Friday, September 22, 2017

EMBER FRIDAY-AUTUMNAL EQUINOX-MUHARRAM

“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.”-John 14:13-16

Psalm 72, Verse 5
May they fear you with the sun, and before the moon, through all generations.

This psalm is all about the glory of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church for the church defends the oppressed among the people, and seeks to save the children of the poor and crush the oppressor; for it is our church who rescues the poor when they cry out, and the oppressed who have no one to help. It is our church that shows pity to the needy and the poor and saves the lives of the poor from extortion and violence for precious is their blood in His sight. Yes the apostates of the world mock us for our faith in a man that rose from the dead and in His representative Peter; nevertheless they shutter with fear before this church in the miracle of the Sun in Fatima. Life is delightful to God and the Church.


Respect for Life[1]

To understand more fully how to defend and protect human life, we must first consider who we are, at the deepest level. God creates us in his image and likeness, which means we are made to be in loving relationship with him. The essence of our identity and worth, the source of our dignity, is that we are loved by God: "We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son." We are called to divine intimacy, true communion with God, and we can grow in this closeness with him through daily prayer, reading the Scriptures, and frequent participation in the sacraments, especially Confession and the Eucharist.

Our Mission as Christians

The knowledge and realization of how deeply we are loved by God elicits a response of love that simultaneously draws us closer to God and, at the same time, impels us to share his love with others and embracing a relationship with God means following in his footsteps, wherever he may call. Just as Jesus invited St. Peter and St. Andrew to become his disciples, he invites us to do the same: "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Being a disciple of Jesus naturally includes sharing the Gospel with others and inviting them into a deeper relationship with God. As Christians, our identity and our mission are two sides of the same coin; like the apostles, we are called to be missionary disciples.

Missionary Discipleship

This doesn't necessarily mean quitting our jobs or moving to foreign countries. For most of us, our mission field is daily life: "Christ teaches us how to evangelize, how to invite people into communion with him, and how to create a culture of witness: namely, through love. A Christian life lived with charity and faith is the most effective form of evangelization." The first step towards living this life is allowing Jesus to meet and transform us daily. If we respond to his grace, our lives will show we have something beyond what the world offers: we follow a person whose love changes our lives, so we want others to also experience his transforming love. When we live in union with God, open to his prompting, we're more able to see the opportunities for witness and his guidance in responding to these opportunities. We may fear doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing, but we do not need to be afraid. Jesus promised his disciples, "I am with you always, until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

Identity Crisis

As a society and as individuals, we often measure ourselves by false standards: by what and how much we do, our successes or failures, how others treat us, the degree of our pleasure or independence, etc. And when these changeable substitutes prove to be insufficient, or when we are faced with challenges and suffering, we may feel helpless, alone, or abandoned; we may be tempted to feel as though our lives have decreased value or worth. But God's love—individual, real, unchanging—is the true source of our worth, identity, and dignity. It really is not a question of who we are, but rather whose we are. Because his love will never change, nothing can reduce our God-given dignity, and nothing can diminish the immeasurable worth of our lives.

Our Response

When someone is facing great trials, we need to meet them where they are, walk with them on their journey, intercede for them, and be open to sharing Christ's love however he directs. When a woman becomes pregnant, and her boyfriend threatens to leave if she continues the pregnancy, we need to lovingly walk with her. When family members or friends become seriously ill, we need to assure them that God still offers them something in this life, and they still have purpose. We need to consistently be with them every step of the way. Sometimes our actions speak for themselves; other times, words are needed. Whatever the situation, Jesus knows how to speak to each person's heart; we simply need to follow where he leads.

A Culture of Life

This is how we answer our missionary call. This is how we build a culture of life, a culture that joyfully proclaims the truth of God's love, purpose, and plan for each person. Changing the culture is a process of conversion that begins in our own hearts and includes a willingness to be instructed and a desire to be close to Jesus—the source of joy and love. When we encounter Christ, experience his love, and deepen our relationship with him, we become more aware of our own worth and that of others. His love for each person is cause for great joy, and growing understanding of this priceless treasure motivates us to share his love with others. Our lives are often changed by the witness of others; so too, others' lives may be changed by our witness and authentic friendship with them. Let us go, therefore, and not be afraid. God is always with us.
Why should I fear in evil days when my wicked ensnarers ring me round?

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.

Sleep is an important element of life and along with it is the rest or recreation. One must regenerate not only the body but the mind and soul as well.

25 Ways to Re-Create[2]

1.      Salt Water Fishing-As the title indicates, salt water fishing takes place out at sea giving fishermen the opportunity to catch large and exotic fishes such as the Marlin. The big draw back to this activity is that you have to have access to a boat (either own, know someone who does, or rent), and own special fishing gear that can handle large catches.
2.      Bird Watching- With about 10,000 species of birds and only a handful of people who can claim having seen over 7000 of them, bird watching is become a popular recreation activity. It’s believed that bird watching is an expression of the male hunting instinct while others links it with the male tendency for “systemizing”. Either way, bird watching is a great, safe way to enjoy nature.
3.      Skiing- Also known as downhill skiing, Alpine skiing began as a club sport in 1861 at Kiandra in Australia. Today, most alpine skiing occurs at ski resorts with ski lifts that transport skiers up the mountain.
4.      Snowboarding- An American born sport that is getting world wide attention, snowboarding was developed in the 1960’s and became part of the Olympics in 1998. Like any other extreme sport, snowboarding does present risks of injury (especially for new participants), in fact, you are twice as likely to get injured while snowboarding than Alpine skiing.
5.      Overnight Backpacking- Not to be confused with backpacking for traveling purposes, overnight backpacking describes a multi-day hike that involves camping. Aside from the health benefits, backpacking allows adventurers to enjoy remote places that are usually un-accessible by any other means.
6.      Showshoeing-Snowshoeing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during winter months while maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. In fact, as of 2006, at least 500 American schools have started offering snowshoe programs in their physical education curriculum to help combat obesity.
7.      Skateboarding-Skateboarding appeals to people all over the world. In a 2002 report, it was found that there were 18.5 million skateboarders in the world. 85 percent of those who had used a board in the last year of the poll were under the age of 18.
8.      Trailrunning-An increasingly popular sport, trail runners have increased from 4.5 million to more than 6 million in the United States alone between 2006 and 2012.
9.      Snorkeling-If you want to check out an underwater world without the mess of complicated equipment and tanks, snorkeling are for you. Not only is it simpler than scuba diving, but cheaper as well since you are not required to have a license and or permit to dive.
10.  Bowhunting- Unlike hunting with a rifle, Bowhunting places the hunter in closer proximity to its prey and is more physical (in that you burn more calories by using a bow rather than firing a gun). This activity entices many new participants; however it is a controversial sport due to the fact that animals tend to die slowly when struck by an arrow.
11.  Cross-Country Skiing-Considered to be one of the most grueling endurance sports out there, cross country skiing promises to test your fitness. If you are looking for a sport that burns the most calories per hour, this is it.
12.  Wake Boarding-No waves? No problem. Wake boarding makes up for the lack of waves with a boat by dragging you along. This activity is relatively safe, popular, and will definitely keep you fit if done consistently.
13.  Fly Fishing-A perfect activity for enjoying the outdoors, fly fishing requires some technical skill (mainly casting techniques) but these are relatively easy to learn.
14.  Sailing-Probably one the most romantic outdoor activity on this list, sailing captivates the imagination and offers participants a chance for a relaxing trip on the seas. The only downfall to this activity is the price of a sailboat.
15.  BMX Biking-BMX bicycling is an impressive sport to watch, which is probably why so many people attempt to get into it. If you are thinking of doing the same, be warned, you can’t fear getting hurt as falls, scrapes, and fails are common.
16.  Surfing-A challenging sport, surfing definitely requires some skill development. Nevertheless, many people attempt this dynamic sport.
17.  Scuba Diving-With the opportunity to experience a rare and stunning encounter with a world outside the norm, it’s not surprising why so many people try out scuba diving. Just be careful as scuba diving can get a bit expensive and certification is required for solo divers.
18.  Climbing-The danger factor should be obvious with this one. Nevertheless, climbing appeals to many first time participants and many more find it to be a great outdoor activity. If you’re thinking about giving this a try, I suggest starting out in an indoor climbing facility.
19.  White Water Rafting-With six grades of intensity, white water rafting appeals to veterans and novices alike. With that said, if you want to try rafting for the first time, be sure to stick to the lower grades since white water rafting can be dangerous.
20.  Sea Kayaking-Kayaking in the sea will allow you to enjoy an active lifestyle while gliding through open waters. It’s a relatively easy sport to get into and for the most part safe (unlike the next item on our list).
21.  White Water Kayaking-A surprisingly popular activity for first time practitioners, white water kayaking is a pretty intense sport. If you’re not careful, you can end up seriously hurt, or worse…dead. Nevertheless, 35% of first time participants indicate that this is their sport of choice.
22.  Adventure Racing-You just never know what you will get with adventure racing. As the name suggest, the ‘adventure’ can consist of swimming, running, climbing, kayaking, etc. There usually is no time limit and some races can even last days.
23.  Triathlon Consisting of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines (running, bicycling, and swimming), a triathlon does not require a particular high level of skills per se. However, the training for such an event can be grueling.
24.  Windsurfing-An engaging combination of sailing and surfing, windsurfing takes the #2 spot on our list. If you’re itching to try this sport, know that it does take some patience and perseverance to become proficient. You must develop your balance and core stability; acquire a basic understanding of sailing theory; and learn a few techniques.
25.  Stand Up Paddling-Stand up paddling (SUP) is the #1 activity for new time users. Similar to surfing in that you stand a board. In SUP, waves are not required and you can enjoy a tranquil stroll while enjoying a total body workout.



Fall begins (Northern H.)[3]
Fall begins in the Northern Hemisphere when the Sun is perpendicular to the equator.  This day has equal hours of day and night.  The first day of Fall is also called the Autumnal Equinox.  In many areas it coincides with harvests.  The first day of Fall happens between each year between September 22 and 24.

Fall begins (Northern H.) Facts & Quotes
·         The Harvest Moon is the full moon which occurs closest to the autumnal equinox.
·         The Fall Equinox is also known as: Alban Elfed, Cornucopia, Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus,  Harvest Tide, Mabon, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, and Wine Harvest.
·         The Earth takes 365.25 days to make one complete revolution around the Sun.  This results in the first day of Fall beginning 6 hours later each year, and moving a full day backwards on Leap Years.
·         During the fall, the leaves on many trees die and fall to the ground. 500 years ago, expressions like fall of the leaf and fall of the year were quite common in the English speaking world.  The term fall as the name for this season comes from these early expressions.
·         How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of light and color are their last days - John Burroughs
Fall begins (Northern H.) Top Events and Things to Do

·         Take a hike and enjoy the colorful leaves.
·         Visit a Nature Center or Nature Museum near you.
·         Plant cold weather plants or begin to protect your summer plants from the winter elements.
·         Rake leaves into piles and then jump in them.
·         Visit an apple orchard and pick some fresh apples. Use some of them to make a delicious apple pie or apple crisp for dinner.
Muharran (Isalmic New Year)[4]
·         Muharram (1st first month of the Islamic calendar), is the holiest month after Ramadan.  This month is most recommended by Muhammad to fast and worship in.
·         The Islamic method of dating was invented by Umar ibn Al-Khattab, a close friend of Muhammad.  He was the second Islamic Caliph (rulers) and in the year 638 he standardize the many calendars of the Arabian peninsula.
·         The Islamic calendar is lunar cycle based and contains twelve months that make up a total of 354.36 days together.
·         There are parallels between this holiday and the day of Ashura.  Ashura commemorates what Muslims believe is Moses crossing the Red Sea to escape the oppressive Pharaoh on Ashura.  Similarly, the Islamic New Year marks Muhammad's crossing the desert between Mecca and Medina to escape the oppressive Quraish nobles.  For both observances, Muhammad recommended Muslims to fast.
·         The Islamic calendar is abbreviated A.H. or Anno Hegirae in Western languages.  The first date on the Islamic calendar, 1,1 Muharram A.H. corresponds to July 16, year 622.


Top Events and Things to Do

·         Muslim parents traditionally tell their children of Muhammad's escape from Mecca to Medina on this night.
·         Attend a Islamic New Year Celebration.  In Indonesia, the government holds various parades and marches to celebrate the Islamic New Year.  This includes chanting songs called kidung.
·         Read more about Muhammad's journey from Mecca to Medina by reading his biography, The Sealed Nectar.

Daily Devotions/Prayers
·                 Drops of Christ’s Blood
·                 Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
·                 National 54 day Rosary day 39
·                 September Devotion: Our Lady of Sorrows
·                 Total Consecration Day 12
·                 Day 1 – St. Therese Novena
·                 Fast today praying for those who will embrace the other side with our cruxified Lord and that they may die in the presence of our Lord and His Mother. In the evening when you break the fast have some fish (Paella II). In light of this day’s reflection (Ember Friday of September reflects on the profound importance of total conversion) make a donation to an organization that supports widows and orphans.

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