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Friday, December 29, 2017

FEAST OF ST. THOMAS BECKET



Psalm, Chapter 135, verse 20:
House of Levi, bless the LORD! You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!

How can I a sinner, bless the Lord; the creator of all? In what we think, in what we see, in what we love and in where we use our natural talents; in our strengths. This is the prayer of Israel; the prayer that Christ himself said.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength.

Four prayers that will change your life[1]

All prayers are of equal importance before God, whether you are praying for patience with an excitable child or praying to make ends meet until your next paycheck. Prayer is simple and can be done any time. "I tell you, therefore, everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:24) Believe in these words and God will bless you. He loves us and wants the best for our lives. Don't hesitate; be prepared for God to change your life for the better!

What do you want of me, Lord? Knowing what God wants you to do is definitely a life-changing experience. Sometimes God wants us to do things we don't want to do (see Jonah) but in the end, He will never ask us to do something that isn't for His Glory.

Reveal to me my sin, and forgive me, Father! Living without guilt is certain to change anyone's life. As humans, we make mistakes - constantly. One of God's greatest gifts is His glorious forgiveness. We don't need to live our lives in constant guilt but we do need to seek forgiveness before we can change our bad habits.

Teach me to love! Love is perhaps the most amazing emotion mankind is capable of. It is also the most complex. Love has different forms and can cross several planes to include familial love, romantic love, and even cross into other aspects such as respect and kindness. Must you absolutely love your mean boss or that one finicky neighbor who always has something negative to say? In a sense, yes, you do. Without realizing it, your ungrateful boss is teaching you patience, self-control and how to love the unlovable. That rude neighbor with the passive-aggressive comments is also teaching you lessons, such as how to handle situations with respect, how to be a mature adult and how to handle difficult situations by thinking both critically and emotionally. Learning to love and respect the people in your life - including yourself, which may be the most difficult of all - can turn your world right-side-up. Imagine what you will be capable of once you learn to love!

Give me strength! Life is full of struggles - whether they stem from a stressful home life, financial difficulties or social situations, God wants to heal all of these wounds. Everyone struggles with something in their lives. What's important is to remember God is always here for us to lean on and He encourages us to do so. We aren't meant to deal with negative situations alone; this is why we have priests, friends and family. We're meant to communicate the good and the bad to each other - and to lift each other up. Similarly, God wants us to know He can change your personal situation to lift your spirits and relieve your stresses. Pray for guidance, forgiveness, love and strength.

If you incorporate these prayers into your life, you will see positive changes in your being. Your perspective will shift and you'll catch glimpses of God's glory in every situation. So get out there and start praying!

Cup of Strength

For Christmas my wonderful wife brought me three coffee mugs on being 1) a man of courage 2) a man of strength and 3) a man of wisdom. It takes strength to do the will of God. Here is what is on the strength mug my wife gave me: Blessed is the man whose goodness, honesty, and strength of character lead him to defend what he believes in with certainty, and to stand up for others wholeheartedly.

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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[2] (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.

St. Thomas Becket

St. Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, suffered martyrdom by the king's men in 1170 on this day.  There is an excellent movie about his life “Becket” if you have time to watch tonight which stars Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. Becket was a man of strength.

Christmas Calendar[3]

Read about St. Thomas Becket, once a royal chancellor of England. He was slain in his own cathedral for defending the Church from interference by King Henry II.

Reflect: Christ's kingdom is already present, but it is not yet fulfilled. The destruction of the last enemy, death, is still to come, and then, says St. Paul, God will "be all in all." This is why we pray "Thy kingdom come." When we pray "Thy kingdom come," we are praying for a kingdom of truth, life, holiness, grace, justice, love, and peace. Yet, let us also remember that for the sake of this kingdom many of our sisters and brothers are suffering persecution.

Pray: Becket gave up his life for the sake of justice. Pray today for the many Christians who still face persecution and death because of their faith. 

Act: Take time to pray the Rosary for justice and peace today.

Five Golden Rings

Today is the 5th day of Christmas the Five Golden Rings represent the five books of the "Pentateuch" [Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy].



49 Godly Character Traits[4]

During this Christmas 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:

Obedience vs. Willfulness

Freedom to be creative under the protection of divinely appointed authority (II Corinthians 10:5)

532 Jesus' obedience to his mother and legal father fulfills the fourth commandment perfectly and was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in heaven. The everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the obedience of Holy Thursday: "Not my will. . ." The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed.

564 By his obedience to Mary and Joseph, as well as by his humble work during the long years in Nazareth, Jesus gives us the example of holiness in the daily life of family and work.

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance":

Father, accept this offering
from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life,
save us from final damnation,
and count us among those you have chosen.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         30 Days with St. Joe
·         Christmas Calendar
·         Novena to the Holy Face Day 3
·         Please pray for me and this ministry



[2]https://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/game-changers/your-12-week-plan-get-shape-elk-hunting-season
[3]
[4]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/ 

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