Monday, February 29, 2016 Leap Day

Isaiah, Chapter 44, verse 2
Thus says the LORD who made you, your help, who formed you from the womb: Do not fear, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.

Jeshurun means “upright”.

Have you fallen?

Be resolute!

Get up!

Have your dreams been crushed? Have your expectations been dulled? Have the five fears overtaken your mind? Has the fear of isolation, demons, darkness, suffering and death kept you from holding fast to our Lord?

Rejoice for today is your salvation!

Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

Repent, says the Lord; the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.(Mt. 4:17) I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word; with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption. (Ps. 130:5,7)

Leap Day[1]

A leap year is a year containing one additional day added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.

Folk Traditions. In Ireland and Britain, it is a tradition that women may propose marriage only in leap years. While it has been claimed that the tradition was initiated by Saint Patrick or Brigid of Kildare in 5th century Ireland, this is dubious, as the tradition has not been attested before the 19th century. Supposedly, a 1288 law by Queen Margaret of Scotland (then age five and living in Norway), required that fines be levied if a marriage proposal was refused by the man; compensation was deemed to be a pair of leather gloves, a single rose, £1 and a kiss. In some places the tradition was tightened to restricting female proposals to the modern leap day, February 29, or to the medieval (bissextile) leap day, February 24. According to Felten: "A play from the turn of the 17th century, 'The Maydes Metamorphosis,' has it that 'this is leape year/women wear breeches.' A few hundred years later, breeches wouldn't do at all: Women looking to take advantage of their opportunity to pitch woo were expected to wear a scarlet petticoat — fair warning, if you will." In Finland, the tradition is that if a man refuses a woman's proposal on leap day, he should buy her the fabrics for a skirt. In France, since 1980, a satirical newspaper entitled La Bougie du Sapeur is published only on leap year, on February 29. In Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky. One in five engaged couples in Greece will plan to avoid getting married in a leap year. In February 1988 the town of Anthony in Texas, declared itself "leap year capital of the world", and an international leapling birthday club was started.In the United States, February 29 is often referred to as "Sadie Hawkins Day" signifying a gender role reversal, such as a day when a woman proposes marriage to a man.


The Church teaches that confirmation, no matter when we receive it, “Completes” our baptism. Confirmation is connected to baptism; whereas baptism cleans us and makes us children of God; Confirmation empowers us to witness, defend and live responsibly within the Church. God became man not merely to save us from something (our sins), but save us for something that is to live as children of God. Christ told His apostles: “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you…When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (Jn 16:7,13) Receiving the Holy Spirit is not the gift of something, but of Someone. Via confirmation the Holy Spirit dwells in us; we are His temples. This gift from God is intended for all; not just the priest’s and elite but for everyone forever. Baptism prepares and the laying on of the hands of the bishop places the “seal” of the Holy Spirit on the soul. In the ancient world, to bear someone’s seal, or wear it, was to be identified with that person, to be known as that person’s child or servant. Confirmation marks us as God’s own children. Confirmation as a gift fills us with the light of the Holy Spirit and we are empowered by the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, piety, fortitude, and fear of the Lord. We should daily invoke the Holy Spirit and worship Him for He is a person not a force or an operation or an instrument. He is the third person of the Trinity that dwells with us. We are His temples. So we must strive not to neglect or undervalue the Spirits work within us to reproduce Christ’s life, death, and resurrection in us.

[2] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 19. Confirmation.


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