable truth. So, unlike, say, Joel Osteen et al. who wallow in presumption, we know that as a disciple of Jesus the Lord, we are charged to pick up our crosses daily and carry them. We must not carry them for five minutes and set them down; that’s not what Jesus said. Jesus did not say, “clock in, carry for 8 hours, clock out.” Jesus did not say, “any time after eight hours is overtime, time-and-a-half.” No. The real Jesus said, in essence, “take it from Me when you wake up, let Me hold it close while you sleep.”
Our crosses mean that we must make an effort to grow in grace daily. Truly, we can never be worthy of the salvation for which Jesus endured His Passion, and thankfully, He does not ask us to be. He asks us only to pick up our crosses daily. Yet so many do not. Presumption is bad enough amongst Catholics, but in so many Protestants it is even worse. That whole “I just asked JAY-zus into my heart and I’m SAAAAVED” is so much presumption baloney. Jesus never said that. Jesus said to pick up your cross…daily.
Amongst Catholics, there seems to be way too many with a similar attitude – an attitude that has become pervasive since we have been inculcated with all the meaningless drivel put out after Vatican II. One that thinks, “Oh, Our Father loves us all and doesn’t want anybody to go to hell, so since I didn’t do something really bad, like kill somebody, I’m good to go.” Or one that hopes, as a well-known shepherd recently posited, that hell is actually kind of an empty place. Really? That is not what Jesus taught about hell. The presumptuous mindset of “I’m good enough” is not the standard Jesus set on Calvary.
Cardinal St. John Henry Newman brilliantly eviscerated the attitude of presumption when he observed “that [the aim of most men] is, to all appearances, not how to please God, but how to please themselves without displeasing Him!”
Jesus spoke specifically to such an attitude in a parable that addressed those who were convinced of their own righteousness. Remember the Pharisee “took up his position [in the Temple] and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector.” Jesus then contrasted that attitude with the sinner who “stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’” Jesus then said: “I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14). So, dear family, let us be incredibly careful about justifying our own righteousness, and exalting our status vis-à-vis our eternal destination.
Instead of being self-righteous, Jesus gave another parable about the right attitude of one of His disciples, or servants, “Is [God] grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? … When You have done all You have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done [only] what we were obliged to do’” (Luke 17:9-10).
Dear family, let us conclude with a sports analogy. There is no “I” in team. That’s why the Protestant attitude about “me ‘n JAY-zus” is just pure garbage. Jesus is a team effort. He calls us to be part of His team. That means that every day is another day for each team member to show up for practice – practice to be a better team player. Each person on the team has a position to play, and the better that person plays, the better the team (which is why, by the way, that blowing off attendance at Holy Mass on Sunday is not just a grave personal sin but is a grave sin against the whole team). What happens when a player doesn’t show up for practice? At best, he “rides the pine” (meaning, he sits on the bench). The coach – in this case, God – cannot give him playing time, because he hasn’t practiced. He has let the whole team down. That is what happens at best. At worst, he gets kicked off the team (welcome to hell).
Dear family, here is one last way to understand the sin of presumption. Again, think of it as an attitude of “good enough.” There is a quote, with many variations, all of which say the same thing: “The attitude of ‘good enough’ is the enemy of ‘great.”’ Put another way, “the enemy of ‘great’ is not ‘bad’, the enemy of ‘great’ is ‘good enough.’”
Our Father offered up the Greatest on Calvary. Does our offering – through the carrying of our crosses – measure up to such greatness?
The cure for the sin of presumption is to strive daily to not do JUST what we have been commanded to do. That only makes us a useless servant. The cure for the sin of presumption is to do MORE than we have been commanded to do.
So, now that we are reaching the end of our forty days of preparation, let us do more. Let us continue to practice daily with the U.S. Grace Force Team (join at usgraceforce.com). Let us continue to make the Catholic Team strong, with all of us earning our playing time in the game.
Prayer of Reparation
My Lord and my God, we have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward presumption. We think we are good enough. We can recognize our attitude of presumption whenever we simply do not show up for practice – whenever we do not make the effort to spend an hour a day with You. At times we justify our presumption because we have so many other things we “need” to do. We ignore the plain truth that “if Satan can’t make You bad, he will make You busy.” At times we do not recognize in ourselves that we are the Pharisee who said, “thank God I’m not like all those sinners back there.” Too infrequently do we approach the Sacrament of Confession of sins. Too infrequently do we examine our conscience and see we really are sinners. Too infrequently do we say to ourselves that we are unprofitable servants; for we have done only what we were obliged to do. So often we just do not recognize our presumption. We turn to You Lord, in our weakness, and beg Your forgiveness for our presumption, and especially for all the times we have failed to practice with and for Your team, for all the times we have let down our teammates. 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 presumption. 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 presumption 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 Immaculate Heart of Mary
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 Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, like unto the Heart of God, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, united to the Heart of Jesus, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, instrument of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, sanctuary of the Divine Trinity, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, tabernacle of God Incarnate, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, immaculate from thy creation, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, full of grace, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, blessed among all hearts, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, throne of glory, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, most humble, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, holocaust of Divine Love, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, fastened to the Cross with Jesus Crucified, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, refuge of sinners, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, hope of the agonizing, Pray for us.
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto the Heart of Jesus.
Let Us Pray.
O most merciful God, Who, for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the miserable, wast pleased that the Most Pure Heart of Mary should be most like in charity and pity to the Divine Heart of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, grant that we, who commemorate this sweet and loving Heart, by the merits and intercession of the same Blessed Virgin, may merit to be found like unto the Heart of Jesus, through the same Christ Our Lord. 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.
For those enlisted in the US Grace Force, you will receive, by way of email, the daily prayers and reflections for “Let Freedom Ring: A 40 Day Tactical Training for Freedom from the Devil.”
You can enlist in the United States Grace Force HERE (please recruit family and friends!)
Information on the United States Grace Force can be found HERE
We highly recommend ordering the book (recently published), authored by Fr. Bill Peckman, Fr. James Altman and Fr. Rick Heilman. This amazing book will be a great tool for easy access, highlighting and bookmarking as you traverse through this 40-day challenge with tens of thousands of other special forces prayer warriors!
You can order the book at RomanCatholicGear.com.
Source URL: https://usgraceforce.com/day-39-let-freedom-ring-freedom-from-presumption-2/
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