This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
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Monday, January 1, 2018
rivers, and other forms of moving water, including ice, manifest the flow of
life itself. A gurgling stream or rushing river, even in midwinter's rest, is
the sign that new life is coming forth, even when it is not yet perceptible in
a snow-covered landscape. Our life in Christ begins through the saving water of
Baptism; since this is so, we have an obligation to protect and save the water.
Water pollution is widespread, denying safe drinking water to millions of
JANUARY 1 SUNDAY/MARY, MOTHER OF GOD/NEW YEARS
Chapter 4, Verse 20
My son, watch for the
right time; fear what is evil; do not bring shame upon yourself.
Shame is generally connected with
sexual ungodliness. Leviticus which is the book of the law on holiness in
chapter 18 lists every sort of sexual sin. Sex is good and was invented by God
and carries no shame if it is done at the right time open to life between
a husband and a wife.
Leviticus 18 begins with:
decrees you shall carry out, and my statutes you shall take care to follow. I,
am your God. Keep, then, my statutes and decrees, for
the person who carries them out will find lifethrough them. I
am the LORD.
None of you shall approach a close
relative to have sexual intercourse. I am the LORD. (Lv. 18:4-6)
Leviticus 18 ends with:
however, must keep my statutes and decrees, avoiding all these abominations,
both the natives and the aliens resident among you—because
the previous inhabitants did all these abominations and the land became
defiled; otherwise the land will vomit you out also for
having defiled it, just as it vomited out the nations before you. For whoever does any of these abominations shall be cut off from
the people. Heed my charge, then, not to observe the
abominable customs that have been observed before your time, and thus become
impure by them. I, the LORD, am your God. (Lv. 18:26-30)
1.Catechism of the
I. "MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM
. . ."
2331 "God is love and
in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human
race in his own image. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the
vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion. "God
created man in his own image male and female he created them"; He blessed
them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply" "When God created man,
he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he
blessed them and named them Man when they were created."
2332 Sexuality affects all
aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially
concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more
general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.
2333 Everyone, man and
woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and
spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of
marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of
society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and
mutual support between the sexes are lived out.
2334 "In creating men
'male and female, God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity."
"Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the
image and likeness of the personal God."
2335 Each of the two sexes
is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a
different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in
the flesh the Creator's generosity and fecundity: "Therefore a man leaves
his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."
All human generations proceed from this union.
2336 Jesus came to restore
creation to the purity of its origins. In the Sermon on the Mount, he
interprets God's plan strictly: "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." What God
has joined together, let not man put asunder.
The tradition of the
Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human
Solemnity of Mary
For Catholics, today is a holy day of obligation to
honor Mary the Mother of God the second Eve: who is the first example of
courage. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,
Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your
womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. (Luke 1:30-31)
May God bless
us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
On my 2006 visit to Israel my wife and I visited
and had Mass on the Mount of the Beatitudes. I remember our Priests were
a little miffed with the little sister who worked there. She was upset
with us because it was a warm day and some in our group had taken off their
sweaters and their arms were exposed. She was focused on the rules, as Christ
pointed out to the Pharisees who were focused on the outside of the cup being
clean rather than the inside being clean. Similarly the beatitudes of our
Lord seek to not do away with the rules (10 commandments) but points at our
inner dispositions. I think Church of the Beatitudes which is an octagon
(eight sided) best represents how me should seek to best conform our hearts and
our dispositions to be more like that of Christ. On the floor of the
Church of the Beatitudes are eight mosaics with words in Latin. They
reflect the dispositions of our Lord which we are to emulate.
Charitas (a heart that burns with love of God and benevolence toward others)
Prvdentia (forethought or prudence. Those who are Prudent are far from
indecisive, for their bold decisions bear no streaks of doubt. Prudence
disposes us to have a true care and concern for the health and wellbeing of
Lavs Tibi Christi (Praise God in all that we do)
Temperantia (Temperance is a spirit of moderation and personal restraint; to keep
ourselves in balance physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally)
Fides (Faith in God; to trust Him; to give yourself as He gave Himself)
Fortitvdo (fortitude and courage. We must have the courage to allow Christ
to increase in us)
Spes (Hope. We must hope in the good news of Christ and trust
ourselves in the church as we would a ship upon the waters)
Ivstitia (Justice. Christ compels us to not ignore others, to understand
others, not to rationalize and/or justify our questionable acts, do right even
at risk of ourselves, and to pray for others.
We close out the Christmas octave—the eight days
following the birth of Christ—with a day honoring Mary as the Mother of God.
Take time to read about the Mother of God today.
Reflect: January 1 is also the World Day of Peace. In his World Day of Peace
Message for 2017, Pope Francis said:
"On this occasion, I would like to reflect
on nonviolence as a style of politics for peace. I ask God to help
all of us to cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values.
May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals,
within society and in international life. When victims of violence are able to
resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promotors of
nonviolent peacemaking. In the most local and ordinary situations and in the
international order, may nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our
relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its
Visit the US Catholic bishops'
Action Center. . . today to find
out ways you can advocate for peace around the world.
Today is the 8th day
of Christmas in The Twelve Days of Christmas. Legend has it the
song was a lesson for Catholic’s persecuted in protestant England. The
eight Maids a milking are a sign for the eight beatitudes. Today would be
a good day to reflect on them.
New Year's Day marks the start of a new year on the
Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar was first introduced by Pope
Gregory XIII in 1582 and began to be used in Britain and its colonies in 1751.
It is a solar calendar which maintains synchrony with the tropical year.
This holiday is celebrated every year on January 1st.
New Year's Day Facts
·Baby New Year is the most common symbol associated
with this holiday. He is a toddler dressed in a diaper, hat, and sash
bearing the numbers of the New Year. The myth states that he matures into
an old man during the course of the year. On December 31st, he hands his
hat and sash to the new Baby New Year.
·In early Roman calendar New Year was celebrated on
March 1st. The new celebration of New Year on January 1st started in Rome in
153 BC. The New Year was moved to January because it was a month when two newly
elected Roman consuls began their tenure, which reflected the beginning of
·In medieval Europe celebrations of New Year on
January 1st were not always observed. Sometimes it was celebrated on Dec. 25th,
March 1st and March 25th (The Feast of the Annunciation).
·Gregorian calendar came into force in 1582, which
replaced the Julian calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII. After
adoption of Gregorian calendar, January 1st was restored as New Year’s Day.
·All our dreams can come true, if we have the
courage to pursue them. - Walt Disney
New Year's Day Top Events and Things to
·Visit Times Square and watch the ball drop in New
York City to celebrate the New Year.
·Sing Auld Lang Sine and kiss a loved one at the stroke of midnight.
·Make new resolutions for the upcoming year and let
go of what happened in the previous one.
·Take advantage of New Year's Eve skiing at a local
ski hill near you. Usually the hills are less crowded and offer discounts on
·New Year – means new trails to hike. Go hiking on a
New Year’s Day to make a good start from day one and get motivated.
Full Wolf Moon
According to the almanac
today we are having a Full Wolf Moon; plan to get with your children or
grandchildren around a fire and howl a little at the moon having fun together.
Also you could sit down together and listen to the music from Peter and the Wolf. As a child this was
one of my favorite record albums that I would make my mother play over and over
again much to her distress.
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:
Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks
(II Timothy 2:24)
In God's plan man and woman have the vocation of "subduing" the earth
as stewards of God. This sovereignty is not to be an arbitrary and destructive
domination. God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator "who
loves everything that exists", to share in his providence toward other
creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them.
witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer
from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission
received from his Father. "The reason the Son of God appeared was to
destroy the works of the devil." In its consequences the gravest of these
works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.
Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast  After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t
Introduction to Joshua  Hail the conquering hero ! Beowulf , Alexander the Great , Xerxes , Romulans , Marcus Aurelius , Hannibal, Caesar the Ape... okay, we'll stop here. Needless to say (but you know we're going to anyway), the world is full of conquering heroes. Did you know the Bible has one, too? His name is Joshua. Written in Hebrew during the late 7th century BCE, the Book of Joshua is the first recorded text of the Bible and kicks off what is known as the Historical Books. This doesn't mean that everything is to be taken literally (like our jokes). History was originally meant to teach a community about how to be good citizens and way less concerned with historical accuracy. The Book of Joshua, which reads like a game of Risk, tells the tale of a man named Joshua (didn't see that one coming) and his conquest of the land of Canaan with the Israelite army. Joshua was Moses's replacement to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. The problem? Peopl
Second Sunday of Easter DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY-S T. STANISLAUS John, Chapter 20, Verse 19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for FEAR of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Life begins at the end of our comfort zone. Do you live in fear of failure or are you locking the doors of your heart to new opportunities? When you let in the spirit of Christ you open yourself to empowerment. The Law of Empowerment  The job of leadership is to lead with the intent to work yourself out of a job. Imagine what would happen if our politicos did this! This is what Jesus did. After Christ gave His Peace to the apostles, he breathed on them to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and thus empowered them to live the supernatural life. We in turn by the power of the successors of the apostles are heirs to this. Christ wants us to be change agents to bring about t
Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter T. Jefferson Joshua, Chapter 2, Verse 8-9 8 Before the spies lay down, Rahab went up to them on the roof 9 and said: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that a dread of you has come upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land tremble with FEAR because of you. Rahab saved the spies of Israel. Why? She knew the truth that God was with Israel. Rahab was a survivor and a sinner; she knew God had given the land to Israel. If you know the truth you do not swerve from it. Rahab was saved from the fate of Jericho because of her action not just good will toward Israel. James in his epistle puts it this way: 20 Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abrah
First Saturday ST. BASIL/9 th Day of Christmas -MOTIVATION DAY Psalm 23, verse 4: 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will FEAR no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. Saint Pope John Paul II was an example of someone who walked through the valley of the shadow of death and feared no evil. The Lord’s rod and staff sustained him through the nightmare of the Nazis and the Communists. Both were evil empires devoted to the destruction of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all except for the few selected elite. These empires systematically replaced God with the rule of the chosen ones of the State. People from both the Fatherland and the Motherland sat by and watched the evil grow without taking decisive action, making the adage ‘ All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (or women) do nothing.’ Remember to measure our nation and our politics with Gods Rod (Rods were often used in an
Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter Joshua, Chapter 2, Verse 24 They assured Joshua, “The Lord has given all this land into our power; indeed, all the inhabitants of the land tremble with FEAR because of us.” Secularist and pagans still tremble with fear because of God. Why? People fear what they do not understand or have to compete with. Every person is born with the spirit of God within them; it is the spirit of truth which they have lost or suppressed. Christ referred to this when he told the parable of the sower. The seed is the spirit of truth (spirit of God) that the sower sows. Christ tells us, “A sower went out to sow. and as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich
Thursday of the Second Week of Easter ISRAEL INDEPENDENCE DAY Joshua, Chapter 4 , Verse 14 That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and so during his whole life they FEARED him as they had FEARED Moses. Sometimes we are tempted to follow any leader who is popular. We forget God’s warning about following the proud and evil hearted, for lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. (Mal 3: 19) We may think that following the leadership of our bishops is a waste of time. You have said, “It is useless to serve God; what do we gain by observing God’s requirements, and by going about as mourners - before the LORD of hosts? But we call the arrogant blessed; for evildoers not only prosper but even test God and escape.” (Mal 3:14-15) God knows the heart of a man and if his heart b
Wednesday after laetare Sunday: end of mid-lent  Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that the LORD had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.” Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him. Dire Straits  · At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. · If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up
Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from Acedia My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror. You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength. By the power of your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces. Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, The Church, So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust. Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done. Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray. Amen Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception...pray for us St. Joseph...pray for us St. Michael the Archangel...pray for us (the patron of your parish )... pray for us (your confirmation saint)...pray for us "Freedom from Acedia" by Fr. Rick Heilman Recently, I wrote a reflection on pride. I said