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Friday, August 4, 2017


Job, Chapter 3, Verse 25
For what I feared overtakes me; what I dreaded comes upon me.

Job is not just experiencing self-fulfilling prophecy here; he is under a real attack. In chapter two of Job we see[1]:

·         God bragging about Job, and Satan, once again, doesn't buy it.
·         God gives Satan permission to hurt Job physically, something he wouldn't let him do last time. Just don't kill him.
·         Satan's method of choice? Give Job sores from his tippy-toes to his noggin. 
·         Job's wife apparently doesn't find this attractive, because she suggests that he curse God and die. But Job refuses to be disloyal.
·         Job's buddies Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad come to visit and chill with him while he rolls around in ash and sackcloth. This is all standard procedure, don't worry.

Then in this chapter Job cries out that he is in pain, and rues the day he was born—poetically, of course.

First Friday[2]

In Phoenix our artist community celebrates open studio tours which are a good way to experience art and artists. Every first Friday evening of each month you can take a free self-guided tour of downtown Phoenix galleries, studios and art spaces. It's called First Friday. First Friday is organized by Artlink, a nonprofit organization "...dedicated to bringing together artists, the public, and businesses for a greater understanding, appreciation, and promotion of the arts and the development of a strong and vital downtown Phoenix arts community."[3]

This is a great way to celebrate first Friday's but I wish to offer you an even greater gift. 

The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus . . . which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins."

To those who show him love and who make reparation for sins, however, our Lord made a great pledge: "I promise you in the unfathomable mercy of my heart that my omnipotent love will procure the grace of final penitence for all those who receive communion on nine successive first Fridays of the month; they will not die in my disfavor, or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life."

 To gain this grace, we must:

·         Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays.
·         Have the intention of honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of reaching final perseverance.
·         Offer each Holy Communion as an act of atonement for offenses against the Blessed Sacrament.


The fullness of God is revealed and given to us in Christ, in the love of Christ, in Christ's heart. For it is the heart of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Were one to lose sight of this great plan of God-the overflow of love in the world through the Incarnation, the Redemption and Pentecost-he could not understand the refinement with which our Lord deals with us. So, when we talk about the heart of Jesus, we stress the certainty of God's love and the truth of his commitment to us. When we recommend devotion to the Sacred Heart, we are recommending that we should give our whole selves to Jesus, to the whole Jesus-our souls, our feelings and thoughts, our words and actions, our joys. That is what true devotion to the heart of Jesus means. It is knowing God and ourselves. It is looking at Jesus and turning to him, letting him encourage and teach and guide us. The only difficulty that could beset this devotion would be our own failure to understand the reality of an incarnate God. But note that God does not say: "In exchange for your own heart, I will give you a will of pure spirit." No, he gives us a heart, a human heart, like Christ's. I don't have one heart for loving God and another for loving people. I love Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit and our Lady with the same heart with which I love my parents and my friends. I shall never tire of repeating this. We must be very human, for otherwise we cannot be divine. . . .

If we don't learn from Jesus, we will never love. If, like some people, we were to think that to keep a clean heart, a heart worthy of God, means "not mixing it up, not contaminating it" with human affection, we would become insensitive to other people's pain and sorrow. We would be capable of only an "official charity," something dry and soulless. But ours would not be the true charity of Jesus Christ, which involves affection and human warmth. In saying this, I am not supporting the mistaken theories-pitiful excuses-that misdirect hearts away from God and lead them into occasions of sin and perdition. . . .

But I have still a further consideration to put before you. We have to fight vigorously to do good, precisely because it is difficult for us to resolve seriously to be just, and there is a long way to go before human relations are inspired by love and not hatred or indifference. We should also be aware that, even if we achieve a reasonable distribution of wealth and a harmonious organization of society, there will still be the suffering of illness, of misunderstanding, of loneliness, of the death of loved ones, of the experience of our own limitations.

Faced with the weight of all this, a Christian can find only one genuine answer, a definitive answer: Christ on the cross, a God who suffers and dies, a God who gives us his heart opened by a lance for the love of us all. Our Lord abominates injustice and condemns those who commit it. But he respects the freedom of each individual. He permits injustice to happen because, as a result of original sin, it is part and parcel of the human condition. Yet his heart is full of love for men. Our suffering, our sadness, our anguish, our hunger and thirst for justice . . . he took all these tortures on himself by means of the cross. . . . 

Suffering is part of God's plans. This is the truth, however difficult it may be for us to understand it. It was difficult for Jesus Christ the man to undergo his passion: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." In this tension of pleading and acceptance of the Father's will, Jesus goes calmly to his death, pardoning those who crucify him.

This supernatural acceptance of suffering was, precisely, the greatest of all conquests. By dying on the cross, Jesus overcame death. God brings life from death. The attitude of a child of God is not one of resignation to a possibly tragic fate; it is the sense of achievement of someone who has a foretaste of victory. In the name of this victorious love of Christ, we Christians should go out into the world to be sowers of peace and joy through everything we say and do. We have to fight-a fight of peace-against evil, against injustice, against sin. Thus do we serve notice that the present condition of mankind is not definitive. Only the love of God, shown in the heart of Christ, will attain our glorious spiritual triumph.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is of great antiquity in the Church. It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, however, who made this devotion widespread. In 1675, within the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi, our Lord appeared to her and said: "Behold this heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love [the Eucharist]. But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service."

The great promise of the Sacred Heart is most consoling: the grace of final perseverance and the joy of having Jesus' heart as our sure refuge and Infinite Ocean of mercy in our last hour.

Fitness Friday[4]

APFT Aquatic Exercises

Source: Department of the Army Field Manual, FM 21-20 Physical Fitness Training

Side Leg-Raises. Stand in chest to shoulder-deep water with either side of the body at arm’s length to the wall of the pool, and grasp the edge with the nearest hand. Raise the outside leg sideward and upward from the hip. Next, pull the leg down to the starting position. Repeat these actions. Then, turn the other side of the body to the wall, and perform the exercise with the other leg. DURATION: 30 seconds (15 seconds per leg).

Leg-Over. Stand in chest-to shoulder-deep water, back facing the wall of the pool. Reach backward with the arms extended, and grasp the pool’s edge. Next, raise one leg in front of the body away from the wall, and move it sideward toward the other leg as far as it can go. Then, return the leg to the front-extended position, and lower it to the starting position. Repeat these actions with the other leg, and continue to alternate legs. DURATION: 30 seconds ( 15 seconds per leg).

Rear Leg Lift. Stand in chest-to shoulder-deep water with hands on the pool’s edge, chest to the wall. Raise one leg back and up from the hip, extend it, and point the foot. Then, pull the leg back to the starting position. Alternate these actions back and forth with each leg. DURATION: 20 seconds (10 seconds each leg).

Alternate Toe Touch. Stand in waist-deep water. Raise the left leg as in kicking while touching the elevated toe with the right hand. At the same time, rotate the head toward the left shoulder, and push the left arm backward through the water. Alternate these actions back and forth with each leg and opposite hand. DURATION 2 minutes.

Side Straddle Hop. Stand in waist deep water with hands on hips and feet together. Jump sideward and land with feet about two feet apart. Then, return to the starting position, and repeat the jumping action. DURATION 2 minutes.

Stride Hop. Stand in waist-deep water with hands on hips and feet together. Jump, moving the left leg forward and right leg backward. Then, jump again moving the right leg forward and left leg backward. Repeat these actions. DURATION 2 minutes.

The Bounce. Stand in waist-deep water with hands on hips and feet together. Jump high with feet together. Upon landing, use a bouncing motion, and repeat the action. DURATION: 1 minute.

Rise on Toes. Stand in chest-to shoulder-deep water with arms at sides and feet together. Rise up using the toes. Then, lower the body to the starting position. Repeat the action. DURATION: 1 minute.

Side Bender. Stand in waist-deep water with the left arm at the side and the right arm extended straight overhead. Stretch slowly, bending to the left. Recover to the starting position, and repeat the action. Next, reverse to the right arm at the side and the left arm extended straight overhead. Repeat the stretching action to the right side. DURATION: 1 minute.

Walking Crawl. Walk in waist- to chest-deep water. Simulate the overhand crawl stroke by reaching out with the left hand cupped and pressing the water downward to the thigh. Repeat the action with the right hand. Alternate left and right arm action. DURATION: 2 minutes.
Bouncing. Stand in chest-deep water, arms at sides. Bounce on the left foot while pushing down vigorously with both hands. Repeat the action with the right foot. Alternate bouncing on the left and right foot. DURATION: 2 minutes.

Bounding in Place with Alternate Arm Stretch, Forward. Bound in place in waist-deep water using high knee action. Stretch the right arm far forward when the left knee is high and the left arm is stretched backward. When the position of the arm is reversed, simulate the action of the crawl stroke by pulling down and through the water with the hand. DURATION 1 minute.

Poolside Knees Up, Supine. Stand in chest-to shoulder-deep water, back against the wall of the pool. Extend the arms backward, and grasp the pool’s edge. With feet together, extend the legs in front of the torso, and assume a supine position. Then with the legs together, raise the knees to the chin. Return to the starting position, and repeat the action. DURATION: 2 minutes (maximum effort).

Twisting Legs, Supine. Stand in chest-to shoulder-deep water, back against the wall of the pool. Extend the arms backward, and grasp the pool’s edge. With feet together, extend the legs in front of the torso, and assume a supine position. Then, twist the legs slowly to the left, return to the starting position, and twist the legs slowly to the right. Repeat this twisting action. DURATION: 1 minute (2 sets, 30 seconds each).

Scissor Kick. Float in chest- to shoulder- deep water on either side of the body with the top arm extended, hand holding the pool’s edge. Brace the bottom hand against the pool’s wall with feet below the water’s surface. Next, assume a crouching position by bringing the heels toward the hips by bending the knees. Then, straighten and spread the legs with the top leg extending backward. When the legs are extended and spread, squeeze themback together (scissoring). Pull with the top hand, and push with the bottom hand. The propulsive force of the kick will tend to cause the body to rise to the water’s surface. DURATION 1 minute (2 sets, 30 seconds each, maximum effort).

Push Away. Stand in chest-to shoulder-deep water facing the pool’s wall and at arm’s length from it. Grasp the pool’s edge, and bend the arms so that the body is leaning toward the wall of the pool. Vigorously push the chest back from the wall by straightening the arms. Then, with equal vigor, pull the upper body back to the wall. Repeat these actions. DURATION: 2 minutes (maximum effort).
Gutter Push-Ups. Stand in chest to shoulder- deep water facing the pool’s wall. Place the hands on the edge or gutter of the pool. Then, raise the body up and out of the water while extending the arms. repeat this action. DURATION: 2 minutes (4 sets, 30 seconds each with 5-second rests between sets).

Front Flutter Kick. Stand in chest to shoulder-deep water facing the pool’s wall. Grasp the pool’s edge or gutter and assume a prone position with legs extended just below the water’s surface. Then, kick flutter style, toes pointed, ankles flexible, knee joint loose but straight. The Iegs should simulate a whip’s action. DURATION 1 minute (2 sets, 30 seconds each).

Running. Move in a running gait in chest-to shoulder-deep water with arms and hands under the water’s surface. This activity can be stationary, or the exerciser may run from poolside to poolside. Runners must concentrate on high knee action and good arm movement. DURATION 10 to 20

The Engine. Stand in chest-to shoulder-deep water, arms straight and in front of the body and parallel to the water with the palms facing downward. While walking forward, raise the left knee to the left elbow, then return to the starting position. Continuing to walk forward, touch the right knee to the right elbow, and return to the starting position. Be sure to keep the arms parallel to the water throughout the exercise. DURATION 1 to 2 minutes (2 sets).

Feast of Saint John Vianney[5]

Let us listen to the words of Saint John Vianney about the thoughts of the sensual: “The World is everything and God is nothing!” is the driving motivation of these poor souls.

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 too much trouble when done for the world. What is more, people are not afraid of losing either God or their souls or Heaven. With what good reason did Jesus Christ, my dear people, say that the children of this world are more zealous in serving their master, the world, than the children of light are in serving theirs, who is God. To our shame, we must admit that people fear neither expense, nor even going into debt, when it is a matter of satisfying their pleasures, but if some poor person asks them for help, they have nothing at all. This is true of so many: they have everything for the world and nothing at all for God because to them, the world is everything and God is nothing.

Novena in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney[6]

Desire for Heaven

O Holy Priest of Ars, your precious remains are contained in a magnificent reliquary, the donation from the priests of France. But this earthly glory is only a very pale image of the unspeakable glory which you are enjoying with God. During the time you were on earth, you used to repeat in your dejected hours, 'one will rest in the other life." It is done, you are in eternal peace, and eternal happiness. I desire to follow you one day. Until then, I hear you saying to me:
"You should work and fight as long as you are in the world."

Teach me then to work for the salvation of my soul, to spread the good news and good example and to do good towards those around me in order that I will receive the happiness of the Elect with you. Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!

International Beer Day[7] another hedonistic holiday

International Beer Day celebrates the taste of beer and the achievement of beer brewers. Beer is an ancient alcoholic drink brewed mainly from malted barley, hops, yeast and water although it is possible to brew it from other grains such as maize, wheat and rice. Records of beer date back to 4000 BC, making it one of the oldest alcoholic beverages in the world. The three stated goals of the International Beer Day are to: appreciate brewers and servers, enjoy the taste of all beers from around the world, and to unite the world under the banner of beer.  Founded in 2007 by the Association of California Brewers, International Beer Day has become an international event that is observed in more than 50 countries worldwide.  It is held annually on the first Friday of August.

International Beer Day Facts & Quotes

·         International Beer Day began in Santa Cruz, California, 2007.  It was founded by beer enthusiasts, Jesse Avshalomov and Evan Hamilton.
·         As far back as ancient Egypt, beer was a staple food.  Known as Hqt, heqet or heket, beer was a thick and sweet source of nutrition including vitamins, minerals and protein that was consumed daily by adults and children.
·         According to the Brewers Association, the Craft Brewing Industry contributed more than $55 billion to the U.S. economy in 2014, and provided more than 424,000 jobs.  The U.S. beer market for 2014 was more than $101 billion.
·         On average, a can of beer contains 100-150 calories and 10-15g carbohydrates.
·         I work until beer o'clock - Stephen King

International Beer Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Visit your local watering hole and try a new beer that you have never had.
·         Attend a beer festival to taste beer from around the world and learn more about brewing and craft beers.   Some of the largest beer festivals in the United States are:
1) Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado
2) Oregon Brewers Festival in Portland, Oregon
3) World Beer Festival held across Durham, NC; Raleigh, NC; Columbia, SC; Cleveland, OH
·         Visit a local craft brewery in your state.  Here are our top US picks a visit to:
1) Dogfish Head, Milton, Del.
2) Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, Calif.
3) Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, Mich.
4) Oskar Blues, Lyons, Colo. and
5) Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif.
·         Watch a flick that pays tribute to Beer.  Our top picks: Oktoberfest (1987), Beer Wars (2009), Strange Brew (1983), Beerfest (2006)
·         Try an international award-winning beer.  The International Brewing Awards are recognize outstanding achievements in the brewing industry.  The winners for 2015 include:
1.  Champion Dark Beer - Black Butte Porter, Deschutes Brewery Inc., Oregon, USA
2.  Champion Strong Beer - Brugse Zot Dubbel, Brouwerij De Halve Maan, Bruges, Belgium
3.  Champion Specialty Beer - Red Chair NWPA, Deschutes Brewery Inc., Oregon, USA
4.  Champion Keg Ale - Revisionist Rye Pale Ale, Marston’s PLC, Wolverhampton, UK

Daily Devotions/Prayers
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

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