Friday, November 3, 2017

FIRST FRIDAY-FEAST OF ST. HUBERT-FIRST FRIDAY



Proverbs, Chapter 19, Verse 23
The fear of the LORD leads to life; one eats and sleeps free from any harm.

The gift of fear of the Lord enables a person “to avoid sin and attachment to created things out of reverence and love of God.” Primarily, this gift entails a profound respect for the majesty of God who is the Supreme Being. Here, a person realizes his “creatureliness” and dependency upon God, has a true “poverty of spirit,” and never would want to be separated from God, who is love. As such, this gift arouses in the soul a vibrant sense of adoration and reverence for God and a sense of horror and sorrow for sin. This gift of fear of the Lord is sometimes misunderstood because of the word “fear.” “Fear of the Lord” is not a servile fear whereby a person serves God simply because he fears punishment, whether some sort of temporal punishment in this life or the eternal punishment of hell. A genuine relationship with God is based on love, not fear. Therefore, this “fear of the Lord” is a filial or reverential fear that moves a person to do God’s will and avoid sin because of love for God, who is all good and deserving of all of our love. In a similar way, a child should not be motivated to obey a parent simply because of fear of punishment, but because of love and respect; a person who loves someone does not want to disappoint or to break the other person’s heart. One should fear hurting a loved one and violating that person’s trust more than one should fear punishment. Nevertheless, one should have a healthy sense of fear for the punishment due to sin, including the fires of hell, even though this should not be the motivating factor for loving God. Therefore, this gift motivates the person in three ways:

·         first, to have a vivid sense of God’s infinite greatness;
·         second, to have a real sorrow for sin, even venial sins, and to do penance to atone for sins committed;
·         third, to be vigilant to avoid the near occasions of sin, to struggle against personal weakness and fight temptation.

The gift of fear brings to perfection the virtue of hope. A person respects God as God, trusts in His will, and anchors his life in Him. He approaches the Lord with humility, docility and obedience. He believes in His promises of forgiveness of sin and eternal life in heaven. Also, this gift is the launchpad for the other gifts. As sacred Scripture attests, “Happy the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands” (Ps 112:1), and “the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord” (Sir 1:12). This gift also perfects the virtue of temperance, which seeks to use all things wisely and in moderation, neither in excess nor in defect, especially those sensible pleasures. With reason enlightened by faith, temperance controls the passions. Temperance is related to the gift of fear because one’s respect for God, and one’s awareness of being made in His image and likeness, and being redeemed by Christ motivate a person to give glory to God by being temperate in actions and desires, not using, doing, or indulging in anything to excess or defect. For example, chastity is a virtue of temperance, which respects the goodness of one’s own sexuality, the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of marital love. A person moved by the gift of fear strives to live a chaste life because God is the creator of these goods, and a chaste life gives glory and praise to Him. This gift also prevents us from being too familiar with God. We are the victims of original sin and suffer from concupiscence; therefore, each of us struggles with a rebellious heart. A person could easily take God’s love for granted and presume forgiveness without real contrition; or forget God’s majesty by taking His holy name in vain; or make demands of God and then be angry when He does not meet them; or forget that every gift is from God and be selfish; or neglect prayer and worship because there is not enough time for Him; or disregard God’s commandments and the teachings of His church. And without fear of the Lord, such a person might say, “God loves me just the way I am, and I am going to heaven.” One has to ask, “Does such a person really love God?” While the Lord will never spurn a humble and contrite heart, He will humble the haughty.[1]

A good way to cultivate this gift is through

1.      Daily prayer and worship at Mass.
2.      Regular and careful examinations of conscience also are important, as well as the regular use of the sacrament of penance.
3.      Meditating on the infinite majesty of God.

St. Hubert[2]

Late in the eighth century, so runs the story, a hunter named Hubert, neither better nor worse than he should have been, was tracking a stag through the forest of the Ardennes. As he readied himself to shoot the animal with his arrow, he was startled when the stag turned suddenly in its flight, and he saw between its antlers a luminous cross. This experience caused Hubert to change his way of life, and he never hunted again. Yet only a few centuries later he was known as the patron of hunters, and is a saint greatly honored in France and Belgium.

Saint Hubert lived a full life. He became bishop of Tongres and traveled through his huge diocese on horseback and by boat, preaching and building churches to the glory of God. He was the friend of the great of his day — Pepin of Heristal and Charles Martel among them — and also of the poor. In particular his heart went out to prisoners, and he would secretly place food for them before their dungeon windows. As he died he said to those about him, "Stretch the pallium over my mouth for I am now going to give back to God the soul I received from Him."

In parts of France and Belgium there has long been a custom of holding stag hunts on Saint Hubert's Day, and the hunters gather before the chase for Mass and the blessing of men and horses and dogs. After the hunt is over, those taking part gather for a bountiful breakfast consisting of fish, meat, salad, cheese, and dessert. Naturally the meat is venison of some sort, and the salad may well be one of dandelion greens.

Patron: Archers; dog bite; dogs; forest workers; furriers; hunters; hunting; huntsmen; hydrophobia; liege, Belgium; machinists; mad dogs; mathematicians; metal workers; precision instrument makers; rabies; smelters; trappers.

Things to Do:
  • Have roast venison in honor of St. Hubert, patron of hunters.
Please pray for the soul of a great priest and friend of mine who I had the pleasure of knowing while stationed in Belgium-Father Paul Wolf as it was he who introduced me to St. Hubert.


The Wolff of the Ardennes

Men are frequently blinded by fear and as a result often harmed themselves. The grace of God gives confidence to see the right and to stand when called. Father Paul was called to stand and became General Patton’s guide during the “Battle of the Bulge” while he was still a teen. Father Paul Wolff was 15 years old when he first joined the Belgium resistance during the years of the Nazi occupation of World War II. He was the youngest member of the Belgium resistance. Unfortunately he and other members of his group were captured and at 17 he was tortured, condemned to death and imprison in the Nazi Prison in Liege, Belgium. There he languished yet his faith would not allow him to lose all hope and the resistance still worked to get him and the others (256) out. Part of the plan was to get a radio to the prisoners. To do this the resistance secreted small parts of a crystal radio inside bars of soap. Interestingly these were “Lever” brother bars of soap and were large about the size of a brick. Father Paul related that during the Nazi occupation not all Jews were in German prisons if they were of use to the Nazi’s. In this case the soap bars were made by the Lever Jews and the radio parts were easily hidden inside the soap bars. Father Paul stated that when they received the soap they then washed their hands raw in wearing away the soap to get to the radio part. Then after several bars they constructed the radio which was the Morse code type. Father Paul typed in code in English which he spoke along with German and French the words over and over “SOS SOS 256 prisoners in Liege prison condemned to death SOS SOS.” They hoped someone would get the message and somehow they would be rescued. All they had was hope.

Father also related that it drove the Nazi’s crazy because they intercepted the message but never suspected it was coming from the prison. Father Paul said that in the cell they were in there was only one barred window but it was so high that to look out it required a person to stand on the shoulders of a fellow prisoner. He further relayed that they when they would see women that were friendly with the guards coming and going they would call them the nastiest things they could think of calling them. Yet one day during an air raid while the guards were hiding as deep as they could go; one of these young women (secret agent) came and taking the heel of her shoe wrote on the pavement that during the air raid they are going to be rescued by commandos and they were. Father Paul stated neither he nor the others ever lost hope.

After his escape he went underground. He was a friend of King Leopold III. He served as General Patton's Belgian guide during the battle of the bulge.

December 24, 1944

Father Paul communicated to me the tale about the battle of the bulge that has not been recorded in history. During WWII the US Army was segregated and black men were not mixed with white men. Black men mostly served in support roles such as transportation and as cooks, etc. During the course of the Battle of the Bulge’ Hitler sent in a special operations team to confuse and destroy the American Army. It was composed of American NAZI’s and German’s, who spoke perfect American slang, knew the culture, baseball stuff, etc. These Spec Ops were equipped with American Uniforms and equipment that was captured by Gen. Rommel from North Africa. Father Wolff was at a meeting with Gen. Patton, Bradley, Eisenhower and the English Gen. Montgomery in Luxembourg City on the evening of Dec. 24th 1944. The Generals were very excited and afraid because of the effect these NAZI spec ops were having in the warzone and due to the fact that they had murdered many men. They did not know what to do. Patton who was a visionary, suddenly stood up and said, I know exactly what to do. From this time forward nothing in the American Army will move without a black American in the group. Patton knew there were no black NAZI’s. As a result black units were moved forward and integrated and as far as I know this was the first time in American History since the Civil War. As a result the NAZI spec ops team was neutralized.




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[3] (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.

Week Six: You should be feeling like a bonafide athlete.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Back to jogging, but pick up the pace a bit.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Try to get through your routine – hiking with pack and five crunches/lunges every five minutes – without stopping to rest.

Week Seven: Halfway there!
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Back to sprinting/walking. Push yourself.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Add five pounds to your pack (total 25), same routine.

Week Eight: Second amendment week.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Trade the jogging in for a smooth relaxed 45 min run. (Faster than jogging, but not a sprint)
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Same routine as week seven, but carry your bow or rifle (empty of course) or object of similar weight/balance).

Week Nine: Hang in there.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Sprinting and walking. Keep pushing.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Add five pounds – you’re up to 30 pounds plus your rifle/bow. Stay strong and focused.

Week Ten: Home stretch – only three weeks till the hunt.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: More smooth relaxed running. Keep it strong.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Same routine, add another five pounds. You’re up to thirty five now, approximately the weight of a three day bivy pack. Keep up the squats and lunges, they will prep you for big tough steps when climbing, and crouching while stalking.

Week Eleven: Better be packing…
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Back to walking and sprinting, you should be traveling well.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Yep, you guessed it – add another five. You should be really strong by now, muscles bulging in your legs that you never knew you had.

Week Twelve: Congratulations! You’re probably in better shape than me now.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Running, just keep it strong and relaxed.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Keep it up. No additional weight this week, just stay strong.

Next week – Have a great hunt! Remember that the Lord hunts your soul! 

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood



[1]http://catholicstraightanswers.com/fear-lord/
[2]http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2016-11-03
[3]https://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/game-changers/your-12-week-plan-get-shape-elk-hunting-season

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