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Let us meditate on the Ninevites (…), let us listen to what they did. After the terrifying proclamation made by Jonah before this gluttonous and drunken people (…), like capable workmen they made hast to restore the city their evil deeds had destroyed, taking a sure rock for its foundation (…): repentance.

After washing away its filth in the floods of their tears, they adorned their town with their prayer and converted Nineveh pleased the Merciful One. For she immediately showed forth the beauty of her heart to “him who searches the heart” (Ps 7:10) (…); anointed with the oil of their good deeds, perfumed with fasting, she returned to the One who loves her (…) and he embraced her repentance.

Its king, a wise man, (…) prepared animals and flocks as if to bring them along in dowry, saying: “O God, my Savior, I offer everything to you: only reconcile, bring back in grace, the one who prostituted herself and betrayed (…) your purity, for see how, in her love, she offers her repentance to you like a gift (…).

“If I, the sovereign king, have sinned then strike me down alone and take pity on all these others. But if we have all fallen short, hear the voices of all (…) May your help come upon us and all fear will be dissolved. Nothing will dismay us if you receive what we are offering, our repentance (…).

“Rebellious Nineveh throws herself at your feet and I, a miserable king and your wretched servant, sit down in ashes since I am unworthy of my throne (Joh 3:6). Because I have scorned the crown I throw dust on my head. Because I am not worthy of my purple I have put on sackcloth and burst into lamentation. Therefore, do not despise me, cast a glance upon us, O my Savior, and accept our repentance.”

Son of the One God, O only God, who carry out the will of those who love you, protect them in your mercy (…) As in former days you took pity on the Ninevites (…) so today release from judgment those who sing to you and grant me forgiveness in return for my confession (…) Since I have no works worthy of your glory, at least save me, my Savior, for my words of contrition, you who love repentance.

Saint Romanos Melodios (?-c 560), Hymn “Nineveh” § 4-17; SC 99,
via DGO

Our Lord, when he began his ministry, before he began his ministry was was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. The temptation that he faced was exactly that which we ourselves face, in which our first parents faced in Eden. It’s temptation of the world, the flesh and the devil. And equally, Our Lady endured these temptations as well. The fact that she had consecrated her virginity to God was itself a challenge, but it was one that she triumphed, for which reason the Church doesn’t just call her a virgin but Ever Virgin, and in particular, Virgin of Virgins because of the particular victory that she had.

The greater battle that she had to face was, in fact, in the confrontation with Satan, the temptation to doubt, because that was the temptation by which Eve was overcome; she doubted God’s word. God had said, “you shall not eat of it. The day you eat of it you will die.” God was very definite and very clear on this matter but Eve doubted this, and she said to the serpent, “God said we shouldn’t eat of it. Perhaps we might die.” Our Lady likewise at the foot of the cross stood there, and the possibility of doubt did arise when her son expired, and his dead body was placed in her arms. What grief she must have endured. The grief that she endured was of such intensity that most of the mystics, especially those who have written about the life of Our Lady, said that if God had not kept her alive, she would have died of grief.

But that is not where the battle ended because, on Holy Saturday, no one believed he would rise from the dead. The authorities thought the body might be stolen, but they didn’t believe he would rise from the dead. The Apostles certainly did not believe ,and even when he did rise, they doubted, they were skeptical.

And so, Our Lady alone believed, and all of Holy Saturday she was tormented by Satan. He was trying to seduce her into believing that Christ would not rise, that God would not keep his word, that everything that happened was but again to be played. But no, she stood manfully and she won the victory, believing firmly that her son, who is God, would rise and rise from the dead he did, rising on that Easter Sunday. To whom else would he first appear, if not to her? Yet scripture doesn’t tell us he appeared to her, but we can be absolutely certain that he did, and she would be, of course, being the first to rejoice in the resurrection of her son, for she had been faithful up until this moment, and indeed for the rest of her life, for which reason the Church calls her Virgin Most Faithful.

Father Linus Clovis,
homily on Our Lady of Akita

“We recommend likewise to Thy unbounded mercy, Almighty and Eternal God, all our brethren and fellow-citizens, throughout the United States, that they maybe blessed in the knowledge, and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union and in that peace which the world cannot give; and, after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.”

Archbishop John Carroll, Prayer for the Government of the United States
Happy Feast of Our Lady, Queen of Perpetual Help
“Vatican City” by Robin Hickmott is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

Happy Father’s Day, to all our friends who are fathers by nature or in spirit.

O Virgin of Perpetual Help, great sign of our hope, Holy Mother of the Redeemer, we invoke Your name. Help your people who desire to be renewed. Give us joy as we walk towards the future in conscious and active solidarity with the poorest of our brothers and sisters, announcing to them in a new and courageous way, the Gospel of Your Son, the beginning and the end of all human relationships that aspire to live a true, just and lasting peace. As does the Child Jesus, Whom we admire in this venerable icon, so we also want to hold your right hand. You have both the power and the goodness to help us in every need and circumstance of life. This moment is yours. Come then, and help us; be for us our refuge and our hope. (mention your petitions here) AMEN 

A prayer by JPII, as part of the
Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help by Catholic Action for Faith and Family

“Beware of the new ideological colonization that tries to destroy the family. It is not born of the dream that we have from God and prayer; it comes from outside, and that’s why I call it a colonization. Let us not lose the freedom to take forward the mission God has given us: the mission of the family. And just as our peoples were able to say in the past, “No”, to the period of colonization, as families, we have to be very wise and strong to say “No” to any attempted ideological colonization that could destroy the family. And to ask the intercession of St Joseph to know when to say “Yes” and when to say “No”.

Pope Francis, Meeting with Families, Manila, January 16, 2015, as discussed on
First, Do No Harm

Brothers and sisters:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,
but you received a Spirit of adoption,
through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit
that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
if only we suffer with him
so that we may also be glorified with him.

Romans 8:14-17

What thou givest to them they shall gather up: when thou openest thy hand, they shall all be filled with good.

But if thou turnest away thy face, they shall be troubled: thou shalt take away their breath, and they shall fail, and shall return to their dust.

Thou shalt send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created: and thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Psalm 104 (103):28-30 (DRA)
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