This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
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Monday, December 26, Feast of St. Stephen
Chapter 7, verse 13:
Still, no one spoke openly about him because they
were afraid of the Jews.
Stephen like Jesus is unjustly persecuted; yet he
prays for his persecutors. Can we claim ourselves Christ like if we do not love
our enemies? Was not Stephen, and others who have imitated him, men like ourselves?
With the grace of God we do what they have done? Indeed can we call ourselves
Christians were we do not to do this? No; for the love of our neighbor, and of
our enemy also, is the chief token of the Christian; since it is only by this
love that we become like Christ, and resemble our heavenly Father, Who makes
His sun to shine upon the evil and the good, and sendeth rains upon the just
and upon the unjust (Matt. v. 45). Let us, therefore, imitate the love of God, of
Christ, and of St. Stephen, and then we may one day be able to give up our
souls with calmness into the hands of our Maker.
But what exactly are the Twelve Days of
Christmas? They are the days between Christmas and the Feast of the
Epiphany that constitute an unbroken period of joy and celebration (see Christmas Schema).
Epiphany is considered the twelfth day of Christmas (in fact it is sometimes
called "Twelfth Day") while the Eve of Epiphany is called
"Twelfth Night." Shakespeare's play, "Twelfth Night,"
takes its name from the Vigil because during this period festivals (such as the
Feast of Fools or the Feast of the Ass) used to be held in which
everything was turned upside-down -- a little like the reversed identities of
the characters in the play. These "preposterous" observances,
incidentally, were a joyful mimicry of the inversion of almighty God
becoming a lowly man, of the King appearing as a humble infant. The twelve
nights of Christmas were primarily a time of rest from unnecessary labor
and joyful prayer. On each of these nights the Christmas
tree lights and the Christmas candle
would be lit, while the family would gather around the manger to
recite prayers and sing carols and hymns. Similar services are held in some
churches during these nights as well. Several saints' days which fall
within the Octave of Christmas are also a part of the Twelve Days. This might
seem odd, but their placement is deliberate. By placing their feasts near the
birth of the Lord, the Church is suggesting that there is a special spiritual
proximity as well. St. Stephen (December 26) is the
"Proto-Martyr," the first disciple of our Lord to be martyred. Today is the first day of Christmas. St.
Stephen is considered the patron saint of horses. Scholars speculate
that this has something to do with the relief from work that domestic animal
enjoyed during Twelfth-night; in any case, horse parades or horse
races were always held on this day. One custom in rural areas was for the
horses to be decorated and taken to the church, where the priest would bless
them. Afterwards, they would be ridden around the church three times. Horse's
food (hay or oats) is also blessed on this day.NOTA
BENE:In the eleventh century, the Church instituted special feast days
during the Christmas Octave for various ecclesiastical ranks. Today, on
the day in which one of the first seven deacons was martyred, was the festival
Also, today is another pagan, culturally
correct day, designed to minimize the true meaning of Christmas and confuse
children about the good news of the season.
an African-American and Pan-African celebration of family, community and
culture. Kwanzaa, a week-long cultural festival from the 26th of December to
the 1st of January that climaxes in feasts and gift giving, was initially
established to unite African-Americans with their African roots and heritage.
Nguzo Saba, the seven principles that guide the holiday, is central to
Kwanzaa as a different principle is emphasized every day during the
celebration. Celebrants often dress in traditional Pan-African clothing and
decorate their homes in African artwork. Kwanzaa was created in 1965 by Dr.
Maulana Karenga, a major figure in the Black Power movement, with the intention
of providing African Americans with a link to their ancestral heritage. Karenga
aimed to bring together African-Americans as a community through the
combination of various aspects of other celebrations such as Thanksgiving,
Christmas and African Yam Festivals. Since Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday, not a
religious one; it can be celebrated by Africans from all religious backgrounds.
Facts & Quotes
·The name Kwanzaa is derived from Matunda
ya kwanza, which in Swahili means first fruits. Kwanzaa is based on the
Ashanti and Zulu traditions of first fruit harvest celebrations.
·Each day of Kwanzaa celebrates one
of 7 principles, known as Nguzo Saba. These include Unity,
Self-determination, Collective work and responsibility, Cooperative Economics,
Purpose, Creativity and Faith. The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green.
Each color carries an important meaning to unify those of African
descent. Black is for the people, red for the noble blood that unites all
people of African descent and green for the land of Africa. A candle holder,
called a Kinara, holds the seven candles that represent the seven principles of
Kwanzaa. The seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective
work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith
-- teach us that when we come together to strengthen our families and
communities and honor the lesson of the past, we can face the future with joy
and optimism. - Bill Clinton
Top Events and Things to Do
·Read about the seven principles of
Kwanzaa with your family. These principles teach about working together,
learning from the past and strengthening bonds.
·Attend a Kwanzaa celebration event.
In 2015 the most popular events were the Energize, Recognize! event at
then American Museum of Natural History (NYC), Regeneration Night at the Apollo
Theater (NYC) and the Celebration at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African
American History (Detroit, MI).
·Prepare a festive Kwanzaa dinner.
Include Kwanzaa foods include:
1) Shisa nyama (meat cooked over a hot wood fire).
2) Kapenta with sadza (kapenta is a freshwater fish and sadza is a maize
3) Nyama na irio (mashed potatoes, peas, corn and onion served with spicy roast
·Give festive Kwanzaa gifts to your
friends and family. Some traditional gifts include a food basket, kinara
candle holder, books about African culture and handwoven items like gloves and
·Watch The Black Candle
(2008). This is a vibrant and powerful documentary that illuminates the
African-American experience from the perspective of Kwanzaa. Narrated by
Dr. Maya Angelou (poet), the documentary won the award for best full-length
documentary at the Africa World Documentary Film Festival in 2009.
Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of Mary Help of Christians (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests. The Church teaches us that it is divided into the Church Triumphant (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the Church Suffering (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the Church Militant (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." ( Ephesians 6:12 ) The me
Switch of Manliness Legacy OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA Acts, Chapter 10, verse 1-4 1 Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, 2 devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come into him and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He looked intently at him and seized with FEAR , said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God. Cornelius’ Cohort was an auxiliary unit of archers, men who are expert at hitting a mark or target. Sin is the act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God, or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as "to miss the mark" to have a harden
Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter PINOT GRIGIO DAY John, Chapter 14, verse 27 Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or AFRAID . Shalom, which means peace, is a Hebrew salutation. Yet Christ tells us that HIS shalom is different. It is a gift of salvation a messianic blessing. Through the spirit we are born again, sons and daughters of the eternal. The world and its attractions to sin lose its sparkle to us. Yes, we may fall from time to time, but the spirit and peace of Christ is always with us, and we rise up again. 10 things happy professionals do before 10 a.m.  Success often seems like a visionary goal — a feat in life that’s attempted only after many strides, plenty of pitfalls and a healthy serving of endurance. However, for those who consider themselves fulfilled by their career, it’s not only a sense of accomplishment and an impressive LinkedIn profile that defines
Introduction to Philippians  Philippi, in northeastern Greece, was a city of some importance in the Roman province of Macedonia. Lying on the great road from the Adriatic coast to Byzantium, the Via Egnatia, and in the midst of rich agricultural plains near the gold deposits of Mt. Pangaeus, it was in Paul’s day a Roman town, with a Greek-Macedonian population and a small group of Jews. Originally founded in the sixth century B.C. as Krenides by the Thracians, the town was taken over after 360 B.C. by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, and was renamed for himself, “Philip’s City.” The area became Roman in the second century B.C. On the plains near Philippi in October 42 B.C., Antony and Octavian decisively defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius, the slayers of Julius Caesar. Octavian (Augustus) later made Philippi a Roman colony and settled many veterans of the Roman armies there. Paul established at Philippi the first Christian community in Europe. He c
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost Acts, Chapter 27, verse 29 FEARING that we would run aground on a rocky coast, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. Paul was under arrest and was an inmate on a prison ship bound for Rome, when the ship he was on, was in danger of being sunk. Yet, God had not abandoned Paul. His faith saved him and also the crew. Paul in this case really did lead from behind. The Law of Influence : An Inmate Takes Command (Acts 27:4-44)  1. Paul built trust which influences his jailer, Julius, to allow special privileges, noting his trustworthiness. 2. He took the initiative by stepping in when action was needed. 3. He possessed good judgment through his use of wisdom and experience. 4. He spoke with authority and credibility based on earlier actions. 5. He showed optimism and confidence by speaking boldly. 6. He gave encouragement to the hopeless that feared their
LOVE LITIGATING LAWYERS DAY Acts, Chapter 23, verse 10 The dispute was so serious that the commander, AFRAID that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, ordered his troops to go down and rescue him from their midst and take him into the compound. During Paul’s time the Jewish people were divided into two camps. Paul in his fearlessness had spoken the truth and it struck a nerve with both sects wanting his death. How often is truth and reason ignored? Men find it easier to fall into camps and rationalize or justify their actions. Christ tells us to use reason much as He did with Thomas and believe. God has given us intelligent foresight as well as the Holy Spirit. The Virtue of Foresight: A Mark of Wisdom  The ancient philosophers identified man ’ s capacity for thought by the use of different words for perceiving reality: sensus (the five senses), imaginatio (the ability of the mind to recall pictures from the past or paint pictures of the future), ratio (the abil
OUR LADY OF SORROWS 2 Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verse 3-4 3 Nonetheless, I sent the brothers so that our boast about you might not prove empty in this case, so that you might be ready, as I said, 4 for FEAR that if any Macedonians come with me and find you not ready, we might be put to shame (to say nothing of you) in this conviction. Christ died for all. This was Paul’s message, yet he was not blind to cultural distrusts, nor should we be, we should be aware of them and work to bring the peace of Christ to all. At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Mt. 14:27) Let’s Play Who Hates Who!  Indian nationalists hate Muslims, Christians, Whites, Asians and Blacks. Really everyone who is not a Hindu. Chinese nationalists hate Whites, Blacks, Jews, Southeast Asians and the non-Han people of China. Remember Huax? Korean nationalists hate Japanese, Chinese, Whites, Jews, and Blacks. Remember Hacienda? Vietnamese nationalists hate
Oktoberfest September 17-Oct . 3. Raise a stein to Oktoberfest . This annual, 16-day celebration of all thing’s beer kicks off in late September in Munich. Can’t make it to Germany? Bring your taste for brewski to these US Oktoberfest events . Oktoberfest  Remember no carousing or drunkenness!!! Oktoberfest is a 16-day folk festival celebrated in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is also the world’s largest Volksfest , which are German events that combine beer festivals with traveling funfairs. Oktoberfest first emerged on October 12, 1910 when King Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Citizens of Munich celebrated the marriage in fields leading to the city gates. These fields were named ‘Theresienwiese’ in honor of the Princess. The wedding celebrations ended on October 17th with horse races and until 1960, horse races were held annually. Eventually, carnivals, amusement rides, food booths, beer tents and parades were all added to the celebrations
2 Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 3 But I am AFRAID that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere [and pure] commitment to Christ. Paul was concerned here about the faithfulness of the church knowing that where the mind goes so does the heart and soul. We are often plagued by worldly hearts. Let us listen to the words of Saint John Vianney: The World is Everything and God is Nothing!  If people would do for god what they do for the world, my dear people, what a great number of Christians would go to Heaven! But if you, dear children, had to pass three or four hours praying in a church, as you pass them at a dance or in a cabaret, how heavily the time would press upon you! If you had to go to a great many different places in order to hear a sermon, as you go for your pastimes or to satisfy your avarice and greed, what pretexts there would be, and how many detours would be taken to avoid going at all. But nothing is
FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS 2 Corinthians, Chapter 7, Verse 15 And his heart goes out to you all the more, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, when you received him with FEAR and trembling. We know that if our fear gives way to a deep sense of peace and joy when we seek to be reconciled to God; then it is the holy fear of God and we are on the right path. Let those turn to me who fear you and acknowledge your decrees. (Ps. 119:79) The Masculine Spirit  In America we are gradually seeing the wholesale destruction of the masculine spirit. We are so confused many of us don’t know which bathroom to use. Is this just another attempt by Satan to kill the body as God created it? Men and women need to value themselves and value the beneficial characteristics of masculinity and to reject the false images of being male. Men and women were created to be different. They were created to be in partnership, neither one dominating the other, each using their God-g