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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

December
We turn our attention indoors with Advent prayers and preparations for the birth of Christ; for most of us, the indoors makes up the part of our environment in which we spend the most time. It is also the most unregulated and can be the most polluted part of the total environment –due to new home cleaning products and tighter ventilation. Consider a simpler home environment, where houseplants purify the air, where fresh air is plentiful, and where chemical products are limited and controlled. The yearly cycle of twelve months can make us more aware of our human environment and should help us as individuals and as a community to conduct a monthly examination of conscience.


FIRST FRIDAY December 1

Sirach, Chapter 3, Verse 7
Those who fear the Lord honor their father, and serve their parents as masters.

Besides the virtues that must characterize our conduct toward God, special duties are enjoined, such as honor and respect toward parents, with corresponding blessings. By showing such respect especially to old and infirm parents, the sins of children are pardoned. Failure to honor father and mother is blasphemy and merits a curse from God (v. 16)[1]

First Friday Devotion[2]



Nine consecutive Fridays in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), a French nun in the Visitation Order, and gave her the special task to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart at a time when religion was growing cold in the hearts of mankind. He said to her:

“Behold this heart which, not withstanding 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.” Jesus asked for special prayers and practices to make amends (reparation) for this great neglect to the proper reverence owed to God. For those who did this faithfully, he made what St. Margaret Mary referred to as the “Great Promise” which was the last and greatest of the Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

“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 [the grace of final repentance], or without having received the sacraments, since my divine heart will be their sure refuge in the last moments of their life.”

Conditions to Fulfill the First Friday Devotion

The specific conditions to receive the Great Promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are:

1. Receive Holy Communion on nine consecutive first Fridays of the month (this assumes that the person is in a state of grace, having made a sacramental confession for any mortal sins prior to receiving communion).
2. Having the intention, at least implicitly, of making reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for all the sinfulness and ingratitude of men.

Sex and Holy Purity[3]



It's impossible to discuss Holy Purity without visiting The Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus taught the multitudes the twelve Beatitudes, He was speaking to all men of all ages on correct moral conduct. In number eight of the Beatitudes, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," Christ was teaching of the cleanness of the whole person, not just his heart. The heart represents one's thought, words and deeds. Remember Sister Christine Joseph's morning prayer?

"A man is worth what his heart is worth." Purity of heart is a gift of God and we are to be constant in our vigilance to acquire and keep this purity - whose reward will be the Beatific Vision. Holy purity is a virtue. Jesus placed such an emphasis on purity that He warned us to fight hard without making any concessions. And, if we fall from grace, we begin again. King David suffered the grave crime of adultery. God punished him, he repented his sin and went on to lead a life of holy purity. Jesus warned us to protect the purity of our whole being, especially the 'lust of the eyes' and 'adultery in the heart.' To understand this important teaching, let us look at scripture, Mt. 5: 27-28:


"You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

Sinful 'lust of the eyes' and 'adultery in the heart' can take place even within the marriage. In other words, it is morally wrong for spouses to 'use' one another. Pope John Paul II addressed this sorrowful reality during his general audience of October 8, l980:


"Adultery 'in the heart' is committed not only because man 'looks' in this way at a woman who is not his wife, but precisely because he looks at a woman in this way. Even if he looked in this way at the woman who is his wife, he could likewise commit adultery 'in his heart.'"

John Paul is saying that it is possible for a husband to treat his wife as 'nothing but an object for his gratification.' The sinful perversion of sodomy, man with man and woman with woman, is most grievous against 'holy purity.' It was recently reported by the New York Times that in Key West, Florida the densely populated year-round sodomite community celebrates a Fall Fantasy Fest each year. Same-sex rituals are performed in full public display with little or no outcry from local police or towns people. Key West has been referred as a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.


"Decorum and modesty are younger brothers of purity," said St. Josemaría Escrivá.

When a woman, young or old, dresses immodestly, she not only tempts men to sin against purity, but she incurs the sin of temptress upon her own soul. An immodest woman who reveals her body while she is walking at a public venue (a shopping mall, a sports arena, a concert) could conceivably cause hundreds, perhaps thousands of men to commit the sins of 'lust of the eyes' and 'adultery in the heart' in one hour's time. An immodestly dressed cheerleader, for example, whom the ESPN television camera man captures numerous times for a hundred million male viewers, would certainly be a cause of tremendous spiritual harm for young and adult male viewers nationwide. In addition, the anger and contempt that wives and mothers hold in their hearts for such immodest women, who tempt their sons and husbands, is another sin against purity of heart. Woe to immodest women who invite through the eyes many iniquities into the soul. For such women tempt the beast in men and cause loss of dignity and respect for the whole of womanhood. A certain popular priest, well known to viewers of a Catholic television network, was a college champion swimmer and diver. After entering the priesthood, and as our culture decayed in decorum and modesty, he sadly could no longer frequent swimming pools and the seaside. It became an occasion of sin for him due to the immodestly dressed women in bathing suits designed to publicly expose their bodies. If, today, you invite guests to your swimming pool, it would be well to have modest bathing suits, in all sizes, to maintain the purity of heart at your home. Or better yet, do as a popular Catholic Family land place of retreat in Ohio practices. They have an excellent code of modesty for families swimming at their pool. Everyone wears long loose t-shirts over their swimming attire in and out of the water. God surely is pleased with this wholesome recreation.


World AIDS Day History[4]

World AIDS Day serves to remember those who have died from AIDS and to bring about awareness of HIV/AIDS through education and publicly held events. HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system and makes it progressively more difficult to fight infections and diseases. Once HIV advances and becomes so severe that the body's immune system is too weak to fight off many infections and diseases, it is called AIDS. There is currently no cure for HIV or AIDS and if left untreated by antiretroviral medication, patients' immune systems fail leading to death. World AIDS Day is also an opportunity for people to show their support for people living with HIV. World AIDS Day is one of the eight WHO Global Health Days. The day was created by the World Health Organization in 1988. Since its inception over two decades ago, the world has managed to halt and reverse the spread of HIV. According to the WHO, the occurrence of new cases has decreased 35% between 2000 and 2015, while AIDS-related deaths have decreased by 24% over the same time frame, all thanks to antiretroviral treatments and widespread AIDS education and awareness. World AIDS Day is observed on December 1st of each year.

World AIDS Day Facts

·         The theme for World AIDS Day in 2016 was Leadership. Commitment. Impact.
·         The Red Ribbon is the universal symbol of support for those living with HIV/AIDS.
·         The AIDS Memorial Quilt Project allows friends and family members of someone who has died from AIDS to construct a quilt panel and have it placed in the quilt. The quilt travels and is displayed throughout the US.
·         The first case of what is now known as AIDS was reported in the US in June 1981.
·         According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than a million people in the United States are living with HIV infection, and almost 1 in 5 are unaware of their infection.
·         According to World Health Organization, AIDS has claimed over 39 million lives globally.

World AIDS Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Wear a Red Ribbon, an international symbol of AIDS support.
·         Learn the facts of how HIV is transmitted so you can be better prepared. Remember, HIV is spread through body fluids such as blood, semen, rectal and vaginal fluids and breast milk.
·         Get involved in a fundraising efforts to support research into HIV/AIDS treatment. Many fundraisers are done in the form of HIV/AIDS day walks.
·         Watch a movie or documentary about HIV/AIDS. Some popular suggestions: Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Philadelphia(1993), Longtime Companion (1990), The Age of AIDS (2006) and AIDS, Inc (2007).
·         Get tested if unsure of your infection status. Local pharmacies sell HIV home test kits or you can find free testing sites in most areas.


49 Godly Character Traits[5]

As we near the Advent season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:
Boldness vs. Fearfulness


Confidence that what I have to say or do is true and right and just in the sight of God (Acts 4:29)

2610 Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: "Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will." Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: "all things are possible to him who believes." Jesus is as saddened by the "lack of faith" of his own neighbors and the "little faith" of his own disciples as he is struck with admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman.

Fitness Friday-Hunting Workout

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.

Elk hunting[1] (or indeed any rough-country hunt where drastic elevation changes are a routine part of the hunt) requires a different kind of planning and conditioning than your usual whitetail hunt. The most common problem out-of-state hunters experience is not being in good enough physical condition to handle constant up-and-down foot travel at high elevation - especially when carrying a pack. The result is a physically exhausted hunter who is unable to perform. Hours and days of precious hunting time are wasted due to need for rest and recovery. Here’s a twelve-week plan that will prep you for the high country. There are two main components to physical prep for rough-country hunting: cardiovascular and muscular. Plan on exercising thirty to forty-five minutes per weekday, alternating between cardio and muscular workouts. Be sure to stretch and warm up gradually before workouts and cool off gradually afterwards.

Week One: Start out easy on yourself to lower risk of hurting joints or tendons.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Go for a brisk 45-minute walk, preferably including up and down terrain.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Spend 30 minutes climbing up and down the local bleacher stairs (or a nice steep hill). Take regular short rests.

Week Two: Step it up a little.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Add short stints of jogging to your walk.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: same 30-minute routine, just cut down on rest time.

Week Three: Start getting focused.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Begin pushing yourself, walking less and jogging more.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Same 30-minute routine, add three squats and three lunges (don’t use weights) alternately during short rest periods.

Week Four: You should be feeling much stronger by now, and hurting less. Remain careful to avoid injury.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Try to jog the majority of your 45 minutes.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Try to spend the entire 30 minutes climbing your stairs or hillside, alternating between five squats and five lunges every few minutes. Only rest at the ten and twenty minute marks.

Week Five: By now you should be enjoying your workouts.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Warm up, then alternate two minute sprints with walking to catch your breath. 45 minutes.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Wear a pack with 20 pounds of weight in it during your routine. Rest when needed.


Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry




[2]https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/what-is-the-first-friday-and-first-saturday-devotion/
[5]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/
[1]https://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/game-changers/your-12-week-plan-get-shape-elk-hunting-season

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