Featured Post

Friday, January 24, 2020

SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES Sirach, Chapter 2, Verse 15-17 15 Those who fear the Lord do not disobey his words; those who love him...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

EMBER FRIDAY



Luke, Chapter 1, verse 46-55:
46 And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; 47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior. 48 For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. 49 The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. 51 He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. 52 He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. 53 The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. 54 He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, 55 according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.

This canticle of Mary is often referred to as the Magnificat. We have many reasons to give due consideration and prayerful reflection to the Magnificat. It is the longest discourse recorded of Mary in Divine Revelation. Many are the stories written telling about the heart of Mary as shown in that beautiful prayer. Certainly inspired, it was pronounced by Mary herself when she was carrying the Divine Child in her womb. It is the perfect act of humility and of profound humble adoration. It is part of the Church’s liturgy and has been such since the very first centuries. It has been recited or sung daily by ancient monks and hermits and other Religious who have consecrated themselves to God. It is indeed the prayer of consecrated souls and all clients of Mary. All the great biblical masters of the ages have affirmed that there are four parts to the Magnificat. In the first strophe, Mary expresses her gratitude to God; in the second, she praises God for his power, His holiness and His mercy; in the third, she compares how differently God deals with the proud and the humble; in the fourth, she recalls that all the ancient prophecies to the Jews are now being fulfilled in the Messiah, Who was at that moment present in her womb.[1]

Mary carried Jesus in her womb with great patience. As a child I remember Christmas was always a great strain on my patience. Can you imagine the strain on this poor young girl from Nazareth? She of course could not have done this without first having the virtues of humility, generosity, and a chase heart which led her to have great patience.

Patience[2] the courage of a serene soul

This world being a place of merit is rightly called a valley of tears; for we are all placed in it to suffer, that we may, by patience, gain our own souls unto life eternal, as our Lord Himself says, In your patience you shall possess your souls. [Luke 21 19] God gave us the Blessed Virgin Mary as a model of all virtues, but more especially as an example of patience. St. Francis de Sales, amongst other things, remarks, that it was precisely for this reason that at the marriage-feast of Cana Jesus Christ gave the Blessed Virgin an answer, by which He seemed to value her prayers but little: Woman, what is that to thee and to Me? [John 2:4] And He did this that He might give us the example of the patience of His most holy Mother. But what need have we to seek for instances of this virtue? Mary's whole life was a continual exercise of her patience; for, as the Angel revealed to St. Bridget, "as a rose grows up amongst thorns, so did the Blessed Virgin grow up amongst tribulations." Compassion alone for the Redeemer's sufferings sufficed to make her a martyr of patience. Hence St. Bonaventure says, "that a crucified Mother conceived a crucified Son." In speaking of her dolors, we have already considered how much she suffered, both in her journey to Egypt, and during her residence there, as also during the time she lived with her Son in the house at Nazareth. What Mary endured when present at the death of Jesus on Calvary is alone sufficient to show us how constant and sublime was her patience: There stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother. Then it was that precisely by the merit of her patience, as Blessed Albert the Great says, she brought us forth to the life of grace." If we, then, wish to be the children of Mary, we must endeavor to imitate her in her patience: "For what," says St. Cyprian, "can enrich us with greater merit in this life, and greater glory in the next, than the patient enduring of sufferings?" God said, by the prophet Osee, I will hedge up thy way with thorns. [2:6] To this St. Gregory adds, that "the way of the elect is hedged with thorns." As a hedge of thorns protects a vineyard, so does God protect His servants from the danger of attaching themselves to the earth, by encompassing them with tribulations. Therefore St. Cyprian concludes that it is patience that delivers us from sin and from Hell. It is also patience that makes Saints: Patience hath a perfect work, [James 1:4] bearing in peace, not only the crosses which come immediately from God, such as sickness, poverty, but also those which come from men---persecutions, injuries, and the rest. St. John saw all the Saints bearing palm branches---the emblem of martyrdom---in their hands; After this I saw a great multitude, and palms were in their hands; [Apoc. 7:9] thereby denoting that all adults who are saved must be martyrs, either by shedding their blood for Christ or by patience.

Associations and Symbols of the Advent Ember Days[3]

Winter is characterized by "wet and cold," and is associated with the golden years of old age; remember them this season. Get your children to think of what changes atmospherically and astronomically during this season. Why is it so cold? How does the cold affect the earth's air and waters? Remember that lore says that the weather conditions of each of the three days of an Embertide foretell the weather of the next three months, so the weather seen on Wednesday of Advent Embertide predicts the weather of the coming January, Friday's weather foretells the weather of February, and Saturday's weather foretells the weather of March. Make a note of the weather on those three days and see if the old tales are true! What stars can be seen during the Winter months? Do your children know the traditional names for this season's full Moons? Ask your children to consider how the seasonal changes of Winter affect the plants and animals. How have the trees changed? What are the animals doing now? Which are hibernating? Which are gone, having migrated? What do the animals that aren't hibernating or gone eat now? Have any stored up food to eat during the cold months? Which have fur that has grown thicker to protect them? Do any have fur that has changed color to match the snow? Ask them to consider how the seasonal changes affect (or traditionally affected) the activities of man. What can we do now that we couldn't do at other times of the year? What can't we do? How do modern conveniences affect the answers to those questions? Ask them how they would ensure they had shelter, food, and water if they were put into the middle of the woods right now, with the season as it is. What plants and animals would be available to eat? How would they keep themselves dry and warm and protected from the winds? In the Middle Ages, the months are almost always uniformly depicted by showing the "Labors of Man" throughout the seasons. In stained glass windows, in illuminated manuscripts, one sees over and over the same human activities used to portray the months. In addition to these things, now is the time to make snow angels, build snowmen and snowforts and ice sculptures, sled, ski, skate, ice fish, sit around hearths and tell tales, make crafts indoors, watch for and feed the Winter birds, and, most of all, praise God for His artistry and providence... Get to it! -- and know that just when you tire of this season, Spring will be here!

Happiness

Happiness is a choice; just as love is a choice. We either decide to be happy or we do not. No amount of money or material things will bring us joy, no amount of pleasure or power either. Mary knew that true happiness comes from God’s mercy. That is a choice too. God’s mercy is given to those who fear Him and then in turn honor the gift of love. We in order to accept the gift of mercy must be open to receive. We make a choice. It is funny Mary’s whose name means bitterness was just the opposite. She emptied herself to be filled to the brim with God’s love and within three days we commemorate that she gave birth to Christ our redeemer. I imagine she pondered on this day ages ago as she felt His movement within her that his mercy is overpowering. Let us empty ourselves of all our bitterness and resentments asking Mary to pray for us as we do. Let us in these remaining days before Christmas do all we can to prepare for our Lord Jesus. Let us receive God’s mercy through the sacraments which He has established through His Apostle’s down through the ages to us today. If you have not gone to confession-do. Receive His mercy. Receive the Eucharist, be made whole and prepare for his birth. Give mercy in return to any you have offended, pray and do good works toward those who have offended you. In this way we emulate our God whose power is perfected in mercy. 

Be at peace. 

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[4] (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).
Evening Antiphon

Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the earth.
O King of the Gentiles and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes both one; Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the earth.

49 Godly Character Traits[5]

During this 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:

Humility vs. Pride

Recognizing that it is actually God and others who are responsible for the achievements in my life (James 4:6)

1450 "Penance requires . . . the sinner to endure all things willingly, be contrite of heart, confess with the lips, and practice complete humility and fruitful satisfaction."

2317 Injustice, excessive economic or social inequalities, envy, distrust, and pride raging among men and nations constantly threaten peace and cause wars. Everything done to overcome these disorders contributes to building up peace and avoiding war:

Insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until Christ comes again; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished and these words will be fulfilled: "they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

2554 The baptized person combats envy through good-will, humility, and abandonment to the providence of God.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         30 Days with St. Joe
·         Catholic Christmas Calendar
·         Christmas Novena
·         Spiritual Crib
·         Please pray for me and this ministry



[2]
[4]https://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/game-changers/your-12-week-plan-get-shape-elk-hunting-season
[5]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/ 

No comments:

Post a Comment