Friday, September 25, 2009

2 Weeks of Special Feasts

2 Weeks of Special Feasts to Reflect Upon
Rev. Robert Johnnene OFD
Mission Saints Sergius and Bacchus / Franciscans of Divine Mercy
Reformed Catholic Church New England

The coming two weeks has very special meaning not only to me, our ministry and the Franciscans of Divine Mercy but to the entire Universal Church.
Beginning with the feast of the Archangels on the 29th of September and continuing through October 7th the church celebrates the lives and memory of many important saints whose lives have given us inspiration.
On the various feast days you may want to pray for the intercession of those honored and reflect on their life and how they lived to serve God and others and, like the patron saints of our ministry, Saints Sergius and Bacchus, who were willing to die rather than deny God. I will be posting special reflections for some of these feasts but I thought a “heads up” on the forthcoming two weeks was in order.
September 29th is the feast of all the Archangels those we often hear about Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Urial and the others.
On October 1st we celebrate the life of SAINT THERESE OF LISIEUX known as Therese of the Child Jesus; the Little Flower; the Little Flower of Jesus. Cured from an illness at age eight when a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary smiled at her, she became a Carmelite Nun at age 15. Therese defined her path to God and holiness as "The Little Way," which consisted of love and trust in God. This message of trust is one we all need to take to heart. Since one of my favorite relatives was also a member of the Carmelite order, I have long had a special devotion to St. Therese because of my cousin Sister Ann of Jesus who was a Carmelite.
On Friday the 2nd of October we celebrate the feast in honor of Our Guardian Angels whom God has given the task of watching over us and guide us if we seek their guidance.
Sunday October 4th is traditionally the Feast of Our seraphic Father, Saint Francis of Assisi who founded and wrote the rule by which all Franciscans live. Francis preached the Gospel of love, compassion and mercy of God and spoke out against the luxurious excesses that many of the church hierarchy were living. Francis gave up a life of wealth and prestige for one of poverty and service to the poorest and rejected of his time.
Sunday the 4th is also designated as Respect For Life Sunday which seeks to remind all of us that ALL LIFE is precious and a gift from God. All life, regardless of race, gender, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation deserves respect.
October 5th is the feast day of Saint Faustina Kowalska who received from the Lord a message of mercy that she was told to spread throughout the world. She was asked to become the apostle and secretary of God's mercy, a model of how to be merciful to others, and an instrument for reemphasizing God's plan of mercy for the world. Her life was based on deep humility, purity of intention, and loving obedience to the will of God in imitation of the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The message of the infinite and divine mercy and love of God is now being spread throughout the world. St. Faustina had a vision of Christ with his arms outstretched and rays of the colors of the rainbow were radiating from His Sacred Heart which we now know as the Image of Divine mercy. Our Franciscan Order is dedicated to the message of Divine Mercy.
Wednesday the 7th is the feast day of the patron saints of our ministry, Saints Sergius and Bacchus. Saints Sergius and Bacchus were lovers in a blessed committed relationship who suffered persecution and martyrdom rather than deny the love of Christ. I will be posting a reflection of there history and how they became the patrons of our ministry later this week. The 7th of October is also the feast honoring Our Blessed Mother Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary.
On each of these feast days, you may want to take a moment to reflect on the saint being honored and offer a prayer of petition asking them to intercede on your behalf to Almighty God for your special intentions and help in living your daily life in accord with God’s will as Christ taught us..
Each of these saints lives is stresses the message of the infinite and everlasting compassion, love, mercy and forgiveness of Almighty God for all His children and God’s desire for all His children to participate in and be active participants in His Mystical Body, The Church, through prayer, the sacraments and living a life that reflects Christ’s message of Love for all people regardless of their sexual orientation, race, marital status of practice of worship to Him.
May God Bless each and every one of us with the knowledge of His truth and the courage to live in a way that brings honor and glory to Him. AMEN

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