07 Oct – Memorial for Our Lady of the Rosary
This day was originally observed as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory. Its date was chosen to commemorate the European victory at the third naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571. This battle marked the high point of Turkish (Muslim) advance on European soil with the Balkans and the regions west and north of the Black Sea returning to Western (Christian) hands in the succeeding centuries. This victory, after two earlier defeats at the same location, was attributed to Our Lady of the Rosary as special processions were made on that same day in Rome for the sake of this crucial victory.
Pope Pius V ordered that a commemoration of the rosary should be made upon that day, and at the request of the Dominican Pope Gregory XIII in 1573 allowed this feast to be kept in all churches which possessed an altar dedicated to the rosary. In 1671, the observance of this festival was extended by Pope Clement X to the whole of Spain, and somewhat later Pope Clement XI, after the important victory over the Turks gained by Prince Eugene on 6 August 1716 at Peterwardein in Hungary, commanded the feast of the rosary to be celebrated by the universal Church.
Priests, put on sackcloth and lament.
Ministers of the altar, wail.
Come, pass the night in sackcloth,
you ministers of my God.
For the house of our God has been deprived
of oblation and libation.
Order a fast,
proclaim a solemn assembly;
elders, call together
all the inhabitants of the country
to the house of the Lord your God.
Cry out to the Lord,
‘Oh, what a day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
it comes as a devastation from Shaddai.’
Sound the trumpet in Zion,
give the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the country tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming,
yes, it is near.
Day of darkness and gloom,
day of cloud and blackness.
Like the dawn there spreads across the mountains
a vast and mighty host,
such as has never been before,
such as will never be again
to the remotest ages.
When Jesus had cast out a devil, some of the people said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven; but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses. So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? – Since you assert that it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils. Now if it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils, through whom do your own experts cast them out? Let them be your judges then. But if it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you. So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are undisturbed; but when someone stronger than he is attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.
‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.
‘When an unclean spirit goes out of a man it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, “I will go back to the home I came from.” But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied, it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, so that the man ends up by being worse than he was before.’
He who is not with me is against me
Whenever I am hit by the flu bug, I will be grouchy and down in spirits. The bubbly girl will just be as quiet as a mouse. It is a time I stay in silence and be by myself. Yes, I am down with flu again. This time round coupled with the challenging job search process, it has not been easy for me. Lots of thoughts are on my mind. There is a struggle within me. The ego part of me is challenging me on what have I achieved this year. The true self is assuring me that with God all things are possible. Indeed it is a year of self-discovery for me. Some of the issues I face are facing mum with her daily script which at times can be draining as it is usually filled with negativity, tension at times with my friends for intruding into their space and pitching one’s profile to clients for a business deals. There are moments of frustration and anxiety which are kept within me. It is praying at the adoration room and at mass I let all these issues surface to God asking him to sustain me and show me how to love myself and the people around me.
In the Gospel of Luke, we read of the divisions among the people. With Jesus being able to cast out devils, the people questioned his identity. There is a division between good and evil. Here is where one encounters spiritual warfare. If one is not rooted in Christ, the evil one may surround one with thoughts of unworthiness and temptations. All of us face consolation and desolation.
Consolation moves us toward God and others. Consolation is any felt increase in faith, hope and love that leads to holy peace. It is commonly experienced as feelings of peace, serenity and joy. But consolation also includes feelings of sadness about circumstance and personal shortcomings as long as these lead to a resolve to draw closer to God.
Desolation is anything that takes us away from love of God and others. It is commonly experienced as a troubled spirit: anxiety, restlessness, doubt, upset. It sometimes includes feelings of pride and smugness about a life centered on pleasure. There is also spiritual lethargy. One is not inclined to pray.
How can we stay rooted in Christ? How are we able to love God with all our heart, soul and mind? Are we able to love the people around us and put on the spirit of self leadership, love, compassion and peace?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Patricia Ang)
Prayer: Lord, allow us to live in unity with all brothers and sisters. Strengthen us through the Eucharist so that I can love the members of your body as you do.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Lord for being with us all the time. For the open and close doors, allow us to trust in you completely.
Sat, 08 Oct – Joel 4:12-21; Luke 11:27-28
Sun, 09 Oct – Isaiah 35:6-10; Philippians 4:12-14.19-20; Matthew 22:1-14; Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time