Saturday, February 11, 2017 Our Lady of Lourdes
The LORD God called to Adam and asked him, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself."
Numbers, Chapter 14, Verse 9
Only do not rebel against the LORD! You need not be afraid of the people of the land, for they are but food for us! Their protection has left them, but the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”
There’s a happy thought. The Israelites were a hard people but little did they know that God would turn that around to Him being food for us. Yes, we are all hard people. Yes, we eat our young. Look at the comments coming out of Planned Parenthood about making so much money from tissue sales they will be driving Lamborghinis.
Look at the world we can see that more and more there is a battle between the light and the dark. Look at advertising, marketing, media, politics; all are fighting either for Him who is or him who thinks he is. Choose but choose wisely-do not fear them.
Our Lady tells us the battle is already won-their protection has left them!
Our Lady of Lourdes
Today marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. On March 25 she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer, and charity.
Things to Do
· Watch The Song of Bernadette, a masterpiece filmed in 1943.
· Bring flowers (roses would be appropriate) to your statue of Our Lady at your home altar, especially if you have a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes.
· Obtain some Lourdes holy water and give the parental blessing to your children (see link).
· Give extra care to the sick in your community — cook dinner for a sick mother's family, bring your children to the local nursing home (the elderly love to see children), send flowers to a member of your parish community who is ill.
Today is World Day of the Sick and also the Hebrew New Year for trees-One wonders if our Lady celebrated this with Christ in happier times.
Tu Bishvat (Hebrew: ט״ו בשבט, literally: the 15th of the Lunar Month of Shevat) is the New Year for trees (similar to Arbor Day). It falls in January or February each year, typically when almond blossom is seen in Israel. It is one of the four New Years in the Jewish Calendar. According to the Jewish Law (Halachah), the 'New Year for trees' defines the beginning of the year for separating tithes for the poor and Levite. Tithes are 10% portions of a product, which are allocated as charity to either the Levites or the poor. Torah Law requires, that when the Holy Temple was standing, these tithes would be removed from the produce, before it was 'fit for consumption'. There was a seven year cycle, culminating in the Shmittah year, when fields lay fallow. After every seven seven year cycles, a Jubilee, 50th year was celebrated.
Tu Bishvat Facts & Quotes
· It is customary on Tu Bishvat to eat fruits of the Land of Israel, particularly those of the Biblical verse A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey (Deuteronomy 8:8). The honey in this verse refers to date honey, according to tradition. Another custom is to plant trees in Israel.
· On Tu Bishvat, we remember that Man is a Tree of the Field (Deuteronomy 20:19). It explains that we may not cut down trees during the siege of a city. The tree of the field is man's life to be used in and after the siege.
· The Code of Jewish Law states that on Tu B'Shevat fasting and eulogies are forbidden, and all penitential prayers are omitted. One of the most important authorities, the Magen Avraham, adds (131:16): It is the custom to eat many different kinds of fruit. The Arizal suggested the eating of fifteen kinds of fruit (on the fifteenth of the month).
· It should be noted that all Jewish holidays begin at sundown one the eve before the Gregorian date specified for the holiday.
Tu Bishvat Top Events and Things to Do
· Make a Tu Bishvat Fruit Plate. Magen Avraham, a leading Jewish authority suggested the eating of fifteen kinds of fruit (on the fifteenth of the month).
· Say Blessings for new Fruit. Two blessings are said for new fruits (which have not yet been eaten that year), namely the standard blessing for fruits ..Who created the fruits of the tree and ..Who kept us alive, and sustained us and allowed us to reach this day.
· Attend a Tu Bishvat tisch which is popular in Hasidic communities. A Tisch is the Yiddish word for table. It refers to a festive meal with Holy Land fruits, wine, bread, fish and other foods.
· Sing a Tu Bishvat Song. There are many songs on YouTube about Tu Bishvat in both Hebrew and English.
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