INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY
The LORD, your God, shall you fear; him shall you serve, and by his name shall you swear."
Job, Chapter 21, Verse 9
Their homes are safe, without fear, and the rod of God is not upon them.
With the current political climate of today-North Korea, Kenya, Venezuela, Sanctuary Cities, Gangs etc.; we may not be feeling safe in our homes. We may feel God’s rod is upon us. Yet, we learn that God does not wish to destroy us but bring about the best in us. The wages of sin are usually destruction, but God is mercy. As in the parable of the wheat and tares God allows the weeds to grow with the wheat. We often ask with Job, “Why do the wicked keep on living, grow old, become mighty in power? Mercy!
Zophar & His Asps
· Zophar decides to beat a dead horse.
· Not literally.
· He tells Job that the wicked get what they deserve from God.
· For good measure, he adds that the venom of asps will poison people's stomachs and kill the sinners. Well that's graphic.
Job Refutes Zophar
· Job sticks to his guns.
· The wicked, he says, go unpunished all the time. Not that he's cool with that. He prays for the sinners' destruction, and then tells Zophar to stop being so depressing.
The North Korean cult of personality surrounding its ruling family, the Kim family, has existed in North Korea for decades and can be found in many examples of North Korean culture. The personality cult began soon after Kim Il-sung took power in 1948, and was greatly expanded after his death in 1994. While other countries have had cults of personality to various degrees (such as Joseph Stalin's in the Soviet Union), the pervasiveness and extreme nature of North Korea's personality cult surpasses that of Stalin or Mao Zedong. The cult is also marked by the intensity of the people's feelings for and devotion to their leaders, and the key role played by a Confucianized ideology of familism both in maintaining the cult and thereby in sustaining the regime itself. The cult of personality surrounding the Kim family requires total loyalty and subjugation to the Kim family and establishes the country as a one-man dictatorship through successive generations. There is even widespread belief that Kim Il-sung "created the world" and that Kim Jong-il controlled the weather. Korean society, traditionally Confucian, places a strong emphasis on paternal hierarchy and loyalty. North Korean authorities have co-opted portions of Christianity and Buddhism, and adapted them to their own uses, while greatly restricting all religions in general as they are seen as a threat to the regime. An example of this can be seen in the description of Kim Il-sung as a god, and Kim Jong-il as the son of a god or "Sun of the Nation".
Time to Get Serious About Fatima
The world's gone mad. Take the attack in Nice, France, let alone the regular atrocities and outrages perpetrated by ISIS upon their neighbors or the persecutions of the Church in China and North Korea, and the list could go on. But it's pointless to compare tragedies, to try to determine who's most wounded, who is most in pain. Rather, it's time and long past time to apply the solutions we've had all along. I'm talking, of course, about the message of Fatima, specifically Our Lady's calls for the daily Rosary for peace in the world and the Five First Saturday’s devotion.
My fellow Marian Fr. Seraphim Michalenko sometimes tells a story that a priest ministering in Japan shared with him in Rome. This priest was attending an international gathering of Christians from across the world, attended by foreign dignitaries. The ambassador from Japan approached the priest, verified that the priest served in Japan and was a Catholic priest, and then said, "War is your fault." The priest was surprised and asked what the ambassador meant. The ambassador said, "You Catholics, all of you — we do not have peace in the world. It is your fault." The priest said, "Ambassador, why do you blame us?" The ambassador said, "I've read about this. The Lady came to you at Fatima, right? That's what you believe? She told you what to do to secure peace in the world. Well, there's no peace in the world, so obviously you Catholics haven't done it." The priest had to acknowledge that the ambassador was correct, but still tried to protest, saying, "Isn't peace everyone's responsibility?" The ambassador was vehement. "No, she came to you Catholics. Not to Buddhists. Not to Hindus. She came to you, and it is your responsibility."
• Make the Five First Saturdays devotion
• Consecrate yourself to the Immaculate Heart, and encourage others to do the same.
• Become invested in the Brown Scapular.
• Do penance for your sins and on behalf of poor sinners everywhere.
Don't just sit there — the world is in trouble, and we have the answer.
International Youth Day
International Youth Day seeks to raise awareness to the cultural and legal issues faced by youth throughout the world. The United Nations defines youth as people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, although locally, youth can be interpreted in a more flexible manner. In 1995, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth with the intention of establishing guidelines and policies for action and support that would lead to a brighter future for tomorrow's youth. The World Programme of Action for Youth, which consists of 15 priority areas, including education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment and drug abuse, paved the way for the UN's declaration of International Youth Day in 1999. Since its inception on August 12, 2000, International Youth Day has served to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to the youth to actively participate in society. In 2009, the UN Economic and Social Council further expanded each of the 15 youth priority areas by developing goals and targets for monitoring youth progress, an expansion that now serves as the basis for International Youth Day's annual theme. Each year, the theme is selected based upon immediate and relevant issues that youth are facing today.
International Youth Day Facts & Quotes
· The theme of International Youth Day in 2017 is Youth Building Peace.
· Youth activist, Malala Yousafzal, is the youngest Nobel Laureate. Yousafzal advocates for the rights of all youth seeking an education, regardless of gender, religion and creed.
· Of the 1.8 billion youth in the world today, half survive on less than $2 per day.
· Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies. - Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
· The United States and its partners are working to reduce the violence that has uprooted the world’s largest recorded displaced population, an often underused resource is youth. Violent conflicts are concentrated heavily in countries—Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and others—with large youth populations; the founder of a Nigerian youth-led peacebuilding organization working amid the country’s conflict with the Boko Haram extremist group. The conversation will be streamed live to an international audience. Join the conversation on Twitter with #Youth4Peace.
Check out the United States Congresses program for youth: www.congressionalaward.org