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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

Tobit, Chapter 14, Verse 1-2
1 So the words of Tobit’s hymn of praise came to an end. Tobit died in peace at the age of a hundred and twelve and was buried with honor in Nineveh. 2 He was fifty-eight years old when he lost his eyesight, and after he recovered it he lived in prosperity, giving alms; he continued to fear God and give thanks to the divine Majesty.

May God in his grace open your eyes to your blessings! Tobit’s song of praise focuses on giving praise to God who is all powerful and yet has a love for us that grants us freedom and mercy.

Tobit[1]
  1. Tobit took the angel’s words seriously.  He prayed out loud and long, proclaiming God’s great mercy to anyone who would listen.  He also prayed for his countrymen.  If God could bring about such healing in Tobit’s life, what more could he do for the people of Israel! 
  2. Tobit, apparently, lived a happy life after that.  He passed on when he was 112.  He was 58 when he became blind and was blind for four years.  He continued to give alms and to praise God.
  3. Before he died, he called Tobias (who now had seven sons) and told him to leave Nineveh and to return to Media.  He predicted the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem as well as its restoration.  When the temple would be rebuilt, people would see and be converted to the one God.
  4. He made Tobias promise that he would leave the day his mother was buried. 
A Grateful Heart[2]

Having and retaining a grateful heart is the key to making right judgments and being a person of character. John McCain highlights in his book, “Character is Destiny” the life of the Native American war Chief Tecumseh as an example of a man that never lost his gratitude in life. Tecumseh was a great Indian leader who lost a war but taught even his enemies how to live. Everyone knew that the great Tecumseh, fearless warrior and visionary, steadfast leader, did not tolerate torture or murder, or suffer intentional harm to be done to innocents. He was a man of honor. Even his enemies knew that, especially the man who had fought him the longest, William Henry Harrison. However, as a youth Tecumseh was unnerved in his first encounter with organized bloodletting, and fled the battle. It was the only time in his life his courage failed him. In a later raid near the end of the war, the Shawnees attacked the crew of a flatboat on the Ohio River. All but one of the crew was killed in the encounter. The lone survivor was dragged ashore and burned at the stake. The atrocity left a deep mark on Tecumseh, who, though he was too young to intervene in the victim’s behalf, denounced the murder after it occurred, and swore he would never again remain silent in the face of such an injustice. He would live and die determined to defend Indian land from the insatiable appetites of American settlers. In the course of his crusade, he became the greatest Indian leader of his time. Many would argue, including Americans who fought him, that he was the greatest war chief of all time. Raised by his older brother Chiksika, he took special care of his younger brother Tecumseh. He taught him to hunt and fish, and to learn the fighting skills of a Shawnee brave. He raised him to revere the memory of their courageous father, and the virtues he had exemplified as a warrior who preferred death to dishonor. There was something in his character that repelled despair, finding in life, with all its many tragedies, a reason to be thankful for the very fact that he could remain true to himself. He was the kind of person for whom life was a gift that could not be diminished by suffering, and it gave him a unique strength, a confidence that was superior to most people. Tall and sinewy, with an erect bearing, a superior skill at arms, exuding a sense of command, and possessing a gift for oratory that earned him admirers even among his enemies, he was renowned as a capable provider and protector of his clan, whose leadership had an ever-broadening appeal to neighboring tribes. Tecumseh delivered an address to his people as he prepared them for the coming struggle that has become famous not only as a measure of his own character, but as a code of honor that merits respect and emulation.

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

On the day of his final battle never having despaired over the vicissitudes of life, he would not do so now. He arose in the morning and gave thanks for the joy of living. At the Battle of the Thames in Ontario on October 5, 1813, British General Procter and his soldiers fled the field after the first volley was fired. Tecumseh dispensed with his sword and British officer’s jacket, and charged, as always, into the thick of the battle. When a musket ball shattered his right leg, he told his braves to leave him. He kept fighting until a crowd of American soldiers surrounded him. He sang his death song and died like a hero going home.

Fitness Friday

Recognizing that God the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength; mind, soul and heart.

Your Posture says a lot about you-stand tall have an erect bearing



Humble Confession[3]

A story about Father Damien the leper shows us how no one or anything should stop us from making a humble confession. One of Father Damien's greatest sufferings after he left for Molokai was his inability to go to confession. Two months after his arrival on the island, the Honolulu Board of Health ruled that no one on Molokai would be allowed to return, even temporarily. This was a cruel blow to a man of such delicate conscience as Father Damien, accustomed to receiving the grace of the sacrament of Penance weekly. Since he was forbidden to leave, it seemed someone must come to him. In September, a steamer stopped outside the shore settlement of Kalaupapa with the usual load of provisions, patients banished from the mainland, and this time with Father Damien's provincial, Father Modeste, who knew the young priest was longing to see him. As he prepared to land, Father Modeste was confronted by the captain. "I have formal orders to stop you," he announced. There was nothing left but for Damien to come out to the ship. He did, in a small boat rowed by two of his leper friends, and prepared to board. "Stay back! Stay back!" shouted the captain. "I've been strictly forbidden to let you see anyone!" Father Damien stood in the little boat, so near and yet so far. Quickly he made up his mind. "Very well, I will go to confession here." And with his provincial leaning over the railing on the deck, the priest confessed his sins and received absolution. It is said no one on board knew French. Nevertheless, one cannot help feel that in this case the walls, the very skies, had ears. It was truly heroic: a man making the choice between human respect and sacramental grace. There is no comparison. Penance is the torrent that will cleanse us. Let neither pride nor human respect prevent our making a humble confession.


Daily Devotions/Prayers

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Novena to the Sacred Heart






[1]http://www.biblewise.com/bible_study/characters/tobit-and-tobias.php
[2] McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York.

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