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Monday, May 29, 2017 Memorial Day


King Cyrus of Persia has just defeated the Babylonians. Inspired by God's spirit, he tells the Israelites that they can head home and rebuild their temple. He returns the sacred temple vessels stolen by the Babylonians and personally bankrolls the whole building project from his treasury. Zerubbabel and Jeshua the High Priest lead the people back and start laying down the foundations for a new Temple. But Israel's enemies are able to frustrate the building plans by getting the new Persian king Artaxerxes to order construction to a halt. Things stay that way until Darius comes to power in Persia. Two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, urge the Israelites to start building, so naturally the enemies of Israel again complain to the king and demand he check the records to see if Cyrus actually gave permission to build. But—when Darius finds Cyrus's original decree, he lets them start rebuilding. Ezra (earlier in time but not in the narrative) is sent by Artaxerxes to help the Israelites get their religious observance back on track. A big part of this involves Ezra breaking up marriages between Israelites and non-Israelites. He has a major meltdown when he hears about all the intermarriage, and manages to convince the men to send away their foreign wives and children.


Ezra, Chapter 3, Verse 3
They set the altar on its foundations, for they lived in fear of the peoples of the lands, and offered burnt offerings to the LORD on it, both morning and evening.

Today is Memorial Day and we honor those who have paid the supreme sacrifice of devotion watching our nation. Yet let us not forget that these men by their devotion have set this nation aright and secured our religious liberties. Lord we ask that you help us to set the altar of true faith and devotion on its foundation in this nation.

Pray today for the souls of those taken in battle. In the communion of saints it is our duty; no our honor to pray for the souls of those in our company who have died; especially those who have passed through the valley of fear in the heat of battle.

One thing is certain: There are no atheists in foxholes.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, first established in 1866 to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War, is now a day set aside to remember all of the American soldiers who have died in war in the subsequent 15 decades -- about 1.2 million in all. This number, while representing a tremendous loss, pales in comparison to the number of war-related deaths globally for the same time period. Estimates run from 60 to 85 million for the number of lives lost during World War II alone.[2]

While I was stationed with the US Army in Mons, Belgium there is the legend of the Angels of Mons, where it was reported the British soldiers were saved by heavenly forces.

One thing is certain: There are no atheists in foxholes.

To honor our fallen let us stop what we are doing at 1500 hrs. (3 pm) and offer the Divine Mercy Prayer for those who have fallen in service of our nation.

God of power and mercy,
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons
      and daughters.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen[3]

Memorial Day Facts & Quotes[4]

·         There have been over 2.7 million US military deaths since 1775.
·         The deadliest US War was the Civil War with about 600,000 US deaths.
·         It is customary to fly a US flag at half-staff till noon on Memorial Day.
·         U.S. Army accounts 158 installations around the world. It includes over 132,000 miles of infrastructure for gas, water, electric and sewer, and more than 1 billion square feet of office space.
·         It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.  Rather we should thank God that such men lived. - George S. Patton

Memorial Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Attend a Memorial Day parade. One popular parade is the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC.
·         All Americans are encouraged to pause for one minute at 3:00 pm (local time). Think of the sacrifices made by U.S. soldiers to provide freedom for all.
·         Visit the grave of a fallen soldier.
·         Have a picnic or go boating.
·         Donate to a charity that serves veterans.

St. Joseph: Warrior of God[5]

Are we willing to fight for the souls of our children even when the battles seem increasingly difficult and unpractical in our eyes? Think what St. Joseph would he do if he were alive today? The technology we bring into our home is just one example. In what other scenarios do we need to stand strong? Warriors don’t fret or complain because they understand there is a monumental battle at hand; they are fighting against something bigger than themselves. Mary and Joseph resisted the lure to complain when they had nowhere to sleep the night of the birth of Jesus. How unpractical to take Mary into the middle of nowhere precisely when she was about to go into labor; but that is exactly what Joseph did!
·         Are you prepared to fight for the souls of each and every member of your family?
·         Are you willing to make spiritual sacrifices for them?
·         Are you poised to be there for them in the toughest of times?
The Gift of Counsel[6]

The gift of counsel is “to render the individual docile and receptive to the counsel of God regarding one’s actions in view of sanctification and salvation.” Primarily, this gift enables a person to judge individual acts as good and ought to be done, or as evil and ought to be avoided. Aiding the virtue of prudence, the Holy Spirit not only makes our heart docile to search for the truth (as taught by the church) and to accept it, but also helps us to remember and learn from past events. The counsel given pertains to one’s own personal sanctification and ultimate supernatural end. Therefore, this gift prompts the person to ask himself, “Is this act true to Christ and the teachings of this church? Does this act lead to or strengthen holiness? Will this act lead to heaven?” Therefore, the gift of counsel enlightens a person to know what must be done at this particular time, place and circumstance; it also enlightens us to counsel others who ask for advice and direction. To cultivate this gift, a person should pray for the help of the Holy Spirit (in particular for the gifts of knowledge and understanding). Also, continued study of sacred Scripture and the teachings of the church, especially in the moral issues of the day, provide fuel for this gift.

Daily Devotions/Prayers

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Novena to the Holy Spirit

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